Maria Broom and Patricia Norton
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Shree Vasant said to bring the children from the city out to Ancient Oaks Homa farm in Westminster, Maryland, and we’re doing it! Here’s today’s third group this summer, from Creative City Charter School in Baltimore. Their sweetness and happiness really saturated the whole place.
Serving the children from the heart of Baltimore City has been our goal for three summers now. We are the Baltimore Homa Community, a small 501c3 educational and agricultural organization that owns Ancient Oaks, a 28 acre completely organic farm. During the summer we are able to host busloads of hundreds of children and youth from over ten different camps and schools, offering them a place to hike, learn and play. They also receive professionally facilitated programs in mindfulness, yoga, drumming and dance.
This vital program gives inner city children a unique opportunity to explore nature, experience Homa atmosphere, and romp and play without fear of traffic, violence or bullets. A typical visit starts with a welcoming circle, led by Maria Broom, which includes Vyahruti Homa and a sing-along. Next, the group hikes up the hill to meet our cows and learn about them. They then continue along the path, and upon returning to the base, they have a choice of activites: facilitated drumming (by the stream under the walnut tree), yoga and sound healing (under the apple tree in the “Secret Garden”) or dance with Maria in the Community Center.
When possible, Vyahruti Homa is also performed at noon. For lunch, a healthy vegan meal is provided. Some time for free play, featuring hula hoops and balls, is also allotted.
Initially, some children may feel intimidated by being out in nature–alarmed by insects or not liking the scratchiness of the grass on their legs–but by the time they have to go, they don’t want to leave and want to come back.
In September, two schools (Watson-Hall Montessori and Community Academy of Scholars) will come, with a combined sixty children ages 2 to 10 years old.
We want to offer more activities throughout the entire year. To do this we must completely insulate and make our large community space fully functional for cold weather. We need your help in raising the $25,000 it will take to get this job done.
We would be so grateful for your (tax-deductible) contributions in helping us bring some peace and joy to these city children! If you would like to help, please go to gofundmecom/mku6pa-help-the-children
Donations may also be mailed to:
1020 Poole Road
Westminster, MD 21157
Please make checks or money orders payable to BHC (Baltimore Homa Community).