Tag Archives: Drumlin Farm Camp

Meet Our New Camp Director, Meghan Haslam!

We are very pleased to announce that Drumlin Farm Camp has a new Camp Director! Meghan Haslam comes to us with environmental education and camp experience from all over the world and we’re thrilled that she will be joining Zach D’Arbeloff in leading our camp and teen programs here at Drumlin Farm. Her predecessor, Becky Gilles, is now the Camp Director at Mass Audubon’s overnight camp Wildwood.

Meghan began her career in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, then went on to found and direct the 4 Walls Project, a housing improvement organization. While continuing to live and work in Central America, she managed a range of community and educational programs—including three years as Program Director at Mountain & Sea Spirit Outdoor Adventures School in Tatumbla, Honduras. She then returned to the US to become Director of the 100 Elk Outdoor Center in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Most recently, Meghan oversaw outdoor education and character development programs for young people and adults at North Carolina Outward Bound School as the Program Director of their Table Rock Base Camp in Jonas Ridge, North Carolina.

Get to know Meghan and the adventures that lead her to Drumlin Farm with us…

Meghan hiking the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina.

Q: Did you go to camp when you were younger?

A: Yes I did! I attended day camp at Camp Lincoln in NH for years, then an overnight camp in Maine, followed by 8 years as first a camper, then a counselor, at Adventure Unlimited in Buena Vista, CO. I later returned to this beautiful spot in the Rockies to direct school, youth, and corporate programs for the 100 Elk Outdoor Center.

Q: How did your previous experiences shape your interests today?

A: I’ve had the privilege of exploring the outdoors both professionally and personally, and each environment and culture has taught me new perspectives and refreshed my sense of wonder. I feel like my happiest, best self when I am outdoors. Two major experiences that have informed my development and interests today were going to camp and being a counselor when I was a teenager through college, and serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua. I am still deeply connected to those communities, and they have propelled my respective interests in outdoor experiences and helping people, whether abroad or in the US.

Meghan working on housing improvement projects with 4 Walls in Nicaragua.

Q: You’ve had professional and environmental experiences all over the world, how do those compare with the Lincoln area and community?

A: Every ecosystem and its habitats, and each set of culture, language, traditions, etc. shapes a place and its character. I am just getting to know Lincoln and the Drumlin Farm, and greater Mass Audubon communities, but new places and people are always exciting to me. One of the things which immediately drew me to Drumlin Farm was the idea of connecting people and nature through outdoor experiences, and helping people understand the relationship between our food production and natural habitats. My enthusiasm about Drumlin Farm sky-rocketed when I was getting to know several staff members while visiting. I asked them to describe Drumlin in three words or fewer, and every person responded with the word “community”. Other words focused on teaching and discovery, as well as the staff’s commitment to raising awareness of climate change. All of those things sounded fantastic, but the strong sense of community especially spoke to me.

I discovered the importance of community when, at the end of my first year in Peace Corps, I had to evacuate my site in a rural Nicaraguan town due to heavy rains and flooding. I wanted nothing more than to return to my community and help out. It was a pivotal moment which led me to start a community-based housing improvement project that grew into a much larger initiative bringing volunteers from all over the world to connect with families and build homes. Over the years of working outdoors, the inextricable links between nature and communities have become ever clearer. I left my first visit at Drumlin Farm with the understanding that its mission was to develop connections between communities and their environments, and that felt like an ideal fit for me.

Meghan teaching students in Honduras.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in your first summer as the Drumlin Farm Camp Director?

A: I found my voice and self-confidence as a young person at camp. Now, my favorite aspect of camp is supporting both campers and staff as they learn and grow. It is a marvelous opportunity to watch and help young people blossom into their best selves through both challenges and having fun. I’m excited to learn new lessons about the farm, wildlife, and this particular set of habitats, and to share those with our campers. Helping them be happy, healthy, and inspired is a really cool job to have.

Hiking amongst giant jungle ferns.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

A: I enjoy being outside with my big, fluffy dog and my partner–whether on a beach, in the woods, on a mountain, or just around town. I spend time hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and skiing whenever possible. Reading, photography, writing, and speaking Spanish also bring me great joy. I work with two international organizations, the 4 Walls Project, the home improvement initiative in Nicaragua, and a girls’ scholarship program, One New Education (ONE), and visit my Peace Corps town on a regular basis via both of these projects. I love traveling, exploring new places and cultures, and bringing people with me to experience the adventure.

Learn more and register for Drumlin Farm Summer Camps, at Drumlin Farm or Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, today! We can’t wait to see you back in the outdoors this summer.

Meet a Camp Counselor: Camy Olia

Name: Camy Olia

Age: 25

Entering 7th year as a Drumlin Farm Camp Counselor 


How did your relationship with Drumlin Farm start and how did you become a camp counselor?

I began coming to Drumlin Farm when I was around eleven years old. My grandparents had introduced me to bird watching so they brought me to Drumlin Farm. I loved watching the bluebirds fly over Boyce Field and the Drumlin. Their wings shimmered a spectacular shade from the reflection of the sun.

I became a camp counselor at Drumlin Farm because I had grown to love nature and remembered the few times that I visited when I was younger. Prior to Drumlin Farm, I was a visitor education volunteer at the New England Aquarium and had worked nearby at The Food Project.

We wouldn’t have Summer Camps without Drumlin Farm Campers! What’s your favorite part of working with the campers? 

My favorite part of working with middle school campers is that they understand that they can make a difference in their community and environment. A lot of campers end up educating their parents about sustainable farming practices and how eating local can reduce their carbon footprint. I also love building a sense of community among the campers. We do a lot of team building activities for the first few days of camp so that campers feel a connection to each other at both the individual and communal level.

Last summer, I created a lesson about the hidden animal parts that can be found in common foods, such as gelatin in candy. I bought some groceries and had campers try to figure out which ingredients were derived from animals. Campers were both fascinated and shocked by the lesson.

Another memorable experience happened while teaching a first grader how to figure out the amount of woven rectangular spaces there were between two fence posts. We walked along the fence together and I showed him how we can use multiplication to find the answer. I knew that I had made a lasting impression because he joined me and followed my schedule for the rest of the day.

Camy with campers walking in a funky chicken parade

Have you had any notable wildlife or nature interactions from your time at camp?

One of my favorite memories was watching a cicada killer paralyze a cicada near the Drumlin. It was interesting to see such a huge bug become incapacitated by an enormous wasp.

I also love looking at the stars during the overnight camps. Once I was scared by a deer in the middle of the night; all my campers were asleep and a shadow slowly moved towards me. As soon as the deer saw me, she made a sneeze like sound and bolted away. It was both starling and fascinating, seeing the deer in it’s natural habitat in the evening was breathtaking.

What are you looking forward to most for summer 2018?

I am looking forward to harvesting vegetables for the family night farm stand. I always love watching the campers experience the whole process–from harvesting, to washing, to sign making, and finally selling the vegetables. Field to farm stand to table!

Three cheers for garlic!

What don’t a lot of people know about being a camp counselor?

Drumlin farm is more than just a wildlife sanctuary for animals: it’s also a sanctuary for people to express themselves openly in an experiential learning environment!


Summer camp 2018 is starting soon but there’s still time to sign up! If you’ve like to meet Camy and the rest of our amazing camp staff, learn about and register for a variety of camp programs here.