Life Lab

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

COVID-19 Update

Dear Life Lab Camp Families, 

We hope you are doing well and staying healthy in this unusual time. Thank you for your patience in awaiting news about our summer camps at the Garden Classroom. We have been following the evolving COVID-19 situation closely over the past three months and deliberating about if and how to go ahead with camp this summer and examining every possible way to run our programs. With the information in the Santa Cruz County Public Health Order, and with much discussion and consideration of the risks, we have decided to cancel all Life Lab camps for this summer. We looked at several options to continue the program, however due to the significantly reduced group sizes, facility restrictions, and social distancing protocols, we felt cancellation was the safest and most fair approach.

We cherish our relationship with you, our camp families, and are very disappointed to cancel camp, as we know you are, too! When all of us are experiencing the need to get outside and play, it is especially sad that we are unable to share the Garden Classroom and UCSC Farm and wildlands with your kiddos this summer! Our first priority for now, though, is the health and safety of you, your children, our staff, and the overall community.

We look forward to being here for you next summer, and your wonderful support as campers and contributors lifts our spirits and helps sustain Life Lab through this challenging time.

With Gardens of Gratitude from all of us at Life Lab,

Cara Wild-Sundell, Wildlands and Watering Cans Camp DirectorDaniela Etchegaray, Garden Sprouts & OWLS Camp DirectorJennifer Eckert-Bernau, Garden Sprouts TTh Director

 

2020 Camp Registration Information

Life Lab is pleased to offer summer day camp programs for children ages 4-14, at the Life Lab Garden Classroom on the UCSC Organic Farm.

Registration for our day camps is online only; please click the Register button below to sign up or join our waiting list. (Click Para información en español)

One Session Per Child

Please register your child for only one session, since each session repeats the curriculum of the previous session. If you feel that your child would truly benefit from repeating the same curriculum over two sessions, please check in with the Garden Programs Manager (contact info at bottom of page).

Age limits

Please respect our age limits when registering for camp. We sincerely appreciate your interest in your children attending camp, and we would love to have them when the time is right. For Garden Sprouts, our campers must be four by the first day of camp in order to participate; for Wildlands & Watering Cans, campers must be seven by the first day of camp. We hold to these age ranges so that we are able to provide activities that are developmentally appropriate for each group. Thank you for your understanding and for helping keep our camps the highest quality possible for all participants!

Financial Assistance

Limited financial assistance is available at multiple levels; the financial assistance application is available as part of our regular registration.  Please register early on in the registration period if you are applying for financial assistance.

Registration opens Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.

 

 

 

Please note, due to schools in our area starting earlier in August, Session 4 will be a one-week session this year. 

Garden Sprouts Session 4 will be a one-week, Monday through Friday five day session. 

 

 


Click to jump to information about: 

Garden Sprouts Summer Day Camp for 4-6 year olds

Come explore the garden and farm with us! Our camp days include harvesting, making garden snacks, singing, storytelling, garden caretaking, garden crafts, and exploration of the natural world. Each day has a theme (past examples: Bugs, or Seeds, or Birds). This camp serves 24 campers with a 1:6 ratio of counselors to campers, allowing us to tailor camp activities to the ages and interests of our campers. We offer a MWF program and a TTh program. The camps offer the same curriculum so please register for either the MWF program or the TTh program, not both. This year we do offer one M-F session for one week (Session 4). After-care (1:00-3:00) available for all sessions (limited number of spaces).

Monday/Wednesday/Friday Garden Sprouts 2020 dates

  • Session 1 – June 22, 24, 26, 29, July 1  (MWF 9:00-1:00) (no camp July 3)
  • Session 2 – July 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17  (MWF 9:00-1:00)
  • Session 3 – July 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31  (MWF 9:00-1:00)
  • Session 4 – see below for Session 4 M-F five day camp

MWF Garden Sprouts Session 1: $295 (pro-rated for no camp July 3); Session 2 or 3: $350
Sibling discount $25 off second child’s registration.
After-care MWF 1:00-3:00 with pick-up at 3:00, Session 1 after-care: $115 (pro-rated for no camp July 3); Session 2 or 3 after-care: $135 (flat rate for 2-week session).
Financial assistance available at multiple levels; please apply early.
Registration for whole session only.

