Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

P1050135

View Photos from the 2014 Camp Season

Aahhh, summer….  The season of summer day camp; when Life Lab rings with the sound of children’s laughter, the sun shines down on the heads of kids playing games in the meadow, and every child lifts up a cup of a delicious green garden smoothie and gives thanks to the bees and the chickens.  I think the camp staff says this every single summer, and it is always true, “This summer was the best year yet for summer camp!”  

It’s been a summer of growth, for the garden plants as well as the number of kids served and the amount of volunteer support we received.  This summer we welcomed 120 kids total in our Garden Sprouts Camp for 4-6 year olds, 84 kids in our Wildlands and Watering Cans Camp for 7-10 year olds, and 14 kids in our one week Farm and Wilderness Camp for 11-14 year olds.  We also had a record number of high school youth volunteers and adult community volunteers, in addition to our counselor staff, helping to keep the kids safe, healthy, and having loads of fun.

Every Life Lab camper participates in hands-on exploration of the natural world, harvesting and preparing food from the farm, hiking, garden crafts, music, and storytelling on a daily basis.  Our activities are always fun, but the secret to creating a truly special camp environment, and summer memories that last a lifetime: Give love and appreciation, everyday to those around you, and to the place where those memories are being made.  All staff, volunteers, and campers, give appreciation and support to each other in a way that makes a lasting difference.  As one camp mother said on the last day of camp, “My daughter has opened up and gained more confidence in just the last two weeks than she has all year.”  

Summer is all about letting go of the worries and pressures of the school year and embracing the joy of life and simple things.  You can see it in the way that a group of Wildlands campers can’t wait to be the first on stage during snack time, to act out their farmer interview and the wildlife they saw on the farm; or in the way a group of Garden Sprouts campers proudly march through the garden with their milk-jug “watering cans”, diligently watering every semi-parched plant they find; or in the way the faces of the Farm and Wilderness kids break out into grins as they learn how to knead dough and make bread.  It’s hard to say goodbye to summer, but as one seven year old told me on his last day of camp, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back next year!”

Cara-Alexandra Sundell
Garden Educator and Wildlands and Watering Cans Camp Director

Article tags:

follow us on Facebook

19 hours ago

Life Lab

More from our Sowing the Seeds of Wonder workshop: making Garden journals and gazing out over our edible flowers 🌻 @ Life Lab See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

1 day ago

Life Lab

More photos from our 2-day Sowing the Seeds of Wonder workshop from this past weekend… Seed exploration, mud pies… #ssow #sowingtheseedsofwonder #lifelab @ Life Lab See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 days ago

Life Lab

We hosted a fabulous Sowing the Seeds of Wonder Early Childhood Education workshop here in our Garden Classroom! We designed our own garden on a cracker, made Garden Creatures out of natural materials and so much more! #ssow #lifelab #lifelabgardenclassroom #gardenclassroom @ Life Lab See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

1 week ago

Life Lab

Those fall colors popping up around the garden. #gardeneducation #lifelab @ Life Lab See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

1 week ago

Life Lab

We couldn’t do the work we do without partners like FoodCorps!

FoodCorps service members in Pajaro Valley Schools are changing eating habits and connecting kids with nature!

Watch this video and be inspired to make change too. Donate here today: bit.ly/2NzedVA

FoodCorps
Hear from kids and adults in FoodCorps partner schools in California, Georgia, and New York about how FoodCorps service has helped transform their cafeterias and classrooms. See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 weeks ago

Life Lab

We’re headed into the 3 day weekend with a basket of veggies. What late summer veggies are growing in your garden? See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 weeks ago

Ruby Wargnier

A great message for the renewal of plant life the rewards of sustainability for lives to follow. See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.
Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside
Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom