Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pony Camp Highlights

What can we say? We are just so proud of our Pony Campers!  It is a true delight to watch how they grow throughout the week.  We love watching them build friendships and become more comfortable with the horses.  Plus, we are always so impressed with what they do at the end of camp Pony Show - they've got some serious skills.
There's no denying it...Pony Camp is where it’s at!
We had a lot of fantastic moments during this Pony Camp Season.  
Here are a few of our favorites:
The Pony Olympics
To get into the Olympic spirit this year, Sarah, our college intern, added a new group of activities to Pony Camp known as the Pony Camp Olympics.  Complete with an opening ceremony, seven different events, and a closing ceremony, the campers waved their flags and tried their hardest to win gold!

An Award Winning Pony Camper
Pony campers bring show and tell items.  This camper had something to share that she should be really proud of.  She competed in a horse show over the weekend and won 2nd place!  Way to go!!! And check out the size of that ribbon! How awesome is that?

Our Pony Beauty Salon
This year our ponies got the royal treatment at the Pony Camp Beauty Salon as campers learned all about how to care for their ponies.
Check out these awesome hairdos!  Lookin' good gals!

Nothing like a cool bath to cool off on a hot summer day...
This next picture is really cool.  Campers learned how to do quarter marks.  Quarter marks are a type of ornamentation on a horse seen in certain types of exhibition or competition.  
Doesn't it look cool?

Our First Loose Tooth
It wasn't until our fourth session of pony camp that we had our first loose tooth.  Miss Juliana lost one of her front teeth.  She took the tooth home and got $1 from the Tooth Fairy.  She told us that she was going to put it in her college fund! So much wisdom at five years old!

Our Fantastic Teachers
We couldn't talk about Pony Camp without talking about our fantastic teachers.  Pat and Vicki do such an amazing job.
Pat and Vicki
Plus we can't forget our college intern, Sarah.  She is so creative!
Sarah takes a ride with the pony campers on the last day of camp.
Fun Fact: Pat has been teaching the kiddos in our family (some who are now all grown up) how to ride horses for over 20 years. 
Pat stays beside a young camper as they practice trotting.
Pat and Vicki work with small groups of campers to practice their pony skills.
Vicki leads one of the indoor pony games.
The Mama and Paparazzi
The last day of camp is very special.  It is the day when all of the little cowboys and cowgirls can show off their new skills and knowledge to their family and friends.  The campers put on a special performance followed by a demonstration of their new pony skills.

The End of Camp Pony Show
Speaking of that special performance on the last day of camp, check out the campers from session 4.  Didn't they do an awesome job?

Our Pro Cowboys and Cowgirls
Without a doubt, one of the biggest highlights this summer was watching the campers truly grow around the ponies.  By the end of the week they are able to ride unassisted and even pick up some speed!

Pony Camp 2012 was such a great time here at the ranch.
So great that spots are already filling up fast for Pony Camp 2013!
If you’re interested in reserving a spot for your little cowboy or cowgirls please contact us at 816-761-1234.
Have a great day ya’ll!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Word From The Herd: Sarah's Favorite Things

This past Friday wrapped up our final day of Pony Camp this summer.
Pony Camp was an amazing experience for everyone involved this summer and we couldn’t do it without the amazing group of teachers that work with our campers each week.
So today we want to shine the spotlight on one very special teacher, Sarah Brines, our pony camp intern.
We asked Sarah what her five favorite thing were about Pony Camp.
Read below to see what she had to say.

Howdy y’all! This is Sarah, the college intern here at Faulkner’s Ranch. 
This is my third summer at the ranch and my second year of doing pony camp. We’ve had some fantastic sessions this summer. So I have done my best to come up with my five favorite things about pony camp. It was very hard to pick just five but here they are! 
My 5 Favorite Things About Pony Camp
1.  All the different kids I meet and get to work with. 
Each week is a new mix of different personalities and attitudes and one of my favorite parts of every week is getting to meet and spend time with all the awesome campers. Every week is very different but always very fun.

2.  The questions the campers ask. 
I’ve gotten lots of awesome questions but my favorites are “Do you own a McDonalds?” “Do you smell like horses?” “Is there an old farmer around here?” and probably my all-time favorite occurred after showing the campers a picture of my fiancĂ©, when one of the boys asked “Can I marry him?”
3.  Getting to plan things.
I love spending time thinking about pony camp and ways to make it better. I’ve been working on improvements for this year since we finished last year’s camp and I just love planning new activities and reworking our normal activities to make the week better. Creating the multi-day Pony Camp Olympics (a series of fun ranch games) has been one of my favorite additions to pony camp, and the campers certainly do enjoy it. 
4.  Seeing the kids grow throughout the week. 
I love not only seeing how much more comfortable the kids get with the ponies but also how they learn to get along with each other. 
5.  Seeing how happy the campers are!
At the beginning of every week I tell my campers that my job is to make sure they have as much fun as possible. I love seeing the campers smiling and my absolute favorite part is when the kids tell me their favorite part of camp is everything.

