Life Lab

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

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View Photos from the 2014 Camp Season

Aahhh, summer…. there’s no shortage of things to do while the days are long and temperatures are soaring. Whilst most families love spending the summer break on vacation and traveling the world in the utmost luxury, such as taking a cruise or flying to exotic destinations via a private jet, that can be found through companies like Jettly, others may not have the same privilege. Now that may not be because they don’t have the time or money to go on such trips, but it may be because there is just so much to get up to in your own back garden, or even in your local area instead. Going on vacation is nice, but so is spending any time you have closer to home where you can meet new people.

So, don’t worry. If you’re wanting to find some fun activities then take a look on www.globosurfer.com/ as they have guides on everything from hiking to kayaking to camping. Speaking of camping, summer is the season of 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 the beauty of this time of year is that there is no shortage of games to play during the summer. And this becomes increasingly noticeable when you read reviews on sites like Game Quarium when you want to find the best equipment for games such as Spikeball, for example. Summer is a time of laughter and enjoyment, 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. Camping evokes the excitement of the outdoors, adventure and trying new things – who hasn’t enjoyed their first taste of an emergency food pouch and pretended they’re an astronaut while on camp with their friends?

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

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4 days ago

Life Lab

๐ŸŒฑCalling all Garden Educators!๐ŸŒฑWe are excited to announce Life Lab’s 2023 Workshop schedule! Join us for a workshop at our Garden Classroom to get inspiration and information on bringing learning to life in the garden! 2023 Workshops:๐ŸŒป Responsive Classroom Management 4/21/23 ๐ŸŒฑThe Growing Classroom 8/24-8/25/23๐Ÿ”Ž NGSS 9/14/23๐ŸŽ Plant to Plate 10/12/23To register and for more info please visit: lifelab.org/gcworkshops P. S. Sign up 14 days in advance to receive a discount on your registration! #LIFELab #gardeneducation #gardeneducator #outdoorclassroom #education #schoolgarden #gardeninginschools #gardenclassroom #cookingclassroom

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3 months ago

Life Lab

Become a Life Lab Certified Gardener! ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒปBased on the success of our first four cohorts of Life Lab-Certified Garden Educators, we are excited to announce that registration is now open for individuals to register and be part of our fifth cohort starting January 23rd, 2023! Weโ€™ve put together a series of 4 on-line courses that will guide and support educators in becoming a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator. Upon successful completion of the 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab-Certified Garden Educator. Each course will last 4 weeks long and include 4 synchronous meetings, at-home work, and a unique coaching model. The total commitment for the full series is 16 weeks. Check out our website for more information! Registration for the full certification series is now open. Please share with others who are looking for ideas and inspiration in the garden! There are 24 spots available and we sold out in our last 4 certification series. We hope you can join us!Life Lab offers a limited number of course fee reductions based on need and anticipated impact. To apply for financial assistance, follow the link below. Scholarship applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis between now and December 1st, 2022 or until all funds have been awarded.

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4 months ago

Life Lab

Thanks Shmuel! and all those that joined the Starlight workday.

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9 months ago

Life Lab

www.lifelab.org/jobs Full-time Bilingual Garden Educators at PVUSD School Gardens and Summer Program Staff at Garden Classroom on UCSC Farm

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9 months ago

Life Lab

Full-time Career and Summer Staff Positions in @pajarovalleyusd school gardens and the Life Lab Garden Classroom. On the @ucscagroecology farm @ucsc @pvusdschoolfood lifeLab.org/jobs

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9 months ago

Life Lab

We are so glad to be a part of this yearโ€™s Growing School Gardens Summit! 415 attendees from 45 states across the US, representing 6,000+ school gardens serving more than 2.5 million students. Here we go!!

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11 months ago

Life Lab

Rainbow Chips ๐Ÿ“—๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ“™๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ…In this lesson students introduce themselves, create group agreements, listen to a story about a rainbow, and then go on a search for different colors in order to begin to form a personal connection with the #gardenclassroom .Also, we just wanted to show this really awesome squash gradience ๐Ÿ˜„#gardenbasededucation #NGSS #scienceinthegarden #schoolgarden #NGSGintheGarden

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Stock up your Garden Classroom

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
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