Well my experience was way back in 73 or 74, maybe both...Highlights were the amazing piano player/songwriter John something who sang a song about "Sweet Dandelion". If anyone knows where to find his work currently, please let me know. The other highlight was watching the swallows fly at dusk in the field next to the barn. And trying to raise three baby swallows which fell out of their nest, keeping them in the attic of the barn till we were caught. And building a sod house with Phillip Zwieg until the rains came. Eating corn fresh off of the stalk and running through thunder and lightening storms. This part of my story I've been wanting to tell: at 13, there were a few 21 year old or older counselors who were hitting on me. Males. One took me into the woods and gave me wine and pot made out with me, all but seduced me. He was married and 26. Ken something.. I remember me getting into trouble for that but not him, although he was married. And there was one male counselor who called my home after camp was over every day and tried to make my his girlfriend, although I was 13. No one at Appel Farm cared to hear about it then, they blamed me. Today these idiots would be on Dateline, NBC and arrested. Then, they were counselors at Appel Farm. Hope it's changed.
Appel Farm is an remarkable place to take pottery classes. if it were not for Appel Farm's adult classes, I never would have had the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to make pottery. I have had such an enriching experience that it is difficult to put into words what this experience has meant to me. The atmosphere is relaxed and conducive for learning. Every instructor I have met is very nurturing. The teachers are passionate about art and are very encouraging as growth occurs in the students.
The Appel Farm Arts and Music Center has been an integral part of my artistic life for the last five years. They have provided myself and others with the facilities and staff needed to spark the creativity we all hold inside. After years of taking various arts courses at other learning institutions, I was finally able to find a home at Appel Farm. The campus at Appel Farm is truly inspiring, as are the wonderful people who work there. The collective knowledge and talent of these people are what really make Appel Farm stand out in the arts community. Whether it's the summer camp, a children's class, an adult's class, a musical performance or a theatrical program, Appel Farm knows how to make a difference in all the lives that it has touched. I know that they will continue to be a part of my life and that of my family's for many years to come. Thank You Appel Farm!
Appel Farm has always been my "country neighbor" and I was pleased when they agreed to service our school with their programs. Not only does this help the school achieve part of the NJ State Standards, but it gives the children opportunities in the arts that otherwise would not happen for many of our children. We have had musical, dance, theatre, and art instruction provided to us both at our school and at the Farm. The program selections and the artists have been grand. I only learned recently that the Farm offers scholarships to local children. What a wonderful gesture to encourage the "locals" when so many of its patrons come from near and far. On a personal note, I have been able to enjoy a pottery class and have been involved with Yoga for a number of years. For working people, it has been nice to have evening classes to pursue outside interests. As a member of our Upper Pittsgrove community, Appel Farm has progressed nicely over the years and continues to do so. We are fortunate to have a facility like this in our community.
Growing up in the area, I knew Appel Farm was summer camp, children's theater productions and the music festival, but it's much more. They offer a variety of classes for both children and adults. They even offer birthday parties for the kids. What better way to let parents know what fun things are available, while encouraging a child's sense of creativity. This may be just the spark it takes to interest a future appreciation of the arts, while celebrating a birthday party to remember. Five years ago, I signed up for a pottery class. One 10 week session and I was hooked. The friendly and talented staff create a atmosphere of encouragement, fun, and great instruction. It's been a rewarding experience. Pottery class has been a mini "therapy session" of sorts! It's relaxing, while being lost in the moment, working on something I really enjoy, and creating something I can also share with others.
Over the years Appel Farm has been involved with my school (while a principal) and my school districts (as a superintendent) in a number of arts-education joint projects. Appel Farm staff has helped design artist-in-residence programs, has involved my students with artists at Appel Farm, has co-written grants with us, has overseen arts installations and a host of other programs that has made the arts live for literally hundreds of children. Also, our theater program held their senior student directed plays at Appel Farm and enjoyed that venue. AF has been amazingly supportive of many public school programs and has fostered its mission among students in our community. One installation was of student-made tiles that represented the community, another was of deer sculptures. Theater and dance academy students were able to work with a professional mime artist in a residency housed at AF. The list of shared ventures is quite long. In every program, AF has exhibited the highest standards of artistic competence and professionalism.
