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.
Even with trying to navigate the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we were so excited to be able to find a way to still offer a camp experience at Bellwether Farm this year. In addition to the variety of programming offered throughout the summer, we included two full weekends of Intergenerational Camp, an opportunity for “pods” of all ages to enjoy Bellwether Farm that were held in July.
“Pods” participated in traditional camp activities like fishing, nature arts and crafts, hiking, swimming, large group games, campfires, and making s’mores. Adults recalled their friendship bracelet skills to pass on to the next generation and children taught gaga ball to the adults. Instead of reaching for our phones, we learned to play together using basketballs, dodgeballs, beach balls, and kick balls. We also sang, worshipped, and prayed together, using body, mind, and spirit in some creative morning and nighttime services, and reflected on our common shared values.
One of the favorite activities was using giant slingshots to launch potatoes
far and high across the farm. The first week, we cleared the fence over the
sheep pasture—no small feat which required creativity, muscles, many people, and physics. The second week, we cleared the retention pond from the worship barn, and successfully avoided hitting the sculpture that graces the lawn in front of the barn.
The pinnacle of the weekends were a cooking competition hosted by Chef Lonny. Teams competed throughout the day to make it to the finals on Saturday night, with the rest of the campers creating a live studio audience. Chef Lonny stocked the mystery bags with some of the farm’s best produce, as well as surprise ingredients like Lucky Charms and ground goat meat (week one) and Hershey’s chocolate syrup and ramen noodles (week two). Surprisingly, all the teams were able to create delicious dishes—the competition was close.
Between the two weekends, 52 participants (including infants, toddlers, school-aged children, teens, young adults, parent-aged, and grandparent-aged) created a beautiful and trusting shared community. “Inner children” emerged from adults and young folks felt safe to share their voices and spirits in the community. There was even some celebratory dancing! Intergenerational Camp was an absolute success.
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.