Sharing farm life with children for two generations.

Photos & Notes from Privious Summers


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Photo Highlights and Love Letters

From Summer 2011


I was a camper a few years ago and I was just thinking through some of my favorite memories of the farm. I am considering goat herding or maybe cheese-making as a part of my future right now, though I haven't fully decided. I've been looking through different dairy farms that provide internships and couldn't help but let a feeling of nostalgia wash over me as I came upon photos of children doing farm work.The two summers I attended the Country School Farm were the greatest in my memory. I remember so much about it; the smell of the dew in the morning, the mistiness of the air when I first woke up, that funny way the rabbits twitched as they ran in the stone circle. I remember the taste of almost every meal, the feeling of a goat's coat, and the critical gazes of the farm cats. Some of my most vivid memories are from my experiences at the farm and I am so thankful that goat-milking,corn-grinding, pig-feeding, chick-catching, and many more every-day tasks on the farm are all part of my childhood memories.I just wanted to thank you for allowing me and so many other children the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Country School Farm.
Glenne T – 2011


Thank you for a wonderful experience for [our children] at the Country School Farm last week.  Both came home brimming with stories and enthusiasm, and are hopeful that they will get a chance to visit again next year.  We never thought we'd send any child of ours off to a sleep-away program at the age of 6 and a half!  But as we learned more about your program, we knew it was a good fit for both of our children, and we were able to trust that they would do just fine away from home within the wholesome program that you provide.  We appreciated your well-articulated expectations and rules, and knew that the children would enjoy the freedom that you allow within that framework.
Now that they are back and have been telling us about all their adventures, we are very grateful that they were able to have this  experience.   My family had a farm in Michigan from the mid-1800s to about 1990.   My mother's generation was the last generation of cousins to spend their whole summers living together at the farm.  We are grateful that our own children have been able to have a small taste of this kind of experience, which so few children today are able to do. Both children have blossomed in their week with you, and declare that they are a bit "farm-sick".

Thank you.  Aine had a wonderful week at the farm.  After I picked her up on Friday she was excited to tell me about the chores, the animals and the stormy creek walk.  She said with a smile that she really didn't think about us at all - she was too busy having a good time and doing farm stuff.  She corrected herself a few minutes later when she talked about how the only time it rained all week was during the creek walk.  She remembered that she cried and said she wanted to go home.  The story continued with her recalling how the other girls all encouraged, supported and comforted her for the remainder of the walk.  She said, "it was so nice - at school people aren't like that - they don't really pay attention - everyone was so kind to me. Since our return to Chicago, stories about the week at the farm continue to trickle out.  Aine said that at the Thursday night meeting Richard asked if there was a time when anyone felt that the farm had become their home.  Aine said that her response was that she felt this way when she went to the barn and got one of the pullets on her own.  Thank you for providing the opportunity for her to experience things that the city doesn't offer.  At the Friday pick up Richard told me that I have a farm kid now.  I'm happy to agree.
Jeanne M -- 2011


Maddie awoke her first morning after leaving the farm, saying "oh no, it's true.... I am not at the farm anymore...!" and then ran back upstairs and into her bed to pull the covers up over her head with her farm hat on!  Once she was coaxed into reality, Maddie held court for the family with all her wonderful stories of farm animals, friends, and her favorite....the creek walk!  The sense of competence, environmental respect, and hands on learning and adventure offered each year at the farm is unmatched to any other camp experience.  Thank you for allowing this slice of heaven to kids who love animals and farm life! It truly is a very special experience that she will remember forever.
Kathy M -- 2011


I would just like to thank giving me the best summer memories that I could have. I am very thankful that you all opened your home to me for the years that I attended the Farm School. I hope that you continue to inspire other children like myself for many years to come. Have a wonderful and adventurous summer!
Katie R -- 2011


Elena had another wonderful week at camp.  I love hearing her animal stories as we drive home every year.  She asked me if we could buy a goat.  I didn’t have an answer for her.  Many thanks, and we look forward to the pictures.   I know that she will want to attend again next year.
Lisa and Elena D -- 2011


