Wind Dance Farm
Earth & Education Center
"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."
Homeschool students participate one or two days a week in outdoor exploration and hands-on activities, while learning about the earth and how it works. In addition, science, history, art, traditional music, and literature are explored. Students also acquire conflict resolution skills and respect for each other and the earth.
(The educational programs operate within a non-profit 501 c3 status.)
Experience farm life and learn farming biointensive methods, preparation of camp meals, food preservation, outdoor adventures, and a conservation project.
Up to 8 campers.
Experience nature through outdoor adventures, natural history, herbal studies, farm experiences, and conservation efforts.
Up to 20 campers.
Campers spend time on a field journey, which may be hiking on the Appalachian Trail, exploring West Virginia, or Watershed Journeys, plus a conservation project.
Up to 12 campers
Day Camp is for girls and boys ages 5 through 12. Campers explore nature through play and directed activities. They begin to develop knowledge of the wilderness and learn wild crafting (foraging)skills. They play earth games, dance to traditional music, and create a nature craft. Camp guides read a nature story each day, and there is time for water play, story-telling, archery, and hiking. Campers participate in an earth conservation activity and take a peaceful siesta each afternoon in hammocks!
1 child - $150
2 children - $270
3 children - $400
($25 registration fee per child not included)
In the spring of 2001, Leslie Devine-Milbourne, John Devine, and their 8 year-old daughter, Chenaya, moved to a beautiful, secluded 20-acre farm in Morgan County, West Virginia. They called their new home Wind Dance Farm. During that summer they held their first youth, overnight camp for one week. That was the beginning of their summer camp offerings, which, over the years, expanded to five camps, each one week long. In the fall of 2002 Leslie and John began to offer a range of supplemental classes to local homeschool students. Each Thursday a group of 12 students played, danced to John’s fiddle music, participated in environmental education activities, kept journals, and listened to wonderful literature. From this successful start, Leslie and John’s in-depth and rich homeschool programs have expanded to four days a week during the school year.
The educational programs rapidly outgrew the small log cabin where they were held. To support the programs and to plan for future expansion, Leslie and John dedicated much of their time to developing a new, larger education center. In 2007 a non-profit 501(c)3 status was established for Wind Dance, a board of directors was formed, and work began to raise funds to support the existing programs and to grow the organization. Over the next several years a new education center was gradually built, and in fall of 2018, Leslie and John moved programs from their small log cabin to an amazing, spacious timber frame center. The new Wind Dance center was built with many hands; old friends and new volunteered their time, labor, tools, and shared their love of working together as a community to build a center for learning how the earth works and how we can best live with the earth. This past school year, 2018-19, Leslie and John launched their first environmental education programs for public school students.
Leslie Devine Milbourne grew up with great appreciation and admiration for the earth. She is fascinated by how simply the beautiful earth’s systems work. She is deeply aware of the need for humans to better adapt to the sustainable way the earth works. Many young students have developed a deep connection with the earth through Leslie’s inspiration and in-depth teaching. She received her master’s degree in environmental education from Acadia University in Pennsylvania, and has been working in education since 1984. Before settling in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, Leslie was the science teacher and environmental educator at Center School in Pennsylvania, where she developed many award-winning gardens with her students.
John Devine is a traditional musician whose strong, gentle voice and extraordinary rhythmic talents on the guitar have been loved by followers of traditional music and dance for over forty years. At Wind Dance John plays fiddle for lively and fun dancing and shares his love of singing with all groups. His repertoire includes original songs and tunes, as well as songs from old-time and folk traditions. John has performed from east coast to west, into Alaska, and across the Atlantic.
Leslie and John have a strong belief that the earth will support humanity as long as we humans learn to live with and take care of the earth. They are committed to sustainable living and teaching. At Wind Dance they live, teach, work, and play on the farm, with the earth foremost in mind. They share the joy of the land Wind Dance has to offer with their many students and adult supporters.