Friday, July 3, 2015

Session Two - Friday Evening

Dear Moms and Dads, and other Camp Followers like Grandparents and Relatives!!!
I always love it when Becky asks me to write a blog to you all. It makes me step back from the hectic schedule of the farm and reflect on what fun we have all together.  John Denver did not know what he was talking about when he wrote “Life on the farm is kinda laid back!”  He had never seen a day at Pony Farm!  We sure have something going every single minute.  No bored or lazy kids here!
Yesterday morning dawned muddy but sunny.  After the torrential downpours on Wednesday, good weather was a welcome relief.  The kids were such good sports tromping through the mud and puddles to catch their ponies. They even worked to dry out all the equipment from the soggy horse show.  I reviewed ‘the troops’ at barn chores and much to my delight, every kid said that she had a blast at the horse show.  That is a true testament to the kids and the staff!
Despite being a little tired, the kids were ready to ride again…Where do they get that kind of energy?!?  The riding lessons for the campers who had attended the show were ‘flat’ lessons, meaning no jumping. The rest dug into their learning with gusto.
Following a yummy lunch of their favorite Mac and Cheese with extra cheese (and salad of course!), they went off to rest hour to gather energy for an action packed afternoon.  The activities to choose from ranged from Pony/Mini Spa Day, a Gunner Gold Rush Hike up Temple Mountain with Becky, Bareback riding in the ring, Catch Riding (where everyone switches and rides each other’s pony or horse!) and carriage driving.  The driving seems to be a big hit this year.  Unbeknown to the campers, the driving team had a plan to drive them up to Connolly’s Dairy Farm for a special treat of homemade ice cream.  Armed with 16 kids, two pairs of ponies and three carriages pulled by single ponies, we were off. Sadly, a pin on one of the harness fell out and my crew had to unhook and lead the pair home. Gratefully, nothing bad happened as a result of this equipment failure.  The kids and I drove in my car up to Connolly’s for ice cream and to meet the other driving contingent.  Delicious ice cream was enjoyed by one and all on a sunny summer afternoon. What could be better!
This cadre of activities was followed by snack time and feeding the horses. Then the “Ultimate Barn Team Challenge” was on!!! Each barn competed for the cleanest, neatest and most well swept & raked barn.  Kris was the judge and a prize of Dunkin Donuts was awarded to the winning barn.  Everything looked so much better after this team challenge.  It was certainly worth a dozen donuts!
A Ship Wreck Dinner followed with each camper being given some kind of cooking implement as their silverware. Amid great laughter and gaiety, they had to eat with spatulas, whisks, serving spoons and forks, etc.  This crazy dinner was followed by a rousing game of Capture the Flag.  Two teams mustered lots of hutzpah to be the victors.  A nice Good Night Circle followed where everyone remembered the best parts of their day and sang the good old favorite camp songs.  They tip toed off to bed for a solid night’s sleep.  A good day was had by all!
Today was a pristine day of sun and cool, lovely breezes, in short, a perfect day for riding.  After the morning meeting and room clean up, with each room in hot contention for being the cleanest winning room, the girls went to their riding groups.  I had the fun and pleasure of walking around to see each group with a board member and a special guest of the farm.  I saw such good riding, happy students and careful, clear teachers.  It was such fun to ‘show off’ our farm family of two and four footed treasures!
This afternoon the girls had to choose between vaulting (gymnastics on the moving horse) on Avalon, an 18 hand Belgian; a peaceful trail ride; Pair Jumping in the ring; and a Free Ride where the girls planned their own practice of new skills or polishing their horse’s work under the watchful eye of an instructor.  Because the trail ride was such a big seller, we ended up splitting the gang into two groups.  I am writing this while they are finishing up their afternoon, getting snack and beginning barn chores.  I am about to go down to be with them for showers, dinner prep and the evening.  Our big game tonight is Counselor Quest.  This is a fav as each counselor plans where she is going to hide in the best place.  Kids who ‘find’ the various staff members get points, with the most points for the most counselors found wins.    We will then follow this with Goodnight Circle, during which time, we will talk about why we love the United States of America.  We will sing patriotic songs as we prepare for the 4th of July!
Tomorrow we will all gather and go to the Temple 4th of July Games on the town ball field. This will entail ribbons for all ages with crazy, silly foot games. This culminates in an Egg Toss, followed by a Fire Hose tug of war, with the losing side being soaked with the fire hose!  With lots of sunscreen, rides in the old fashioned Fire Truck called Annabelle,  and a wonderful cookout with the Temple Fire Department, good old fashioned fun will abound.
So, I hope that your 4th of July is filled with fun and delight.  May you eat delicious food and be with friends and family, knowing that your children are well tended and loved here at Pony Farm.
With more adventures to come in our 2nd week of Session 2, I am happily sending greetings across the air waves to you all.
Cheers and with a smile,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Session Two - Wednesday: Life is Good!

