Sharing farm life with children for two generations.

Photos & Notes from Privious Summers


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Farm from the north


Photos & Letters
From previous Summers page 3

My son Travis had such a great time at your farm this past week. When I first approached Travis with the idea of staying on a farm for five days, he was not thrilled. But, between the open house and the questions that you were so willing to answer via email, Travis could hardly wait to be there. When I picked him up, he did not want to leave at all. He really loved that he could do some chores AND have free time to be creative in what to do. I will say that having been at this camp, Travis has really gained a new appreciation for what it takes to care for animals. He was happy to care for all of the animals, but was the most excited about collecting eggs from the chickens. Not far behind was the ferrets, playing with the bunnies and giving a goat its medicine. Travis also loved the creek walk and being able to play in the hay. He's been bragging to everyone that during a project, along with some others, pushed four 500lb bails of hay up and down hills. Overall, this was such a wonderful experience for my son, and I thank you for that.
Kelly S. -- 2015

Newly hatched

Going to the Country School Farm is one of the highlights of our daughter's summer. She looks forward to it and starts counting down toward the end of the school year. After her first visit, we noticed an improvement in her confidence and her independence to accomplish. We really love how the children work together and learn leadership skills. Sometimes, as parents, we over look the potential in our children's capabilities and the farm lets the children seek these opportunities. She always comes home so happy and full of stories of her time on the farm.
Jeff M. -- 2015


I had the most wonderful time at The Country School Farm, this was my fourth year going and it was the best one yet!  It doesn't feel like a camp, it feels like I live there. I’m always excited to stay there for a week and actually be productive! I love doing the chores and projects.
My favorite moment was when I got to throw the corn husks in a pile in the woods. The farm also has the most beautiful scenery, you can look almost anywhere and have a picture perfect view. Every night after showers we would go into the living room and have hot chocolate and our evening meeting, then Richard would tell us stories and ask us questions about what happened that day. All in all I absolutely adore this place!

FeedroomHello Barker Family,
I was so excited to see that y'all are still in business! I was a a Country School Farm goer in the latter 70's-'81ish. My memories are warm and vivid of sheering the sheep, picking berries, working the garden, milking the goats, creek hiking, gathering chicken eggs and hanging out up in the hayloft with all of the animals. My memories are shared on a regular basis with my own children . . .
Best wishes to all of you and thanks for sharing your legacy with today's youth. Kind Regards,
Laura I. -- 2015

Hi Barker Family,
I just got one of the farm emails, and it made me wonder how things have been going in the past few years; the next thing I knew I was combing through some of the recent testimonials and photos. It's amazing how many people seem to have been just as profoundly affected by their time at the farm as I was. It's been over five years, but my memories from the nine summers I visited are some of my most vivid I.
Best wishes,
Rachel -- 2015

TCS has been a highlight of our family summer since our girls were little. It will always be a source of pride for us that we were able to send our girls to you to learn about farm life, and themselves. We will always be happy to be included as a reference for your camp.  We cannot speak highly enough about the experiences you have given to our daughters, and even to ourselves on the periphery of their experience. All the very best to you, always,
MJ -- 2015


Just a quick hello on a very snowy day.  Our son Jason attended your 3-day all-boys camp two springs in a row.  Richard proclaimed him "perfect" as we were picking him up, which I, as his mother, will always remember and appreciate.  (Of course, I KNOW he isn't, but what a lovely compliment!)  Jason is a freshman in high school now - we have such good memories of his experience with you on your farm.  Thank you again, and it's nice to know your program is still going strong. What a blessing you have been and continue to be to so many! I plan to give your catalog to our niece, who has a 6-year old boy. :-)
Peace and Joy to you,
The Donaldsons -- 2015


Penny and Richard,
Farm camp has been an experience that has provided so much more then we ever imagined for our children. How they see and interact with the world and others has partly been due to their time at the farm with both of you and your family. They will take these positive experiences and carry them through adulthood . . . Stay warm!
Jen and Brendan -- 2015


It was an amazingly memorable experience for my daughter. She learned so much in a loving, challenging, learning environment that I would never be able to replicate near home. Thank you for welcoming her. We look forward to the opportunity to join you in the coming years!
Colleen T -- 2015

Free range chickens

Our son loved TCS. He came home with many stories of his experiences there. He loved both the independence and the attention he got during his stay. He created many happy memories and friendships. He especially loved the dodecahedron!
Sarah -- 2015

My daughter has been going to The Country School farm since she was 6 years old (now 11) and looks forward to her next visit to all year long! Her experiences have been the subject of many "what I did the summer" school essays. She loves being on the farm, Richard's stories, Penny's bread, going on the creek walk and taking care of the animals. This is one of her favorite summer experiences!
Leslie R -- 2015


To all at the Farm,
I wanted to let you know  how truly blessed our family has been with Isabelle's stay with you.  She still goes on and on about how much fun she had.  My wife and and I can see a change in her since her time on the Farm!!

