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Tis' The Season of Ranch Camp

By Libby Nook

’Tis the Season of Ranch Camp Howdy! As summer approaches, I begin to “chomp at the bit” (metaphorically, of course... I am not a horse) with excitement. Ranch Camp is approaching! Let me explain: As my dear friends embark on pre-college programs, internships, and jobs this summer, I will head west to the ranch. If you are like my dear friends, I believe I should clarify: I DO NOT spend a month every summer at rehab or wilderness therapy, despite the varying theories. Yes. I am a seventeen-year-old girl from Connecticut, attending Ranch Camp in the hell-yeah-brother middle of nowhere Wyoming. And like my fellow hardworking ranchers, I am proud. In fact, I identify as a part-time cowgirl. I own multiple pairs of mud-stained cowboy boots, a wide range of raggedy flannels, a few big-buckle belts, and a legit cowboy hat from the Boot Barn (not sponsored). It’s my favorite attire. We spend our days at the ranch doing cowboy activities with a dash of manual labor. Yes, I did indeed just say manual labor. As a matter of fact, I can proudly say I’m an irrigation champion, roofing enthusiast, and fence-post-hole-digging professional. Three highly important and useful skills to know as an aspiring writer. After our morning work crew (fancy name for manual labor time), the ranchers hit the corral, where our trusty steeds await our arrival. This past summer, I rode a horse named Fritz, who I self-diagnosed with anxiety due to his inability to lope with ease and poise. Instead, this horse would spin in circles, anticipating the lope, until I squeezed my legs, which catapulted him into a highly discombobulated run. Despite the potential anxiety disorder, Fritz and I had a grand time on our daily trail rides and weekly barrel racing. In particular, he enjoyed purposely running into or avoiding the barrels. Let’s just say we were not rodeo ready. Besides the cowboy activities, we also have some wild characters at the ranch. A few Brits, who we Americans like to mimic their accents for pure entertainment, some obnoxiously funny, pocket-knife-loving, borderline offensive thirteen-year-old boys, and a karate student who should be earning her black belt in September 2024. There truly is never a dull moment! (especially with the frequent spark of ranch relationships) So, please mark your calendars because I will be off the grid for one month this summer! I will be ranching, riding, and thriving in Wyo. I wish y’all the best summer! Xoxo The Part-Time Cowgirl (who is NOT A HORSE GIRL)

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