Dear Camp Families,

It was so wonderful to see all of you on Sunday.  It was like a reunion with friends!  I just love having so many returning campers!  The campers that were new to camp, have taken to camp like a fish to water.  You wouldn’t even be able to pick out the new ones because they have been welcomed whole heartedly and fit in so well!  It is a joy to have them here!  Almost like the gang is back together!  Life is good!

On Monday we did our trial rides and had about 6 campers do re-rides.  I think we have everyone on the love of their life, in the form of a pony, that is!  On Monday afternoon we painted ponies, because why wouldn’t you!  We did a slip and slide, played with small animals, went to Budweiser, and did re-rides!  On Monday night we had bag skits.  Kris, our General Manager and former camp director, was with the kids. (I was in a staff meeting, not nearly as much fun as bag skitsL)  She posted on Facebook, that after 32 years of Bag Skits, she still doesn’t know what room does!

If you don’t know what Bag Skits are it is a fun and funny game!  Each room of campers gets an empty bag and goes to their room and puts 10 items in the bag.  Then everybody comes back out, and we switch all the bags around.  The campers go back to their rooms to make up a skit using the items in the bag they were handed.

Everyone has a certain amount of time to make up their skit, and then it's showtime!  As I said, it is fun and funny - to pick the items in the bag, to figure out your skit, to see what another room did with your items.

Tuesday was a BEAUTIFUL DAY!  We rode in our riding groups in the morning and did our afternoon activities!  Many of the campers were getting ready for the show last night, so the rest of the camp had a Casino Night scheduled, but opted for a horseless horse show instead!

It is Wednesday and pouring rain!  We have 20 campers at an away horse show.  It is never a dull moment at camp!  Our other 15 campers are at different stations in the barns.  We have a leg wrapping station going on, how to take a bridal apart and put it back together, naming the parts of a horse with Annie and she is being labeled, but is a good sport about it.  (Annie the horses, not the human.)  We also have a trivia station!  This afternoon we are going to have Know-Down Show-Down on all the info they have learned so far!  And there will be candy involved…mainly because we NEVER have candy at camp and anything to help make a rainy day better is a good thing.
Boo will be writing later this week and we all know how she is the better writer of the duo!  In the mean time you can follow our activities on Facebook.  Here is the link if you need it -



Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday of Session One!

