At Treetops, children learn to care for an animal and know what it means to nurture another being. Ours is a working farm at Treetops, and has been from the start. We keep 12-15 horses for our horseback riding program and raise sheep, turkeys, goats, pigs, and several varieties of chicken, using their eggs and meat in our meals, as well as sheep’s wool in our craft projects.
At the barn, campers learn about and care for farm animals under the guidance of counselors and farm staff. In the process, many campers develop a measure of affection for the animals. They also learn first hand the lessons of life’s natural rhythms — the loss of chickens to predators, the bandaging of a lame horse, the birth of a lamb — cultivating a deep respect for all living things. While campers learn the hard work of raising animals, there are also many other opportunities to engage at the barn and pastures, including giving the pigs a bath, playing with baby goats, or reading stories aloud to the chickens.
Barn & Pasture Chores
As part of daily work jobs, each camper will have the opportunity to participate in barn and pasture chores over the course of the summer. Taking place every early morning and late afternoon, chores may include:
- feeding chickens and collecting eggs
- milking goats
- rotating sheep among pastures
- feeding pigs
- turning the compost
- feeding and watering horses
- picking a horse’s hooves
- mucking stalls.