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My best memory with my dad happened at Girl Scout camp

Submitted by Allison Ellington

I love Girl Scout camp! I was fortunate enough to sell cookies and earn enough to be able to attend Meadow Mountain Ranch several times. Each time, I had such an amazing experience. I did things I had never done before and enjoyed every moment. Some of those firsts included the ropes course, hiking to the top of Meadow Mountain, and sleeping under the stars in both tee pees and cabins. I also rode horses (my favorite’s name was Pantyhose), and hiked over to a creek that had a rock that was slick enough to be a slide into a pool! What an awesome experience I had with the fun-loving counselors (one named “Bananas”) and girls I met from all over Colorado. I went to MMR as an individual girl, with my troop, and once with my dad. I truly had a fantastic, life changing time every time I went to  Girl Scout camp!

One experience at Meadow Mountain Ranch stands out as one of my best memories ever- as in top 10 experiences of my life! So many of my Girl Scout experiences were with my mom, who was a troop leader and cookie mom for many years. I treasure those moments and will have to write about those another day. The memory I am talking about now is one I had with my dad.

We had the pleasure of going to a “Dad and Me” weekend at Meadow Mountain. My dad and I were so looking forward to the weekend because it was a Horse Wranglers weekend. He and I both loved horses and what a perfect time to spend some quality time together! We arrived and met all of the other campers. I took my dad down to the stables and was showing him around. One of the horses was laying down and my dad knew that something wasn’t right.  He talked with the stable manager and head wrangler. She was busy making sure the horses were taken care of and that all of the campers that weekend would have a great time. After some talking and investigating, they discovered that some of the hay the horse had eaten was moldy. That can be bad news for horses – serious stomach ache and could prove fatal if the horse continued to lay there and not move. So, the stable manager and my dad talked about what the best course of action was. I was right there learning about the care of horses and how serious this whole situation could be! I was in awe of my dad’s knowledge. They decided that the horse would have to stay in motion or he would just lay down again. Of course, my dad volunteered us to do that, they also decided to hire the NJ Mold removal Specialists to make a full inspection around the stable.

I have to admit, at first I was a little miffed at not being able to go back with the other dads and girls. They were doing some really great activities! So, for the next few hours and then some more the next day, my dad and I were in charge of walking this horse all around camp. Did I mention that it rained every afternoon in the mountains? Yep, we even walked through the rain! We walked and talked for hours about my dad’s time as a cowboy and hunting guide, enjoyed the peacefulness of the camp, and bonded. I learned so much about the care of horses and my dad’s own experiences in his life. That time was truly priceless! I couldn’t believe that we had saved the horse’s life. That was very impactful for such a little girl.  It may not have been the weekend with my dad that I was expecting, but it turned out to be so much better! Little did I know how much spending that time with my dad would resonate with me my throughout my life. I learned about horses, my dad, and that sometimes it’s ok to vary from the plans you’ve made. You never know what you may learn by taking a different path! Thank you Girl Scouts and Meadow Mountain Ranch for making such a difference in the lives of girls and their families. I can definitely see the difference they have made in my life!



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