Can you believe its session 4!? The summer has flown by and we are super excited for this last session of Mustang. We have a small group of 14 girls in Mustang this session, the smallest of the summer but they are oh so mighty young girls! It’s sad to think that this is the last first day of summer 2017. Check in day is always hectic with luggage and goodbyes. But then the fun starts. We spent the rest of Sunday unpacking and introducing ourselves. The one question we heard all day was, when can we ride a horse?! All the different characters of the girls are slowly surfacing and they are all settling in well! We spent Sunday evening at our last Opening Campfire. This is our first evening activity of the session where the whole of Wawayanda gather on CIT Point hill that overlooks the lake. All the campers sit on the big hill whilst looking out to the valley. You can hear the river running next to us and see the resident beavers silently gliding through the lake. It’s just perfect. During Opening campfire, the village staff come up and introduce themselves and perform songs or skits. The kids love seeing their new counselors being silly. Then it was back to the lodge to do devotion and get some sleep! Devotion is a nice quiet time to reflect on the day and it gives everyone a chance to speak up about what they have enjoyed or what they are looking forward too!

The first night went well! A few girls couldn’t sleep in the night but fell back to sleep pretty quickly. Their morning started with our routine Flag Raising. This is where all of Wawayanda meet before breakfast and share birthdays, lost teeth, pearls of wisdom and even sing songs. One of our campers had a birthday today and the whole camp sang to her! After our biscuit breakfast we had waterfront. The first day is always going over orientation and rules. Pretty boring but it has to be done! After the girls 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 girls all gave their best during the test and they still got to play in the water after! Once the girls were back to the cabin and dry, they practiced chants! After lunch every day Wawayanda have Hoopla. This is where each village shouts and screams chants. These are chants that have been around for years and Mustang even had new ones this year. I’m sure they can show you when they’re home!

After lunch and rest hour it was time to head to the barn! Today is evaluation day. During this first lesson, the barn manager determines what kind of rider will fit each horse. They will find out who they have for the rest of the session, tomorrow! They also learnt how to lead and tie a horse as we have a special way of doing it in our barn and also they got to groom and tack a horse too! Being assigned their own horse is a great chance for the girls to have a sense of ownership and to bond with one horse over the session. They instantly fall in love and it’s adorable to see. This evening’s activity is paper bag skits! The girls will be in groups and will be given some random objects. They then have to come up with a small skit or play including these items. We first gave them about fifteen minutes to come up with a skit. Then we take time away and the skits get funnier. I’m really looking forward to what they can come up with!

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Chantelle Brooks

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