When you’re really passionate about doing something, it doesn’t matter how much work it is.
That’s how I feel about farm camp. I am constantly struck by the fact that doing the things/projects I really want to do requires me giving up my routine and what I usually do for a day…and I have a hard time with that. When I finally walked with the kids to the playground and back one day, something we’d wanted to do for months (MONTHS!), it required me giving up my afternoon to accomplish it. And when I do farm camp, that’s really the only thing I do that week. It’s totally worth it to give up my routines, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy mentally. I miss reading and I miss writing and I miss working at other projects. But farm camp is way more important than any of that!
It doesn’t follow that I would do entire summer of it, but for a week each summer, it’s perfect. I do it imperfectly, but I do my best, and I’m learning to do it better. I want kids to learn where their food comes from, how amazing plants are, and appreciate farms and nature. I don’t think I could spend my time any better than that.
I have also realized the value of doing my best at something and doing it for free. Several people have told me that I should charge for farm camp, but that would ruin it for me. Of course, we have to be financially compensated for something that we do because it costs money to live, but there is value in doing something all out and not being paid for it. I am doing it purely because I’m passionate about it. At first I didn’t charge because I didn’t want to keep people from coming, but now I understand that not charging makes it more pure for me too, and more highlights my values…there are things worth far more than money.
We had a much larger group this year, and that worked just fine. I learned more of how to manage a large group (31-32 kids) of varying ages, and it highlighted to me the differences of those ages. I know what my kids can do and their attention spans, but to see a bunch of kids of their ages make me realize that many of those qualities are reflections of a normal child at that age and not just them. This is definitely the world according to Amy, but 4-5 year olds are really hard to manage with activities and instruction. They get value from farm camp (for sure!), but anything I tried to teach them was in one ear and out the other and they can’t follow directions very well…and I was shocked that this age of child is in school all day. I know my kids couldn’t do school stuff at that age, but I thought it was just them. Why are we pushing school on 4-5 year olds?! Okay, sorry for the soapbox!
I’ll write more about what we did for farm camp next week, but for now, just know it was a good time!
What is something that you have found you enjoy more by not being financially compensated?