Animal 2 + Horse Camp: Day One

Hello everyone!  Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Coltrane Turtle, and I will be your tour guide for the Terrific Tollgate Tour. This means I will be guiding you through the farm and showing you the various activities going on with Animal Camp and Horse Camp, Monday through Friday. Campers split up today into four pepper groups (from youngest to oldest: green, yellow, orange, red), and I will be covering all of them! So buckle up, and get ready for a week of fun!

Also, please remember to send campers with sunscreen!

Get ready for a bumpy ride!

So as we begin, you’ll notice on your right is the animal barn, which is bustling with campers doing animal chores! Peppers take care of pretty much every animal here at Tollgate.

Breakfast time!

So fluffy!

Welcome baaaaack, peppers!

Then if you look over by the lower barn, you’ll see something big and colorful– a parachute! The campers had a great time bouncing balls and making a tent with the rainbow parachute.

Umm…where did the peppers go?

A little parachuting always brings a smile to my face

The campers, like you on this tour, really wanted to see the whole farm, so a wagon ride was the perfect solution. I volunteered to drive the tractor, but Ms. Nicole said she “had it handled.”

A great way to see the farm

Horse campers and animal campers enjoy a ride together

It’s now lunch time, so we’ll pause for a minute to refuel. After all, the campers need energy for the next activity: nest building. Oh look, they’re starting now! For some background, nest building is the STEM project that campers will be working on all week. Today’s step in the process was brainstorming blueprints for how a nest might be built. It looks like those campers have some great ideas!

Looks like a well-thought-out plan!

It’s storming…BRAINstorming, that is!

And it’s not time to put away the markers yet, because the next activity is all about getting crafty. As you can see, the campers are creating brand new toys for the animals on the farm to keep their habitats new and interesting. Peppers are drawing everything from swirly-swirls to math equations to keep the animals entertained. The finishing touch? Stuffing some food inside!

The perfect gift for the animal in your life

Those crafty peppers

Presenting Opal with her new toy!

Continuing on, you can see that some campers are pouring various materials into a fish tank, and you’re probably wondering why. This is because they are reading a story about pollution and are using the materials as representatives of the pollutants in the tale.

Doesn’t look like any water I’d want to be in!

Syrup represents oil that may have leaked from a car and gotten into the river

For more Animal Camp snapshots, click here! 

Welcome to my tour of Horse Camp. First, let me show you riding time in the arena. The campers are warming up by walking and trotting around the arena. They are demonstrating still hands, short reins, and good posture in the saddle. The campers are riding Friday, Jade, Tulsa, and Zoey.

Leading to the mounting block

Riding in the arena

Listening for instruction

Under the tent, you will see campers working on journals for the week. They are making unique covers for the journals and answering a journal question: “if you could be any breed and color of horse, what would you be?”

Looking through horse magazines for cover ideas

Drawing designs

Great creativity!

My last stop is the barn to show you Big Max. The campers are feeding Max. He enjoys being brushed while he eats his meal (who wouldn’t?).

Grooming Max


That concludes the horse camp portion of my tour today. If you would like to see more photos, you may find them here:

Now, let me show the Activity Center, because I have a feeling Garden Kitchen will be going on. Ah yes, it looks like both camps are making some super tasty treats!

Holy guacamole!

Rainbow (rock and) roll

Big bite

Today’s itinerary

Try the snacks yourself!

And that wraps up the Monday tour, folks! Remember to come back tomorrow for a comprehensive look at a Tollgate Tuesday. Until then!

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