Farm The Yard – Online Summer Day Camp for Kids, Youth & Family

WolfCampCover2010The past meets the future, from our backyard to yours! Ever wish you had a mentor help you turn your yard into a wonderland of plants that nourish you? Now you will! All ages can join us for the online version of our Blue Skye Farm Camp.

Register as a household unit, join with other families, and make new friends! We leave it up to parents to decide if their children are old enough to participate, as well as whether to participate alongside them online and outside during the day. Check out:

Farm the Yard – Sustainability & Self-Sufficiency for Kids, Youth & Family

Six of Earth artwork by Joanna ColbertJoin us on a path of self-sufficiency as you become your local Sustainable Caretaker.  It’s based on the permaculture theory and lifestyle of self-sufficiency: an optimistic one that sees hope and opportunity as we are mandated by the environment to create a sustainable world. Campers can be a part of this revolution, cultivating their home environment in a way that benefits nature as well as humans.

Campers will farm the home, learning the full circle life from its compost system, rain collection, and critter care, to using the foods grown to cook with or prep to sell.  Wolf Camp instructors with experience in small-scale agriculture at Blue Skye Farm will guide you to build skills of micro-agriculture, starting with how to grow plants on inside windowsills, on the porch, and in the yard. By the time you finish this camp, you will be able to cultivate plants with the confidence that you will never waste resources again, but rather, honor life as a sustainable caretaker, and become known as a critical resource in your community.

Registration is now open for the following sustainable farm week options:

  • June 22-26 Farm The Yard

Registration opens June 5th for the following planned sustainable farm week options:

  • July 6-10 Farm The Yard & Advanced Caretaker (repeat participants who earned a Caretaker Level I Certificate advance further into the Sustainable Citizen)
  • July 20-24 Farm The Yard & Advanced Caretaker (repeat participants who earned a Caretaker Level I Certificate advance further into the Sustainable Citizen)

Registration opens June 20th for the following planned sustainable farm week options:

  • Aug 3-7 Farm The Yard & Advanced Caretaker (repeat participants who earned a Caretaker Level I Certificate advance further into the Sustainable Citizen)
  • Aug 17-21 Farm The Yard & Advanced Caretaker (repeat participants who earned a Caretaker Level I Certificate advance further into the Sustainable Citizen)
  • Aug 31 – Sept 4 Farm The Yard & Advanced Caretaker (repeat participants who earned a Caretaker Level I Certificate advance further into the Sustainable Citizen)

Or click here for full schedule of virtual camp options.

Weekly Overview of Farm The Yard

Please note: Topics are subject to change based upon location, instructor preference and camper input.

Mondays:

  • Name Your Farm
  • Start Your Hydroponic Windowsill Garden
  • Organize Seeds & Start Your Container Garden
  • Grow Microgreens for Fun, Health & Treats
  • Advanced: Your Permaculture Design; Tour Neighborhood Second Star Farm – Mini Cows, Sheep, Goats, Turkeys, Geese and More

Tuesdays:

  • Build A Mini Greenhouse (Cold Frame)
  • Keep Plants Safe: Friends, Heat, Frost & Zones
  • Fun with Poop & Food Scraps (Compost Starring Specials Guests – Moonbeam, Carolina, Junebug, Cassie & Bonita “Haree” Buns)
  • Advanced: Plant Doctor 101; Mealworm Farming for Food, Frass & Fun

Wednesdays:

  • Make Your Dirt Dirtier – The Dirt on Dirt
  • Hoe Your Weeds (or Just Eat Them!)
  • The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – Insect Scavenger Hunt
  • Advanced: Make Biochar & Save the Planet; Charcloth – The Ultimate Fire Starter

Thursdays:

  • Moving Day for Potted Plants – It’s Hip to Be Square
  • The Sliming – Slugs, Snails, Bugs and the Race Against Time
  • Make Your Bed – The Lasagna Method
  • Build A Solar Oven & Make Solar S’mores!
  • Advanced: Saving Seeds, Mulching, Tilling & Cover Cropping

Fridays:

  • Rainy Day Water Harvesting
  • Gleaning and Apple Sauce (yum!)
  • Preserve your bounty
  • Gifting or Selling  – Labeling Your Goods  
  • Advanced: Streetside Farmstand – Zoning & Permitting

These online camp options for youth and family are simple but amazing. The day starts similar to other online classes, where you meet in a private online room with dedicated instructors. Then after receiving inspiration and instructions for the day, you head outside and experience all the possibilities offered around your home. We get together again periodically over the course of the day to review discoveries, assess skills, redirect energies, and build our knowledge of nature. The past meets the future, from our backyard to yours! Click here to register.

Or choose Physical Summer Camps including Kids Day Camps at Lake Sammamish & Puyallup as well as Overnight Camps near Mt. Rainier & Puyallup.

