Zoe Rodgers Runs the Race of Her Life

Just when you think you know someone really well, they surprise you!  We know each other in a work relationship but oftentimes what we do outside of work is something completely different and unexpected.  For most of our international staff, we have only 8 weeks to interact with them and even then it is while we are all busy focusing on the campers here at Pompositticut.  Although they live with the director, Jackie, even she has been surprised by the international staff’s modesty regarding their accomplishments.

One of the best examples of this is during Summer 2016 our Heels Down instructor Zoe Rodgers, surprised everyone by training for the New York City Marathon.  Where she found the energy after working a full day on her feet outside in hot temperatures, is still a mystery.  One doesn’t just enter a 26.2 mile race unless you are prepared to train and stay physically fit for this ultimate test held on Sunday, November 6th.   The 46th running of the NY City Marathon will traverse through the 5 boroughs of New York City, beginning in Staten Island, travelling through Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and finishing in Manhattan.  She will be amongst 50,000 other dedicated runners who, many like Zoe, are running for a specific cause.  The average time for the runners is a grueling 4.5 hours!

In her own words Zoe explains what motivated her,   “I was running most days before camp knowing the fight Jackie made when she had cancer was tougher than what I was doing! Even the campers would push me to run further every day, meaning everyone at Pompositticut was supporting me through a tough summer. I know how much Jackie would like to be there on the day, but she will be achieving her own goals at the (driving) championships. The inspiration, love and strength I gained from my 2nd Pompositticut summer will carry me through this Marathon and I would be most grateful to everyone who donates big or small to help the bigger challenge that is Cancer.”

Zoe qualified to run with and raise money for “Action Cancer”, a leading cancer charity that began in Northern Ireland. Their mission is to save lives and support local people through cancer awareness, prevention, detection and support.  Action Cancer is the only charity in the UK to offer breast screening clinics to women.  To date, Zoe has personally been sponsored to raise over $6000 for this charity and is hoping to add even more during the next few weeks before the race. If you would like to help her accomplish this goal please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/NYCRodgers

We all wish her great success!

Quote- Jackie Kane

“People inspire us and give us strength when and where we need it. Zoe was a quiet and patient provider of strength. This young lady amazes me every time I spend more time with her. I am grateful for the effort she puts forth in my honor, as well as all patients and survivors. I would love to be there at the finish line to give her the biggest hug ever but when we face and complete our personal goals, we survive!

It is no accident Pompositticut’s new dreamcatcher logo states, “Where Dreams and Goals Happen!”

Good luck Zoe!!”

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:

https://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!

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