3 canoes on lake cole

4-week girls do murder mysteries, birthday parties, and East vs. West!

Session 1 is coming to a close but this only means that the 4-week girls are that much more excited for the rest of their time here!

Tuesday was trail day for the rest of camp, but the girls chose to have an arena lesson, instead.  All of them are improving every day and their dedication to learning is something everyone should admire.  The day’s ground lesson was breeds and colors, and the girls put on a horse auction!  Each girl was responsible for learning about one breed and auctioning a horse of that breed off to the rest of the group, teaching them about the key characteristics and unique qualities.

The rest of the morning was spent with Peter from main camp!  Peter came to visit us, bring with him lots of games and fun activities for the girls to participate in.  All of the girls who weren’t riding in the morning spent their time together, playing all sorts of games.  There were tons of pictures taken so they should be posted shortly!

The past few days we’ve enforced mandatory rest hour, which means that each girl must be in their own bed resting quietly.  They may read a book, make a bracelet, or take a nap. As the session goes on we emphasize the need for downtime since the girls are so often gogogoing for the rest of the day!

Tuesday’s evening program was an all-camp activity!  The first ever WILD,WILD WEST MURDER MYSTERY NIGHT!  All of the girls dressed up in western get-up and the staff members were each given a role to play.  Some of the 4-week girls joined the staff in the acting, portraying a character in the mystery.  There were four rounds and each round led the girls closer and closer to discovering who the murderer was!  They had the chance to interact with the characters and act as detectives, questioning them to gather evidence.  Even the cast didn’t know who the true murderer among us was, so we had to do some deducing ourselves!  I think it’s safe to say that this is an evening program that will go down in the EVR history books and quickly become tradition.

Wednesday the girls took a wagon ride to Farm Camp after breakfast and spent a nice relaxing morning at waterfront.  The water was a bit chilly, but a few girls braved it and made their counselors go in, too!  The others chose to sunbathe, read, scribble in their journals, or play volleyball or soccer.

Their time at the barn was a bit different for one reason: we did instructor switches!  They got the chance to experience a different teaching style from the one they’ve grown accustomed to over the past two weeks.  It was a fun change of pace for the instructors, too!  After their normal lesson time, everyone hit the trail for a nice cool-out (for the horses and the girls!).  We headed down beside the river on Sheriff’s Shortcut, then headed to the other side of camp, up the mountain on a new trail that we’ve dubbed Cowgirl Circle!

Evening program was another all-camp and a slightly bittersweet moment: closing campfire.  Although it wasn’t the last night, there’s a special activity planned for tonight, so we did the next best thing, and held it last night.  It also happened to be the birthday of one of our counselors, Bex!  The campfire doubled as a birthday party and she received lots of birthday cards that the girls made for her.  I’m sure you can guess a few of the things that were a part of the campfire… s’mores anyone?!  We also started a new tradition called “Remember when…?”  Each girl was given a piece of paper with these words on the top and asked to write down a funny or special moment from this session.  In a few months we’ll send these out so that they can relive these past two weeks and remember all of the wonderful times that they’ve had here at EVR.  We followed this with a devotion, led by Sarah.  Each girl (staff included) went around telling the group their favorite moment, whether it was funny or serious, then we closed our eyes and had a moment to reflect on how we’ve changed because of our time at EVR.  We finished the night standing around the fire, singing any and every song that we all knew the words to, until our voices told us that it was time for bed.

Today is the last full day of Session 1 of East Valley Ranch… tonight is East vs. West, when Mustang Village comes to our home turf and battles us in chants, cheers and general craziness!

We can’t wait for the next two weeks!

We love EVR! <3



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