Tuesday/Thursday Garden Sprouts 2020 dates

  • Session 1 – June 23, 25, 30, July 2 (TTh 9:00-1:00)
  • Session 2 – July 7, 9, 14, 16 (TTh 9:00-1:00)
  • Session 3 – July 21, 23, 28, 30  (TTh 9:00-1:00)
  • ​Session 4 – see below for Session 4 M-F five day camp

TTh Garden Sprouts Session 1, 2 or 3: $240
Sibling discount $25 off second child’s registration.
After-care TTh 1:00-3:00 with pick-up at 3:00, Session 1, 2 or 3 after-care: $90 (flat rate for 2-week session).
Financial assistance available at multiple levels; please apply early.
Registration for whole session only.

Monday-Friday Session 4 Garden Sprouts 2020 dates

  • ​Session 4 – August 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (one week only, M-F 9:00-1:00)

Garden Sprouts Session 4: $290
Sibling discount $25 off second child’s registration.
After-care M-F 1:00-3:00 with pick-up at 3:00, $115 (flat rate for session).
Financial assistance available at multiple levels; please apply early.
Registration for whole session only.

Click Album to View Garden Sprouts Camp Photos

Wildlands & Watering Cans Summer Day Camp for 7-11 year olds

Come explore, harvest, prepare and enjoy fresh food from the farm, hike, create garden crafts, art and music, play games, and form new friendships! Each day has a theme (past examples: Bug Day, Solar Energy Day, Chickens & Eggs Day) and each day begins with farm chores (Chickens, Fresh Fruit Popsicle-making, Farm Update, and Weather Report) and ends with storytelling under the walnut tree. The last Friday afternoon of each session, families join us for a kid-harvested Farmer’s Market Party. Each session serves 32 campers with a 1:8 ratio of instructors to campers. After-care (3:00-5:00) available for all sessions (limited number of spaces).

  • Session 1 – June 22-26 & June 29-July 2, 2020, 9:00-3:00 (no camp July 3)
  • Session 2 – July 6-10 & 13-17, 2020, 9:00-3:00
  • Session 3 – July 20-24 & 27-31, 2020, 9:00-3:00
  • Session 4 – August 3-7, 2020  (one week only) 9:00-3:00

Click below to see a past camp schedule and get a feel for what our sessions are like.

Session 1 $635 (pro-rated for no camp July 3); Session 2 or 3 $705; Session 4 (one week) $380.
Sibling discount $25 off second child’s registration.
After-care M-F 3:00-5:00 with pick-up at 5:00; no after-care on the last day of each session due to family party.
Session 1 after-care $145 flat rate (pro-rated for no camp July 3); Session 2 or 3 after-care $165 flat rate; Session 4 after-care $75 flat rate.
Financial assistance available at multiple levels; please apply early.
Registration for whole session only.

Click Album for Wildland & Watering Cans Photos

OWLS Camp Leadership Program for 12-14 year olds

This is an exciting opportunity for capable and fun-loving youth aged 12-14, who enjoy working with children, to take on leadership roles at our Garden Sprouts Summer Camp! OWLS (Outdoor Wonderful Leaders at Summer camp) will assist the Garden Sprouts counselors and directors in making camp a nurturing and joyful learning experience for our 4-6 year old campers. Duties include helping set up in the morning, supporting the counselors while they lead the day’s activities, buddying up with Sprouts who need extra assistance at snack and lunchtime, participating in songs and games, holding chickens, and being a role model for our littlest campers.  This program is designed for young teens to participate in a camp experience while developing their leadership skills. No previous experience working with children is necessary.

**Required training session for all OWLS- Wednesday, June 17th, 2020, 2:00-4:00 p.m.**

  • Session 1 – June 22-26 & June 29-July 2, 2020 (no camp July 3)
  • Session 2 – July 6-10 & 13-17, 2020
  • Session 3 – July 20-24 & 27-31, 2020
  • Session 4 – August 3-7, 2020  (one week only)

The OWLS camp day runs 8:00-1:00, M-F.
Each session hosts four OWLS; one OWL per session may extend their camp day until 3:00 and assist with our 4-6 year old after-care program (choose this option at registration if available).
Families bring their OWLS directly to the Garden Sprouts area at 8:00 a.m., and pick them up at the Hay Barn at 1:00 (or 3:00 if their OWL is assisting with after-care).
**Required training session for all OWLS- Wednesday, June 17th, 2020, 2:00-4:00 p.m.**
Session 1 $300 (pro-rated for no camp July 3); Session 2 or 3 $330; Session 4 $180 (one week only).
Aftercare: no fee.
Financial assistance available at multiple levels; please apply early.
Registration for whole session only.

