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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1 month ago

Readers To Eaters

Time for Summer Gardening! Thrilled to partner on @big green’s #ReadAsYouGrow, "connecting the stories and ideas that they are exploring in these fantastic books to what they can observe while growing food in their garden," with Readers To Eaters books in English & Spanish. See video on prgrm+ resource bit.ly/3JLxGMe ..#SummerGardening #SummerLearning #SummerReading #KidsGardening #OutdoorEducation National Summer Learning AssociationNational Environmental Education Foundation – NEEFNational Farm to School Network Common ThreadsNational Agriculture in the Classroom Life Lab

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1 month ago

Readers To Eaters

Love this new review on Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild from Shelf Awareness! bit.ly/3bG3czi "Martin and Lee incorporate quotes from Katz throughout their energetic, onomatopoeic text… Julie Wilson’s casual, enthusiastic, earth-toned illustrations suit the subject and Katz’s effervescent personality. The entertainment value here is rivaled by expansive backmatter including an afterword by Katz addressing readers, a visual guide to kraut-making, long author and illustrator notes (including ethnographic research) and additional resources.A fizzy and informative celebration of fermentation that enthusiastically supports curious experimentation and food literacy."..#FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #FoodHeroes #FoodBiography #FoodWriter #Fermentor #Fermentation #NoHeatCooking #TinyWild #Microbes #FoodScience #STEM #LGBTQ #Queer #QueerCommunity #SummerReading #SummerLearning #SummerCooking #SummerGardening #KidsGardening American Farm Bureau Foundation for AgricultureNational Farm to School Network Tennessee Library Association Tennessee Agriculture in the ClassroomSlow Food Middle TennesseeJunior Master Gardener Program The American Horticultural Society Big Green Life LabChelsea Green Publishing

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2 months ago

Philip Lee

So excitd about #MDSNAPEd #EatYourWords kickoff Thur! Check out video on summer program connecting #NutritionEducation & #EarlyLiteracy, giving away 50,000 Sylvia’s Spinach at schools and #FarmersMarkets. Event info+ kickoff w author Katherine Pryor+ resources @ extension.umd.edu/eat-your-words..#SNAPEd #EarlyLiteracy #FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #Nutrition #NutritionEducation #EatingFresh #EatingVegetables #KidsGardneing #SchoolGarden #FarmToSchoolSlow Food USA School Garden NetworkBig Green Common Threads Pilot Light Life Lab

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#tbt to that time two weeks ago we were at the School Garden Support Organization – SGSO – Network conference organized by Sprouts Farmers Market and Life Lab !Check out this cool recap video Jen put together – love how we’re #growingschoolgardens together!#veggiecatethefirststate #STEMeducation #handsonlearning #schoolgardens #kidswhogarden

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3 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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3 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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3 months ago

Readers To Eaters

Thrilled that The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter is NC Farm Bureau "Ag in the Classroom" #BookOfTheMonth! Check out their terrific Activity Guide, including a few fun facts:• The honeybee is the state insect for North Carolina and 15 other states? • In North Carolina, bees help to pollinate strawberries, apples, and broccoli to name a few.bit.ly/3tE6nLASee this reading of author/illustrator Shabazz Larkin for PBS/ Thirteen WNET New York. bit.ly/32LQ0S0Good sharing for United Nations #WorldBeeDay on 5/20 and June #NationalPollinatorsMonth. ..#AgClassroom #AgLiteracy #AITC #FarmToSchool #Bees #Pollinators #Pollination #FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #DiverseBooks National Agriculture in the ClassroomAmerican Farm Bureau Foundation for AgricultureNCLA: North Carolina Library AssociationNC School Library Media AssociationState Library of North CarolinaASAP – Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture ProjectNational Farm to School Network The Bee Cause Project The Pollinator Partnership North Carolina State Beekeepers AssociationNC Beekeepers Forsyth County Beekeepers Association of N.C.Whole Kids Foundation Big Green FoodCorps Life LabThe Black Church Food Security Network The Brown Bookshelf Multicultural Children’s Book Day We Need Diverse Books

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Life Lab 40th
Life Lab’s 40th Gala – Sunday, October 13th  Celebrate 40 years of bringing learning to life in gardens. Learn more  
Life Lab's 40th Gala
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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