Recently, our family spent the weekend at one of our favorite places — an educational organic dairy farm and oceanfront campground in Freeport, Maine! Believe it or not, Freeport has so much more to offer than just the giant boot at L.L. Bean (even though that is fun, too!).
Wolfe’s Neck Center is a “sustainable coastal farm” that hosts incredible hands-on workshops, events, summer camps, and more. The dairy program has a partnership with Stonyfield yogurt and their milk is used specifically in Stonyfield’s kids’ yogurt products. The barns are always open and if you’re lucky like us, you might even get to see newborn calves on the day they are born!
Over the years we have visited, my kids have collected chicken eggs, fed cows, eaten (rejected) “garden tacos” and learned about farm life.
Here are a few pics from our visits over the past couple of years:
The farm resides on a glorious 600+ acre piece of property. To help finance the farm years ago, they opened a campground with a mixture of rustic sites, a handful of basic cabins, and access to the all-important amenities (according to my husband) — showers, running water in actual bathrooms, camp store, playground, and snack bar. Since I am on their mailing list, I happened to find an email about the campground’s spring volunteer cleanup weekends. Errrr…yes, please! How perfect. We signed up for the second available weekend (of two) and our site was reserved.
As a thank you for helping with a bit of “manual labor” for the weekend, the campground was extremely generous to volunteers. Not only were we given a free, incredible, oceanfront campsite, but we also had meals provided and snacks, delivered directly to us as we worked! The culture of the weekend was family-oriented, laid back, fun, and flexible. Much to the surprise of the staff, there were 80 adults and 20+ children there to volunteer. We picked up sticks, raked sites, loaded trucks with leaves for composting, and so much more. We discovered that Milo is a real workhorse and worked his little tail off. In addition to volunteering, there was, of course, plenty of time for playing on the playground, showing off giant worms, hanging out high up in the trucks, and searching for salamanders. We met the most interesting and welcoming individuals and families. And there was a true feeling of community.
Sure — there was pouring rain and a bitter 38-degree first night. And of course it left us all caked in mud for most of the weekend. But despite the less than ideal weather, it was truly an incredibly restorative weekend for our family and we had an absolute blast. We were able to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with one another through volunteering our time and energy. Our kids did NOT want to leave!
I always hesitate to use the phrase “give back” because to me, it feels like there is a requirement that we have or will receive directly from whomever we’re giving to, but in this case…we were truly “giving back.” We have and will continue to get so much from spending time at Wolfe’s Neck and it was meaningful to all of us to be able to help in any way that we could. We will definitely be returning this summer!
If nature is your thing or you’re interested in camping, volunteering for a cleanup weekend at Wolfe’s Neck is a fantastic way to give with your family. If you have a favorite campground, try reaching out to them directly to see if they ever need volunteers! You can also keep an eye out for beach or park cleanups if you’re hesitant about committing to an entire weekend. Volunteering in this capacity is a wonderful way to enjoy the earth in a new way. It will be worth it — I promise.
Happy Giving! <3