Children’s Summer Programs at Ancient Oaks Homa Farm
by Maria Broom
Children, children, children, and young people! From the time the Baltimore Homa Community began to envision our Homa farm, we could always see children there playing, singing, dancing, drumming, hiking, bringing their happy, excited energy and blessing us with just their presence. Well, after two and a half years, our Ancient Oaks Homa Farm in Westminster, Maryland was able to welcome almost 300 children and youthful counselors from the heart of Baltimore city… from five different summer programs, on five separate field trips.
Blessed to receive a generous grant, BHC was able to provide tasty vegetarian lunches for everyone and secure wonderful facilitators who led drum circles, taught Yoga and dance, guided hikes around the farm into the woods and introduced the concept of mindfulness.
A conversation between Ancient Oaks resident Taylor Logsdon and a visiting child underscores the need for these programs:
“One little girl, about ten years old, asked me, ‘Do you live here?’
‘No, with several other people.’
‘Aren’t you scared?’
‘What if someone comes and shoots up the place?’
‘Why would they do that?’
‘It happens all the time.'”
For one day, children who grow up and play in city streets, wary of cars and violence, got to run, to play, explore nature and experience a calming Homa atmosphere. One child said, “Everything here was FUN!”
One of the counsellors commented that the best behaviour he’d ever seen from his group was when they were on the farm.
The feedback from attending adults assured us that the children were happy and relaxed, and they plan to include us in their regular summer schedules. We’re grateful. Happy. Always Idam Na Mama. [Idam Na Mama basically means, “Not my will, but Thy Will be done.”]