Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Camp

Did you ever go to camp in the summer?  I did.  I went to Little Elk Ranch horse camp.  It was co-ed and when we got there we were assigned a horse and it was ours for the week.  In the morning we did a few hours of arena exercises (to practice for the rodeo at the end of the week) and in the afternoon we went on long trail rides.  When we were done with the horses for the day, we could do other stuff like swim or play flag football.  Sounds fun doesn't it?  It was. There is a picture of me on the last day of horse camp with my horse and it is possibly one of the dorkiest pictures ever taken of anyone in the world.  I have asked my sister to find it and send it to me and then I will post it.  Until she sends it, (and as a motivator,) I will put this picture of her here as a place-holder:

Actually, this is both my sisters.  
Beth is the little Scottish maiden with the awesome white-man's overbite.  
Amy is the one with the side pony.  

I went to camp with my sisters and my friend Susie when I was about 12.  Susie thought she was SO cool because she got to bring her sister's "fashion" cowboy boots and they had super high heels. Honestly, I was a little jealous at first because I had what my mom called "practical" cowboy boots, until I saw Susie walking around with her knees bent to keep herself from toppling over forward.  THAT had to be tiresome, but she wouldn't admit it. 

My horse was named Tomahawk and he was a real jerk.  On the trail rides he tried to brush me off whenever he saw a low-hanging branch, even if it wasn't technically on the trail.  When I had his stall all cleaned up and the shovel and rake put away he took a huge dump and it wasn't just a coincidence because he did it every single day.  We never really bonded.  I sometimes wonder what happened to old Tomahawk.  My sister Beth had a horse named Joharra and she told me she fell off of it once.  I never heard of a kid falling off a horse at Little Elk Ranch but she said it was more of a slow motion slide in the saddle because she didn't tighten the straps enough. 

We slept in huge bunkhouses with about 15 or 20 girls to a room and a counselor.  One time the counselors were all off somewhere together and we got pretty rowdy in our room and someone had a maxi-pad (scandalous for the middle-school set) and she stuck it on one of the blades of the ceiling fan.  At the time, I thought that was about the most hilarious thing I had ever seen anyone do.  Now it's not that big a deal.  (I have a pad on my fan right now and I'm not even cracking a smile.)

You know what wasn't fun about camp?  The craft room.  It was hot and stinky and the crafts sucked ass.  I only did crafts once.  I made a Native-American style choker with beads but it broke right away because I didn't tie the end-knot well enough.  Swimming was also a bit of a drag because I was a really good swimmer and we were only allowed to go up to about waist deep in a tiny roped off area of a big lake. You know what else sucks?  Flag football.  I knew I would hate it but the counselors made us try everything once.  Having a boy you don't know who's faster and stronger than you chase you and rip off a piece of clothing is not very fun.  It was like stranger-rape practice for everyone.  Not cool. 

The rodeo at the end of the week was a blast.  Parents and grandparents came and we had events that we participated in.  I don't remember what Tomahawk and I did but I'm sure it was mediocre (thanks a lot, Tomahawk!)  Everyone got ribbons and then we went home.

Does anyone go to camp anymore?  Did you go?


  1. My son has went to three sport camps this summer. I never went to camp, except cheerleading camp. Does that count?

  2. Awesome picture!

    My children do day camps here and there, but no sleep away camp. I think they're too expensive now.

    I wasn't allowed to go to camp, but I wanted to. And you had horses! The young me is so jealous. I read a book called "Pony for the Winter" when I was a child, and I wanted to be that girl.

  3. ...o, no... never in my life... poor me... so how does it feel to be in a camp...??? just wanna know...(^^)

    ...i had fun with my visit... thanks!!!


  4. You forgot about the talent show, swim test, hay rides (singing Country Roads), overnight camp out for the older groups and the kittens that would sometimes get smooshed by the horses.

    I went to basketball camp at RRCC and UMD it wasn't very fun there was a lot of running involved. At RRCC they would make you run crushers on the tennis courts outside and it felt like your feet were going to burn off....on the upside we got to go to Hardee's everyday for lunch. At UMD Karyn was one of our coaches she was mean;)

    I also went to Camp Bluewater (two or three times) case you're wondering yes that is a covenant bible camp. It was fun (except all the church stuff). The water was clear blue with white sand pretty weird for Minnesota. I would like to go back to that lake.

  5. I also went to horse camp 5 years.

  6. Dana McKibbage WaldbilligJuly 28, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    I went to Sunny Cove up in Cananda for "church camp" through St. Thomas. It was THE BEST. I could go on and on about the shananigans we pulled, but here's one for you: One of the girls in our cabin wore a body brace for scolisos. We put clothes on it, hung it from a tree, then went running through another cabin screaming that someone had hung themselves. All the girls ran down with us screaming, etc. et. etc. It was great. Almost as great as when one of the counselors broke his nose on his own bunk while sleeping. That was almost as great as breaking into the kitchen to steal marshamllows to play "pudgy bunny", which was almost as great as stealing the clothes of an adult counselor who was swimming on the "far side" of the beach, which was off-limits to campers. I could go on and on. There's more.

  7. If you can't play practical jokes with your scoliosis brace, what good is it, really? LOVE THAT STORY! I want to know what Pudgy Bunny is now, (or do I?)

  8. Dana McKibbage WaldbilligAugust 4, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    You cram as many jumbo marshmallows in your mouth as you can, but you have to say "pudgy Bunny" in between each one. I think the kid who won put 24 or something like that. I've heard that this game is outlawed at most camps now because someone choked and died. But we all survived!

  9. I went to the frickin' Covenant bible camp "Bluewater" with Billie Jo! I remember getting on the bus and she was terrified and bawling- didn't want to leave her mommy. We were quite naughty....sneeking out to kiss my first boy ever. She had a boyfriend from Deer River 2 summers in a row...hmmmm. Logan and Riley have gone to Camp Vermillion (bible camps are cheaper). Logan doesnt want to go anymore cuz they pray and sing too much... go figure.


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