My daughter attended Appel Farm Summer Camp for three seasons (summers of 2004, 2005 and 2006). I writing to you to let you know about the positive long-term impact Appel had on her life. Prior to sending her to camp, she was a middle school student who hadn’t found like-minded kids with similar interests as she. My daughter has always been a bright student and a deep thinker. In addition to her thirst for knowledge was her passion of theater arts. She is one who marches to the beat of her own drum and chooses not to submit to peer pressure. While she had plenty of opportunities to attend parties and have friends in school, she chose not to play the typical middle school games, and became a bit of a loner. So, we decided sending her to an overnight camp for the arts just might be the ticket. At Appel Farm, not only was she able to enjoy her love of theater and perform in a theatrical production each summer, but she found a group of kids that became her forever friends. It was truly a life-changing experience for her. She bonded instantly with this group. Often they would have philosophical discussions about life, debate about important social issues, and support each other in their quest for the lead roles or having their photos exhibited in the photography shows. Because she found this group of friends, she developed self-confidence, and realized that she indeed is not a loner, but someone who requires friendships that support her, not try to tear her down. We are fortunate to live in the cell phone and computer age, so these girls still are “best friends”, even though they have not been campers together for a few years. They have a daily Facebook chat thread going and talk to each other about their relationship triumphs and tragedies, their acceptances or rejections from college, and in general, their day to day well being. They turn to each other in the good times and bad. Often I will catch Jolie watching a “Skype” video from one of her friends that wants to discuss her wonderful day or engrossed in a phone conversation with them, trying to counsel them on the “crisis du jour”. While most don’t live nearby, each year they set aside at least three specific weekends to get together as a group. They also get together when they can one on one or in smaller groups. They have been quite disappointed that this year has been tougher to get the gang together because of the time commitment they have had with college visits. But regardless of the distance between them, they are always there for each other. The chat thread on the computer lives on. We are truly grateful to Appel Farm for not only providing a warm environment that promotes self expression, but for the lasting friendships that have come from the summers spent there.
I was a camper for several years at the Appel Farm Arts and Music summer camp, and it was honestly one of the most enriching experiences of my adolescence. The farm has a warm, welcoming, tight-knit community, with inspiring and talented counselors and directors. There was such a variety of areas to explore: I remember learning multiple musical instruments, experimenting with video software I would never have otherwise had access to, getting lessons in stage fighting (of all things!), blowing glass and making glass beads, and learning how to fire my own pottery in a wood-fired noborigama kiln. As a young artist, Appel Farm provided me with the opportunity to learn and experiment with things I would never have been able to do otherwise. And it was such a creative, nonthreatening environment. I still get homesick for it!
Appel Farm is a truly wonderful and unique place. I have been attending adult pottery class on Wednesday nights for 5 years now. I have always wanted to explore my artistic side and Appel Farm has been the perfect place to do it. My instructor, Matina, is very enthusiastic and supportive. Even if I am not the best potter in the group I have never felt like my efforts we unworthy or useless. I have been greatly enriched from my experiences at Appel Farm. To me Appel Farm is a little slice of heaven!
As the parent of a camper with a 9 year history of attendance, I can attest with confidence and surety to the nurturing and accepting culture of Appel Farm. My daughter gained a second family and maintains the many strong friendships she developed at Apple Farm. Moreover, she considers Albert Appel,camp founder, to be one of her abiding heroes. At Appel Farm, my daughter learned so much each summer: about herself and others, about her talents,the arts and her capacity to grow and learn.
Our experiences with Appel Farm are extensive and long standing. Serving as the Principal/Superintendent of Schools we have developed school wide programs, student centered hands-on activities, and specially designed projects that are cultually enriching and artistically challenging at the same time. Our relationship spans more than 15 years of successful programming. All of the students and staff of the Elmer Borough School District have gained in cultural awareness through the wide array and variety of experiences thanks to Appel Farm. To mention just a sampling of our adventures, we have learned and experienced klezmer music, mime, soap carving, paper making, theater development, play writing and performing, opera, clay sculpture, folk music, ceramics, jazz and so much more. We have permanent artistic displays both inside and outside of our school building that are treasured by all of us in the school as well as our entire community. Appel Farm Arts and Music Center is without question a positive model of artistic and creative achievement. Dr. Stephen Berkowitz
My experience at Appel Farm Summer Camp is indescribable. The camp provided me with my first introduction to independence, both artistic and personal. I grew as an artist and even more as a person in the 5 years that I attended the camp. Every camper is surrounded by encouragement and support, and given a chance to be both completely independent and part of a greater community. The social aspect of Appel Farm is wonderful, as are the art programs and faculty. Appel Farm is so unique in that unlike other schools, camps, or programs for young adults, there is absolutely no bullying. It often felt to me like much more of a family than a camp, and i felt connected and supported by each of my peers. The counselors are also incredible, helping with personal needs of all kinds. The arts programs allow teens to flourish, and really gain confidence. Creativity and community are greatly prized throughout the camp. It is truly a wonderful establishment and deserves, in my opinion, never-ending recognition and praise. Appel Farm made me who I am today.