Springfield Farm Camp Information

Dear Teachers,

As you may have heard, Red Gate Farm is offering a special week-long summer camp to students in Springfield who have attended a Farm Overnight Visit with their school. We would like to provide an opportunity for students to return to the farm and continue that unique relationship. This is being offered to our Springfield partner schools: Gerena, Bowles, Mary Walsh, White Street, Lincoln and Dryden.

We need your help! We would like to have 4 students from each partner school sign up for this camp. In the past, it has been teachers who make the difference - identifying students, collecting registration papers and payments and setting up a family meeting at school. If slots are not taken, we will offer those extra spaces to schools that have waiting lists.

Here are the details and some helpful links:

Camp Session: June 24 - June 28
Cost: $50 - $650 (financial aid available to all students)
Who: 4th and 5th graders who have visited the Farm on a school overnight trip and have a recommendation from a teacher.

Here are some links to resources for you to share:

Camp flyer (English .pdf)
Camp flyer (Spanish .pdf)
link to online registration form (best)
printable Registration Form (.pdf)
teacher registration materials (.pdf)

Thanks for your help!

Ben Murray, Farm Director


What to bring for camp

Clothing (clothes that you don't mind getting dirty)

  • 2 pairs of long pants
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 6 short sleeve shirts (t-shirts are great)
  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • a sweatshirt (again, preferably old)
  • boots or sneakers that you can get mucky
  • another pair of boots or sneakers (open-toed sandals are NOT good farm shoes)
  • rain gear (we will be outside even if its raining)
  • warm sleepwear or long underwear
  • bathing suit

Other Items

  • closed-lid water bottle
  • warm hat and a hat for the sun
  • sleeping bag
  • your favorite pillow
  • wash cloth and towel
  • toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, comb)
  • one stuffed animal (optional)
  • a flashlight (optional)
  • a good book or two to read (optional)
  • a favorite board/card game to play with others (optional)
  • bug repellent and sunscreen if you prefer your own (optional)
  • flip-flops (optional)
  • pillow case or laundry bag

Please do not bring (these items will be collected until departure)

  • food or other drinks
  • electronics (cell phones, ipods, video games, etc.)
  • spray deodorants, perfume or body sprays
  • spray-on bug repellant or sun screen
  • sandals or open-toed shoes (except for optional flip-flops)
  • pocket knives or any other knives

If you do not have some of these items, please contact the farm to see if we have anything we can loan your camper.


General information

Directions to the Farm are located here.

Parents are reminded that in order to administer any medication from home, we will need a medication form filled out. This can be done at drop-off, and all medications should arrive in their original container.

Arrival and Departure Policies

  • We recommend that everyone be on time. Check-in time is on Monday at 9:00 am.
  • We won’t be prepared for unexpected late arrivals or early pick-up. Please negotiate with us in advance.
  • Campers are not permitted to make phone calls during the camp session. Farm Staff will contact parents in the event of an emergency.
  • Camp finishes on Friday with a family luncheon at 11:30am for parents, family and friends. Parents are asked to arrive at 11am and Check-out time is on Friday at 1:00 pm.

Other Farm Policies

  • Dogs are not permitted on the farm (travelers must stay in cars).
  • Only authorized adults will be permitted to pick-up campers. An authorized adult can phone, email or write a note to authorize another adult for pick-up.
  • Unauthorized visitors are not permitted on the farm during camp sessions.

Notices Required by the State of Massachusetts

The following information is required to be shared with parents by the State of Masschusetts. A complete copy of the Health Policy and Emergency Plans is available upon request.

Mildly Ill Campers
Campers who are mildly ill will be treated by the Health Supervisor. An infirmary area for rest and recovery is provided which is well lit and temperature controlled. If the child is able to recover quickly, and, in the judgement of the Health Supervisor, able to return to program activities, then the child will be allowed to do so. The child's parent/guardian will be informed of the event at the end of the day (either in person or by phone). If the child is unable to recover quickly, or the Health Supervisor deems it appropriate, the child's emergency contacts will be contacted in order to consult with the Health Supervisor. Emergency Care protocols are to be followed in the case of significant reactions or illness.

