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Top 10 reasons to send your kid to camp this summer!
Wednesday, June 7th 2017

(by Mike Cooney)


I love Camp. I’ve been a “camp guy” for the better part of 30 years, in just about every capacity. I’ve been a camper. A leader. A camp commissioner, an administrator, instructor, inspector, and a lifeguard… and it’s been an absolute blast. But probably the best thing about going to camp is watching people grow over time. You get to watch the shy 8-year-old develop into the 18-year-old staffer who has no qualms about leading a song and making a fool of himself for the delight of 300 people. Here are my top 10 reasons you should send your kid to Camp this summer.

10. So they’ll be homesick, and get over it.

At some point in our lives, we all experience homesickness. For kids who go to camp, they tend to experience it earlier, and they tend to have it happen around supportive people that they know. They also tend to do so much closer to home. The alternative for a lot of kids is being homesick when the get to college. My first year at Boy Scout Camp, at June Norcross Webster Reservation in Ashford, Conn. I got extremely homesick on Tuesday. There were definitely more tears than I’d care to admit. But my leaders convinced me to stick it out. They distracted me.

By Friday, I didn’t want to go home, because I was having so much fun. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen this exact same process at other camps.

9. They’ll Gain Confidence

Going to camp can be a daunting thing for kids. They’ll get nervous, and build it up to be a big thing in their heads. They’ll convince themselves that they’re going to die in their tents because the Daddy Long Legs spider is going to eat them. You laugh, I’ve had this conversation. They’ll tell themselves they can’t pass their swimming test.

And you know what, an adult they trust will tell them that they can. And they will.

This confidence won’t evaporate once they come home from camp – but they’ll have these little victories to look back on when they go back to school. They’ll have it with them for the rest of their lives.


8. It’s Gets Them Moving

Summer camps tend to be big, and you have to do a lot of walking. This is more of a feature than a bug. Walking the trails at camp gives kids some time to think. They might also get to go swimming, rock climbing, canoeing, running, or play sports.


All of which are healthier for them than simulating any of those activities on a PlayStation.

7. They’ll Try New Things

Where else but camp would you get to try cardboard boat races?
Maybe it’ll be archery, canoeing or basketry. But they’ll be exposed to all sorts of things that they’d likely never experience at home or in school. They could go rock climbing. They’ll sing songs, and may even wind up doing a skit in front of hundreds of people.

6. Gain Self-Reliance

As it turns out, the best way to learn how to do things for yourself is… to do things for yourself. They’ll have to take care of their own stuff. Mom won’t be there to clean their room for them.

They’ll learn that staying up until midnight talking to your friends is fun on Sunday night, but that you’ll pay for it on Sunday morning. They’ll also have the experience of truly managing their own money for the first time. When they get to camp with a certain amount of money, they’ll have to figure out how to spend it best over the course of a week.

And this rolls into the next point, camp is a…

5. It’s A Safe Place to Fail

Accidents happen at camp. They might not complete a merit badge. A towel could go missing. They might get a blister. They might spend all of their money on candy on the first day, and have nothing left for the rest of the week – and they won’t actually starve.

In life, things go wrong.

And you’ll still be okay. There will be people there to help, and to support you.

You’ll learn that the little setbacks in life aren’t the end of the world.

4. They Learn Skills

They’ll learn to look out for others. Delegating important tasks to others is a difficult concept for adults. But it’s vital to accomplishing any big, worthwhile goal. This is a skill that the s will learn at camp. They’ll learn how to manage others – how to take a list of things to do, and to match them up with the right people for the job.

But they’ll learn any number of things – from construction skills, to life-saving, to basketry, to canoeing, or archery. Above all, for many of them, it will be the first time they’ll actually get to pick what they want to learn about. They’ll actually set their own schedules. They may be exposed to a hobby or career they’ll enjoy for the rest of their lives.

3. Camp Is the Friendliest Place on Earth

Sorry Disney, but camp is the friendliest place you can send your kid this summer. Everybody tends to be in a great mood. The kids are doing what they’ve been looking forward to all year long. The staff has the best job of their lives. And the volunteers are on vacation. It’s the perfect storm for a good time. Sure, it may rain sometimes, but still, a bad day at camp is better than a good day at the office, or school, or pretty much anywhere.

2. See the World Differently

In my time at camp I’ve gotten to meet people from all over the world. From every continent. It’s one thing to read about people from the other side of the planet in a book, or see them on television, but you get a different perspective when you actually get to spend time with them as friends.

But they’ll also get to see their own area in a different way. When there are no walls, you tend to be open to new ideas. You can sit quietly, and listen to the birds, the trees and the wind… and you have some time to think. Time to figure things out.

1. Make Friends That Last a Lifetime

They’ll run into people from all over, and learn to find similarities. They’ll find themselves singing songs, doing skits, and telling jokes with people they might not otherwise ever come into contact with. When you camp with people, you find out your similarities and differences in a hurry. Camp is one of the great places to have the shared experiences that build strong friendships.


And oh yeah, camp is fun.

Joey turns 3!
Wednesday, June 7th 2017

Yesterday was a special day, it was Joey’s 3rd Birthday…..

3 years ago we spent the night in the barn waiting for him to arrive…. by 4.50am Joey was born!


He continues to grow….


And grow!


Now measuring just short of 16hh, he is learning the ropes of what it takes to be a camp horse, he is looking forward to seeing you all this summer!

A new Friend headed to Forrestel.........
Monday, June 5th 2017

Forrestel Friends, We would like to introduce you all a new friend of ours. This cute little pony is Willberry Wonder Pony.


You may or may not have heard of the little guy. Let me explain;

Talented horse rider, Hannah Francis, from England, was diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer in 2015. She was just 17 years old. In the year and a half that followed Hannah, aided by her mascot, Willberry Wonder Pony, amazed the equestrian community and people all over the world with her determination. She continued to ride, even riding internationally under GB colors, and fulfilled many of her bucket list wishes!


Even more remarkable, she turned her sights to what she could do to help people in her position in the future. In constant pain and undergoing relentless rounds of treatment, Hannah set up the Willberry Wonder Pony charity, which was finally registered on 29 March 2016, number 1166416. The charity funds bone cancer research, especially into osteosarcoma, and grants equine related wishes to seriously ill people.

Hannah died in August 2016. But her legacy is still very much alive and kicking on. The charity has raised over £600,000 (May 2017) for its brilliant causes. Willberry himself has left a huge stamp on the equestrian world – competing Badminton Horse Trials on the backs of Ben Hobday and Michael Jung as well as several others. He’s even had a shot on the famous Valegro!!



The aim is to continue and share Hannahs story all around the world, so our very own Forrestel berry is coming to camp. Be sure to watch out for him on his first summer at camp. I am sure he will no doubt get up to many adventures, and most likely a little bit of mischief!
He also needs a name, so we would love your suggestions. He cant wait to meet you all :-)

Wednesday, May 17th 2017


Sunday 21st May


Meet the staff, horses & take a tour,

Come join us!

kats open house

Girls Riding Weekends at Forrestel!
Tuesday, May 9th 2017

The past two weekends, we had a wonderful group of girls join us at the farm;



There was lots of riding time! We made use of the indoor arena during the wet and windy weather;



And we even got out on our first trails of 2017!



There was time for games in the farmhouse;




pony snuggling,


and chicken cuddling!


We all had a blast! Keep an eye out for our upcoming Riding Weekend dates for the fall.
Memorial weekend 2017 now has a waiting list.

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