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A Happy Camper at Katie's Krops Camp

Katie's Krops Camp brought learning to life in the garden. I was honored to be able to attend Katie’s Krops Camp with 13 other youth ages 9 to 16 from throughout the nation. We all were recipients of a generous grant from Katie’s Krops to grow vegetable gardens with the purpose of fighting hunger in our communities. We utilize the grant from Katie’s Krops to purchase gardening supplies and we donate our crops to local food banks and soup kitchens. The camp was held in mid-July, at the headquarters of WP Rawl Farms, a sponsor of Katie's Krops Camp near Columbia, SC.

When we landed at the Columbia, South Carolina airport, I was not sure what to expect. All the campers got to stay overnight at a local hotel with their parent, guardian, or mentor in Lexington, South Carolina. Many of the participants were on our flight wearing their Katie’s Krops name tags, so we had the chance to connect and share some of our gardening experiences.

The camp was located at the WP Rawl farm in Pelion, South Carolina.  The WP Rawl Farm employees planted an educational garden as a resource and learning laboratory for youth. We learned about growing fresh vegetables and herbs, sanitation, tended and harvested crops, discovered simple and easy irrigation systems, acquired techniques on how to deal with pests in the garden, practiced building a wheelbarrow and learned how to compost.  Each day provided a different and enjoyable adventure. We also learned some tips on how to photograph gardens and some of the benefits of combining gardening with social media.

My favorite activity was when all the campers prepared dinner with the harvested crops to create a fresh healthy meal for families in the community. Highlights of the camp include learning simple irrigation techniques, building a cart, meeting everyone, and eating delicious homemade peach ice cream with chunks of fresh juicy peaches. Katie’s Krops Summer Camp is the place for outdoor exploration, making new friends and learning about gardening.