LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Roba Family Farms near Dalton has been a popular attraction for family activities in the fall. This year, as the Roba family prepares for the upcoming season, they decided to extend a chaperone policy to the entire farm property. Anyone 17 years old or younger must be accompanied by an adult over 21.
Last fall, the policy only involved the maze. Now, it covers the entire property.
"This is something that our family guests have been asking for, so we are rolling this out for the 2022 season. It is not a decision we made lightly, but it needed to be made," owner Jeff Roba said.
Roba says there have been several incidents involving teens in the past. The farm hired additional security last season, but it wasn't enough.
"Fist fighting, cursing, cursing at each other, cursing at our guests, cursing at our employees, theft. Our corn maze pretty much every season is destroyed by the second weekend from unsupervised kids."
Roba said this new policy isn't meant to deter new customers from coming. It's to protect those who come to ensure they have a safe and fun time.
"Our farm is a family destination. And our entire purpose here is to bring families together, not for one half of the family to get dropped at the door and the other half to leave and go do something else."
Roba also owns Lakeland Orchard and Cidery. There are six weeks left in the season, and this new chaperone policy does not apply to the orchard.
"That has not been an issue at that location to date. But it is still under consideration, and basically, the second we see it becoming an issue, we're going to nip that in the bud," Roba added.
The new chaperone policy with extra security at Roba Family Farms goes into effect when the farm opens for the season on September 9.
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