Community Garden Plots Available to Rent

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CSA Shares Available


The deadline for our Summer Camp Early Bird Registration is on May 1st. You can save $25 if you are registered by this date.

For more information or to register, visit

To apply for a scholarship, you can pick up a packet at the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center,194 St. Francis Ave. in Tiffin or call 419-448-7485 to request that a packet be mailed to you.

Thank you to all of partners who have made these scholarships possible:

Reineke Foundation
Sutton Bank
Tiffin Metal Charitable Foundation

Summer Camps 2024


The Franciscan Earth Literacy Center (FELC)  is an environmental education center that, since its founding in 1996, has offered a variety of programs promoting the appreciation of nature and sustainable living practices. Our Summer Day Camps are designed  to be active, fun, and educational. Campers will be challenged, excited, and enlightened by the numerous interactive activities, experiments, demonstrations, crafts, and games in which they will take part in each camp. Our objective is for every camper to gain a better understanding of their interconnectedness with the environment and each other in a positive, hands-on learning environment.

Camp Staff

Each Summer Camp will be led by an adult with years of experience as a classroom teacher or a professional  environmental educator, as assisted by at least two college interns, providing a maximum camper to leader ratio of 12:1. All Camp Leaders and Interns are background checked through the BCI and FBI databases, and will have completed the Diocese of Toledo’s VIRTUS online awareness  and sensitivity training course, Protecting God’s Children.


FELC  is a modern child-centered educational facility with a large classroom space for indoor programs. The building is surrounded by gardens and awning-protected patios for outdoor activities on even the hottest and sunniest days, with short walks to woodland and stream habitats for immersive experiences in nature.

Registration and Scholarship

An Emergency Medical Form must be completed for each camper a minimum of one week prior to the start of a camp so that staff can make appropriate adjustments, if needed. Any application for a need-based scholarship must also be submitted by that time.

Fees  may be paid by credit card at, cash, or check made out to FELC up to one day before the start of a camp. A full refund may be requested  for any reason up to one day prior to the start of a camp. However, in the absence of documented sickness or a family emergency, FELC  will not be able to offer refunds for absences once a camp is underway. Also, campers who have received a scholarship but are absent for more than one session in any camp will be ineligible for scholarship consideration next year.

*** Early Bird Registration: – save $25  if registered by May 1st. For more information, please  call 419-448-7485 or email Sr. Rita at

*** Multiple Child Discount – Save $25.00 per child/per camp

      (Can NOT be combined with Early Bird discount)

Summer Camps

June 10-13 (Ages 8-12 yrs)

Camp Leader: Claudia Steinmetz

Calling all budding artists!! Help us create a large mural in celebration of FELC’s 30th birthday! Join your fellow campers in learning how to create a jumbo-sized art project— your group’s masterpiece. Throughout the week, we’ll learn about some of the world’s most famous mural artists while exploring the artistic process, from brainstorming ideas to a finished work of art. And we’ll end the week with the public unveiling of the beautiful mural we’ve made…including your original work!

June 17-20 (Ages 5-10 yrs)

Camp Leader: Hannah Bumb

At Science Camp you’ll be a mad scientist for the week, coming up with amazing creations in our lab! You’ll spend the week participating in activities like creating slime and shooting off rockets to perfect your mad scientist skills! We’ll do a little mad science magic and teach you some tricks to show your friends. Use STEM activities to build, invent and explore as you take part in all the fun!

June 24-27 (Ages 5-10 yrs)

Camp Leader: Pressley Buurma

FELC welcomes curious young minds who’d like to know where breakfast, lunch, dinner— and in-between snacks—come from.

Campers will learn about caring for animals, planting, tending and harvesting vegetables, and being good stewards of the land. Through plenty of outdoor fun, crafts, stories, and games, we’ll explore the many connections between food, farming, nature– and you. We may not all grow up to be farmers, but how cool to be one for a week!