All oral or topical medications will be administered by the Health Supervisor. Written permission must be obtained by the child's parent/guardian to administer medication. The Health Supervisor may administer a prescribed Epi-pen to the child, but requires written permission from the parent/guardian.

If a child is capable of self-medicating using a prescribed Epi-pen or inhaler and the parent/guardian and the camp Health Care Consultant give written approval, the camper may be allowed to carry these devices with him/her at all times in order to self-administer when necessary.

If a diabetic child requires his/her blood sugar be monitored, or requires insulin injections and the parent/guardian and the camp Health Care Consultant give written approval, the camper, who is capable, may be allowed to self-monitor and/or self-inject him/herself. Blood monitoring activities and self-injection must take place in the presence of the Health Supervisor.

Emergency Health Care
In the unlikely event of an emergency, Farm Staff are trained to follow Emergency Care protocols. These include calling Emergency Services (911) as quickly as possible. The child's emergency contacts (listed on their Medical Form) will be called as quickly as possible. The Farm Director will remain with the injured or ill child until a parent/guardian can be present. In the event that a parent/guardian cannot be reached immediately, Farm Staff will continue attempts to contact them until they are reached. In the event of hospitalization, the Farm Director will remain with the injured child until a parent/guardian can be present.

Meningococcal disease and Camp Attendees:
Commonly Asked Questions
April 2007

What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is caused by infection with bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. These bacteria can infect the tissue (the “meninges”) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis, or they may infect the blood or other organs of the body. In the US, about 2,600 people get meningococcal disease each year and 10-15% die despite receiving antibiotic treatment. Of those who survive, about 11-19% may lose limbs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous system, become mentally retarded, or have seizures or strokes.

How is meningococcal disease spread?
These bacteria are passed from person-to-person through saliva (spit). You must be in close contact with an infected person’s saliva in order for the bacteria to spread. Close contact includes activities such as kissing, sharing water bottles, sharing eating/drinking utensils or sharing cigarettes with someone who is infected; or being within 3-6 feet of someone who is infected and is coughing and sneezing.

Who is at most risk for getting meningococcal disease?
People who travel to certain parts of the world where the disease is very common are at risk for meningococcal disease. Children and adults with damaged or removed spleens or an inherited immune disorder (called “terminal complement component deficiency”) are also at risk. People who live in settings such as college dormitories are also at greater risk of disease.

Are camp attendees at increased risk for meningococcal disease?
Children attending day or residential camps are not considered to be at an increased risk for meningococcal disease because of their participation.

Is there a vaccine against meningococcal disease?
There are currently 2 vaccines available in the US that protect against 4 of the most common of the 13 serogroups (subgroups) of N. meningitidis that cause serious disease. Protection with the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine lasts about 3 to 5 years. A meningococcal vaccine (conjugate vaccine), which was licensed in January 2005, is expected to help decrease disease transmission and to provide more long-term protection.

Should my child receive meningococcal vaccine?
Meningococcal vaccine is not recommended for attendance at camps. However, this vaccine is recommended for certain age groups; contact your child’s health care provider. In addition, parents of children who are at higher risk of infection, because of certain medical conditions or other circumstances, should discuss vaccination with their child’s healthcare provider.

How can I protect my child from getting meningococcal disease?
The best protection against meningococcal disease and many other infectious diseases is thorough and frequent handwashing, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Individuals should:

  1. wash their hands often, especially after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food (hands should be washed with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel or rub may be used if hands are not visibly dirty);
  2. cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and discard the tissue in a trash can; or if they don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve.
  3. not share food, drinks or eating utensils with other people, especially if they are ill.

You can obtain more information about meningococcal disease or vaccination from your healthcare provider, your local Board of Health (listed in the phone book under government), or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at (617) 983-6800 or toll-free at (888) 658-2850 or on the MDPH website at http://www.mass.gov/dph.