Sharing farm life with children for two generations.


Photos & Notes from Privious Summers

 

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

 

 

Photo Highlights and Letters from Participants

From Summer 2013

We have to admit that as Eric and I prepared with Emma for her week at camp, the very specific instructions made us a bit nervous.  We wondered if there would be so many rules that the kids would not have the chance to just sit and wonder at the animals and world around them. We were thrilled when Emma began to talk about her week on the drive home and it became clear that the week was all about being in the moment, being a kid, and contributing to something larger than herself.  Emma even asked (before we got to the end of the gravel drive) if she could come back to the farm another week this summer!  And, if not this summer, then definitely next year.

Emma has not stopped chattering about the week at camp since we picked her up on Friday afternoon.  The time you allowed for simply exploring the farm, being with the animals, and playing/imagining was magical for her.  We do hold you responsible for Emma’s recent request that we raise chickens in our back yard!  HA HA!  (“I’ll do all the work, Mom.  I promise.  It won’t be that hard.”)      

Dair A. and Eric G. -- 2013

 

 


 

Dear Richard, Jonah, Hannah and everyone else,

Thank you for having me at your farm. I loved it. One of my favorite things is milking the goats and jumping into the jumping straw. My favorite meal was breakfast. The farm is the best place in the world. Thank you.

Love Finny (second generation visitor). -- 2013

 

 


 

Thanks Jonah! Gracie and Noraa had another fantastic experience at the farm. Their faces showed such happy, peaceful states when I picked them up. Both talked nonstop the entire 5 hour drive home about this years' adventures. They look forward to sharing their special place with their now 5 year old sister. The first weekend home they played "farm camp" with her and their little brother- complete with a meal bell! Gracie really enjoyed assisting this year. She gained some confidence and had many proud moments this year helping lead. Thank you for that and always giving us such a worry free camp experience. It makes us so happy that the girls choose to spend the end of their summer with your family.

Deb S. -- 2013

 



 

Thank you so much for having me at your beautiful farm!  I have had the best time of my life! I loved the animals, like the pigmy goats, rabbits, chickens, and pugs. I did not like the dairy goats though because one ate my peacock feather!  The chores were my favorite part. I loved milking goats, mixing feed, checking the feed room, and caring for the large animals. Jumping in the hay and sliding down the hay chute was so much fun!  Jonah is really funny and awesome and I loved collecting feathers for his peacock hat! Richard's stories were the best! This was my first time away from home and I was never even homesick. I wish everyone I know could have a chance to go. I loved the farm so much and I will never forget my time there!

Kyra S. -- 2013

 

 


 

Dharma came home with a nice sense of peace about her. Her cumulative weeks at your farm have a maturing, caring effect on her. I know one day when she is an adult she will remember her times there as an important part of her childhood. It's hard to find the simplicity and straightforward environment you provide at Barker Farm. Dhyani seemed to have come home feeling braver, as though he knows he can look out for himself in ways he hadn't realized before. We are so happy that he went this summer. He was ready. In addition, Dharma and Dhyani had a lot of fun.

Melissa N. -- 2013

 

 


 

I just wanted to let you know that Molly had a fantastic experience at The Country School Farm [ ]. She talked about her week the whole way home. She talked nonstop about how great Richard, Dana and Jonah and Amy are. She had a good time with her friends and meeting new friends. She told me about all of the animals and enjoyed her chores. She loved the hot cocoa and said that all of the food was the best. In her words, "camp was really, really, really fun and the things she liked the most was everything". She can't wait to come back next year!! 

Erin G. -- 2013

 

 


 

Thank you for letting me come to your farm each summer for the last three years.  Whenever I am on the farm I relish every moment.  It is an amazing experience!  Memorable!  Magnificent!  Award Winning!  The first night at camp always makes me feel like I have known everyone my whole life.  I wake up to a peacock singing, "Wake Up!  Wake Up!" and then I know that it is time to start another day on the farm.  The chickens are so sweet, soft and curious.  They are so excited to get a good taste of my hat or my socks lightly seasoned with mud and straw.  The food is delicious.  Summer sausage is a great addition to every lunch.  Knowing that almost everything I am eating is grown or made on the farm or nearby makes it taste so much better.  The goats are so funny when they eat the banana peel out of my hand.  They seem to love them.  (Well, goats love anything chewable so it is not that surprising).  I fall asleep every night listening to the fan.  As they say, nothing can be perfect.  But, I think the farm is as close to perfect as it can be. 

Nola (age 9)   Summer 2011, 2012, 2013. -- 2013

 

 


 

It has been 16 years since I have last visited The Farm, and 22 years since my first visit (which was a tough realization, haha), but not a week goes by that I don't think about it. Those weeks that I spent with your family were the most memorable weeks of my life. They granted me stability and solace at a time that I needed it most, and taught me life lessons that I carry with me today. The Farm taught me how to be accountable for myself, proper work ethic, how to work with others in tough situations, and that there are rewards for hard work. The experiences that I had there are ones that I wouldn't trade for the world.  So I just wanted to say, 'thank you so very much', for all that you did for me, for my younger brother, and what you still do for all the children who visit The Farm today. What you give to us are moments we will cherish for a lifetime.