Dear Pony Farm Moms and Dads…
Let me begin by thanking YOU for loaning us your Treasures…We have had a great week together.  They are certainly helping to carry on the Pony Farm tradition with their sweet smiles, cheery laughs, hard work and good willingness to learn.  I hope you will be pleased with what they have accomplished in a few short days…They have really tried hard to master so many new skills, including not being Homesick!!!  For such a young group of girls and so many new ones who have not been to the farm, the lack of Homesickness speaks volumes about you as parents…Well done in creating such stalwart kids who get along so well.
Despite the threats of tornadoes on Tuesday and the rain on the camping trip last night, we have certainly crammed a lot in this week.  As Becky so well documented for you via both her blog and tons of pictures…and a video of a Snipe Hunt on Facebook… the girls have really bonded well.  Many friendships were created in a short period of time.
To pick up where Becky left off, yesterday morning the girls all rode in their lesson groups for one more good solid learning time.  We have also had each group go out at least once on a trail ride so they can have the fun of not only riding round and round the ring.  We think that the natural world and riding up & down the dirt roads helps teach kids how to ride every bit as much as in a ring…maybe more!
Then, with great eagerness, the girls signed up for their Specialties which they will demo for you tomorrow. Much to our surprise 17 girls signed up to drive…an all-time high.  It is super that we have lots of ponies who drive so we could accommodate them all!  It is quite a brigade!
Most of the rest of the kids signed up to jump…not a surprise!  They do love soaring over those rails!  For the rest of the die-hard riders, they are doing a mounted Obstacle Course or Vaulting, which is gymnastics on the moving horse.  We love having this variety and giving kids the opportunity to try all kinds of horsey things while they are with us.  We can’t wait for you to see what they have learned.
Last night we also had the much awaited Pony Camping trip. Due to the possibility of rain, we only took two ponies and camped right near my house.  We have a pond with lots of bullfrogs and tad poles, so this provided good evening entertainment while dinner was cooking.  Following setting up for bedding down, I told stories about some of the favorite horses at the farm.  The girls love these stories much more than any ghost stories especially if it is their first time in a tent in the dark.  We ended the evening singing the old camp favorites by fire light and flash light.  Everyone tucked in nicely and peace reigned.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the rest of the kids had a mighty Snipe Hunt. We had prepped a house for any captured Snipe.  Armed with tubs of peanut butter, the kids smeared the PB on their noses as they crept through the buses in search of the mighty Snipe!  After much effort and quiet hunting, alas no Snipes appeared.  A good time was had by all with much wild imaginings as to where they would put their Snipe once they got home!
Today dawned rainy and gray, but no one was daunted in the least.  The camping trip team had breakfast in my kitchen and got to look at all the pictures of the horses we had talked about in the stories last night.  With sleeping bags rolled up and the truck packed, homeward bound we came.  We ended up right at the perfect moment to have yet another breakfast of pan fries and yogurt fruit cups.  Rooms got cleaned up and off they all went for a ride in the sprinkles so they would be sharp for you tomorrow.
This afternoon will be packing, writing their Candlelight Ceremony reading, organizing for their Specialties, and wrapping up with Slip and Slide in the rain.  After barn chores, we will all get clean and dressed nicely for our lovely dinner together.  Then, hopefully without rain, we will have an Evening Bonfire and Candlelight Circle where everyone officially reads what their experience at the farm meant to them.  Sprinkled in with favorite songs, this is one of my favorite nights of camp.  I do like all the dress up and silly games, but I love their heartfelt sentiments even more. It lets me know that the Pony Farm spirit is alive and well!!!  Forty four years of Candlelight Ceremonies and we are still going strong…
We are happy to see you tomorrow but cannot believe we already have to give you your children back! Where did the session go????  Please do arrive with your own picnic and ready to watch your kids ride. We will then all eat together and do a wrap up Closing.  We even have professional photographs of your kids this session. Do not feel pressured to purchase them. These are surely optional but I think you will get a kick out of them!
Until tomorrow, travel safely and know how much we have enjoyed your kiddos.  After all these years, it still delights me that girls and ponies are such a magical combination!
With a big smile and lots of good cheer,

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Session One - Wednesday: What a Day for a Day!

Dear Camp Families,

You are kind of stuck with me for this blog post!  Boo is really the wordsmith of the duo, but I will do my best!  It is so great to see the farm active with some many girls and so many ponies and horses!  Everyone is settling into their riding groups and on their mounts!

We had wild weather yesterday, Tuesday, with threats of Thunderstorms and Tornados, luckily neither of them ever really materialized.  We were able to get shortened lessons in, in the morning before the sky opened up and it poured.  In the afternoon, the skies were very mysterious and we thought it would be best to play it safe.  Different stations were set up in the barns including how to wrap a horses legs, check their temperature and more!  Last night we played Pony Farm’s Next Top Model!

