Camp is so much more than riding.
For eight weeks over the summer, Mane Stream hosts a summer camp for children of all abilities. Days are filled with everything horse – riding lessons, crafts, games, and farm chores. It’s no surprise that every camper has a favorite horse and, of course, trail rides rank up at the top of the list of favorite activities. But we are a little surprised that a lot of the kids really enjoyed doing chores that can sometimes be hard work – including picking up horse poop! Three camp families shared what they like best about Mane Stream Summer Camp.
Lexi has attended Mane Stream Summer Camp for the past several years. Her mom, Janine, knows that socializing with other children at camp is just as important as learning to ride and that her daughter has benefitted from attending a camp for children of all abilities. According to Janine, Lexi’s riding skills and sensory issues improve week after week and year after year, thanks to the benefits of repetition and the “awesome job” done by the staff, volunteers and interns. Janine reports that when she picks Lexi up at the end of a camp day, she is always excited about what they did that day. Lexi and her mom both enjoy Mane Stream Summer Camp, especially the continued benefits it provides for Lexi.
For the past three summers, Tess has attended our summer camp at Mane Stream. For Tess, who is typically developing, it was a family affair because her older sister Catriona was a volunteer and staff member several years ago. Tess loves riding and tells us that her favorite horse is Mel. “Riding gives me some time to put all my problems and worries behind me. It also makes me more free to be myself. . . Riding is my comfort zone/happy.” Regarding farm chores, she insists that “For first time campers you might not like cleaning the stalls, but as you learn more it's not as bad. You learn that this is all part of the horse world.” She also stated, “The instructors always make you feel comfortable and find great ways for you to meet the other campers.” Through the years Tess has become friends with and looked up to several campers. No matter their abilities, the bond with horses brings them together.
Tess’ mother, Colleen, says that having her daughter attend a camp for children of all abilities “has been a blessing” and the family values the “confidence and enjoyment that Tess gets from it.” Over the years, Tess has grown to perceive the other campers’ varying abilities not as limitations, but simply as differences that might exist in any friend.
Grace, a typically developing camper has attended camp for 4 years now. Allen, Grace’s dad is a veteran and Grace’s first couple of years were funded by generous gifts made at our Boot Scootin’ BBQ fundraising. Now, as money permits, she returns for as many weeks as possible. One of Grace’s favorite activity’s at camp is feeding ice cream to the horses, especially to Chandler. She also loved doing chores, which she said was fun in spite of having to scoop poop!
Grace's mom, Janet says that Grace has learned about kindness, compassion and friendship as a result of meeting children of different abilities. Janet also sees the benefits of horseback riding: “Horses have a peaceful, charming energy that puts most people at ease. Spending time with horses has the ability to ease any negative feelings or anxiety and is a very effective for mindfulness. We have seen Grace's riding skills improve too.” Janet believes that “the most impressive thing to us about camp is the well rounded curriculum. Grace learned riding, she did chores and had fun doing crafts. . . [Mane Stream] camp deepened her sense of responsibility, reduced her anxiety, and introduced her to an adventurous side of riding.”
We are thrilled that our campers and their families love Mane Stream Summer Camp as much as we do! All of the parents agree that camp is a worthwhile investment, and that our volunteers, interns and staff do an outstanding job of attending to campers’ safety and individual needs. Grace’s mother said that when she picks her daughter up at the end of the day, “She is tired but very happy.” We know parents like to pick up happy and tired children, and we do our best to make it happen.
Come to the Open House on April 8th to see what all the fun is about. BONUS…all attendees receive a $25 Early Bird Discount!
June 18 - August 17, 2018 (NO CAMP JULY 2-6)
8 fun-filled five-day sessions from 9AM to 2PM Monday-Friday
(for children 4 years and older, each session is limited to 10 campers per week)
Check it Out