Rachel R. E. -- 2013

 

 


 

I'm not sure if Elizabeth mentioned it, but both my brother Bobby and I spent multiple sessions with you as children. I could still draw a map of the farm for you, my memories are so strong! This experience had a very big impact on me and I can still trace many of my interests and passions back to those times spent at the farm.

Rochelle T. S. -- 2013

 


 


 

I stayed at your farm back in the 80's when I was around 11 or 12 years old. I am now 41! I have often wondered, over the years, if you were still in operation. I have such fond memories of being on the farm and becoming friends with your family. A few years ago I even built some raised garden beds for my mother, and told her that I learned how from those two summers spent at The Country School. How wonderful to have found you again!

Laura. -- 2013

 

 


 

Kylie is thrilled to be invited back this year and can't wait for more fun with friends, nature, and animals at the Farm next year!  I must thank you for the amazing time she had.  She came home and cooked us soup, washed the dishes, and took better care of her animals.  It was quite a change in her, and she still can't stop talking about her experience.  Although, she did say that cooking and washing dishes were not as much fun at home as they were with the Barkers! 

Joyce F. -- 2013

 

 


 

I never even thought of how much this trip would affect Bridget.  She talks about her experiences constantly still. She has had a shift in attitude since leaving the farm. She has always been a happy girl, but she seemed to get even sweeter after camp.  She wants to bring her sister next year.  This may be the best money we will ever spend on our kids.

Amy W. -- 2013

 

 


 

Finnegan (2nd generation visitor) had a wonderful week with all of you. She was so excited to share her stories from the farm. It was such a gift for Randy and I to be able to send her to her first overnight experience with total confidence in her well-being. She cannot wait to come see you again next summer.

Paige W. -- 2013

 

 


 

My daughter has been coming to the Farm for five years. This year, like all prior years, was an occasion for her to re-acquaint herself with the workings of farm life and be a participant in farm life. She was up the first week (I hear she slept later second week) well before dawn to milk goats. Outstanding! She loves the camaraderie, new friends, the food, and Richard's stories. The Farm is and ever will be a special place for Leilani. When she some day is a mother, you can bank on it that she'll be sitting in a car at the head of the line, waiting to allow the Barkers to introduce her child to the wondrous world of this very special place--the place we simply call the Farm. Thank you for what you do to make this a better world for children. There is a special place reserved for all of you in the great beyond.

Robert F. -- 2013

 

 

 

 


 

This experience was empowering for our 9 year old daughter. The balance of freedom and sensible rules allowed her to feel safe to explore and push her own boundaries. The child's world is not our own and it was delightful to hear her reports of the week and which experiences had the most value. She connected especially with the care of the goats, milking and herding them. We knew the week was a success when the first words out of her mouth were "Mom, can I PLEASE come back next year?"

-- 2013

 

 


 

Both of our girls have shared their sense of kinship and accomplishment during their five day stay with you. Your gentle direction gave the kids a sense of freedom without feeling unsupported. Tess and Grace delighted in Richards' colorful stories which will undoubtedly be recounted over and over again....We hope to see you again next summer!

Paul and Kelli W. -- 2013

 

 


 

This was our daughter's second year at Country School Farm. Her only regret is that she did not begin attending sooner. It has been the highlight of her summers these past two years!  As a parent, I am in awe of the amount of learning she exhibits from this experience. It continues once she comes home because she asks for books related to some of what she picked up during her week at the Farm. Emily will return as long as the Barkers will have her. I cannot recommend this experience enough - it is fabulous.

Tera M. -- 2013

 

 


 

Hi! Rhiannon had a fantastic time and was brimming over with stories. I was amazed the next day when she did the dishes and mopped the kitchen floor without being asked! I think she learned quite a bit about herself last week, and what she can do.

Aimee P. -- 2013

Dear Barkers,
. ...I really can't think of enough words to express what your home has come to mean to me over the years. I've loved my summers with you, I think they've truly had a role in shaping who I am as a person. Thank you so much for that. I've learned about responsibility, and life, and caring for others. I've learned many things that, again, it is hard for me to express through words except to say that my time at the farm is always wonderful, and magical and safe, and that I love you all. :) Thank you for sharing your home with me for so many years and for giving me so much responsibility and freedom. Every morning when I wake up early for school I sit and think, "I bet the Barkers are milking right now..." The farm is never too far from my mind. It's such a special place!

Love,
Megan M. -- 2013

 


 

 

 


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The Barkers, 3516 Township Road 124, Becks Mills, Ohio 44654 ~ barkers@tcsfarm.com


Last Update: 9/26/16
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