Last summer, I got a flyer in the mail for a summer camp at Tap Root Farm in Franklin, Tennessee. I looked at the calendar and realized that I had two weeks of summer left and enough energy and fun ideas for two days. I signed both kids up for a week of camp. The camp included creek play, horseback riding, animal care lessons and free play. There was a parent meeting on day one and that was when I fell in love with the camp and its leader, Susan. Susan informed us that our children would be:
- Packing their own lunch and water bottles for the remainder of the week. Gasp!
- Earning points for doing service projects. A service project was anything helpful around the house that our kids don’t normally do and will now do without being asked. Wow!
- Returned to us on Friday more responsible than when we dropped them off. Do I hear angels singing?
This camp could not have come at a better time in our lives. I was on a one-woman mission to decrease our dependance on technology as entertainment. I had just instituted our token system that allowed the kids to earn tokens which they could trade for time with technology. The kids were learning the value of chores to earn what they wanted and feeling the sting of losing technology for unacceptable behavior. Susan’s message was exactly what my kids needed to hear.
This camp wore my kids out. It is the first camp that has ever done that. They played, they worked and they learned. At the same time, they had “Big Time Fun,” which is the motto of the camp.
Since camp, Ben and I both have started taking horseback riding lessons with Susan and her staff.
I was surprised at how much horseback riding works your body and your brain. These horses are big and strong, and often act like toddlers. It forces you to be focused, disciplined, respectful and consistent. The lessons have given Benjamin the opportunity to be a leader and even teach his mother a thing or two. He has already started jumping and can trot better than I can.
Tap Root Farm is a working farm. The cows on the farm are free range, grain fed and organic. And out of this world tasty. My kids now know where their beef comes from.
Susan is tough. She knows how to bring out the best in my kids. Tap Root Farm is certainly a Risky Place We Love.
Tap Root Farm is on the web at taprootfarm.com There is a wait list for freezer beef but smatter packs are usually available on a first come first served basis. In addition to camp and horseback riding lessons, they offer rodeos, a 5K and are available to host events.