Though it can sometimes seem like we are quite alone on our mountain, Way Station’s respite program, Camp Journey, also calls her home. This program has overnight services for 11-17 year old children with emotional and behavioral issues. Through these overnights, children and their families get a mutually beneficial rest from one another. Usually, these youth spend the night under the supervision of Camp Journey’s supportive and enthusiastic counselors and are brought to school the next morning. On holidays, however, when school is out, they have started coming to ThorpeWood for our outdoor programs. Each day of the week has its own small, closely knit group of kids
This November, they spent Labor Day and Election Day on the farm. Though the rain kept us largely inside, we did have great fun brushing and painting our horses. Similarly, we just had four of the groups come on their respective days during winter break. The Thursday group ventured further from the barn as we went exploring down our lovely Coffee Hollow trail to discover an old hidden cabin. We returned with a deer skull, complete with antlers, which they brought back to decorate their Camp Journey home.
With the mist hanging heavy and threatening rain, Friday’s kids walked the chickens, visited with the horses and moo-cows, and ended the day by painting Glampi and our staff member, Charlotte’s, hair! The girls were amused to see the other horses sniff curiously at their painted horse, and watch him roll their artwork into the stone dust after his release.
On Monday, rain fell steady, but our very willing group of high school boys ventured up Black Rock, scrambling up the wet boulders in the rain. Nearly every one managed to get to the top and look out across the beautiful view.
Tuesday’s middle schoolers stayed down by the pond, investigating the work of our Beaver, who even came out for a visit and allowed us to watch him patrol his waters. After our time with them, each group had lunch in our homestead house. Without fail, each group showed exceptional kindness to one another and gratitude towards us. We even, to our delight, found their ‘thank yous’ all over our homestead’s whiteboard!