It’s been a year of screentime, so this summer, it’s time to shut the laptops, turn off the devices, and get outside! If you live in Calgary, there’s a very good chance you’re raising bona fide city kids. Calgary is a fabulous city, with many opportunities for families to stay active and get back to nature. But you might not have much of a connection to farms, animals, or country living. This summer, give your kids a week on the “farm” at Butterfield Acres’ summer camps! Any little animal or outdoor lovers in your house will love to spend a week at Butterfield Acres; you’ll love all the fresh air they get and all the energy they use up on the farm!
Children ages 4 – 14 can enjoy summer camp at Butterfield Acres. Each camp runs from Monday to Friday (except the July & August holiday weeks are 4 days and have a reduced rate). If you have multiple children in camps that start at different times, or you just need a longer day, you can make use of the before and aftercare that starts as early as 7:30 am and extends until 5 pm. With partial day camps for 4 and 5-year-olds, plus full-day camps for ages 4-14, you will find all kinds of camp options, including Farmers in Training for ages 12 – 14. These camps all fill up quickly, so see the schedule today for what works best for your family.
A typical day at Butterfield Acres could include all kinds of farming fun. Your kids can get up close and personal with the critters, learning many interesting things about animals. Maybe they will bottle feed one of the babies or feed the animals hay, chop, or even slop! There will be animal games, activities, crafts, and camp songs. Depending on their age group, your kids will get to ride on a pony, donkey, or even a horse. Of course, don’t forget rides on the tractor! There will even be a camp “hoedown” on the last day, where you can see what your kids have been up to all week!
Each day at camp will highlight a farm animal, with a variety of hands-on activities tailored to each child’s stage of development, attention span, motor skill development, physical endurance, and social skills. Kids will learn all about this animal: how to care for them, their habits, and what they eat. Plus, kids will be outside, enjoying the fresh air and countryside and will come home at the end of the week with this year’s Farm T-shirt and a “Memory Photo” with one of their fuzzy farm friends.
Farmers in Training
The Farmers in Training camp is a unique opportunity for older kids, as they become increasingly knowledgeable and responsible, to become more involved in operating the farm. These 12-14-year-olds will explore in-depth animal care, observing the animals, keeping records, and even observing elementary vet care, if necessary. Throw in some fun and leadership with the other campers, and it’s a week to remember. This camp experience can lead to the Junior Leader Development Program for kids who think they might want to eventually work for Butterfield Acres. In fact, many of the Butterfield Acres’ staff began as campers, some from when they were just preschoolers!
Do you live in the south? For 2 weeks each summer, one week in July (starting July 12, 2021) and one in August (starting August 9, 2021), Butterfield Acres runs a bus service for a fee, as a convenience for those families who live in south Calgary. Anyone can also add snacks, lunch, and before and aftercare, if that makes your life easier.
The best summer memories are made outside … and on the farm! This year, show your city kids a little picture of what life on the farm is all about.