Seamark Ranch puts on farm field trips for local kids

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - Seamark Ranch is putting on Summer Fun on the Farm field trips for more than 800 children in the community.

Its program is educationally-based with demonstrations on gardening, horses and other farm animals.

This is the first time that some of the kids there on summer camp have ever been exposed to farm life.

IMAGES: Kids learn on Seamark Ranch field trips

"We're taking inner city kids that have never seen a farm and some people don't even know what a goat is, and we teach them about different animals and new stuff, which is pretty cool to see the looks on their faces and questions they ask," said Nick Campana, who has lived at Seamark Ranch for three years. "It's a home for kids who don't have homes really, so it's pretty cool."

The 16 kids who live at Seamark Ranch are children who have been in abusive homes or who come from what are called "crisis families." The program aims to give the kids a second chance home, counseling, healing and more.

"There's a lot of animals you have to take care of," Campana said. "There's horses, and you build a lot of relationships."

The Seamark Ranch kids are the group leaders and guides for the kids who come from the summer camps sponsored by the Jacksonville Children's Commission. There were also several volunteers at the ranch helping teach the summer camp kids about the farm life.

Molly Dawson, Ranch Volunteer

"Most of them, it's their first time being out in the woods seeing animals and things," ranch volunteer Molly Dawson said. "So it's really exciting to help them to see all this stuff because they get really excited about it."

Dawson's mother is a teacher at the Seamark Ranch school. She says the kids who live at the ranch are benefiting greatly by living a farm-style life.

"They get a lot of life skills that they wouldn't get in the situation that they were in," Dawson said. "And a lot of them it could be dangerous, so it's a safe place for them to call home."

Seamark Ranch has been doing this field trip for a few years now, and each year it says it gets bigger and better and it wants to continue that and continue to make it more educational.

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