2020 Summer Camp Information

 COVID-19 Update

    May 4, 2020


Dear Camp Families, 

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of our decision to cancel summer camps at Shelburne Farms for the 2020 season. This includes all nine weeks of day and overnight camp programs. 

This has been a difficult decision, and we are grateful for the support and guidance of the Farm’s leadership team in helping us make this decision. As summer camp administrators, we are used to navigating the expected and unexpected challenges of running a camp. This year COVID-19 is an especially difficult challenge, and puts our highest priority at risk: the health, safety, and wellness of our campers, families, and staff.

We carefully reviewed all options, and it became clear that social distancing, facial masks, and decreased group sizes would not be enough to mitigate the risk of spreading this virus amongst our community at Shelburne Farms. To keep our camp community healthy and safe, and to protect the safety of our staff who are operating essential food and farm functions (dairying, cheesemaking, market garden), we remain steadfast in our decision to cancel all summer camp programs, even if state and local authorities give us the permission to run camp.

We know that the conversation with your child(ren) about summer camp not happening will be difficult, and is one that many of our Farm staff will have with their children, too. It saddens us to think of a summer without the joy and laughter of campers engaging in the Farm’s wonders, but we know this is the right thing to do for our camp and Farm community. 

At Shelburne Farms, we believe that sustainability is grounded in individual awareness and action in our own communities. The action we are taking this year, to cancel summer camp, is a difficult one, but one that builds a more resilient and hopeful future, even now as our dairy farmers, cheesemakers, market gardeners, woodlands managers, food and retail services teams, and buildings and grounds crew support the cycles of food, fiber, and life that sustain our community. Whether you are adjusting to a new routine of working or schooling at home, or working as an essential employee on the front lines, we are deeply grateful that you are a part of our camp and Farm community.

Summer Camp is just one of many programs impacted by COVID-19 on the Farm. We are still determining plans for the other seasonal education programs and public activities at the Farm. Please check our website for updates on our programs, and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where we will be sharing Farm happenings and online learning opportunities.

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe, healthy, and able to get outside and enjoy the sun’s warmth. We are happy to say our trails remain available to you as a place to seek solace, comfort, and connection to the natural world. If you are able, please consider supporting the Farm to help care for and share Shelburne Farms’s educational campus and to support the Farm during this challenging financial year. You can also support us by placing a curbside pick-up order of products from our Farm Store, or we can ship items from our online store. Whether Vermont is home or your home away from home, we are thinking of you, and we hope to be together on the Farm with you again soon.

To review your camp 2020 application, please login to your CampBrain account. Please check our website again in December 2020 for information about Summer Camp 2021. 

Wishing you wellness in all forms,
Lindsay, Christine, & Andy

Christine Lutters
Assistant Camp Director
Contact for all general camp questions
[email protected]

Andy Whitaker
Program Administration Coordinator
Contact for all login, refund, credit, & donation questions
[email protected]

Lindsay Whitaker
Summer Camp Director
[email protected]


Enjoy a look back at last year’s summer camps:

Immersed in the daily cycles of our farm community, campers experience the stories of the land as they play, explore, and discover the wonders of the natural world. Our camps are designed to meet the developmental needs of each age group. Whether campers are attending Adventures, Explorers, Discover the Farm, Taste of the Fields, or our overnight camp, Beyond the Barn, they can expect a full week of adventures around the Farm, in and beyond the Children’s Farmyard, all while making friends, singing songs, and playing games. Campers might visit the pond to dip for critters, meet a newborn calf at the dairy, harvest and taste test produce at the Market Garden, wash and spin our sheep’s wool into yarn, bake bread and make butter, build forts and animal homes in the forest, pick kale to roast over a fire, or explore the Whimsey Meadow maze. All of our camps strive to encourage youth voice, nurture curiosity, and strengthen the connection between children, our food systems, and the natural world.

2020 Application and Enrollment Information:  

January 8–13, 2020: Submit an online application for camp. Initial placement process has ended, but you may still apply for the waitlist.
February 5, 2020: Enrollment Notifications emailed to all applications received between January 8-13.
January 14–August 17, 2020: Applications added to the waitlist in order from when they were submitted. We encourage you to still apply.
Review full Application and Placement Process
Review Frequently Asked Questions

2020 Camp Dates and Rates:

Due to high demand, a camper may only attend ONE camp session. Be sure to select all possible week choices your camper can attend on your application. Some weeks fill up more quickly than others. We will look at all of your choices before placing your camper on the waitlist. Review camp sessions by age or date, or click on each camp below for further details:

View Camps by Ages |  View Camps by Dates

Adventures Half Day (Ages 4 & 5)
Adventures Full Day (Age 5)
Explorers (Ages 6, 6&7)
Discover the Farm (Ages 7–9 & 8–10)
Taste of the Fields (Ages 10–12 & 11–14)
Beyond the Barn (Overnight, Ages 13–15 & 14–17)
Work and Learn Opportunities (Ages 14–17) *New, updated program for 2020

Camp Goals:

  • Provide camp programs that: are accessible to all children regardless of financial barriers, highlight the role farms play in providing our food and fiber, and inspire deep connections to community and a commitment to a sustainable future.
  • Develop and sustain an inclusive and multicultural camp community that reflects and engages Vermont’s increasingly diverse populations.
  • Build relationships with campers and families to encourage lifelong learning and sustained engagement with Shelburne Farms beyond summer camp through family programs, workshops, outreach, and community partnerships.

Accessibility & Inclusion:

We strive to make summer camp on our working farm as accessible, safe, and inclusive as possible. We welcome campers who are emerging multilinguals, queer and questioning, as well as campers with social, emotional, physical, cognitive, or behavioral challenges, along with their 1:1 assistant or a personal care assistants. In many cases we are able to make modifications or adjustments to our program and are open to feedback or ideas. If you have questions or concerns about how we can best support your camper, please contact our Summer Camp Director Lindsay Whitaker at [email protected] or Assistant Camp Director Christine Lutters at [email protected].

Program Accessibility & Scholarship Fund:

Shelburne Farms is committed to ensuring that finances are not a barrier to children experiencing our summer youth programs. Your donation to the Accessibility & Scholarship Fund is greatly appreciated. Thank you for helping all children to experience the joys of summer on the Farm.  

Before / After Care:

Campers may be dropped off as early as 8am and picked up as late as 5pm for all full-day camps. Before Care is available for all half-day morning camps and After Care is available for all half-day afternoon camps. Before / after care is not an extension of camp programming, it is unstructured supervised free time. Fee: $3/half hour per family.