Survival 2 + Horse Camp: Day Three

Happy hump day from me, Detective Coltrane Turtle. Today I will be continuing my display of evidence in the investigation Are Tollgate Campers Having Fun? As usual, Horse Camp will be about halfway down the page, and Garden Kitchen will be at the end.

Today, animal chores were a bit hectic (in the best possible way). Not only did campers care for the normal chickens and rabbits, but they also had to milk four goats instead of one and clean both pens. Even the goat kids got to have a little playtime in the hay.

Goat love

Got milk?

Hay there

Some cool chicks

Then, down in the edu-garden, campers started a really interesting project. They dug holes in the ground of various sizes and put in cups with plastic wrap over them. Tomorrow, they will check back in for any signs of water or condensation!

They dig camp

Digging circle

And then, it was time for a classic Tollgate activity: Fishing! I noted that the fish were a little quiet today (likely due to the recent rain), but a few peppers managed to snag some fish friends!


Fishing & wishing

An interesting texture

Then after some lunch, it was time to hike on over to the shelters-in-progress and add to them! The peppers were really using some great teamwork skills to make this batch of shelters some of the best I’ve ever seen!

The new wallpaper trend? Bark!

These guys made sure to build in a coat rack

After campers found their way back to the pavilion, the settled in for a little lesson on signaling for help. Then, campers split into two groups and put their skills to the test as they tried to find the group that was signaling for help. With the help of the new techniques (waving a bright piece of clothing and creating a trail out of sticks), both groups were able to locate the “missing” campers.

Any bright clothing can be used to “flag” people down!


Ms. Claire imparting some wisdom

Then…give me an “L,” give me an “N,” and give me a “T.” What does that stand for? Leave No Trace! Today, that meant learning about how to look at things without taking them. The peppers then practiced their LNT principles in the Children’s Garden by walking through and looking, but not touching.

LNT: a great camp philosophy!

Sometimes things are meant to be left right where they are

For more awesome Survival Camp snapshots, click here!

Here I was at horse camp! I took a walk around the corral where campers ride horses every day.

Just call me cowboy Coltrane

Don’t worry! I moved back into the grass before the campers entered for riding lessons. They practiced trotting, turning, and going over the bridge.

Praising Tulsa for a job well done!

Walking on the bridge

Riding around cones

The horses were dirty after some time in the pasture. The campers were excited to groom the horses in the round pen! They used curry combs, hard brushes, soft brushes, and mane and tail combs to remove dirt and hair from the horses.

The hard brush removed dirt and hair from Friday

She loved time with Sesame

They brushed Friday until she was soft

Friday looking fabulous

In the afternoon, I knew I wanted to visit with the farrier. She came to trim the horses’ hooves! She brought hoof clippers, a HUGE file, and a stand. She cleaned the sole, removed dirt from the frog, and trimmed and filed the hoof wall.

The farrier brought lots of tools

Can your camper label the parts of the hoof?

She trimmed the hoof wall with big clippers

It rained for a brief moment this afternoon and I loved it! It did not dampen the campers’ spirits! They used a poster to learn the parts of the horse. Then they painted the parts on the horse.

The campers labeled the parts of the horse

She painted the hoof

Big Max looked great!

I loved spending time with Jade and the campers! Clearly, I didn’t need paint because I am a painted turtle!

Jade was a work of art!

The day ended with a fun game of horse pictionary! A camper drew a picture and their team guessed the drawing as fast as possible.

Drawing was fun

The campers had good guesses

To view more of the photos I took while I was out hanging with Horse Camp, click here! 

Today, Ms. Leah was back and in action for Garden Kitchen. Those zucchini noodles and pesto really made me wish I could eat human food.

A smile almost as big as a single zoodle


Cool cucumbers + fabulous fennel = one great salad!

The making of a zoodle

I’ve discovered this list of today’s activities

And I even got my turtle hands on the recipes from today!

After three days of investigation, it’s really starting to look like the campers are indeed enjoying themselves. But it could all change tomorrow. Join me then, won’t you?


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