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Horsin' around Rope This Ranch

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Holly the Horse: Camper Mikaleen Jenks pets Holly at Rope This Ranch on Thursday

by Ethan Clewell - eclewell@chronicle-tribune.com

Children at the Grant County YMCA camp got to enjoy a trip to the Rope This Ranch Thursday, as a part of the YMCA summer camp program.

They got to learn about horses breeds, how to groom a horse, how to saddle a horse and riding the horses. They got to meet Mr. Fire Pony, a horse with his own series of children's books.

Grant County YMCA campers saddled up on Thursday, riding around the property at Rope This Ranch and getting an inside look at what it’s like being an equestrian.

The children even met a legendary horse, Mr. Fire Pony, who has his own series of chidren’s books.

“This field trip is a camp favorite for the kids,” Grant County YMCA child care director Stephanie Herschberger said. “Rope This Ranch does a wonderful job with our kids.”

Rope This Ranch owner Jenny Norton Schamber has been hosting this field trip with the YMCA for a few years, and she said she loves hosting the event.

“My Favorite part is watching them get excited,” Schamber said. “Some of them are kind of scared when they first get on a horse, but then they start thinking that it’s really cool.”

Herschberger said spending time with horses can be very therapeutic for children, too.

Schamber says that it's a great way to introduce children from different backgrounds to the world of horses.

The field trip is part of week seven of the 10-week program. The camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The summer has gone really well. The kids have been a joy to be with,” Herschberger said. “They’ve enjoyed field trips, swimming and various activities.”

Each week there's a different theme that determines the activities for the week, along with a field trip.

Some of the themes coincide with the field trip, but others don’t.

This week’s theme was “Survivor: Mission Possible,” based on the TV series.

Next week, the children will be going to Crazy Pins as a part of the camp’s “Color Wars” week, a week full of competition. The theme for the following weeks will be “Lego Camp Adventures” and “End of Summer Spectacular.”

According to Herschberger, the program gives parents peace of mind since the camp is keeping the children active as well as feeding them breakfast and lunch. This can play a major role for the children in the school lunch program during the summer.

Schamber believes in the YMCA program, and believes it has value for the community at large.

“This is a really great program, and I think the programs that the YMCA has deserve community support,” Schamber said.