Moving the sheep barn--October 2011

I do not have words to thank you for the wonderful experience Sonia had at your farm camp.  She has been telling me ALL the amazing things she did at the camp.  I could truly feel the love and dedication that you and all the staff showed to her.  She wants to come to your camp for a few weeks next time :-) .  Thank you for making this Sonia's most cherished memorable summer of all time.
Anita M -- 2011


I just entered my freshman year at the College of Wooster, not too far away from the Farm. I caught a brief glimpse of a buggy traveling out of town the other day and thought of you and your beautiful home. I'm still advertising the Farm to parents whenever an occasion arises- it's safe to say that I would be much less of a person than I am today without my summers with you, and perhaps would not even have ended up at Wooster (which I absolutely love, by the way). I just wanted to send you all a thank-you for all that you did for me and for many, many others. I hope that everything is going well up there!
R.C. W -- 2011

I don't know how many times I can say it, but, Thank you, thank you for an incredible two weeks. Coming back to the farm for a second time this summer was like coming home after a long trip, and I felt that last week was an especially good week.
I had a lot more responsibility then I have ever had this summer, and I loved it. I really felt like an "older" farm kid, and it was a really cool thing to experience.
But despite leading projects and chores, I also felt like everyone else, because really, it's being on the farm that matters most to me, and that is what leaves such an impact on my experience.
I can't really think of much else to say but, Thank you. Thank you for having me back, for making my summer incredible, for helping me grow and understand things...thank you.
so really, all i have to say now is: can I come back next year> :)
Megan M -- 2011

I was part of the July 25-29 (2011) session. I really loved the experience of the farm! It was such a great place to be! I will keep these memories forever! In fact, these are memories, that I would love to pass on to my children when I get older. I remember the first day I was a bit homesick, but by the second day, I would think; shouldn’t I be homesick? The more I thought about it, the more I realized I WASN’T homesick. Each Barker touched my heart, in a way I’ll never forget. I was so lucky to have the experience that a lot of people never get. I would so love to make more memories there. The farm was the BEST thing I have ever done on my own! Visiting the farm was my first time away from home! You have made it a very special first trip away. Lastly, thank-you so much for having me, and I would be honored if I could come back next year.
Elizabeth S -- 2011



I would like to thank all of you for having me as your guest this summer on the farm. It was certainly the most fantastic experience that I have ever had. One of the best things about being on the farm was that I had no worries (except about going home). In the outside world that I live in I have so many worries about school, family, friends, and other things. But my troubles disappeared from my sight for a week at the farm. I loved observing the dairy goats and playing with the orphan lambs- Muddy, Cappy, Leaf, and Jango. Say hi to Gracie, Eddie, and Birdie for me! The creekwalk had to be one of my favorite parts of the entire week. Swimming in a creek with my clothes on was something that I definitely don't get to do at home! I will miss the hay chute, the animals, the people, the spectacular view of the stars at night, and most of all, the farm. It is now on my Top Five Favorite Places In The World list, and believe me, that is a very high honor. What I thought was funny was that on Monday, every person there was a stranger to me, but by the end of the week, I felt like I had known everyone for years! I am so glad that I got to go this summer. Thank you so much for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Emily N -- 2011

Thank you so much for having me at the farm camp.  It was a great experience there.  I really do hope that I can come back next year.  The place is my favorite place all time.  Our nights are nothing compared to your nights.  Some of my favorite things at the farm were the goats, the ferrets, the dogs, and especially the cats.  I didn't like the cats once when one of them bit a bunny.  I loved making the food like hot chocolate and bread.  Some of my favorite things in the barn were the kittens, the hay chute, the loft between the loft, and I especially liked the projects.  I think that farms were made for me to be at.  This farm was incredible. I also like how each one of you Barkers all have different skills.  You are very good people.
Molly N -- 2011


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Last Update: 11/26/17
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