EAGLES Camp Volunteering for 15-18 year olds

Application open only until May 21st!  Download Eagles Application

**Required training session for all EAGLES- Monday, June 15th, 2020, 8:00- 4:00 p.m.**
Youth ages 15-18 are invited to volunteer as EAGLES (Educators Assisting with Garden Leadership Each Summer). Work with our counselors at Wildlands & Watering Cans to make camp happen! Assist with teaching camp activities, leading hikes, and behind-the-scenes tasks such as setting up stations and stocking materials. Gain valuable experience in environmental education! EAGLES are accepted for whole camp sessions only (any session of Wildlands & Watering Cans).
Cost: free

Camp Community Volunteers

Application open only until May 21st! Download Volunteer Application

Volunteers & interns assist with our garden-based summer camps. Work with our counselors to make camp happen! Assist with teaching camp activities, leading hikes, and behind-the-scenes tasks such as setting up stations and stocking materials. Gain valuable experience in environmental education!
Some volunteers/interns work one or more set days of the week all summer (for example, every Tuesday); others work every day for one or more entire session (for example, M-F all of Session 2). Volunteers are appreciated at both camps, Garden Sprouts for 4-6 year olds and Wildlands & Watering Cans for 7-11, and in our aftercare programs.
**Required training session for all volunteers/interns – Monday, June 15th, 2020, 8:00- 2:15 or 4:00 p.m., depending on the chosen camp**

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations 30 days or more in advance of your session will be refunded minus $25 fee. Cancellations less than 30 days in advance will be refunded minus $25 fee, only if your space is filled by a wait-listed camper; otherwise no refund can be given.

Questions?

For questions about our camps, please contact:
Cara Wild-Sundell, Garden Programs Manager, cara@lifelab.org
or (831) 459-4035.

Join our email list to receive camp announcements. Please be sure to check the box “Camp & Children’s Programs”.

Para registrar en español, favor de llamar a Whitney a (831) 459-5395.

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3 days ago

Life Lab

Join us online for a fun family friendly “Gifts From The Garden” Webinar on November 30th at 4pm! Learn to create your own nature based holiday gifts. Life Lab staff will share tried and true crafts that we have made in our youth garden programs including rolled beeswax candles, pressed leaf & flower creations, and more! 🌸Register at LifeLab.org/events See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Fall 2020 updates. Stay tuned for NEW Life Lab developments coming soon! #sharingiscaring #change #reimagine #renew See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

🚨 Happening Today 🚨

We are grateful for the opportunity to invite you to a FREE Life Lab
screening of this important and beautiful film.

Today, October 30th at 7pm PST

Gather (Gather ), is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty and land rights, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. With regenerative agriculture and permaculture gaining national attention, it is more important than ever to recognize the tremendous innovations and contributions of Indigenous communities and practices. We are grateful Gather has become a key part of these discussions.

To view the screening this Friday, October 30th at 7pm, please make sure that you have RSVP’d via the Storyspaces screening platform link below.

story-spaces.com/events/gather-behyat See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

In the face of the myriad challenges of 2020, all of you in SGSOs across the country are innovating in creative and inspiring ways to sustain and enhance garden education for their students. We are eager for other SGSOs to learn from you!💚

We want to honor the time and expertise you all bring to the table and, therefore, with generous support from Whole Kids Foundation we are so pleased to be able to provide stipends for peoples’ contributions to these Working Groups.🌱

This year’s SGSO Institute is open to newcomers and SGSO Institute Alumni! Applications are due Nov 6, 2020.
To learn more about this exciting opportunity and apply, visit: lifelab.org/sgso See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is proudly celebrating five years of supporting nonprofits that teach students and communities about the goodness of fresh ingredients. This year, the Foundation awarded more than 110 Neighborhood Grants to nonprofit organizations, with Life Lab being one of them!

We are grateful for the continued support from Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. Life Lab is honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the Neighborhood Grants. Our partnership reflects Sprouts Farmers Market’s core values of education, environmental stewardship, and nutrition.

