Tired of all the screens? Want your child immersed in nature this summer?
Spending time in nature helps regulate over-excited nervous systems and helps return us to a state of calm.
Outdoor free play increases creativity and has been shown to increase academic learning.
Summer camps are a great way to feel connected to others through community.
Meet Some of our Animals
Day Camp Activities
What we do at camp depends a lot on what the children are interested in! Our day camp is a child-led, nature-based program, which means we’re not sure what things will look like from day to day!
Here is an idea of the types of things we get up to:
Nature exploration in the forest, around the ponds or along the creek
Creating structures out of natural materials
Spending time with the farm animals (especially the cats!)
Arts and crafts with natural materials
Sports and active group games
And much, much more!
About Willow Creek Permaculture Farm
Willow Creek Permaculture Farm is a 50 acre farm on a low-traffic road near Dutton, Ontario.
We raise a lot of our own food, in the form of free-range and rotationally-grazed livestock, extensive no-till organic vegetable gardens, and hundreds of fruit and nut trees established along forest gardening principles.
We have a 7 acre field planted with hay, hazelnuts, and numerous fruit trees. In 2021-22, we have planted a traditional hedgerow with over 1500 trees, along the edge of that field. We also have a 25 acre field of switchgrass, a native perennial crop used mostly for animal bedding. Other than those larger fields, most work on the farm happens at the human-scale with hand tools.
Much of the farm is a beautiful creek valley joining 7 ponds with trails, and a magical forest. There are so many places to explore and play games!
Our built facilities include a composting toilet outhouse, and an outbuilding converted into a rustic classroom space.
We also have an ever-growing menagerie of poultry, including chickens, ducks, turkeys, and peacocks. Our Shetland sheep are watched over by our livestock guardian dog, Sofie. Two of the ewes are particularly friendly, because they were bottle-fed when young, and just love people.
Functional Details About the Program
Willow Creek Permaculture Day Camp takes place on a 50 acre working farm, just North of Dutton, Ontario. The property is close to the 401 for easy access from London or Chatham.
The day will be structured to include a snack time around 10am and a lunch break at about noon. Time will be given for free play after lunch.
Day campers will need to provide their own packed lunch and snacks. There are currently no dietary restrictions for what can be brought, but if a child is registered with severe allergies, this will change for obvious safety reasons.
Pick up and drop off at the farm is the responsibility of the family. If carpooling is desirable, please be in touch and we can connect you with other interested families.
Willow Creek Day Camp FAQs
The maximum number of children that can participate in Day Camp at Willow Creek farm is 16 per week. This allows us to maintain a child to adult ratio of 8:1.
The camp is run by Julie Walter and Rob Read, the owners of Willow Creek Permaculture Farm. Julie and Rob have many years of experience working with children, including in their Learning Pod at the farm.
JULIE is a certified teacher and has taught in public education for over 16 years. Her passion is working with children by valuing the child first and building the program around them. By homeschooling her own children while working within the system, she has been able to learn and grow her understanding of how to integrate her knowledge, skills and experience from the classroom into child-centred programming. Julie also has an online presence as “Family Yields” where she inspires, coaches, and podcasts about how to create a more integrated and sustainable family lifestyle.
ROB is a writer, and permaculturalist. For over a decade, he has been growing a reciprocal relationship with the land, most recently as a steward of Willow Creek Permaculture Farm. He enjoys raising domestic animals, and growing food, from vegetables, to fruit and nut trees, and also foraging food from the wild. Rob has a love for connection with nature, and a passion to share that love with others.
We are located just North of Dutton at 31018 Chalmers Line.
We believe in medical freedom, and do not require medical interventions or masks for students or staff. We will ask that a simple diagnostic tool be completed each day before attendance that screens for students or staff who feel sick, have recently been sick, have been out of country, have been asked by a health care practitioner to quarantine, or had a known exposure to a serious contagious illness, such as COVID-19. A hand washing station with soap will be available, but hand sanitizer will not be provided.
Please send an email to email@example.com or phone us at 519-762-3398.