Today the weather is BEAUTIFUL!  The campers are riding as I write to you!  This afternoon we will be carriage driving, going on a trail ride, using the new slip and slides, going to Budweiser to see their Clydesdale's, or doing gymkhana games!  Tonight is the ice cream trough and Personal Scavenger Hunt!

We are staying busy here for sure!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pony Farm's Top 10 Tips to Get Ready for Camp

We can't wait to greet you!
As summer approaches, are you wondering what the best ways are to get ready for camp? Just about everything and anything you want to know about camp is on the Pony Farm pages on our website.

However, as the time for camp gets closer, we thought you might appreciate some highlights – so today we present our Top 10 ways to prep for Pony Farm.

10. Come for a Tour – For newbie campers, a visit can be a HUGE help to quell camper anxieties. “Where do I go when I arrive?” “Where will I sleep?” “What are the bathrooms like?” “Where will I put my clothes?” Schedule a tour by contacting Becky Sanborn, Co-Camp Director, at

This is us, from the sky.
9. Fill Out Those Forms, Forms, Forms – Not nearly as fun as #10, but all the forms are important and help us get to know your camper before she arrives. Your camper's paperwork is due June 1. Getting your forms in on time ensures that we’ll be ready for your arrival. You'll find all the forms right here.
This is Becky. She is so happy when
she receives camper forms. Really.
 8. Refresh That Inhaler – Every summer campers arrive with inhalers, Epi-pens, or other prescription meds that are already expired. Now is the perfect time to check that your camper has current prescriptions filled for any medications that she needs. The camp forms contain instructions about sending prescription meds your camper needs with her and authorizing us to administer them.
Summer: time for trail rides, friendship,
sunshine ... and allergens. Be prepared!
7. Download the Packing List Our packing list is located on our website. This is our 44th summer of Pony Farm, so we kind of have what to pack down to a science! 
We even have a packing list for the horses!
(A zebra costume isn't on it.)
 6. What Not to Wear – No, not the TV show! Please don't send anything that you don't want to risk being lost or damaged. Summer camp is hard on clothes, jewelry, etc. Put your camper's name on anything and everything that you would like to return home with her. This is especially important for her riding helmet, boots, tights, and half chaps, which are pretty hard to tell apart.
See what we mean?
6A. What Not to Pack – You can read Pony Farm policies, but the highlight it is...leave cell phones – in fact, all your camper's electronics – at home. We encourage a different kind of connection — with each other, the horses and other animals, the outdoors and nature. Plug into Pony Farm!

5. Check out Arrival Info and Departure Info – You can make drop-off and pick-up days less stressful for your camper (and you!) by knowing what to expect.
We have a system.

 4. Bookkeeping Note – (No catchy title here. Sorry.) Don't forget that the balance of your payment is due May 1. You can send us a check, payable to Touchstone Farm, or pay online via credit card.

3. Read the Directions – To Pony Farm, that is! We have directions on our website. NOTE: If you are a GPS user, enter 818 Putnam Rd, Temple, NH, into your unit. (Some GPS units think 13 Pony Farm Lane is in the middle of the woods on the other side of town. It isn't.)
This isn't us. Not even close.
2. Find More Tips and Tricks to Get Ready for Camp – ACA New England has wonderful resources for camp families. This ACA article inspired our top 10 list.

1. Pack a Smile and a Great Attitude! – Your camper is about to have a magical experience! Be sure to send her off with a smile and a sense of adventure!
High five!
 Questions? Feel free to email Becky, Co-Camp Director, at

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Auction to Benefit Operation Horse Power at Touchstone Farm

Nov. 8 FINAL Update: Holy smoke, you folks are fantastic! Because of you, this auction raised over $4,000 for Operation Horse Power. Thank you all - both bidders and donors - so much for participating!

Scroll down to see the winners of the individual items and the amount of the winning bids - look for blue text.