July 8-11 (Ages 9-12 yrs)

Camp Leaders Team: The Heidelberg University Council of Teachers of Mathematics

It’s Summertime! Leave that old Math- book on the shelf. FELC’s Math-warriors will instead sharpen their numerical and problem-solving skills from a whole new perspective—through song, dance, art, games, and collaborative teamwork. Students and graduates of Heidelberg University’s School of Education have been exciting and engaging schoolkids’ interest in math around Northwest Ohio through this innovative program since 2019. It’s all about the magic that happens when we create a fun, positive experience around math content.

July 15-18 (Ages 5-10 yrs)

Camp Leader: Hannah Bumb

Learn about animals from the four corners of the Earth. Come join us to play animal
games while learning to observe, pet, and care for our Center’s animals. Learn what animals are in your own backyard, woods, and streams. You’ll also meet a whole zoo of animals that will drop by for a visit throughout the week, just to say hello! Feed them and learn about what it takes to be a real animal care taker!

July 29-August 1st (Ages 8-12 yrs)

Camp Leader: Hannah Bumb

Can  you survive a night in the woods? Come learn survival skills like building a fire, making a solar oven and cooking your own meal outside! You’ll build your own shelter that you can test overnight if you choose! Play some survival games to test your new skills while working with a team to make it through the night! Monday and Tuesday are learning days, and Wednesday is your chance to prove your skills with an overnight stay!

August 5-8 (Ages 5-10 yrs)

Camp Leader: Hannah Bumb

This week is jam packed with games so extreme we had to give them their own camp! Explore and learn about our local water ways and how to preserve them.

Play new games you’ve never heard of and old games in new ways! How many games can we play in a week? We don’t know, but we hope you’ll join us to help us count!

To pay by check or cash contact Sr. Rita Wienken 419-448-7485 or

Latest Magazine

Annual Report 2023

Previous Magazines:

Thank you Benefactors

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Thank You Benefactors 2023!

Followers of St. Francis: Sister Shirley Shafranek, OFS/T

You could say that Sister Shirley Shafranek, OFS/T, was born a Franciscan and that, as her life unfolded, so did her realization that God was calling her to religious life. Now a vowed Franciscan sister with the Sisters of St. Francis in Tiffin, Ohio, Sister Shirley’s early life subtly hinted at her future with the Franciscans. She was raised in rural Chelsea, Iowa, along with four brothers, in a devout Catholic family. Despite their religious conviction, Sister Shirley and her brothers attended public school because money was tight. However, faith was a huge part of their home lives. “I remember kneeling down by [my mother’s] chair each night and saying my prayers,” Sister Shirley says. “I could even tell you the order we all learned them in.” 

Click here to read more

FELC Receives $10,000 Check from Sutton Bank

Sutton Bank CEO Tony Gorrell and John Schuld, V.P., Market Manager at Sutton Bank,  presented a check for $10,000 to the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center (FELC).  The funds will be used for need-based financial aid scholarships for FELC’s Summer Learning Camps, Science Days, and Seeds of Hope Agricultural Education Programs.  Accepting the check on behalf of FELC are Board Secretary Char Pope, Seeds of Hope Agriculture Program Supervisor Sr. Shirley Shafranek, Board President Tony Reser, Board Liaison Sr. Carol Inkrott, Education Coordinator Samantha Busack, and Seeds of Hope employee Clinton Kimmet.  For more information on FELC programs and scholarship availability, call 419-448-7485 or email FELC Director Mimi Johnston at To learn more about FELC, visit

Pictured (L to R): John Schuld, Char Pope, Sr. Shirley Shafranek, Tony Reser, Tony Gorrell, Sr. Carol Inkrott, Samantha Busack and Clinton Kimmet.

Marathon LPGA Classic Donates Record $600,000 to 25 Northwest Ohio Children’s Charities, including $37,500 to FELC

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Seeds of Hope—News Article

Seeds of Hope Farm Market is back in business this year with the help of workers from Seneca County Opportunity Center.

Sister Shirley Shafranek of the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center, which operates the market, said the center received a grant from the Betty Jane Foundation this year to provide jobs for disabled people. The new employees are assisting with the market by picking vegetables and stocking the tables, and also cleaning, weeding, watering and doing other tasks.

Read the full article here