With this support we have been able to launch and sustain BackPocketLearning.org, a robust directory of easy to use activities that require no screen time, promote healthy eating and inspires creativity. This site is perfect for teachers and parents alike! BackPocketLearning.org has garnished over 7k users from all over the world, in almost every continent, since our launch in April.

Sprouts Farmers Market

#sproutsfarmersmarket #MyLifelab #local #nonprofit See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

🌱 Join the SGSO Leadership Institute 🌱

Every year, we host a School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute to provide an opportunity for school garden professionals from across the country to collaborate, learn from one another, and develop resources to share with a national audience. Collectively, SGSO Institute participants have improved their own work while also sharing ideas and resources to help others do the same.

In the face of the myriad challenges of 2020, all of you in SGSOs across the country are innovating in creative and inspiring ways to sustain and enhance garden education for their students. We are eager for other SGSOs to learn from you! With generous support from Whole Kids Foundation , we are pleased to be able to provide stipends for peoples’ contributions to these Working Groups.

This year’s SGSO Institute is open to newcomers and SGSO Institute Alumni!

🚨 Applications are due November 6, 2020 🚨

To learn more about this exciting opportunity and apply, visit: lifelab.org/sgso See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

Life Lab celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day with special recognition of the land on which our gardens grow and by sharing beautiful family friendly resources highlighting indigenous storytelling and efforts of Native peoples to reclaim food sovereignty, cultural identity, and native land stewardship.

The Life Lab Land Acknowledgement, now shared at all formal gatherings in our Garden Classroom on the UCSC campus:

“The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.”

*Land acknowledgement developed in partnership with the
Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun
Relearning Program at the UCSC Arboretum.

Learn more about the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the
www.amahmutsunlandtrust.org/

Life Lab is honored to support the film, GATHER (Gather) with a
FREE virtual screening on October 30th at 7pm

📷 credit: Amah Mutsun Land Trust website See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Looking for some #garden #joy? Join us for a sweet sharing of Life Lab Reimagined: program updates, inspired learning, and community at our Fall Benefit this Saturday at 10:30am 🌱Register at Lifelab.org/fallbenefit 🌱Learn about our New Curriculum, New Life Lab Educator Certification Program, New Staff, and New Garden Additions👀Plus all the beautiful work we’re doing to support school garden education locally and nationally🌻Participants are automatically eligible to win a raffle prize courtesy of @synergyclothing ❤️ #schoolgarden #education #kisstheground #teachtheyouth #landstewardship #fundraiser See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

It’s Harvest Festival Week🌻happening virtually October 5-10th. A collaboration between the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems UCSC CASFS Farm Life Lab​, and students of UCSC Food Systems Working Group
Mark your calendar! The week-long series is full of fun virtual activities for all ages, with live streamed musical performances, a lecture on agroecology from a panel of experts, and ending the week with Life Lab’s #Funtastic Fall Benefit highlighting new program updates and staff/garden additions. Register at www.LifeLab.org/fallbenefit

Visit bit.ly/ucscharvestfest for a complete schedule of events and registration instructions.

Monday, October 5
7:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Life Lab Backyard Chickens Q&A

Tuesday, October 6
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Saving Seeds, Sustaining Our Communities

Wednesday, October 7
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
The evolution of agroecology as a practice, a research discipline, and a social movement

7:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Nurture Yourselves With Nature!

Thursday, October 8
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cider Donut Workshop and The Everything Apple Panel

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Celebrating Queers and Nature

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Giant Green Anemone! Going Deep Into Local Tide Pool Explorations

Friday, October 9
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Planting Seeds For Success: Community Connections to Water Your Garden for Wellness!

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
What is the Food Systems Working Group and what does it do?

5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Rachel Carson Garden Cooking + Poetry Workshop/Mic!

Saturday, October 10
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Life Lab Fall Benefit Gathering
#schoolgardens #gardeneducation #lifelab #harvest #gratitude See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Happy weekend everyone ☀️Enjoy this sweet share of the UCSC Farm featuring Life Lab 🌱and our chickens! 🐓We look forward to sharing more with all of you as part of our upcoming Fall Benefit on October 10th. Register at Lifelab.org/fallbenefit youtu.be/uEAv4SabLoA See MoreSee Less

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Stock up your Garden Classroom

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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