A Day In Livingston Manor

Love Life and Lollipops- Some of the Boys

So basically, my father-in-law has had a bit of a dream for a long time now to start a camp for underprivileged kids.  Long story short (check out the site here for the long version): Steve grew up in the Bronx with not too much opportunity when a Dartmouth grad got into his father's cab one day that started a sequence of events that lead to a scholarship to Dartmouth at 16.  He feels strongly that kids should have the chance to get out of the city and learn about how to live a healthier and in turn more successful life. I've been relatively involved in getting the organization organized and this first summer up and running.  Much of what the camp will be is still to be determined, but this summer, in conjunction with an organization called Community of Unity, we've put together a program for 10 kids between the ages of 18-22.  The goal was for them to come up for a 2 week leadership session in hopes that these kids will be the counsellors for next summer's younger group.

Though much of what will aspire with all this is still up in the air, I am really motivated to make this a reality and was so unbelievably impressed with what I saw last week.  Josh Borkin, the man in charge of all programing and organization of the session, put together an amazing program.

I got up to the camp around lunch time to find some of Richie's family there and the rest somewhere en route.  The kids prepared an amazing vegan, latin lunch for us that knocked me off my seat.  See for yourself:

These guys contributed to the totally awesome vegan lunch the kids made us!

I know, YUM!

After the meal, I pitched in doing dishes with the kids (they've adapted this amazing working shifts situation where they all do a bit and everything always gets done).

Then we all went on a tour of the camp to meet the animals, see the fire pit they built, visit the garden they tilled and have been cooking and eating from, and finish it all off with a game of volleyball (I obviously sat on the deck with some of the kids and chatted instead, ha!).

Dinner was equally delicious and wildly impressive.  It consisted of roasted veggies, more corn, rice, and beans, bbq corn on the cob, garlic bread, and salad from the garden!

Here was my amazingly fresh and delicious plate of vegan lunch at the farm.

The whole day was perfect and I was so blessed to get the chance to get to know these amazing kids for a bit.  I'm hoping they stay in touch!

They impressed me with their motivation, organization, energy, and initiative!  Here's a board they made of things they accomplished in their first week:

The kids kept a board up with everything they did while at the camp.  This was week one.

Here's JC who happens to be the fantabulous cook that doctored up the lunch for us Kessners:

JC took over a lot of responsibility in the kitchen and really knew what he was doing.

Here's my new friend Ahlem helping herd some freshly sheered sheep:

The kids totally learned so much about animals and outdoor life and farming.

Here are some pigs that posed for me:

And some ducklings I fell in love with:

Pigs on the farm...

These ducklings were so happy and so cute!

And lastly, here are some beautiful string beans straight from the garden:

You can't get string beans fresher or purer than this!