Kids Need Dirt

We tend to use our blog to talk about food, art, cycling, and community events that are near and dear to us. This entry falls across several of those categories and we want to share it with as many people as possible. So any help you can give, either in support or in helping to spread the word, is greatly appreciated.

One of our friends, Katie Ries (former Tomato Head employee, amazing artist, founder of Urban Land Scouts and current staffer at CAC Beardsley Farm) has yet another inspiring idea she’s working to bring to life. She’s launching Urban Land Scout Summer Camp at CAC Beardsley Farm.

What it is:

The camp envisioned will help educate and engage young people in Knox County with concrete examples of urban  stewardship and healthy living through gardening at CAC Beardsley Community Farm. The goal of the camp is to give young people indelible skills and information to help them be good stewards of the land where they live and to model and promote the health of their own communities. All campers will participate in raising and harvesting produce at CAC Beardsley Community Farm, as well as related tasks like planting, weeding, weighing produce, and watering. Campers will be served  breakfast, snack, and lunch daily. At the end of the session, each camper will go home with seeds and soil  to tend at their homes or in a community garden. Urban Land Scout Camp expects its campers to observe, reflect, participate, and celebrate the natural world as we find it in our urban environment and to engage critically in a design practice of investigation, iteration, and refinement.

Who is it for and when:

The hope is for the Urban Land Scout Summer Camp to open its doors this July to sixty campers (grades 5th – 7th) over three sessions.  Sessions would run Monday – Friday, beginning at 8:30am and ending at 12:30pm, or, the afternoon sessions would run from 1:30pm – 4:30pm. Campers should be ages 10 – 14. Participants will do farm chores, eat together, make things, and work on earning Urban Land Scout badges. Best of all, the camp hopes to offer the activities at no cost to our campers and their families.

Who is supporting the camp:

The Tomato Head and Cruze Dairy Farm are providing meals for the camp, and several local individuals have already contributed to the camp. But the camp still needs your support.

Sound like something you or your organization could support? You can make a tax-deductible donation to the sponsoring non-profit for the camp, Schools of Influence Education Foundation, here: Support Urban Land Scout Camp

Lastly, if you know a young person rising into grades 5th – 7th (or the parents of one) who attends any of the Knox County schools listed below and who might be interested in Urban Land Scout Camp, please send them our way. Or download this application and hand it to them.

Eligible Schools:

Belle Morris
East Knox Co
Mooreland Heights
Pond Gap
Sarah Moore Greene
South Knoxville

Middle Schools:
South Doyle

For more information regarding the Urban Land Scout Camp, please contact Katie Ries at 865-235-1730.