Here are some frequently asked questions about life at Tollgate Farm summer camp in Novi.
Which Camp is the Best Option?
Each week is a special theme and they are all farm-based and fun-filled. Camp week descriptions offer a glimpse into the daily activities. Campers may attend one week or many weeks of camp.
Check out the daily blog! Visit experiencetollgate.com to see pictures and information about the activities in which campers participate.
Campers spend their weeks with a team of qualified and caring adults. Your child will be in a group with 10-14 other young people of the same developmental age and stage. We find that although smaller groups may limit our attendance, this is a necessary step in fostering positive, hands-on learning opportunities throughout camp.
Each group experience is led by an Educational Leader and a Steward (15-19 years old) and/or a Steward-in-Training (12-14 years old.) The Educational Leaders are a highly qualified team of educators consisting of certified teachers, biologists, environmental educators, and agronomists all trained in the Experiential Model of Learning and positive youth development principles. Stewards are older youth who have an interest in developing their leadership skills and they act as role models for the campers. Our model of small group sizes, expert teaching staff, and positive role modeling assure that campers have a fun, safe, and educational experience.
Each day will be very active and even with nutritious snacks throughout the day, campers will need sufficient and nutritious sustenance. Please provide a healthy, balanced sack lunch that will help your child endure a rigorous and fun day.
Since we spend most of the days outside, closed-toe shoes and socks with comfortable clothing are necessities. Choose comfortable, rugged clothes, shoes or boots that can get muddy and mucky. Sunscreen should be applied in the morning before camp and we will continue to re-apply as needed throughout the day.
The camps start at 9:00 a.m. with drop-off begining at 8:45 a.m. Since we are preparing for an exciting day, there are no before-care options. We do offer aftercare from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at the rate of $10.00 per hour. As many campers have realized, aftercare is an extension of the summer camp fun. You can sign-up for aftercare on the camp registration page.
Each camp group is led by an experienced educational leader. With the addition of teen stewards, the ratio is no more than 5:1.
Our camp schedule remains the same on warm days. Some activites may be minimized including hiking (though the forest is naturally air conditioned) or planting in the garden. All of our other outdoor activities are under or near a tree or other shade, which helps when campers need to cool off. We do spend time each day in the kitchen which is in an air-conditioned space. Additionally, camp groups are encouraged to slow down and drink more water. Water fun is often added to our very hot summer camp days!
The goal of the financial aid committee is to provide as many individuals, families, and schools as possible with the opportunity to enrich learning and broaden their experiences by time spent on the farm. Funding is limited and applications are reviewed based on the needs of the participants, potential impact on their learning, cost of the program, and the potential for meaningful collaboration.
To learn more, go to our financial aid website page.