High School Summer Experience


Join us at Willow Creek Farm Preserve, August 19-23rd, 2019 to explore our food system, and some righteous alternatives to it.

Currently, the way most of the world’s population gets their food is from an unjust, unsustainable, unhealthy system, where consumers and producers are disconnected and disenfranchised from the chance to eat equitable, sustainable, healthy food.

But… many people are working across many different business sectors to change this. Here at Willow Creek we strive to build up an alternative system from the mainstream, one that connects people to their food in a healthy and environmentally regenerative way, and with respect for human dignity.

The Willow Creek Alternative Food Summit is a tool to help prepare the next generation of activists and entrepreneurs to continue to make a global shift in how are food is produced, and consumed.


Our program includes many different aspects designed to help participants take ownership over their food choices.  Participants will get 20 hours of community service credit, working and learning outdoors in our Seed to Share Garden ™ where we grow 10 different staple food crops that are most desired by our partner organizations, non-profit food pantries that supply food locally to people experiencing food insecurity.

Participants will engage in experiential learning on a range of topics related to our current mainstream and possible alternative food systems. Topics such as food preparation, food distribution, nutrition, public policy, research, activism, urban farming, diversity and equality.  Participants will get to hear from and network with professionals who work in alternative food systems. Women and men who are passionate about their careers, incredibly knowledgeable on a wide-range of food, environmental, and social-justice related topics, and capable and successful business people.

Our speakers are excited to share their stories with students and offer them support in their journey to becoming alternative food system leaders.  Participants will get to hear from and ask questions to a college representative who can talk to them about what it’s like to be an alternative food activist at the college level.  Participants will also take part in a number of daily activities designed to help them fully digest (pun intended) all of the new information and experiences they will encounter during the summit.

Join us at Willow Creek Farm Preserve for an amazing week to end your summer, make life-long friends, learn, and take the first step into your future as an alternative food system change-maker!


Q: Who are the program participants?

A: People of all abilities, ethnicities, genders, races, ages 14-19.

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: $295

Q: Are their scholarships?

A: There are 2 full scholarships and 2 half scholarships available.  If you are interested in receiving a scholarship, there is a space on the application to indicate your interest and a prompt for you to respond to.

Q: How do I sign up?

A: If you are interested, the link to our application at the bottom of this page. Our capacity for the program is limited to 18 this year, and we are striving to have as diverse a group of possible, so that we can learn as much as possible from one another. Our application process is simply a means to ensure that we have participants with a wide range of backgrounds.

Q: What if I want to sign up with a friend?

A: If you and a friend (or friends) are interested in applying, you may indicate that on the application, and we will take that into account when considering all of your applications.

Q: What does a typical day look like?


8:00 – 8:30 – Morning introductions/intention setting, community building

8:30 -12:30 – Service in the Seed to Share Garden

12:30 – 1:15 – Intentional Lunch

1:15 – 2:15 – Alternative Food System training and experiential learning

2:15 – 3:45 – Hear from our guest speakers followed by Q&A

3:45 – 4:30 – Daily wrap-up and reflections

Q: What are the times and dates of the program

A: The food summit runs from Monday, August 19th, 2019 – Friday, August 23rd, 2019. Every days starts at 8AM and finishes at 4:30 PM.

Q: Is there transportation provided if I’m interested in attending?

A: We are not able to offer transportation at this time to our participants, but we will work to connect participants coming from the similar areas to find each other for a carpool.

Q: Is their food provided?

A: We will be providing light snacks from the garden, but participants should pack their own lunch and water bottles. We will provide 1 ethically sourced lunch, date tbd.

Q: Do I need to bring anything?

A: Participants should bring a packed lunch, a water bottle, sunscreen, sun glasses, a hat, a notebook and something to write with.

Q: Where is the food summit?

A: The food summit will be taking place at Willow Creek Farm Preserve in Collegeville. The address is 3215 Stump Hall Rd. Collegeville, PA 19426.

Q: What if I have more questions, that I don’t see answered on the website?

A: You can call or e-mail Alex Zaremba, Farm Apprentice, at 484-802-3412 or alexjaremba@gmail.com or e-mail Emilyn Fox, Operations & Farm Education Manager, at Emilyn@willowcreekfarmpreserve.org.

Q: What if I want to be here, but the dates don’t work for me?

A: Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t have the flexibility or capability to put on multiple food summits this summer. However, we would love to hear from you if you or anyone you know might be interested, and we hope to run many more food summits in the future! If you’re interested, you can get in touch with us by e-mailing hello@willowcreekfarmpreserve.org

Interested in applying to join the summit? Complete our application here:  http://willowcreekfarmpreserve.org/visits-tours-at-wcfp/high-school-summer-experience/hs-summer-experience-application/