Sunday, July 29, 2018

Saddle Up WOW

What seems like forever ago, the girls applied for several horseback riding camps. Girl Scouts has a program called Destinations, which has some of the most amazing travel opportunities. The brunette twin wanted to go away to horseback riding camp. We found three options with different horseback riding programs. The girls applied to all three.

We waited impatiently for the emails letting us know if the girls were accepted to any of the camps. Their third choice came back with an acceptance at the deadline. We waited to hear from the other two. Finally their first choice asked if they wanted to attend. We immediately accepted and sent a deposit check.

Six months later, we were dropping the girls at camp. It was set on a beautiful Tennessee property that seemed endless. The camp director gave us a tour as we were the first ones to arrive. I'm not sure they were quite ready when we showed up.

A generous donor provided the money needed to create the director's dream camp. She was able to work with the donors, architects, builders, etc. from the very beginning. Her vision was amazing.

The bunkhouse had rooms for the girls, camp counselors and camp director. The bathroom was large, new and right across the hall from the girls' bunk room. There was a kitchen, meeting room/dining room and cubbies for the girls' riding helmets/boots. There was also a large room with riding boots and helmets, just in case anyone needed to borrow something.

The barn held 40 horses. We learned during our tour that country superstar Amy Grant donated some horses. The arena was larger than any we had ever seen. It was really an amazing arena. 

We headed to the bunkhouse to set-up the girls' beds. We learned that there were only seven girls who were attending camp. The director said they wanted to do some advance horsemanship so they needed girls who could ride at a high level. 

After we set-up their beds, we toured the barn. A woman whose camp nickname was Blueberry walked us through the barn, explaining each horse along the way. Blueberry told funny stories about each horse. She was so animated that her excitement spread to everyone else around her.

We said good bye without any tears. I almost cried when the blond twin told me she was going to miss us. I managed to remind her that she could call or text any time while I blinked back tears. She didn't see me blinking away the tears, which kept us both from just crying.

As we drove away from camp, we were so excited for the girls. When you apply for camp, all you really know is what you read in the description and see in the pictures. There were some videos showing the camp facilities and horses. It all looked like something they girls would like. It was so much more than we had hoped. Now we just waited to hear their stories. 

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