By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Independence Township — Kids stood on the dock waiting for the perfect moment to dip their net in the Discovery Pond at Clarkston Family Farm to see what they would find.
It was the first day of Camp Wild on July 18 and the kids were learning about the creatures and ecosystem in Wonderful Wetlands through three different activities. Besides checking out the pond, they had A Closer Look at the Heritage Garden and Aquarium Creation at the Outdoor Cooking Lab.
“This is our seventh year doing Camp Wild,” said Clarkston Family Farm Director Chelsea O’Brien, who was jumping from activity to activity to see the new frog friends and taking closer look at plants and creatures with the campers.
O’Brien shared Camp Wild has grown since the first year and for 2022 they are doing four weeks. The first two weeks, which were July 18-22 and July 25-29, were half days for the campers from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The last two weeks, August 1-5 and August 8-12, are full days.
“There were so many people on the waiting list, and I thought I cannot turn this many families away,” O’Brien said. “We sold out in 48 hours with 40 kids in each session. These kids are coming out of Clarkston, Oxford, Lake Orion and Brandon Township. They come from all over for this program.”
Bryce Mikola returned for his second time after enjoying it last year.
“I liked when we tried to catch frogs and going down to the pond,” he shared, adding he and his sister received monarch caterpillars last year. He named his Stripes and his sister named hers Spots.
Grace Howard started as a camper and is now a counselor.
“I have known this place from the beginning,” she said. “I have made life long friends doing Camp Wild. It’s fun to come back.”
She added it is also fun with to revisit the recurring themes with new ideas and activities.
“It’s so fun when parents pick the campers up and they are singing the song for each day,” she smiled.
Kendall Allen was also spending her time at Camp Wild as a counselor.
“I love helping people,” she said. “I feel like I can start helping people at a young age. I love farming. I feel like just being outside is part of everything since all this technology has come out. The more people are outside, the more their brains grow and learn things they don’t know about like growing crops and about the animals.”
Addy Selden enjoyed her time as counselor because Clarkston Family Farm contributes to the community.
“If I can contribute anywhere it will be here and giving back,” Selden said. “I am helping kids learn about the environment around them because if we, Clarkston Family Farm, keep the environment in good shape we will have this for a long time for future generations to enjoy.”
The themes for the four remaining days of Camp Wild are What’s Under Our Feet; Marvelous Meadows, Fantastic Forests and Getting Our Thumbs Green.
CFF hosts the 2022 Michigan Monarch Butterfly Festival on Saturday, August 20, 5-8 p.m. Please RSVP on their website.
For more information and upcoming events at Clarkston Family Farm, visit www.clarkstonfamilyfarm.com.
PHOTO: Max McElmurray scoops through the water from the pond to see if he can find any insects or plant life to look at more closely. Photo: Wendi Reardon Price