Blog : Prescott Farm: Passing Green on to the Next Generation
With summer just around the corner, parents are already thinking about how to keep their kids active and engaged while off from school. With vacation being so long, parents are understandably concerned with what educators call “summer learning loss.”
Yet, summer is a wonderful break from the classroom and there would certainly be a number of rebellions right here on the Seacoast if it were taken away. Perhaps the answer to the loss of learning in the summer lies in stimulating kids’ minds in a different way – a way that isn’t as possible during the school year.
Enter Prescott Farm in Laconia, NH. Family-owned and operated for the better part of 200 years, Prescott Farm has a history as vibrant as its surroundings. Originally established by Colonel Dudley Prescott of the New Hampshire Militia, who had received land grants for his service during the Revolutionary War, the proceeding decades and centuries would see the farm change family hands multiple times, before ending its tenure as an active farm in 1950.
Today, the sprawling 160-acre farm is stewarded by the Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (PFEEC), which transformed the historic grounds into an expansive campus rife with beautiful scenery offering unique environmental education opportunities. It is in this idyllic setting that PFEEC offers a 9-week summer camp starting June 25th, called WildQuest, for kids ages 4-15, the perfect solution to the problem of summer learning loss.
“We’ve been doing this camp for over 11 years,” says Kimberly Drouin, Prescott Farm’s Director of Marketing and Administration. For over a decade, PFEEC has brought together kids from all over New Hampshire and even parts of Massachusetts educate them about their environment and give them the appreciation that will guide their green choices for a lifetime.
“The children have a special experience where they are here at Prescott Farm and we work hard to enhance their ecological awareness in a community minded, noncompetitive atmosphere. Even though they’re learning, they’re still having a lot of fun,” Drouin explains. This hands-on, primarily outdoor camp experience strikes a wonderful balance to the time spent in a traditional classroom.
Prescott Farm exists to get children excited about nature. Drouin expands, “The kids that come here, if they don’t already have an appreciation for the outdoors, they gain one. If they happen to arrive with an existing appreciation, we get to see it deepen. It’s so nice to see kids get so excited about the outdoors – we can sense their enthusiasm when they talk their parents ears off at the end of the day!”
PFEEC will be hosting their WildQuest open house on May 19th to answer any questions parents and their children might have. Whether it’s about “Survivor” week or the overnight hikes offered for teens, there is a lot to know about this summer opportunity.
Prescott Farm is aware that times have been tough recently so, along with their summer camp application, they offer a scholarship application. “We want this experience to be accessible to everyone because every kid deserves to enjoy the great outdoors in this kind of atmosphere,” says Drouin.
Teaching this kind of appreciation for our ecosystem can start very young. During the month of May, PFEEC hosts the Pollywog Preschool Program for children under 5 on Thursdays. Kids get the chance to plant gardens, play games outdoors and explore the beautiful acreage of the farm.
Because of its commitment to raising ecological awareness, Prescott Farm is a member of the Green Alliance, a partnership of local businesses dedicated to minimizing their environmental impact. From their worm composting bins to their solar PV electrical system, PFEEC sets a high standard for green living in New Hampshire.
It’s clear they’re committed to passing that high standard of environmental stewardship on to the next generation.
For more information on Prescott Farm, visit www.prescottfarm.org
For additional information on the Green Alliance, visit www.greenalliance.biz