COVID-19 Prompts Ambler Farm to Make Tough Choice to Cancel Summer Camp for 2020

Ambler Farm announced to the Wilton community Wednesday that farm officials have decided to cancel this year’s customary plans for summer camp. They said the decision was made “after a tremendous amount of research, thought, and discussion.”

The camp was originally scheduled to begin June 15.

Summer camps in Connecticut have been limited by regulations put in place by Gov. Ned Lamont and his administration as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the restrictions and rules in the state guidance for summer camp programs include limiting camp groups to 10 campers, maintaining social distance, providing separate materials for each individual camper, and strict protocols for cleaning and disinfecting.

“There are few things that bring us more joy than the summer camp at Ambler Farm,” said Kevin Meehan, Ambler Farm’s program director. “We think of our camp families and our staff as if they are our own family and, at the end of the day, their safety is what drove this choice. This is a sad day here on the farm, but we also know it is the right decision.”

According to the farm’s announcement, Ambler staff reviewed what would be involved in opening camp and spoke with area health professionals before recommending the 2020 Summer Day Camp Program be canceled. That recommendation was approved by the farm’s Board of Directors.

“The Summer Camp here at Ambler Farm is a cherished experience for our campers,” Tim Burt, Executive Director, said. “We put a lot of effort into making this work, but we just felt that the safety of our kids and our community is our first responsibility. I want to thank our team for making this bold decision. I also want to let our camp families and community know that we will continue to develop programs this year that engage, excite, and entertain. We look forward to bringing Summer Camp back to Ambler Farm in 2021.”

Burt told GOOD Morning Wilton that the Apprentice Program will still run, starting later in June.

Meehan and assistant program director Jen Grass emailed a video message to the Ambler Farm community about the decision to cancel camp. In it, Grass encouraged people to continue visiting the farm and mentioned that many of the baby animals that are part of Ambler Farm summers will be arriving soon.

“We are expecting some exciting things this summer. We’ll have baby ducks, baby chicks, baby turkeys, baby geese and if everything goes well we’re also going to have baby rabbits in about a month.

Meehan also made a plea for the community to consider supporting Ambler Farm by making a donation now.

“We are a non-profit farm so if at this time, if you’re able to help us to feed the animals to maintain the structures, and make a donation to the farm, please know that it would be greatly appreciated,” he said.

Ambler Farm remains open to the public, dawn to dusk, for walking. Visitors can also visit with Ambler Farm’s animals, which include pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, roosters, rabbits, ducks, turkeys, and more. In addition, Ambler Farm’s Farmstand opens for the season this weekend and is open Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through October.

Visit the Ambler Farm website for more information about the activities and events at the farm.