Fall Fun Day 2016

Autumn certainly did cooperate for our Fall Fun Day in more ways than one. Beginning as a cool but pleasant fall morning, the annual riding event held here at Pompositticut Farm had parents and riders cheerfully assembling at the various riding rings to watch our fall riding participants engage in a small equestrian show.

Now at approximately the mid-way point in our 10-week lesson program, these riders were able to decide if they wanted to share their skills with family members by competing in both dressage and jumping categories. Beginners, intermediates and more advanced riders alike completed their specific mounted tests upon a chosen pony.

What makes this Fall Fun Day special though is not so much the competition, but the camaraderie that develops during this event. To make it all work efficiently, riders must cooperate with each other in preparing their pony as well as in sharing their mounts.  It is during this time that friendships are strengthened and the real focus becomes the social aspect of the day.  One parent even commented that she had not been able to speak with her daughter very much during the entire day because her daughter was so happily engaged with friends!

It was the friends of Pompositticut as well who set aside their personal time to be our judges for this event. Our sincere appreciation goes out to Lauren Surowiec and Christina Lombardi who were our jumping judges; Bob and Diane Koopman, our dressage judges and Cindie Bryan who was our Walk-Trot judge. All of these people, along with our barn support team, made this event a successful day:  Nikki W., Allison C., Shelbee M., Lindsey G., Caitlin M., Shannon M., and Nancy G.  A very special thank you to Dawn from Linguine’s for always providing us with spectacular lunches!  And we cannot forget all of you parents who helped us not only yesterday but throughout the year in so many different capacities but mostly for sharing your children with us!  Thank you!

Be sure to check out or have as a keepsake the beautiful photos from this Fall Fun Day at:

http://pompositticutfarm.smugmug.com/2016-Fall-Fun-Day-Photos

What Happens When Summer Officially Ends?

When Summer officially ends, camps take on a new life and role! For Pompositticut Farm Day Camp, we shift gears slightly and become a “farm” again where the focus is on the horses and ponies who have devoted their summer to the campers.  Like people, they too must keep in shape, eat properly and exercise.  It’s a win-win situation for them and the children who continue with horseback riding lessons into these autumn months.  In fact, we begin receiving requests for Fall Riding Lessons during the camp season.  Families are already anticipating those beautiful autumn days when it is ideal to be involved in outside activities.  Gone is the summer humidity, replaced with breathable air, bluer skies and mild evenings.

Afternoons find the farm filled with children who have registered for Fall Riding Lessons. These lessons begin the week of Labor Day and continue right up until Thanksgiving.  There are no limitations in age or skill levels for taking lessons, just a desire to learn.  Our licensed and skilled instructors are capable of teaching the first-time rider right through to those who are confident in their jumping abilities.  Many of our participants are past and present campers who are eager to continue riding those horses/ponies they have been riding during camp.

Apparently, parents are finding they too can enjoy what their children have been experiencing on horseback by taking part in riding lessons themselves. One busy, working mother said she had taken lessons many years ago and this was something special she was “doing just for herself”.  She had specifically adjusted her work schedule to take part in these lessons. Along with a friend, these two ladies are exercising, relearning a past skill, sharing time together and setting goals for themselves!

As summer officially ends, so many opportunities abound! The riders are not only learning how to ride but they are learning responsibility, commitment and caring for a living being.  They are building upon personal confidence, independence and maturity.  They are strengthening friendships, meeting new people and conversing with adults.  Summer may have officially “ended”, but for many it’s a new beginning!

The Essence of Camp In Photographs

Each summer provides us with opportunities to capture the real essence of camp via photographs. Having been in operation for 36 summers, we often peek back at some of our earlier photos to see what the camp and our campers looked like.  Many of these campers are now treasured staff members and it is fun to see how much they have grown and matured.  We are also now beginning to see the next generation of campers or children of our previous campers!

I was recently asked if I could find a photo of a staff member when she was a young camper. When I began looking back through the hundreds of digital photos I have on file by years, it was then I realized it has only been 10 years since we have relied so heavily on digital rather than film cameras.  That means most of our campers do not even know what 35mm“film” cameras were!

With film you seemed to be more selective in what you photographed because you only had 36 chances to get it right, unless you had another roll of film handy. Today you can shoot endlessly, and plan to keep only a few perfect shots.  Even then, there are photo editing capabilities right on your camera or phone that can make pretty much any picture worth saving.

With this advent in electronics we have made our photographs of your children readily available to view and purchase. Through our online service called Smugmug you can sort through your child’s session and choose that perfect photo that captured his/her summer experience.  Be it the cross-country jump trail or a cannonball off the diving board, we have tried to capture the essence of camp so you can see for yourself how much enjoyment the children experience here at Pompositticut.

See all the excitement at: https://pompositticutfarm.smugmug.com/

Any ideas who these two cuties grew up to be????

Hint:  Project Soar & Swimming!

sess-2-a-riding-photos-etc-2009-032-copy sess-3-various-act-2008-165-copy

Summer Campers Continue with Autumn Excitement at PFDC!

We are officially into the fall season as of September 22. The date alone, coupled with the sudden change in temperatures both during the day and night, certainly reminds us of this.  I for one really love the fall and all it brings with it.  Living in New England you cannot help be rewarded with all that encompasses an autumn day:  apple picking, corn husk decorations, pumpkin everything, harvest fairs, colorful leaves. . . and even horseback riding.

Our camp equestrians were eager to start right up with their fall riding lessons soon after camp concluded. Parents were sending emails during camp so they would not miss enrolling their child in our sought after lessons. As a result September began with one of our largest group of equestrians ever!  So many were excited to get back in the saddle and continue with all the progress they had made during the summer and have committed themselves to riding right up until Thanksgiving.  Indeed, with the exception of just a few, the majority of these excited riders were part of our camp programs including the Day Camp as well as our specialty programs, Short Stirrup and Heels Down.  They also had been part of our Spring Riding Lesson Program so these participants have truly committed themselves to the sport and all it has to offer.  Some are as young as 5 years old and already have an interest in pursuing this technically challenging sport.

