A Treetops summer gives children time. Time to bask in the endless possibilities and joys of living together in the natural world. Time to gaze skyward at the constellations in wonder, run barefoot through the dewy morning grass, or reach for the hand of a friend as she struggles to find her footing on a rocky mountain path.
Empowering children means giving them the tools and the time necessary to discover not only who they are, but where they want to go and who they want to become. Unplugged, simple living allows campers to be present in the moment. It helps cultivate a supportive environment where children are encouraged to explore their creativity and newfound passions, day in and day out. The result is a deep sense of confidence and connectedness to one’s own self, to animals and nature, to our Treetops’ community and the world beyond our acreage. At summer’s end, we celebrate all this and more.
The final week of camp is a time when we gather together to show our gratitude. We honor the fruits of our collective labor on the farm, as well as the bounty of the land and all that our animals give us. At the annual Harvest Banquets, children set the tables with crisp white tablecloths and bright bouquets of alyssums, cosmos, calendulas and marigolds from our annual flower garden. Everyone dines on homegrown pork as well as potatoes, herbs, carrots, tomatoes, green beans and lettuce picked fresh from our farm, cared for and harvested by our community.
On Thursday afternoon, all of camp gathers in the gardens for Farm Fest, the culmination of our summer together. This beloved tradition gets underway with a camper-led parade of horses, chickens, and even Doris the goat, finely groomed with flowers braided in their manes and tails. Following the parade, campers enjoy a myriad of farm-related games and activities scattered along the road from the Main House to Children’s Garden. Campers delight in activities such as sushi or salsa making, vegetable pickling, sun tea/water infusions, blind herb tastings, farm art, stick biscuits, face painting, and much more.
Now, as the seemingly endless days of summer give way to August with its bittersweet farewells, we take time to reflect on all we have shared. Senior campers gathered for a quiet campfire at the edge of Dexter pasture along the shore of the lake. Everyone had the chance to express their thoughts, read a poem, or simply meditate on what Treetops has meant to them. More than anything, the children articulated a deep sense of belonging. Even after leaving, they know they will remain a vital part of this community.
A Treetops summer gives children time to take a leap and trust that they will land. Campers return home knowing they have what it takes to thrive, no matter what. Camp Treetops will remain a special place where they are always welcome back.
Thank you to our campers and counselors who made this summer such a memorable and cherished experience. And also a special thanks to all of our parents who shared their children with us.