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Shamrock Farm Road Pony Camp 2006

Campers visiting Winding Creek Farm


By Julianne Wilson


Eighteen campers and six counselors arrived at Shamrock Farm on Sunday, July 16. The ages ranged between 7 and 16 years. All 18 made for a really special group of campers who enjoyed doing everything.


At the welcome party on Sunday night we shared information about one another, grilled burgers, ate ice cream and cake, and assigned ponies to each camper. The daily schedule was passed out with wake up and breakfast times and the 8:30 am pony groom assignment for Monday. 


On the first day all 18 excited campers were EARLY for barn duty and trooped out there at a run!  Ponies were cross-tied, groomed to a shine, and the tack was distributed with a demonstration on harness and hook up.  All went well and lunch came too soon as the campers reluctantly left their ponies to eat lunch.  Back to the barn for a couple of hours before an afternoon swim in the lake; the water slide was very popular, and the new dock allowed for fishing and canoeing until supper.  Our craft lady arrived with fun projects to keep everyone busy until movie time and bedtime.


Tuesday went smoothly with everyone riding and driving the ponies. Six campers went on a morning trail ride, and we hurried thru lunch for our field trip to Chris and Christy Gantley’s Winding Creek Farm.  The drivers were entertained with many camp songs and games for the ride to Paris. An enthusiastic group watched Chris drive a cob tail and a harness pony. Christy thrilled everyone driving her harness pony, and Mike Bacon was selected to drive as well.  Good questions were asked, and Chris patiently answered each one so that all understood. Christy gave the campers a nice surprise of pizza and camp t-shirts. A grand time was had by all.


Wednesday morning had the campers in the barn early again with trail rides for six and ponies to work for the rest. Trimming ponies was demonstrated and tried out. Three campers learned how to post and ride a pleasure pony. Crafts came after lunch, and the group departed for a swim and cook-out at Bud and Cindy Willimon’s in Simpsonville. 


We worked on ponies and took camp photos on Thursday morning. After lunch we loaded up for Golden Creek Farm and an afternoon of hayrides and the Big Swing! We came home to a fried chicken dinner and the annual Talent Show, and also a birthday celebration for a camper, Katelyn Montgomery, one of the scholarship winners. The talent show was the best ever--very gifted singers, dancers, trumpet players, story tellers and actors!


The last group mounted up for a trail ride on Friday morning while the others practiced for Saturday’s "show and go."  We also cleaned tack and helped get ready for the Frankfort Horse Show. The picnic at the horse show was just finished when the downpour came and the show was rained out. We did show two classes and came home for a movie night complete with popcorn and s’mores. Camp journals were completed, addresses and emails exchanged, and a teary goodnight for a wonderful group of 18 campers who had made new friends.  


On Saturday morning campers were refreshed and eager to show off at the barn. As parents arrived each camper proudly tacked up his/her pony and rode or drove. The eight campers who had never ridden or driven before managed to ride and drive - by themselves - and were cheered on by their fellow campers and families. It was a bittersweet time for all of us who enjoyed the 2006 campers so much. By 4 pm all but three campers had left so we relaxed with a swim at the lake before having a 16th birthday dinner for Scooter Scheurich. On Sunday we made trips to the airport to send off the remaining campers.


In retrospect, this was one of the greatest camps; everyone got along, not one cross word spoken all week, and so much was accomplished. Our counselors are the best and very caring as well as patient instructors: Amanda Meyers (former scholarship winner), Alyssa England (8-time camper), Mike Bacon (2-time camper), Scooter Scheurich (6-time camper), Robin Pucket (4-time counselor), and Ashley Wilson.  When the campers were asked what they liked best about camp the top listings were: the ponies, the trail rides, the food, the field trips, and new friends.


Grooming Demonstration            
Kevin & Jake getting to know their pony

First solo drive for Molly                         Hallie's first time to long-line

First ride for Peyton


Mike Bacon takes Lauren on her 1st drive           KayCee & Peyton canoeing



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