City children will have a chance to dig their fingers into the soil and learn more about farming this summer thanks to the many Happy Farm summer camps organized this year, the Council of Agriculture said at a press conference yesterday.
“The camps offer a great opportunity for children to get in touch with nature, an experience that may not be within reach of many children,” Taiwan Provincial Farmers’ Association chief executive officer Chang Yung-cheng (張永成) said.
The annual summer program, offered to children between the age of 10 and 17, was launched in 2005 by a handful of farmers associations around the country, with the aim of teaching kids living in the city the importance of agriculture through play and hands-on experience, Chang said.
“The programs place a lot of emphasis on do-it-yourself learning and include many activities from milking cows, picking and cooking herbs to in-depth tours into wetlands in Taipei County. Not only do children learn to be independent thinkers, but they also come to empathize with hardworking farmers,” he said.
The program attracts more than a thousand students each year, Chang said.
“Last year we offered 32 camps with 18 farmers’ associations around the country and spaces were filled up within three days of registration,” Chang said.
This year, the 48 camps will have a “low carbon” theme, Chang said.
“Energy conservation and carbon reduction is a global concern, so in the process of teaching children to respect the environment, we will also teach them how to help save the planet through everyday actions,” Chang said.
“As 70 percent of the cost of the camps is subsidized by the council, parents need only pay NT$999 for a three to five-day summer camp, which is a good deal,” Chang said. This year’s camps will begin on July 4th and on Aug. 22.
Registration began yesterday.
More information is available at www.summer.touch4u.net.
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