Nestled into the curves of the Vermillion River, Bellwether Farm is a camp, retreat, and education center dedicated to exposing the wider community to the creation that sustains all of life. As a working farm, its life focuses on four primary activities.
Facilities & Grounds
Bellwether Farm is a unique and affordable option for your next gathering. The center offers brand new facilities featuring a green technology, renewable energy, and water reclamation systems.
What Should I Bring? "Packing List!"
We’re a camp and a working farm—please don’t bring anything that would make you upset if it got dirty or damaged. We will provide each camper with a water bottle and a camp t-shirt. Reminder, all electronic/smart items such as phones, smartwatches, laptops, tablets etc. are not permitted at camp and will be left with the camper’s guardians at drop-off. (Mini-campers, please adjust quantities as needed for your 2-night visit!)
Clothes: Can you jump, bend, stretch and move while keeping your underwear andtorso covered?
Shoes: All shoes must have a back—flip flops are not permitted!
Stuff: some people bring duffel bags or suitcases, others use big rubber totes.
What not to bring:
Is there financial aid available? Yes! We don’t want money to be the reason a child doesn’t come to camp. As part of the registration process, you will be able to select “request for financial aid” and answer a few questions. We ask that you pay the $100 deposit to secure your spot, and we’ll review your answers and follow up with information about scholarships. For those who are affiliated with an Episcopal Church, we ask that you discuss sponsorship from your parish as well. Scholarships are given on a needs-based, first-come-first-served basis.
Where will my camper eat? We embrace “farm to tent” cooking at Bellwether! Campers will eat at picnic tables on the West Lawn, a beautiful grassy area overlooking the pond and forest. An event-style tent provides shade, and walls can be hung during wet weather. Staff serves food onto each camper’s plate so campers can let staff know how much and what they’d like– this practice prevents food waste. Seconds and more are allowed- we don’t want anyone to be hungry! While we prepare a menu that is both adventurous and child-friendly, if a camper absolutely refuses to eat what is served, the chef will make sure they get something to fill their stomach.
Where will my camper sleep? Camp cabins are equipped with 4 sets of bunk beds and 2 counselor beds. Each bed has a nook with storage for easy access, while suitcases and bags are stored under the beds. Ceiling fans and lots of screened windows mean there is good ventilation and a breeze. There is a changing room for privacy, a small foyer for storing shoes and hanging towels, and a small porch out front. Campers will be grouped in cabins by age and gender identity.
What about bathrooms? In view of the cabins (about a 1 minute walk) are the bathhouses. Each bathhouse contains toilets, showers, and sinks. The doors to the shower and toilet stalls were chosen for privacy– there are no gaps between the partitions or floor. Each shower stall has hooks and a small area for drying off and changing. Campers will transport their toiletries to and from the cabins and bathhouses.
Can my camper have a phone? It’s so important that campers have a break from technology! We don’t allow smart watches (that connect to internet/messaging), digital cameras, or phones of any kind. If there is an emergency, our staff will contact you right away.
What if my camper gets homesick? If a child is homesick, we have found it is best for them not to talk to a parent, but to make it through the night. They almost always feel better the next day! If homesickness and anxiety persists, we will certainly call you to get your preference on what we do. Our counselors, staff, and chaplain are trained to accompany a camper through their fears and help them know they are safe and loved.
Can I send my camper mail? Yes! You can either bring mail to check-in on the first day of camp for staff to distribute through the week, or you can use our online mail portal via campwise. Mail is delivered each day during rest time. Campers will be able to write letters and cards back to you, which we will scan and send to you.
What will my camper be doing? See below for a sample schedule!
Is this a “religious” camp? As a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, we strive to always create a community of honesty, security, generosity, and respect. We do not expect or require another person to have any specific definition or understanding of the divine. Rather, we work to help all open their minds and hearts to the mystery and complexity of life all around them, making room for the rich, if sometimes challenging, diversity of differences that God has fashioned in each of us and in the natural world. While our day will include prayer and scripture, campers are encouraged to reflect, discuss, and digest what they believe themselves.
What is the COVID policy? All staff and counselors are fully vaccinated, and we encourage all campers to receive a full dose of the Covid vaccine. A camper experiencing COVID symptoms will be tested by the camp wellness counselor. If negative, the child’s symptoms will be monitored and the camper will be tested daily. If symptoms do not worsen, the camper will resume camp activities. If positive, the camper will be isolated and the Directors will contact parents/guardians, who will be asked to pick up their child within 12 hours. The campers and counselor residing in the same cabin as the affected camper will be tested. Campers may continue camp activities with a negative test and if they remain asymptomatic. Parents will be notified following an exposure to a camper who has tested positive. (These guidelines may need to be revised as conditions change. )
Bellwether Farm is a model of green technology featuring passive buildings, renewable energy, and more. It is a vehicle through which we can teach the wider community about fidelity to the environment, nutrition, physical and spiritual wellness, local food sourcing, food justice, and sustainable living.
Volunteer around Bellwether Farm. Opportunities are posted as they become available.