Thursday, May 12, 2016

Getting Ready for Pony Farm Summer Camp

Dear Camp Families,

Camp is quickly approaching and it will be here before you know it!  This is be our 45th summer of camp and I think I love camp more each day.  Listed below are some heads ups, tips, and tricks for you and your camper's upcoming summer experience.  (Please note all this information is on the website year round.)

Camp Forms - If you haven't already, please send in your camp forms.  They are due June 1st.  Your camper's forms contain a lot of critical information in them to help us get to know them and prepare for your child's arrival. Here is the link in case you need it again - http://www.touchstone-farm.org/pdf/TSFPonyFarmCampForms.pdf

What to Pack -  Here is the link to our packing list - http://www.touchstone-farm.org/pdf/TSFPonyFarmPackingListforCampers.pdf  This is a one week packing list!  For a 2 week session, we send the laundry out.  Please do follow the packing list.  Don"t bring anything that you or your daughter doesn't want to get ruined or lost.  Remember if you want it back...put your name in it!

Policies - Here is a link to our Camp Policies - http://www.touchstone-farm.org/pony-farm-summer-camp/philosophy-1

Camp Meds - We will not be accepting any medicine that is not in the original container, whether it is over the counter or prescribed.  One of our camp nurses will be at opening day to accept your camper's medicine.    If your camper needs to have their pills cut, please bring your own pill cutter.

Opening Day and Closing Day - Below is a link about Opening and Closing Day information so that you can plan accordingly and know what to anticipate. http://www.touchstone-farm.org/pony-farm-summer-camp/dates-and-rates-1

Homesickness -  If you or your camper are concerned about homesickness here are my top tips!
1.  Don't make a pick up deal with them!  Instill your confidence in your camper!  Tell them what a wonderful experience they are about to embark on!  Remind them of how much fun they will have and talk about camp in a positive manner.  

2. Come for a tour!  Schedule a tour with me and come see the farm!  Get to know the farm, myself and how a day runs!  

3. Explore our website, http://www.touchstone-farm.org/pony-farm-summer-camp, and our Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/ponyfarmsummercamp/, together!  There are tons of pictures and wonderful information including sample menus, how a day runs, and a sample schedule for the week!

4.  Visit ACA's website for more tips and tricks on homesickness - http://www.acacamps.org/campers-families/planning-camp/preparing-camp/coping-homesickness

Questions or Concerns - Please don't hesitate to email or call me, bhawkes@touchstone-farm.org or 603-654-6308, about any questions or concerns that you or your camper maybe having.  I also teach second grade, so it might be tough to reach me in the office at times.  I do have set Office Hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school.

It is only 40 more days till camp starts!  But who's counting!

See you all real soon!

Best,

Becky

Friday, August 21, 2015

Session 5 B - The Chocolate Game

Dear Camp Families,

It is hard to believe that we will be returning your children to you in less than 24 hours.  People often ask if I am happy when camp is over, I not happy it is over, only happy the responsibility is over.

The weather is holding for us and the heat has finally cooled off!  We continue to ride every morning and we have been sending groups out with their lesson groups to learn about how to trail ride and the safety of it.  Yesterday afternoon we practiced our specialties for your parent’s exhibition tomorrow!  We had a lot of drivers, vaulters, some are doing courses, and others are pair jumping.  You will be entertained at the least!   

Last night we played the Chocolate Game!  There are pictures on Facebook with a description of how the game is played!  Here is a brief description:  Last night we played the Chocolate Game before going on a counselor quest! You have 2 dice, if you roll doubles, you put the socks on your hands and you have to cut the chocolate and eat as much as you can. When someone else rolls doubles, it is their turn to put the socks on and eat chocolate.  Here is the link if you want it - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154174922979251.1073741919.207395374250&type=3

This morning we had our final lessons!  This afternoon we are packing, writing our candle lights, cleaning tack, and swimming if there is time and the weather is cooperating!  Tonight  we have our Candle Light Ceremony.  It is a closing reflection of  the camper’s time here!  

I truly can’t believe this session is almost over!  I am really looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow and talking to you about your wonderful children!

Best,

Becky

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Session 5 B - The Last Hurrah!

Dear Camp Families,

It is really hard to believe that this session is half way over!  Where did the time go and where did summer go?  What a thoughtful, kind, and fun group of campers you all have! We have been having a ball!

On Monday we did out trial rides in the morning and had about 6 re-rides in the afternoon!  Those who were not re-riding did the swim test, and played with the small animals!  They also tried helping me to get my black lab to swim!  Gunner only swam with assistance, but the campers were very supportive of his efforts!

On Monday night we played bagskits, and after many years, I still don’t get them.  But the campers think they are hysterical and that is all that really matters!

We have been doing our lesson groups in the morning and have had a variety of different activities in the afternoon!  It is hot for New Hampshire, but the campers are handling the heat well.  We continue to stress drinking plenty of water!  Tonight ‘s activities is the camping trip or the Fashion Show!  We have so much to do and so little time.  We will be seeing you all very soon!

Best,

Becky

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday of Session 5 A!


Dear Camp Families,

BOY!  Time Flies when you are having fun!  I can’ believe it is already Wednesday!  Before you know it, it will be Saturday and we will see you all for pick up!