What a testament to our instructors who worked so diligently throughout the hot summer days to instill in these young people the love of everything equestrian. Both Allison and Nikki who headed up Short Stirrup this summer, are teaching these fall lessons along with a couple more recruits who assist in making sure everything runs smoothly and on schedule.  They should both be complimented on their own accomplishments of obtaining their MA riding instructors’ licenses!  Allison, who obtained hers a couple years ago and now Nikki who more recently passed her technical written exam with just one error.  This, along with Nikki’s degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare and Allison’s master’s degree which she utilizes as an elementary school teacher, make for a talented duo of instructors.

Did we comment on how we also have a few adults/parents who are back in the saddle? We won’t mention any names, but these brave riders have put their all into relearning past skills.  Although a couple have admitted to being sore after their first couple lessons, each are always smiling and seem to enjoy using this special time just for themselves.  It will be interesting to see if they all will be willing to participate in the Fall Fun Day on October 16th where they can display their skills along with our other younger riding enrollees here at Pompositticut Farm. Who said fun is wasted on the young?!

Summer Camp is a Tax Deduction

As a parent you may not be thinking about your taxes during the summer months. You might be thinking about your much needed vacation or how you are going to keep the kids occupied for the summer. Here is a solution that your kids will love and so will your bank account when the tax bill arrives. Summer Camp!

How is this possible you may ask? Some summer camps specifically day camps such as Pompositticut Farm Day Camp can be used as a tax deductible by qualifying for the Child and Dependent Care Credit. According to TurboTax, “Under the Child and Dependent Care Credit, you may receive a credit up to $1,050 of your expenses for one child under 13 and up to $2,100 for two or more children under 13 and there is no age limit if they are disabled.  There is one catch though.  Overnight camps do not count.

There are a few qualifications necessary in order for you to save with the Child and Dependent Care Credit as follows:

The care must be provided for a qualifying person who is your dependent under the age of 13  when care was provided.  Note: Care may also be provided for your spouse or certain other dependents who are physically and mentally incapable of self-care.

Your child or qualifying person must be in summer camp or daycare so that you can work or look for work.

Your tax filing status must be single, married filing jointly, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with your dependent listed on your tax return.

The child must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year in question.

The care provider must be identified on your tax return and cannot be your spouse, the parent of your qualifying person, or your dependent child under the age of 19 by the end of the tax year.

Hopefully this helps to be thinking forward to plans for next summer or using summer camp this year to help with those pesky taxes. Pompositticut Farm Day Camp is happy to provide any of the information you require to complete the Child and Dependent Care Credit on your taxes.

 

 

When Should You Apply?

February is that twixs and between month.  It’s the time of year when we are teased by the weather into thinking spring is just around the corner.  Certainly with the drastic temperature changes we just experienced from -15 degrees to 54 degrees proves this fact.  Despite these fluctuations, we are lured into hoping that it will be a short winter and summer also is not far away.  It is these reminders that should encourage you to begin thinking about applying for summer positions.

Those of you who will be needing summer employment, NOW is the time to start filling out applications.  Because Pompositticut operates under the guidelines of the local and state regulations, proper applications and affiliated forms are required to initiate the job process.  These forms are currently available on this website and should be filled out entirely before consideration can be given to an applicant.  You may include a resume, but the full job application and references must be included. 

In the past, the March college break has been the perfect time to arrange for a personal interview.  Both returning and new staff should take advantage of this time frame to communicate with the camp office about arranging appointments.  You don’t have to wait until March though, as we are available to speak with you as soon as you contact us. The whole process begins and ends with you. Decisions on summer staffing are often on a first-come, first-served basis, so time is of the essence in applying for a specific position.  You can never be too early to think about and plan for your future!

As you can see here, Gaby will be enjoying another summer with her fellow staff and campers at Pompositticut.  As one of our international staff she was required to return through a global recruitment agency. These applicants complete similar paperwork requirements and go through the process of a personal interview by the agency as well as by the hiring camp.  With the advent of Skype and FaceTime interviewing is more efficient than just a phone call. The camp’s preference is an in-person interview at the UK camp recruitment fairs which are arranged for this specific reason:  to meet applicants and see from both perspectives if it’s a good fit.

So whether you are from the US, the UK, or anywhere in the world the requirements for summer employment are the same:  mandatory paperwork and an interview.  From there, it’s up to you.  If you are that exceptional individual looking to share your summer with children, we want that smile and laughter here at POMPOSITTICUT!

Gaby Richardson 2016

Safety is Our Camp’s Priority

Pompositticut Farm Day Camp is proud to boast we have once again earned the prestigious Safety 1st designation from Markel Insurance.  For over 15 consecutive years we have been honored with this recognition and are the longest continual recipient of the Safety 1st Award in the United States!

According to Michael Swain, Senior Management for  Markel Corp of Glen Allen, Virginia, states that in order to receive this award, “Camps and clubs must meet stringent criteria to qualify for the Safety 1st designation. They must have a proven safety record, undergo formal assessments and inspections, and participate in continuing education and certification programs. These facilities deserve to be recognized for keeping safety a top priority.” 

Despite the repeated years as an honoree, PFCD Continues to strive for excellence in all areas of scrutiny and does not Take the honor for granted and accepts the this honor as affirmation of our staffs hard work and continued dedication to their job.  We continue to make camp safety our top priority, ultimately making Pompositticut a special place for all to explore, learn and flourish within a dependable environment!

safety award crop