If you are a winner, please:
  1. Email with your name and contact information so that we can arrange to get your prize to you.
  2.  Complete the payment for your item either by 
    • sending a check to Touchstone Farm, 13 Pony Farm Lane, Temple, NH 03084, or 
    • paying online via our donations page on our website (choose Operation Horse Power for the "Apply My Gift" option). 

Welcome to our auction of items donated by friends, supporters, staff, board members, and family members of Touchstone Farm!

These wonderful folks have donated something for everyone -- from the loaner of a pickup truck with a full tank of gas to a personal photo shoot with an award-winning photographer.

Proceeds from this auction will fund Touchstone Farm's new programs for veterans and their families, which we call Operation Horse Power.

Rules of the Game

Follow the updated directions below to enter a bid.
  • The auction will run online from Monday, November 3, 9 AM, to Friday, November 7, 12:00 midnight EST. 
  • By 9 PM daily, except on Friday Nov. 7, we'll update this post with the high bids for the day.
  • Any items that don't achieve at least their minimum bid will be auctioned live at our special Gala Benefit on Saturday, November 8, at the Elkus Manfredi Architects offices in Boston, MA.
  • The winning bids will be posted by noon on Saturday November 8, except for items that didn't achieve their minimum bid and that will be auctioned live that evening.
  • We'll notify winners by email regarding how to pay for and obtain your item.

How to Bid

  • Bid on an item by entering a comment on this post. 
  • Include the item you're bidding on and the amount of your bid. 
  • You'll need to select a profile to enter a comment:
    • If you have a Google login, you can provide your Google email address to enter a comment. (Don't worry, the email won't be displayed for others to see.) 
    • If you do NOT have a Google login, you can chose Name/URL and enter a name for yourself (don't enter your email address). 
    • Please DO NOT choose "Anonymous" as we'll have no way to associate your bid with you.
    • You'll be prompted to enter a word verification before your comment can be posted. Type the displayed letters or numbers to continue with posting.
  • You can include bids for multiple items in one comment. Just be clear about which amount goes with which item.
  • If you're outbid by another bid, you can enter a new comment with a higher bid.

The Items

Tip: You can click on a photo to see a larger image.

1. 4 Red Sox Tickets
The Sox will be pennant contenders next year!! And you and your friends can be there at a home game during regular season. We are offering 4 Red Sox tickets to the highest bidder. Date to be arranged with the donor.

Value $200.

Winning Bid $150 Liz Groff Colgan
2. 4 Boston Bruins Tickets
Like to watch brawny guys push each other around? Bid on 4 Bruins tickets for a home game during regular season. Date to be arranged with the donor.

Value $250.

Winning Bid $250 Cool Joe
3. Photo Session with John Mottern

John Mottern is the photographer who takes such wonderful pictures of Pony Farm campers and their ponies! He is also the photographer of the stunning images we are using for Operation Horse Power.

John will meet you at any location within reason and photograph your horses, kids, family, fashion, etc. Session includes DVD and two prints. Bid high on this one!

Value $250. 

Winning Bid $160 Linnea
4. Lake Umbagog, NH, Getaway Weekend (with Boo!)

Eagles, moose, deer, and a beautiful lake – and possibly even the Northern Lights! Spend an idyllic 3 days and 2 nights at Boo’s camp on Lake Umbagog. Maybe you'll even see the Northern Lights!

Boo will escort you in on her float boat and help with the cooking and clean up. Swim, relax, and enjoy great conversation around the campfire. Canoes and kayaks are available for you use as well. (You bring your food and drink.) Maximum of 6 people.

A “priceless” opportunity.

Winning Bid $300 Regina Kelleher
5. One Special Night for Two at the Equinox Resort, Manchester Village, VT

Your stay at this luxury resort and spa includes a deluxe room, use of the resort amenities, free valet parking, and free wireless internet (although we recommend the hot tub instead).

The “catch” – this night needs to be used before 12/20/14! Do some Christmas shopping or go for a complete “chill” weekend before the hectic holiday season.

Value $500.