From both of us Thank You so very much!!!!!
Brian and Marguerite H. -- 2015

Jacqueline had such a wonderful experience for the third year in a row. She didn't stop talking about it for 4+ hours! She's already looking forward to next year! What a special time... what a special week.
Tara -- 2015

Kittens playing

My favorite was holding the baby bunnies, closing down the barn on the last week and making bread. Even though it hurt, I'm glad I got a bee sting because now i know what that feels like. Tell Richard and Penny it was my favorite week so far."
Jennifer S -- 2015

Farm from the north

As always Isaac LOVED coming again this year. He usually has to take medicine daily to keep pace with school, activities, and chores; but not on the farm. It's so natural for him there. The routine you establish is a comfort as he knows what's coming up next. He enjoys each & every chore especially since he knows he can slide down the hay chute soon after, drink Penny's peppermint tea he loves so much (have tried to make to no avail) or hot chocolate, squirt fresh goat milk in his mouth, or show others the ropes. He feels so free. It is the highlight of his year and he will dearly miss it as he's fast approaching 13. This is where he feels good about himself - where he can contribute and not worry about fitting in or kids making fun of him. Truly, it has changed his life. YOU have changed his life. And ours as well.
Tiffany E. -- 2015


Cary is already talking about next summer! Each year adds to the richness of the experience overall and he internalizes more of the what your beautiful farm has to offer. He didn't want to come home again (except to see our kitties!). Many thanks for everything you do to make farm camp a meaningful and lasting experience for our child!
Brooke M. -- 2015

This was Colin's first time away, and his first words to me at pickup, even before "hi, mom" were "I don't want to leave!"
Kelly D. -- 2015

The most amazing experience for children. Neither of our daughters has stopped talking about the farm (or the Barkers) since returning home. The lessons learned and experiences had were priceless!
Christine L. -- 2015

Eleanor loved making new friends, hanging out with the goats, and listening to Richard's stories! She always comes home so cheerful and full of tales to tell about the animals and the people she meets. Thanks so much!
Laura and Chris -- 2015


Nick had a great experience. I am thankful to all of you for your kindness, wisdom, and humor while hosting my son. He is still talking about the camp, telling stories and jokes, and asking about next year. Thank you for such a great week.
Jack H. -- 2015

Winnowing barn

Jillian, age 8, was asked to write and draw a picture about an experience she had over the summer by her principal. Out of all the amazing experiences she had (including a Disney cruise to Alaska), she wrote and drew about her experience at the Country School Farm. We both learned a new word, and she has become quite enamored with pullets (teenage chickens)!
Carolyn T. -- 2015

Hilton chicken house

This was my daughter's first time at "sleep away" camp and she had a wonderful experience. She's an animal and nature lover, so this was perfect for her. She is already talking about going next summer!
Thank you all for being so well organized!
Sarah A. -- 2015

Five summers on, our camper remains delighted and we love the post farm week glow! Working on the younger sibling to join...and wishing Nola could have a few more years!
Pippa W. -- 2015

Dear Barkers,

Last week, Natalie and Noelle enjoyed another treasured week at the farm.  Two years, and already I can't imagine their childhoods without you.  Aside from the obvious joy and fun that comes from a week on such a beautiful farm with special animals and kind girls seemed to also pick up a sense of slowing down, enjoying the moment, maining a sense of simplicity. What a gift you've given them!  ...and, also, given to my husband and me.  When our family life starts to feel over-scheduled and frantic, I think back to the farm and try to find our own version of  "farmstead time".

The girls take such pride in the chores and projects they completed.  They have had many experiences that they otherwise probably never would have the chance.... The farm has truly brought out their Best Selves.

You fill our hearts with happiness. Until next year - Kate and Rob E.,  Strongsville, Ohio-- 2015)


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The Barkers, 3516 Township Road 124, Becks Mills, Ohio 44654 ~

Last Update: 12/1/18
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