The Channel 3 Kids Camp celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year on Times Farm Road in Andover and this is the 5th season of existence for the Teaching Gardens at the Camp.

The campers start arriving after Fathers Day and the last session ends in mid-August. We are in a very competitive market – competing with all of the other exciting classes the camp offers like archery, swimming, nature, etc. Miss Paula is instrumental in making sure our class offerings are “child-friendly” with a more hands-on approach rather than lecture. Each year we try to offer new ideas and freshen up the teaching materials. This year’s sessions include soils and composting, bugs, herbs, butterflies, how plants grow and every camper’s favorite – garden to table. Miss Ann is also offering a class on growing plants in an empty water bottle so that each camper can take something home. The plastic bottle is cut in half (the bottom becomes the water reservoir and the top, after attaching a piece of cloth around the neck is inverted and used as the planter. Keep water in the bottom and it will wick-up and feed the roots of the plant above. How cool is that?

Our classes start beneath a fixed white canopy about 9 am on Tuesday and Friday mornings, but the classes most often end up in one of the garden areas playing in the dirt.

The volunteers at the Teaching Gardens would like to thank CMGA for their generous grant this year; the Directors and Staffing of the Channel 3 Kids Camp for their continued support; the various “Friends of Bill” for their materials donations; and the campers who give up a piece of their summer camping experience to join us in the gardens. Thank you all.


Above:  Foreground: Jay Beausoleil; (kneeling) Sheila Dunn & Ann Harrington-DiBella. Standing: Carole Miller, Paula Robinson, Mary Cross, Marilyn Bacon, Toni Royal and Bill Overton


In 2010, compost bins were constructed by Jay Beausoleil, George Christoph and Steve Aldi of donated pallets to supplement our composting lessons. We had been using only a compost tumbler, but it couldn’t sustain the volume of leaves and garden debris we collected in the fall each year.

Also this year, the last section of the main garden as well as the existing herb garden was enclosed by Dick and Bill. This year, 2010 MG interns George Christoph, Sheil Dunn, Marilyn Bacon, Sue Stavola and Wendy Burki were welcomed. All helped with planting in the greenhouse, garden clean up, soil prep and final planting.

Wendy took ownership of the butterfly garden adding some structure by re-arranging existing plants and providing new plant material to attract birds, bees, butterflies and interested campers. Wendy also added labels where necessary to help with plant identification.