We have been busy!  Today the photographer is here taking pictures of the day in the life of a camper!  We are also swimming with the horses and doing lessons today!  So half of the campers will go swimming with the horses this morning and the other half will go to their riding lessons, then this afternoon we will flip flop and everyone will get an opportunity to do the other activity!  Tonight we are playing counselor quest!  I still have one set of counselors that have not been found this summer!

On Monday we did our trial rides in the morning and in the afternoon we did our swim tests and played with small animals!  There were a few re-rides that went in the afternoon.  Those campers did their swim tests this morning.  On Monday night we played bag skits!  It is a fun game where each room gets a bag and puts between 5 – 10 items in the bag.  Then we switch bags with the rooms.  Each room has to come up with a skit based on the items in their bag.  These campers get pretty creative!

I am off to take pictures!  Check Facebook later today for our action shots!

Best,

Becky

Friday, August 7, 2015

Session 4 - Friday

Hello again. It has been a busy week here at Pony Farm. On Thursday, the campers had their usual morning lesson. In the afternoon, the girls chose their afternoon activities. We offered vaulting (gymnastics on horseback), catch riding, slip and slide, pony spa, helping with day camp, and driving. Most of the girls chose driving, so we had a big drive over to Connolly’s: the dairy farm nearby that offers fresh ice cream! Thursday night was the camping trip. We had 15 campers choose to go camp by Boo’s house. They went swimming, told stories, and other fun camping activities. The girls who stayed behind participated in casino night which is card games and board games. Spoons is generally one of the games of choice!
This morning the camping girls returned and we had another lesson in the morning. All the girls are preparing for the show tomorrow! This afternoon will be filled with packing, cleaning tack, and cleaning the ponies in preparation for the show. The evening activity will be candlelight. Candlelight is a special closing ceremony. All the girls prepare something to read around the campfire, such as a poem or a letter. It is a time to reflect on all the fun we have had these past two weeks.

Tomorrow will be the show. We have sent out emails to parents regarding start times. We can’t wait to see you all there! All the girls have been practicing so hard and can’t wait to show off their skills. However, we are NOT looking forward to saying goodbye to all the campers! We have 9 girls staying over until next session. They will be having a relaxing movie night (perhaps with pizza!). Until next time! -Zoe the Counselor

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Better Late than Never

It is a beautiful afternoon at Pony Farm and all the campers are currently at the Wilton Falls. This morning, the girls enjoyed a 5 mile hunter pace. A hunter pace is a judged trail ride. The campers get to go out on the trail in camper-only teams. Staff is posted around the route to check in. The girls complete the route and are judged on teamwork and their time it takes to complete the ride. Everyone had a blast! Tonight will be the fashion show. Each room is given a category to dress-up and parade down the catwalk. It should be a ton of fun!
Tomorrow is back to a normal schedule, with lessons in the morning and an option of activities in the afternoon. The girls will pick between driving, a trail ride, Budweiser field trip to see the clydesdales, horse painting, and taking the miniature horses to the creek. Tuesday night the girls will play the chocolate game: a game that ends in the consumption of a large quantity of chocolate :). We will also have a horseless horse show. The girls run and jump and participate in a horse show, minus the horses.
Wednesday will feature swimming with horses: a classic Pony Farm activity. The girls will either lesson in the morning and swim in the afternoon or vice versa. In the evening, the campers will have the opportunity to participate in ice cream trough. Picture a bunch of campers standing around and cramming their faces with ice cream. It is not for the faint-hearted! There will also be a big game of counselor quest. Counselor quest is a game of hide-and-seek around the farm. The counselors hide and the campers seek :)

Luckily, the weather seems to be cooperating this week and we should have an excellent week. Other highlights from later in the week include the camping trip and candlelight. Stay tuned for more updates! -Zoe the Counselor

Friday, July 31, 2015

Session Four! - Friday!

It is another beautiful day at Pony Farm! Last night we went to the Cheshire Fair, an awesome county fair that has amazing food and rides. We indulged on the delicious food such as fried oreos, milkshakes, pizza, burgers, italian sausage…. the list goes on and on. The campers also enjoyed the different rides such as the swings, the carousel, and the absolutely crazy zipper. Cheshire Fair is a special place for Pony Farm-ers, even for the alumni! We had a few alumni stop by to enjoy the fair with us.
This morning the campers got to sleep in late… until 8:30! The girls are currently riding in a lesson. This afternoon campers will be picking their afternoon activities. We are going to offer a trail ride, pony dress-up, catch riding (where the campers all have a chance to ride each other’s ponies) and a trip to Budweiser. No, they are not going for the beer! At the Budweiser factory in Merrimack, they have a stable of the Budweiser clydesdales that we go to visit as a field trip. This evening will be smores (yum!) by a bonfire with Boo as she tells some of her famous Pony Farm stories.

Tomorrow will be a Gymkhana, a day of games on horseback! Parents are welcome to stop by between 10:00 and 12:00 to see the mounted games on the flat. We will be doing games such as rock and spoon, sit-a-buck, and dizzy bat. In the afternoon, we will have the jumping portion of the gymkhana. The more advanced riders will have the option to compete in puissance: a high jump competition. Everyone will have the option to do the gambler’s choice. This is a competition to see who can rack up the most points and create their own course. Each jump has an assigned point value and the rider can jump whichever jumps she wants. Some of the jumps are designed to be tough! We will also have an obstacle course version of gambler’s choice for those who don’t want to jump. That evening will be a relaxed night with pizza and a movie. Until next time! -Zoe the Counselor