Then join us in the fall as we roll out the online edition of Wolf Journey Book One – Trail of the Neighborhood Naturalist on a path to becoming your neighborhood naturalist. Begin the journey by finding a study site where you carry out lessons of Urban & Rural Habitat Conservation throughout the course. Each time you visit your site, you will walk more intimately within the landscape, and by the time you complete the course, you will have become a key resource on the natural world for your community, and perhaps the best expert on habitat conservation in your neighborhood.

Virtual Summer Camp FAQs

Cost & Registration Steps

What online format will we use? We are currently using Zoom & Google Meet. If you have an alternate preference, please email us your recommendation.

What’s the daily schedule? Virtual Day Camps run Monday-Friday with hours including: (Pacific Daylight Times)

“Huck’s Song” written by Chris Anderson.

  • 8:45-9:00 AM Camp Director & Instructors start the day with camper hellos as they join, parental chats, and a camp song.
  • 9:00-10:00 AM Opening Circle with Instructor & Assistant Instructor; 10-12 Outdoor Activity with On-Call Instructor Mentoring including 11 AM Optional Online Snack Break Check-In;
  • 12:00-12:30 Virtual Potluck Lunch & Afternoon Instruction; 12:30-2:30 Continued Outdoor Activity with On-Call Instructor Mentoring including 1:30 Optional Online Water Break Check-In;
  • 2:30-3:00 Closing Circle, Review, Show & Tell with Instructor & Assistant Instructor; 3-5 PM Extended On-Call Instructor Mentoring including 4 PM Optional Snack Break Check-In for participants who want to continue what they started earlier in the day;
  • 5:00-5:15 Camp Director reviews day with lead instructor, assistant instructor, and parents who would like to give/receive feedback.

Is is like online school? No one has thought so yet. Reasons seem to be that because participants are engaged the whole time – live with instructors and fellow campers rather than consuming static slide shows – the virtual camps create real connections between participants. Our multidirectional communication does not seem to cause screen fatigue either, and further, kids report that they are spending time outside more than they ever have before.

What ages can participate? All ages, youth and adult, may participate. You register as a household unit. Depending on enrollment, we may create separate groups based on age and whether parents in the household are participating. We leave it up to parents to decide if their children are old enough to participate, as well as whether to participate alongside them online and outside during the day.

Farm Director Lily Leta at home in Joshua Tree
Kelda with daughter Gela on their Oklahoma Farm

Who are the instructors? This is where Wolf Camp shines. As you can see from the daily schedule above, camp director Chris Chisholm starts and ends the day with a song on guitar, before lead instructors like Kelda Lorax and assistant instructors like Lily Smith take Farm The Yard participants on a backyard journey they’ll appreciate throughout their lives.  Our goal is to create the safest, most profound online and outdoor experiences possible for all ages.

How are the instructor-student groups arranged? Participants keep the same staff and camp-mates all week. Kim & Chris Chisholm will be instructing the initial pilot weeks of June 1-5 & 8-12 which are only open to Wolf Camp alumni, as a test of the virtual system we have designed. Our ratio for physical camps this year is a tight 4-1, whereas it’s normally 6-1 for our youth camps, and 8-1 for adult/family camps. During pilot virtual weeks, we will determine the number of participants one lead instructor with assistant instructor can effectively and safely handle online: probably 10 households at first. Our seasoned instructors will receive remote training before and during pilot weeks, and we will announce final online student-instructor ratios after receiving feedback from participants in early June.

What if only one member of the household meets the prerequisite for “advanced camps,” can we still register? Yes, that’s fine, but it would be the parent’s responsibility to bring a child without prerequisite up to speed, with the understanding that lacking fundamental skills may create a safety issue or sense of failure. If you have two devices available with adequate band width to run separate live streams, and your household can manage the logistics, then we recommend signing children up for different camp groups.

Can we register for multiple camps at once, including advanced camps, even if we haven’t completed the prerequisite yet? Yes, as long as a camp registration is open, and the prerequisite will be met by the time camp starts, that’s fine.

Can we sign up for a half-day, or can we participate more/less on certain days of the week? Yes and no. Just take your plans into consideration when you choose the your tuition payment level – options listed below. We assume that the younger or more busy a participant is, the more likely they are to spend just the morning session with us, possibly even checking out after the lunchtime session. We hope that every participant, particularly the older someone is, the more s/he will spend the entire day focused on camp. We do recommend that participants not schedule anything else all week, at least not before lunchtime, and preferably not before the 3 PM (Pacific) closing circle is over. We have found over the years that when campers stay the entire time, they learn and retain information far better, and feel much more successful with the experience.

Can we miss the first morning? No on this question, unless someone else in the household can catch a participant up. The day and week builds entirely on the morning session(s). Do everything you can to prepare in advance so there are no tech issues on Monday so you can join around 8:45, or by 9:00 am the rest of the week. (Pacific Times)

Can we get a refund if we cancel or lose interest during the camp week? Please see our refund policy below, which only allows for a full credit if you cancel before the start of camp. To mitigate financial risk, consider paying the $95 deposit to register your household, and then contribute the remainder of your balance during the first day of camp. You can also add additional contributions later in the week if it turns out a parent wasn’t able to participate as planned, meaning a child needed more support from Wolf Camp instructors than anticipated, or more likely, if you find that the virtual camp was better than you imagined.

