What is Critter Camp All About?
This three-day class gives animal lovers an experience of caring for farm animals and an inside look at our farm operation. Critter Campers learn how to feed and handle all the birds and animals. Kids learn about each species, the special care they require and their behaviors. We milk goats, feed baby animals, enjoy the farm, eat lunch in the hayloft, give a bath and learn about grooming. Kids enjoy many experiences with the animals while learning about farming and agriculture. Critter Camp is also about making new friends with kids and staff who share a love of animals and the farm.
Critter Camp is a prerequisite for volunteering at the farm. After completing Critter Camp, students interested in volunteering may enroll in our Volunteer Orientation Class. Orientation classes are held weekly, so you can complete that requirement following your Critter Camp class, if you want to volunteer. Students wear blue Critter Crew shirts (available at the farm) until they complete 20 hours. Upon logging 20 hours of volunteering, students are given their own red Critter Crew membership shirt.
To keep our skills sharp, Critter Crew Refresher classes are offered every spring to all Critter Crew members. This class is required for all Crew members no matter how long they have been serving. To equip our students, continue your education, review tasks, safety measures, and update you about what is new, Refresher classes must be completed by June 1 for continuing as a volunteer Crew member for the coming season.
For the past two years, our director has taught all the Refresher and Orientation classes. Due to the large numbers of children and young people attending, we will have several staff members join our director, Mary Rottschafer, in teaching the students.
Beginning in 2016:
the cost for taking our Refresher class is $25 per student. This entitles you to attend the three hour class, receive a new T-shirt if you outgrow yours, and have a magnetic name tag with your name for you to wear when you volunteer. Your membership as a crew volunteer is very important, and we want every child and young adult volunteering to be equipped to Make It the Best when they are at our farm.
Our Crew program is unlike anything else in Michigan, and keeping our members informed is key to having another outstanding year. We are proud of the role the Crew members play in our farm, and are thrilled that we have an excellent safety record. Conducting our annual class is a big part of this running successfully, making certain that each person is well informed.
Register here for Critter Camp!
- Please read our REGISTRATION POLICY before signing up for a class
- Limited scholarships are available. Contact the Critter Barn office for more information about financial assistance
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, NO open toe or sandals!
Bring your own water bottle. We hold class rain or shine.
When are the Classes?
Critter Camp Classes are offered during June, July and August
Two options each week:
Monday, Wednesday: 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and Fridays until 3:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and Fridays until 3:00 pm
All students are at the farm on Friday from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Graduation with parents is at 2:15 pm sharp on every Friday.
Critter Barn Partners with BOAR'S HEAD
Boar's Head Provisions of Holland is partnering with Critter Barn to teach the importance of why good farming practices and excellent 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 Turkey Sandwich, and know why, Boar's Head does not compromise when it comes to the finished product of our meats. Boar's Head has ordered custom lunch bags for all Critter Camp students too keep.