Dust In My Coffee

Dust In My Coffee

Friday, June 16, 2017

Camp Ruskamp

Our farm becomes "Camp Ruskamp" each summer when nieces and nephews come to visit.  This camp experience gives our extended family members a chance to learn about farm life and have camp style experiences.  We recently hosted our nieces and nephew Tabitha, Maria and Elijah. Our granddaughters, Ella and Harper, joined us for added fun on one of the afternoons.

Climbing hay bales-our hay is preserved in large, round bales rather than the
small, square bales our children climbed on when they were young.

Maria and Elijah surprised me when they told me they had never been beyond our house and fish pond.  We toured the feedlot via the Ranger to see how the cattle live.  A load of Synergy (modified wet distiller's grain) arrived as we drove around so we watched the product unload via a belt inside the trailer.  The tour continued to the barn where we assess cattle that might need treating and the kids met Tonja, the barn cat.   The kids learned how the cattle move through the low stress handling system as seen in this interview. We made plans to watch the movie "Temple Grandin" that evening with some of Steve's homemade popcorn.

Here are some of the other farm/camp activities the kids participated in:

Fishing-notice Elijah's fish in the bottom right corner.


Trampoline Jumping-our granddaughters made an afternoon visit.


Tractor rides-Maria rode along with Steve to box scrape pens.


Crop checks-Steve checks the corn as the kids enjoy
the stream running through the field.


Elijah loves to put puzzles together and found a dolphin
puzzle to work on with Steve.
 One of the reasons our nieces and nephew were with us was their parents were enjoying some time away for their 25th wedding anniversary.  The kids and I decided it would be fun to make a gift for their parents.  We decided to make a flag using wooden pallets.  My thought process led us to get four flags going using an assembly line process.   Tabitha stayed on task while the younger two fought over sweeping the shop.  This was a win/win project since Steve had his shop swept while we worked on the flags.  I hope their parents are pleased with this special gift!

The kids put on the final touches of paint and remove the tape!

Do you or your children have access to a farm to enjoy some of the experiences my extended family members have?  If not, I would encourage you to find a way to connect your kids to those of us growing your food.  If you have questions about how food is grown I would encourage you to talk to a farmer or rancher and using websites like CommonGround or FactsAboutBeef 

What is a farm/camp experience without animals to love on?  We aim to please and had three little kittens for these three kids to love on while they were there.  Yes, we will be looking for good homes for these kittens in the next month or so!


"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."  Anne Frank

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