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.
Bellwether Summer Camp was a resounding success. Over the course of the summer, 180 campers participated in mini, weeklong, and family camp among the farm, forest, and fields of Bellwether Farm. Twelve summer camp staff (including four counselors from our partner diocese in Belize) joined a dedicated Bellwether staff to foster creative and contextual camp activities.
The theme for the summer was “Tools for Dreaming,” and we encouraged campers to dream big. Each day the scripture verses, teachings, and songs focused on a different element of dreams—dreaming for camp, for yourself, for the earth, for each other, about God, and for the world. We had plenty of inspiration from the plants, animals, and community to bolster Jesus’s teachings about the dreams we can have.
After waking up to live trumpet calls by Bellwether’s local “trumpet troll” (revealed later to be Bellwether Farm intern Clarke Mortensen), our days were centered around the “daily office” of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, enjoyed under our new “farm to tent” outdoor eating space. Chef Lonny’s food was the highlight of many campers’ weeks, and he awarded the Stewardship trophy to campers who eliminated food waste and showed responsibility to our environment around food. Campers also ate more vegetables than they ever thought possible.
Activities included spending time with the goats and chickens, learning about the plants that grow on the farm, foraging for wild berries with Farmer Brian, playing field games like sproutball and dodgeball, making art out of fabrics (thank you for all the donations!) and found objects, hiking and creeking for crayfish, preparing desserts and hummus with Chef Lonny, blacksmithing weapons into garden tools with the Rev. Rosalind Hughes, making communion bread with Chaplain Meghan Carlson, and fishing and canoeing in the pond. Campers caught a lot of fish! We also swam in the pond every day and participated in camp-wide contests like a wild soccer night, an epic egg challenge, campfire making, and an incredible talent show.
Some of the most precious moments of camp were the “in between” times, when campers started ad hoc games of ninja, frisbee, and soccer, splashed in puddles, chased after frogs and butterflies, learned how to make friendship bracelets, made bouquets of wildflowers, and even napped in the sun. Campers relished in the openness of the environment, even without their phones and electronics. After the confinement and restriction of school, a pandemic, and the state of the world, it was indeed freeing to get off the screen and into the world of blue skies, goat snuggles, so many new friends, and permission to dream.
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.