Kidding Around, Camps, and More at Angelic Organics Learning Center

*** This is a 2014 review.  Visit Angelic Organics Learning Center current calendar of events for up-to-date information.***

I cannot resist baby animals.  I will always click on links to YouTube videos of baby animals.  ALWAYS. So when I read about the “Kidwatch” program at Angelic Organics Learning Center, where you and your family get to spend the day with newborn baby goats, I signed us up immediately.

Angelic Organics Learning Center
© L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2014

Kidwatch is for families with children ages 3 and up and promised an opportunity to play with baby goats, feed the animals and learn about goat pregnancy and birth.  The description mentioned timing may be right to witness a live birth.  I smiled at the notion thinking how awesome it would be, but never thought it would actually happen. Mother Nature doesn’t do scheduling. Lo and behold, our group witnessed not one, but two live births!  I was close to tears that my children had this unique opportunity.

Angelic Organics Learning Center
A very pregnant mama goat, Heleneisse, in active labor. Little did we know there were 3 babies waiting to be born! © L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2014

The first mama, Heleneisse, bravely delivered triplets right before our eyes, including one breach baby.  And when I say right before our eyes, I mean RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES.  My 3-year old daughter and I  could have caught the third baby in our arms had we not  been on the other side of a fence.  Afterwards, children were invited to help trim the umbilical cords.  You simply cannot get more hands-on than that!

angelic organics learning center
Tying off the umbilical cord of a newborn goat © L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2014

After our incredible luck watching three kids being born, we all basked in the afterglow and visited the other animals on the farm including the chickens and the farm horse, Babe.  We collected eggs and held the chickens.  We fed hay to Babe along with the resident “daddy” goats and learned a PG-version of the birds and the bees to put into context all we had seen at the births.

Soon enough our facilitator received another notification that another goat was in a labor and about to deliver!  We rushed back to the barn and watched in hushed awe as the fourth baby of the day was born to a mama goat named Solstice.

angelic organics learning center
Solstice and her newborn kid, Kristoff, minutes after delivery © L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2014

Participants in the Kidwatch program get naming rights to all kids born during their visit by way of popular vote.  As a result, we welcomed Olaf, Kristoff and Vanilla into the herd, although my son campaigned hard for “Adorable.”

While the births were certainly the highlight of our trip, all the other aspects of the experience were well worth the price of admission.  Everyone enjoyed playing with the gentle-natured adults goats and other kids born just a couple weeks beforehand.  I especially appreciated how our farm educator Liz, took the time to make sure children of all ages got the chance to participate.  My kids were too young to pick up the baby goats on their own so she took them to a quiet corner of the yard and carefully placed the baby goats in their arms.

angelic organics learning center
© L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2014

In addition, Liz made sure every experience was a teachable moment and put each animal interaction into context. She made sure the children were listened to, all their questions were answered, and all their comments validated. She made it a point for the children to understand that the animals were not toys, but living things deserving of respect.  On a farm, every animal has their job to do and if we take care of them, they will take care of us.   I love this aspect of the Learning Center and this is what truly sets it apart from other agritourism locations.  While the animals are fun to see and play with, they are not treated as an attraction that exists purely for our amusement.  I felt my children understood that we were visiting the animals’ home, and just as we expect our guests to respect our home, we need to afford the same respect to the animals.  It’s such a beautiful lesson and I am grateful to the Angelic Organics Learning Center for teaching it.

angelic organics learning center
© L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2014

***EDITOR’S UPDATE 2015: The 2015  Kidwatch Program is March 28, 2015.  Visit Angelic Organics Learning Center online to register. ***

Sadly, the Kidwatch program is over for this year, but be sure to keep checking the event calendar for next March.  In the meantime,  you can enjoy many other programs available now through the fall for adults and children alike.  For a wonderful excursion for the whole family, I recommend everyone start with an Animal Day for Families, a program my family attended last summer and loved!  For a firsthand account, read about our previous adventure here.

*** This is a 2014 review.  Visit Angelic Organics Learning Center current calendar of events for up-to-date information.***

If you’re looking for a unique camp experience for your child this summer, there are several day camps available for school age as well as shorter one-day programs for preschoolers.    If you have dreams of being a suburban homesteader, check out their workshops to help you on your way, including yes, even how to raise your own goats.

angelic organics learning center
© L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2014

For a full program listing, visit the Angelic Organics Learning Center Event Page.

 Angelic Organics Learning Center 
1547 Rockton Rd., Caledonia | 815.389.8455
Visit their website and follow on Facebook 

 

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About Loralie 298 Articles
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home. She is the Features Editor and Marketing Director at Little Lake County.

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