Additional questions? For general Wolf Camp FAQs click here, or email us anytime.

Cost & Registration

Make a $95 deposit to register your household, and then add an additional balance (at time of registration, or anytime through the first day of camp) depending on your circumstances described below. There may also be material ordering costs: we will provide one-click ordering options from amazon and other sources, as well as “save money and make it at home” options. See registration Step 2 below for materials list TBA.

  • $95 recommended for a parent directing off-line child(ren), or households with current financial hardship;
  • $195 recommended for one child with full-time parental/nanny support, or low income households with additional children;
  • $295 recommended for one child with little parental participation, or two children with parental/nanny support;
  • $395 recommended for two children with little parental participation, or three children with parental/nanny support;

Step 1 – Register

Either call us at 425-248-0253 ex. 1 and we will take your registration with a credit card securely over the phone, or use PayPal to register online securely with a credit/debit card or via direct withdrawal from your bank account. Use the link below (might not be visible if you are using “reader view” on your phone or other device) or sign into paypal.com and “send money” to our email address.


Camp Dates: Early Summer Now Open; Mid Summer Dates Open June 5th; Late Summer Opens June 20th.
Names & Ages of Household Participants:
Your Cell Phone Number:






Step 2 – After Receiving Confirmation

Order Materials: We will provide one-click ordering options from amazon and other sources, as well as “save money and make it at home” options. The current draft of optional Farm The Yard materials include:

  • small bowl (for hydroponic windowsill veggie)
  • lettuce, celery, onion, garlic, bok choy or cabbage (we’ll be cutting off & using the bottom)
  • seed packet (lettuce, brassica blend (broccoli, kale, mustard, cauliflower or cabbage) for microgreens, whatever you’d like to plant/grow)
  • small pot (3.5-5 inch), plastic container (bottom of salad greens, basil, tomato, muffin tray, etc), plastic soda or juice bottle bottom, empty egg carton or plastic grocery or ziploc bag
  • small bag of potting or seed starting soil, or soil from your yard as finely crumbled as possible with rocks and debris/weeds removed (mole hills are great sources, also can dig under sod/lawn)
  • plastic sheeting or plastic film/cling wrap or other clear/translucent plastic
  • sticks or wood scraps to build a small frame for mini greenhouse
  • cord/rope, rubber bands, duct tape, or staples (to connect sticks/wood with plastic)
  • shovel or hand trowel
  • garden/work gloves
  • cardboard
  • camera or phone for pictures and keeping time
  • foil, tape, scissors
  • cardboard box (pizza, cereal, etc.)
  • s’mores fixin’s (graham cracker, large marshmallow, chocolate bar)
  • cooking pot, veggie peeler, fork, cutting board, paring or small knife
  • 4 apples
  • cinnamon (plus measuring spoon)
  • sugar – optional (plus measuring cup)

Step 3 for first time virtual camp families, at least two days in advance of camp:

Copy and complete the Virtual Camp Household Registration Form (just once per household – or if you cannot view it, let us know and we will email you a Word version) and share your completed copy with us, keeping your editing access but making Camp Director Chris Chisholm the owner so he can share it with appropriate camp instructors, and we can mutually update/edit the form as days/weeks/years go by. All information remains confidential in perpetuity and will only be shared on a need-to-know basis. The registration form must be completed with input from all participants, as it 1) contains questions our instructors have of everyone involved, and 2) contains agreements for participation that everyone must understand for safety.

Step 4 for first time virtual camp families, at least one hour in advance of camp:

Download software if new to you. We are currently using Zoom & Google Meet. If you have an alternate preference, please email us your recommendation.

Refund Policy

Deposits ($100 for day programs, $200 for overnight programs) are not refundable unless we don’t accept your application. If you cancel for any reason, you may receive a full credit good through the following calendar year on appropriate and available programs listed on our schedule, although an additional deposit is needed to secure your spot in the future program. If a program you sign up for is canceled and not rescheduled at a time you can attend, you may receive a full refund except in cases of natural (weather, geologic, wildfire, etc) disasters, epidemics, grid failures, government shutdowns, conflicts or curfews, or other unforeseen emergencies making it unsafe or impossible for staff and/or attendees to reach or use program locations, in which case all payments made will be held by us without expiration date for your future use in appropriate/available programs of your choice. Reasons include the expenditure of funds (property rentals, advertising, materials, admin staff time, etc.) long before programs take place, i.e. deposits make it feasible for Wolf Camp to schedule programs in the first place, but our mutually understood agreement is that Wolf Camp will run the program at the safest available time in the future. Finally, no refund, nor credit, is given if a participant is asked to leave a program for inappropriateness as determined by our kids, youth and adult agreements for participation.

Or email us to be put on our list for this program in the future. We always keep your information absolutely private, and will never share it.

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