Hi guys! I haven't been on in a while, but I figured you guys could help me out. I'm looking for a horsey job, but it can only be for the summer seeing as I'm in college. I figured that working at a summer camp with riding would be a good way to go. So basically I am looking for summer camps to apply to! Anywhere in the country is fine, so fire away!
I worked at Michigania (the alumni camp for the Univeristy of Michigan) and loved it! It's not just a riding camp, but you can apply to work on the riding staff and then you will have some additional general camp duties. It's also nice because it's a family camp meaning whole families come together so you're not responsible for the kids 24 hours a day. Instead you teach different age groups as they move around to the various activities and then give them back to their parents at night! It was a blast! Here's their website:
My roomie in college got a job from a listing at the campus employment office. She wound up in charge of the school horse string (according to her) but I expect she did a lot of shoveling and saddling and feeding and there was somebody else there for the important stuff. She did love it though, had a great time. Can't remember the name of the place or whether it still is in operation.
I'm the riding director at Camp Highlander in Mills River, NC. Take a look at our website (www.camphighlander.com) and be sure to fill out an online application if you think you might like to work with us. You can send me a PM here if you have questions.
Another Green Cove vet here - amazing place to be a counselor. I taught riding (everything from up-down to basic jumping) and the school horses were fairly consistently good. Great vibe around camp, awesome food, and neat people.
I spent 8 summers working at two different camps. Here are some questions I would ask of a potential job:
*How much time do you get off per day? Per week? Both of my camps you got 24 hours off once a week. One you also got 2 hours off per day, the other you were lucky if you got a shower. Otherwise you were on duty.
*If you're an activity counselor will you be living with campers and have cabin duties or living separately? I found it was very difficult to deal with horses and have camper responsibilities when I wasn't with the horses. However, living with the kids can be awesome too.
Things you need to consider:
How comfortable are you with rustic living? There's a lot of camps out there. Some have cabins with showers, toilets, lights and AC. Others you're in a tent, have to go outside with a flashlight to the latrine in the middle of the night and the only showers in the camp are next to the dining hall. If you haven't figured it out, showers become very important
What's the clientele of the camp? Will you be comfortable with that type of camper? This ties in with how rustic it is. The camper that wants a carpeted cabin is different than the kid that's happy in a tent.
Hate bugs? Camps out west have less of them.
I also worked for a pack station outside Yosemite one fall and that was just amazing. A much easier job that had an end of day when you're never off at camp.
If you don't mind long hours, kids, and being dirty summer camp is really amazing. I wouldn't have done it as long as I did if it wasn't.
Thanks for the ideas! I've sent in applications to a few places so far, but more recommendations are welcome. After looking into the dude ranch idea, it seems very interesting, so I'd like more of those as well.
You might contact Pond Hill Ranch in Castleton, VT. They are the major suppliers for camp horses in the east/northeast. Decades ago, I worked for Harry, Sr. (now deceased) at several camps; it's still in the family. At one, I had no cabin duties; at two others, I did.
ETA: Desert Topaz' suggested questions are DEFINITELY important to ask. Surprises are not always fun.