I have two sisters (9 and 7)that ride with me and they go every summer. They spend literally the WHOLE summer there and love it. Their mom is the music director so they spend the summer together which is cool, and might make them a bit biased
The riders are broken up into levels for their lessons when they arrive, and only the older/most experienced girls jump. Not sure what your rider is doing and if that matters. The girls always come back with stronger legs and lots of great stories! There is a horse show at the end of each session.
I know that they do tons of other stuff along with having lots of time each day riding, and both girls have been going there for years and love it.
PM me if you want more details and I could pass you on to their mom who isn't on this forum.
www.CastleHeartFarms.com Hunters, Jumpers, Equitation and Ponies Don't practice until you do it right, practice until you can't do it wrong!
Anyone have opinions on Camp Strawderman for an 11-year-old serious rider with her own pony at home? We are considering the two-week program.
I recommend it very highly!! I am responding as a former camper and mother of a camper/counselor. I loved Strawderman as a camper, and became a stronger rider each summer. My daughter, who is also a rider, went as a camper for 7 years starting at age 11--each time coming back with new skills.
This past summer she was a counselor for the first time--she has always loved the place too. Definitely do the 2-week program first, and even if your daughter has her own pony at home, riding a variety of horses at camp will help tremendously. She will probably come home asking to stay for longer periods the following summers.
Your daughter will make friends for life--I am still in contact with friends from camp, there is a strong alumni group, and wonderful leadership.
I have spent my entire childhood summers at Camp Strawderman and I LOVED IT and if I could go as an adult I would.( Didnt hurt my farm was only 15 miles from camp either!) I also was a camp counselor there for 2 years during college just so I could still "go to camp" there as a riding instructor! It is a lot of fun and I still talk to my friends that I made when I was 5/6 and in Dumpty cabin (youngest cabin)!
A lot of life lessons and morals are taught there but in a fun environment. There are campfires (sans fire) in the rec hall where you spend an hour singing fun songs and then watching fellow campers put on a show. There are hikes twice a week, you can plan "Indians," which was one of my favorites there.
As for riding, it is a great program. There are many different levels and as you go there for longer or stay longer you move up in levels. I have also known many campers that brought their own horses with them as well. Most all classes are held in the ring except for the two highest riding levels. All the "ring classes" get to take trail rides during their two week stay. If you in the higher riding levels they do trail rides at 5, yes 5AM (also known as Calvary), around camp and then parade through camp to make sure no evil villains are lurking about...Calvary has save my stuffed animals and friends many times while I was a camper!
I am smiling just remembering the fun. The other activities are dance, arts and crafts, swimming, and tennis. There may be more now.
The only negative appeal to the camp, it wasn't for me but I know it was for others, was that it is indeed rustic. But I found that it was what appealed to me most at the camp and made camp...well....camp!
I hope your daughter goes! If you decide to send her, make sure she goes the last two weeks(my favorite two)! Those are the best and fun filled and also includes the BIG horse show and Christmas in August!!! But those spots fill fast!
Basically, what everyone else says. I believe cswoodlandfairy was even my riding instructor & my sister's cabin counselor many moons ago, if she's who I think she is.
I went to camp for 4 summers though sadly only 2 weeks at a time, and brought my pony for two summers. I only stopped going when I got an opportunity to take on a working student position at a top riding centre in the UK (and that summer, I dreamed about camp!). I never wanted to leave at the end of my sessions & would literally be counting down the days until camp from Jan. 1st. My sister went with all her friends for 3 summers too and had equally fantastic experiences.
I cannot say enough good things about Strawderman & will happily answer any questions :-D.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey