History & Philosophy

Camp History

In 1952, Abe and Eve Crittenden created a philosophy to share an enchanted place on the Sonoma Coast and transformed it into a summer farm camp for children. This vision, which continues today, was to create a community where people could live in peace with each other and nature, while having fun and building strong relationships. In 1971 Abe and Eve transitioned the directorship to David and Ginny Crittenden who lived at the camp with their three children for several years.

In 1985, David and Suzanne Brown purchased the camp and directed the program for 19 years. They carried Abe and Eve’s vision into the 21st century, while maintaining the history and traditions that make Farm Camp special.

In 2004, David and Suzanne passed the torch to John Chakan and Kelly Marston, who honored the generations that came before them by continuing and growing the traditions and programs for the past decade.

In the fall of 2013, David and Suzanne met with their longtime friends from camping, Scott and Don Whipple, and decided to partner with them in running Farm Camp. In 2014 they brought on Alex Yost to run the camp office and Chris Corrigan to direct the program in the summers, adding Kara Giacinto in 2016 to complete the current team of directors.

Local History

The Kashia band of the Pomo natives, a tribe that lived in the Northern California region, called this area “A Place in the Sun.” For thousands of years, it was a peaceful place to meet and come together to celebrate the natural world.

In decades gone by, a hotel and stage coach stop served as the timber and sheep operations of the Sonoma Coast meadows and redwood canyons. While the hotel no longer stands, many of these historic original buildings still remain and provide a timeless aura to the site that is now Farm Camp, continuing to draw people to gather, relax, have fun, and enjoy this place in the sun.

Along the coast near camp is Fort Ross State Historic Park. In 1812 the Russians established a permanent base at Fort Ross , which was the main source of the fur animal they sought: the sea otter. This fort was the southernmost settlement of the Russians in North America. Every summer, during Living History Day, life is reenacted in the 18th century and is a popular field trip for campers.