Last week, Sustainable Food Center and Creative Action teamed up to create a week-long food-themed summer camp for Creative Action campers. We had a blast hosting kids ages 5-9 for fun food system activities in our kitchen, garden, and community space. SFC activities followed our “Grow, Share, Prepare” food system theme, and each of our programs – Grow Local, Farm Direct, and The Happy Kitchen® – led different portions of the camp throughout the day. Each day held something new and exciting for both campers and leaders.
The Grow Local staff led hands-on activities centered on growing your own food. Campers got their hands dirty planting pepper plants at the SFC Teaching Garden and also learned the important basic steps of watering properly in Central Texas as well as different methods of water conservation in the garden. They also built trellises out of bamboo for several of the garden beds. The group shared about their favorite summer fruits and veggies and learned about what grows in the summertime here in Texas. They learned all about different plant parts and their functions – roots, stem, leaves, flowers, and seeds – as well as which parts can be eaten (spoiler alert: ALL OF THEM!). Everyone used their artistic skills to make beautiful plant part art in the shape of flowers out of straws, string, and tissue paper.
Despite the relentless August heat, the kids were full of energy and enthusiasm for what the day held in store. Their curiosity, smiles, knowledge, intuition, courage, and determination reminded us of the joy of learning and experiential education. We know there are numerous benefits of being exposed to gardens at an early age, and we relished the opportunity to plant a small seed of interest in food gardening in all of the kids that attended the camp. We were glad to be a part of this collaboration and look forward to more opportunities to partner with Creative Action. A big thank you to their amazing staff that helped everything to go smoothly!