Durango is back! We are so excited to have Durango back for another session this year! Our small villages of eight boys are all settled in their lodge and have already got to know each other really well. We spent the evening having a tour of our surrounding areas and writing down expectations! These are just some things that the boys come up with about respect in the cabin! Like treat people how you expect to be treated. It’s awesome to hear these great expectations coming from the boys. Our first evening program of session 4 was our opening campfire. The whole of Wawayanda gather on the hill that overlooks CIT Point. This is the best view as you can see Lake Cole and all the way down the Valley. Opening campfire is where the staff from the village come up and introduce themselves and perform short skits or songs. The Boys loved seeing their councilors up there! Durango was very tired after all this and they slept through the night!
Today they got to ride! But first our day started with flag raising. This is where Wawayanda gather around the flag pole and celebrate birthdays, lost teeth, pearls of wisdom and sing some songs. After breakfast it was time for waterfront! The first day is always going over orientation and rules. Pretty boring but it has to be done! After the boys learnt about the boating and waterfront rules they had their swim test. This is a two part test to determine what areas of our lake they can swim in. The first test is swimming from one end of the dock to the other without touching the floor or the dock. Once this is completed they will be able to swim in all areas of the lake except green and use all boats except paddle boards. The second part of the test is treading water in our green section for two minutes. Once this is complete you can go in all sections and use all boats. Even go on the trampoline and slide! The boys all gave their best during the test and they still got to play in the water after! Once the boys were back at the cabin, they spent some more time getting to know each other and played games!
After lunch and rest hour it was time to have our evaluation ride! This first lesson determines what kind of riders they are so that the barn manager can pair them with the best horse for them! They started off with walking, stopping and some even got to circles! Awesome progress for their first lesson! They also learnt how to lead and tie the horses. Durango even got to feel how heavy some of the saddles are by tacking the horses after grooming them. We always assign a horse to a camper to give them a sense of ownership and the responsibility of having a horse. The kids love it and always fall in love with who they ride! This evening’s activity is paper bag skits. This is a chance for the boys to be super creative and come up with their own skits! I wonder what we will see!?

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Chantelle Brooks

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