Winning Bid $160 Hope Rupley
6. Inflatable Kayaks for a Week

Relax and enjoy the lake or the ocean in a kayak. Bid on the use of two inflatable kayaks (which means you can take them with you in the trunk of your car) for a week. These kayaks have been used on lakes, in the ocean, in rough waters and in calm ones. If you have ever rented a kayak for a day, you know how great this item is!

Value $450.

No bidders - auctioned live at the benefit.
7. A Pickup Truck to Go

Please Note: This is not the real truck!
The actual pickup is big and modern and runs just fine.
Dog not included.
Ready to clean out your basement, attic, or barn? Bid on the use of a pick-up truck for a weekend to be determined by the owner and get all that stuff to the dump or Goodwill (or to your favorite relative).

Full tank of gas included!

Value $250. 

Winning Bid $75 Frades Frades
8. Professional Tax Return Preparation

Tax season is coming (it’s always coming!). Get your taxes done by a professional and highly experienced registered tax return preparer. From PHC Tax Service,  - one free tax return preparation, limited to an individual, family, or small business Sole Proprietorship or Single-Person LLC (no S or C corporations). The three highest bidders will each receive preparation of one tax return.

Est. Value $250 (each).

1 Winning Bid $60 Shilo Porter
9. Peterborough, NH, Getaway at the Jack Daniels Inn

Experience Peterborough, New Hampshire – the original “Our Town” – and enjoy an overnight stay at our local country motel. The Jack Daniels Inn is located right on the Contoocook River and within easy walking distance of the beautiful and bustling downtown. Great shopping and restaurants are there for you to enjoy. Can be used any time of the year.

Value $110.

Winning Bid $50 Lori Ratchelous
10. One Week at Pony Farm Summer Camp

Want your horse-crazy daughter to love you forever? Bid on a week of Pony Farm Summer Camp (sessions 1, 5A, or 5B only) and then sit back on enjoy the expression on her face when you tell her the news.

Value $1700. 

Winning Bid $800 Hope Rupley
11. SoWine, Case of Wine, and Reidel Wine Glasses

Wine lovers take notice!! We are offering an SoWine machine which chills and preserves two bottles of wine at proper temperature for up to ten days. This wonderful machine has the ability to keep your reds and whites at their own proper temperatures. Included is a case of mixed wine and six Reidel wine glasses.

Value $800. 

Winning Bid $300 Erin
12. Signed “Gossip Girls” Series Books

If you know a teenager or young adult, you have probably heard of Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girls series, which revolves around the lives and romances of the privileged teenagers at the Constance Billiard School for Girls.

A new paperback set retails for around $140 but bid high on this set, which is autographed by the author.

Value = priceless!

No bidders - auctioned live at the benefit event.
13. A Week of Carriage Driving “Immersion”

Seasoned or beginner carriage drivers - bid high on this five-day driving immersion week at Touchstone Farm in Spring 2015. The package includes food, lodging, and two lessons a day culminating in a final lesson with world renowned driver Muffy Seaton. Learn and/or perfect your harnessing, hitching, and driving skills in an intensive and fun week at the farm.

Value $1,200. 

Winning Bid $510 Sue English
14. Birthday Party with Ponies and 10 of Your Child's BFFs

What kid wouldn't want a birthday party on a horse farm? Bid on this special package for your child's next birthday. We provide the farm, the pony rides, hayride, and a special cake and ice cream from Connolly's Dairy for up to 10 children. (You bring other food and decorations.)

Value $200.

Winning Bid $50 Cindi Connolly
15. Mother-Daughter Weekend at the Farm

Mothers and daughters, this is your time to bid for two spots at annual Mother-Daughter Weekend on Dec. 5-7, 2014. Join the fun and the special bonding that happens when mothers and daughters get together with a bunch of horses - it's magic! Can’t make it this year? No problem – come to one of our December 2015 weekends instead.

Value $700. 

Winning Bid $375 Catherine Lyle
16. Signed Annie Leibovitz Photo

World renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz has generously donated an autographed photograph for our auction. This is the opportunity of a lifetime to own a special piece of art by a very special artist.

Value – Priceless.