Thanks for reading! And if you’re interested in Pony Camp be sure to register. Next year’s camp dates are available and filling up fast!

Like we said, we couldn’t do it without our amazing teachers.
Pat and Vicki
You gals are the best of the best!
Thinking about Pony Camp for next summer? Registration has already begun for 2013 and spots are filling up fast! Visit our website for more details or call 816-761-1234 to register now.
Have a great day ya’ll!
PS - Congrats to Sarah on her engagement!  
Remember to rock some cowgirl boots with your dress!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Word From the Herd: Q&A with Jessica

With the Ponies and Pancakes this Saturday, we couldn’t think of a better time to introduce and put the spotlight on one of the coolest people at Faulkner's Ranch
Jessica Lillis, the Director of Youth Programs.  
Jessica has been working at Faulkner’s since February and has booked hundreds of pony parties, camps, field trips, and weddings.
Read below to find out more about Jessica, her experiences at Faulkner’s Ranch, and the deep connection that she has to Ponies and Pancakes
Q&A with Jessica Lillis, Director of Youth Programs
Hi Jessica, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am originally from New Jersey, met my hubby in Florida and we relocated with both our sons to the Midwest in June of 2010.  I enjoy being a mommy of 3 very special boys.  Reading, cooking/baking, lounging on the lake are some of my most favorite things to do. I love spending time with family and friends.
Jessica's Beautiful Family
(From left to right: Emmanuel, Jessica, Corey, and Blaire)

What is your favorite/most rewarding part of working at Faulkner’s Ranch?  
I have more than one, aside from being able to be part of putting big smiles on little cowpokes’ faces, I love working for such a wonderful family! The Faulkner's have really taken me in as their own.  It feels like I'm around my own family.  They are such wonderful, caring folks.  Oh, we can't forget the special animals at the Ranch! I can't pick just one!
Cowgirl Jessica and Cowgirl Christine at last year's Ponies and Pancakes

We know that Ponies and Pancakes is a very special event for you.  Can you please explain to our readers why?  
4 years ago, my husband and I lost our son, Kyle Anthony Lillis to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  He is survived by his twin brother, Corey, now 4 1/2 years old and his older Brother, Emmanuel, 15 yrs old.  Kyle was a healthy, happy baby boy.  He was one day short of turning 4 months old.  He was sound asleep when he passed.  I miss him every single day that goes by.  We keep his memory alive and talk about Kyle all the time.  He is very much alive in our hearts.
Baby Kyle 

SIDS Resources of Kansas City became a special part in my life when I came to the area & met a fellow SIDS mom, Nicole Noblitt, who introduced me to the support group and helped me tremendously as a friend and mother of a SIDS baby herself.
Last year, I wanted to put together a family-oriented fundraiser to honor our son, Kyle.  I met with Christine and a SIDS Coordinator, Melissa Merriam to discuss how we could accomplish this.  Christine Loneman came up with the perfect name for this event "Ponies & Pancakes."  It was perfect!  We had a great turn-out for the first year.  
Ponies and Pancakes Fall 2011
The Faulkner's have really put their hearts and efforts into making this fundraiser a yearly event to help support a charity that is so dear to us.  As you can see, there is a lot of love involved in this event!!  We are so excited for this day and know that everyone will have a great time at Faulkner's Ranch!
You get to work with lots of kiddos at the ranch so you must have some fun stories.  What is one of your favorites?  
During Pony Camp I get to introduce myself and explain my job duties at the ranch.  One of the kiddo's asked me "do you get to ride the ponies all day?"  Watching the kiddo's on the ranch, whether it is a Pony Birthday Party, Pony Camp, Field Trips, or Picnics, I really love seeing the big smiles on their faces.  You are never too old for fun at Faulkner's Ranch.
Jessica and Corey on a field trip at Faulkner's Ranch in October  2011

What are you looking forward to the most at Faulkner’s Ranch for the rest of 2012?  
For starters, we are gearing up for the huge pumpkin season in October.  Also, it really is fun booking all sorts of events and getting to work them as well.  I enjoy seeing all our staff; it is like our own family working together.
Jessica and her family at Faulkner's Pumpkin Patch in 2011

Well, Jessica, it goes without a doubt that we are beyond glad that you are a part 
of the Faulkner Family! 
You are amazing!!!

Come say hi to Jessica and Support SIDS Resources at Ponies and Pancakes this Saturday, July 21st from 9am to noon.
Breakfast will be served inside the air-conditioned banquet barn and fun activities will follow!
Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, refreshing OJ, ice-cold water, and coffee.
Once you chow down, trot on over to our air-conditioned activity barn complete with cow milking contests, a mechanical pony, rockin' ropers, and more!
GameKart Mobile Video Game Theatre will also be at the Ranch for FREE GameKart Fun!
Stay cool outside with our misters and sprinklers. You can even treat our ponies to some special summer pampering with our pony sponge baths!
You don't want to miss out on this fun morning!
We only swing our gates open to the public for very special occasions and this Saturday morning is one VERY special occasion.

We hope to see you on Saturday!

Share With Your Friends!