During the summer our week-long campers take a field trip to an animal related location. We go to different locations throughout the summer so that repeat campers get new experiences.
One of our favorite field trips is to Cozy Nook Farm in Waukesha. Cozy Nook is a small family owned diary farm with 65 cows and a couple of goats. The kids get to learn about life on a diary farm; milking the cows twice a day, how calves are raised, the work it takes to bring in crops of hay and corn, and other cow related information.
For some of the kids this is their first visit to a diary farm and while the start out a bit cautious while interacting with the cows, after a short time they're enthusiastically hand feeding hay and petting their soft noses.
It never fails that the campers are excited to see the barn cats -- which always astounds the counselors since they just spent most of the previous week at HAWS with many cats and kittens. But one of the nice things about Cozy Nook is that all of their cats are spayed and neutered. This helps support the message we give the kids the importance of spay and neuter to combat the cat over-population problem. As a matter of fact Cozy Nook has used HAWS Project Guardian Program which offers free spay and neuter services for barn cats and other cared for out-door cats.
One of the final aspects of this field trip is a hay ride to see the hay, corn, alfalfa and corn fields, and Cozy Nook's honey bee boxes. The kids learn just how important bees are to pollinating crops.
Hopefully our campers think about all the work that goes into their food the next time they drink a glass of milk or take a bite of cheese.