We had to pull this item from the online auction due to unforeseen circumstances. We will have two archive prints from Ms. Leibovitz to auction in 2015!
17. Fly-Fishing Lesson from a Pro

Does standing in wading boots and casting a rod appeal to you? Robert Silva - a fly fisherman with 42 years of experience - will provide the equipment and a lesson for this popular fishing experience. These lessons will go to the two highest bidders at the river or stream of your choice (or Robert's expert pick).

Value $200.

Winning Bid $175 Bandusian
18. Authentic Amish Quilt

For beauty and utility, nothing beats a quilt, and this one is really special. This handmade Amish quilt from Lancaster County, PA, was crafted by T. Witwer in 2013 and comes with authentication papers. Own a true original!

Value $500.

Winning Bid $100 Shilo Porter
19. Unique Glass Sculpture

Up and coming borosilicate glass artist Scotty Mickle, originally from Boston, and now working in Boulder, CO, donated one of his beautiful ocean pieces. This wonderful piece is six inches high and one of a kind. Please visit his website at to see more of his work.

Value $250 

No bidder - auctioned live at benefit event.
20. “Gruffy’s Herd” Handmade Quilt

This large and cozy lap quilt was created especially for this auction. The quilt front is intricately pieced in warm, rich fall colors. The backing fabric features an equine print … the herd Gruffy leads in his dreams.

Value $300. 

Winning Bid $225 Shilo Porter

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pony Farm Session 5B - Rocking a Rainy Day

Dear Camp Families,

This is my last blog of the camp season.  It makes me sad to think that Saturday we return your children to you and start sending our visiting horses home. 

People often ask me if I am glad that Pony Farm is over for the year. I am never glad camp is over. When the final session is done, however, I will admit I'm glad the responsibility of camp is over.  I love it, but it is a lot!  (And that is what they call an under statement.)

You might be wondering what your cherubs have been up to this week. We have been busy with riding lessons, camping trips, trips to swim at the falls, catch riding, carriage driving, hanging out with the small animals, and swimming in the pool!

You might also be wondering what we do on a day like Wednesday when it poured all day. I'm happy to report that after 43 years, Pony Farm knows how to make the most of a rainy day.

Campers find out the rainy day plan of attack
In the morning we started with tack cleaning. That's a job that comes with the sport of riding, and every rider needs to know how to do it. It's no one's favorite task, but it that makes it kind of a life skill as well!

After tack cleaning, we had a barn competition to get the barns (upper, lower, and outside) spiffed up.  The barn crew who cleaned the best, cleared away the most trash, and returned the most items to the lost and found won ... a whole candy bar.

Now you might think a candy bar isn't much of a reward.  But typically there isn't any candy at Pony Farm. A whole candy bar is a big deal in these parts.  In fact, the competition got pretty steep. Some campers took other team's trash and then were eventually disqualified because they continued to not listen to the rules when they were VERY CLEAR.  (Who knew trash could be so valuable? And that barn cleaning competition turns out to be a life skill, too!)

In the afternoon we played a horse trivia game with five teams of campers. The trivia topic was -- you guessed it -- horses!  (There might have been candy involved in this too!)

The horse trivia board: "I'll take Clydesdales for 500, Alex."

 Wednesday night we played Personal Scavenger Hunt, one of my favorite camp games. We divide the camp into teams.  Then, we ask a trivia question about the farm, horses, maybe pop culture, or the campers might have to sing or dance.  Each team sends one member up to slap the table to answer the question.  The first person to slap the table gets to answer.  We keep score and the team with the most points wins.  In good weather, we play on the back lawn, but it was too wet for that, so we played in the indoor arena. Not as pretty inside, but very dry!

Thursday, we swam with the horses and had lessons, and after dinner had another OAPF event -- Pony Farm's Next Top Model. Today your campers were busy with lessons, and packing, and working on the specialty they'll show you tomorrow.

We will be seeing you all really soon!


Co-Director, Pony Farm

PS Did you miss our amazing Session 5B campers taking the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge"?