What is Critter Camp About?
This three-day class gives animal lovers an inside look at the entire farm operation. Critter Campers learn how to feed all the birds and animals. You'll learn about each species, the special care they require and their behaviors. We milk goats, eat lunch in the hayloft, give a bath and learn about grooming. You will enjoy many experiences with the animals while learning about farming and agriculture.
Critter Camp is also about making new friends with kids who enjoy animals too!
Critter Camp is our prerequisite for volunteering at the farm. After completing Critter Camp, students interested in volunteering enroll in our Volunteer Orientation Class which is included free of charge. See below. Orientation classes are held weekly, and you can register online after receiving your certificate.
Critter Camp is for children ages 8 to 16 (must be 8 years old by May 1, 2014)
Read more about Critter Camp below....
Critter Barn partners with Boar's Head
Boar's Head Provisions of Holland is gladly partnering up with Critter Barn and educating all ages of kids this year to teach on the importance of why farming and the care of the animals is important to us as a Food Manufacturer.
Look forward to hearing about our Hand Washing Program, Learn about Food Safety, and the importance of how the caring of the animals before getting to the manufacturer plays a vital part on the Quality of the Consumer's Product.
On Friday, each Critter Camp class participant will each receive a sack lunch provided for them to taste and experience a Classic Boar's Head Sandwich, and know why, Boar's Head does not compromise when it comes to the finished product of our meats.
Click HERE to view dates and register for Critter Camp in 2014.
Please read our REGISTRATION POLICY before signing up for a class.
Please click HERE to read our letter to parents of children who have graduated Critter Camp.
Please click HERE to download and print the parental consent and release form that is REQUIRED before attending a class at the farm.
When you take the class:
On day #1 and #2, bring a sack lunch and beverage; a morning snack is provided. Friday lunches will be provided by our sponsor, Boar's Head! Dress for the weather, wear older shoes, you should bring your own water bottle. NO open toe or sandals! We GO! rain or shine.
When are the Classes?
Critter Camp Classes are offered during June, July and August
Two options each week:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 8:30am to 1:30pm
Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30am to 1:30pm
All students are at the farm on Friday from 8:30am to 1:30pm
Graduation with parents is at 1:00pm every Friday. Parents should
arrive 10 minutes prior to the meeting time.
Read MORE...Frequently Asked Questions...
"Looking forward to hearing just a little bit more on the volunteer portion and what most families do." My girls are thinking about taking your Critter camp class this summer. Once they have completed this class, you state that they are able to volunteer on the farm.
How do kids get to volunteer?
After completing Critter Camp class, interested kids may take the
Volunteer Orientation class which prepares them for responsibilities during our
public hours. Our Volunteer Orientation class reminds kids about details, safety,
rules and responsibilities. The class also prepares them for working with the
guests who visit our farm. In 2014, the Critter Barn is requiring all Critter Crew
members: new and experienced, to take this class. You will be given a card
to show that you have taken this required class.
The volunteer hours on the farm . . .
are there specific hours that they are able to volunteer?
Yes, children volunteer Monday through Saturday
6:30am to 9:30am, 9:00am - 12:00pm, 12:00pm - 3:30pm, and 3:30pm -7:00pm
This varies with each seasons.
Morning chores and evening chores are the most popular.
How do Crew Members Sign Up?
Sign-up is online. We'll explain more at the end of the class session.
Our registration shows all the possible times.
You register, select your date(s) and receive a confirmation via email.
Approximately how many hours are they able to volunteer in the day?
3 hours - a single shift (3 hours) two times a week.
Are they able to volunteer in the morning or just afternoon hours?
Either. Some seasons have evening options too.
Some Critter Crew members volunteer for special events connected with
our Traveling Farm.
Are they able to volunteer a couple of times during the week?
Children may volunteer two times a week at the farm
Crew members may also volunteer during Farm On the GO! events
New Critter crew members volunteer single shifts
(3 hours) max of two times a week.
As children gain experience and confidence, some want to stay longer
as the seasons allow.
They bring their lunch in addition to a snack.
Some Critter Crew members have been volunteering here for 5 to 8 years.
Every situation is different. There are many children who want to volunteer.
We limit the number of times to give all a chance
and allow for a little balance in their lives.
Read about Volunteering as a CREW member
Here's what one parent had to say:
"Thank you, thank you thank you for the marvelous Critter Camp that my son, Mathieu finished today. His time on the farm was so special and I can't believe all he learned! He will be volunteering soon... He told Grandma and Grandpa (when they came for a tour yesterday) that "this is where I want to be in life." He has never been so confident and comfortable anywhere. I wish we would have done Critter Camp earlier in the summer so he could have spent more time there this summer... Thanks for all you do. You, and this teaching farm, are a gift."
Critter Camp is a three day class designed for 8 students with one teacher. Everyone participates and learns by doing the chores at our farm and caring for the animals. We are eager to meet kids who love animals! Critter Camp is created to give kids an up-close, personal experience with animal care at the Critter Barn, while teaching about life cycles, animal behavior, agriculture and the role farming plays in our daily lives. Kids interested in careers with animals benefit from this experience.
You may continue beyond the class, join the Critter Crew, and volunteer throughout the year. There are many chores to do and critters to care for. If you like working with animals, this is the place for you.
Schedules vary during the school season, but you are still able to volunteer throughout the entire year.
For students who have not volunteered, repeating the Critter Camp class will be necessary.
You must volunteer throughout the year for 20 hours to retain your membership status.
Children may volunteer after completing Critter Camp without an adult, however we welcome parents to participate at least one time, as this gives parents a better understanding of what their child is doing.