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6 Confessions Of A Camp Wrangler

Let's be honest, there's a reason we work with the animals.

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1. We spend all day doing what we love.


Most of us wranglers love to teach others about our passion... that being horses and everything to do with them. Whether its riding, grooming, tacking up, safety, or mucking stalls, we love to do it. Horses are like big babies that need constant monitoring so when you ask us about each of them, we're thrilled to tell you everything from their life stories, diet, to constant bowel movements.

2. We'd rather spend all day covered in mud, dirt, and -yes- poop than be in a cabin with campers 24 hours a day.


Let's be honest, not all of us are thrilled by children. Although we want your child to learn a new skill and to have fun, there's a reason we didn't offer to be a camp counselor. Personally, I have been offered a counselor position and turned it down without a second thought. We'd rather spend the precious time in between trail rides lounging around the barn and goofing off by having contests on who will muck the stall with their bare hands than leading kids in arts and crafts or random camp songs (but when it's time for campfire, we basically run on energy drinks and 5 hours of sleep). However, this doesn't mean we hate kids, we just enjoy them in small, controlled doses. We remember what it was like when we were campers going on trail rides and we want to make it just as fun for your kids.

3. We spend 99% of our time leading a trail ride panicking.


We're all human and all have our flaws. When you dropped your kids at camp the counselors assured you your child would be 100% safe throughout the duration of their stay at camp. Whenever one of us gets the "joy" of leading a ride, we spend it turned 180 degrees watching behind us for gaps, rogue riders, and communicating with the other wranglers. Thankfully the wranglers' horses know the trails better than we do so we don't have to worry about veering off course. We don't have a crystal ball to know when a horse will spook at nothing. They're prey animals and prefer to flee at an unseen threat rather than hang around and fight. When something happens to a camper while around horses, we're the ones who get blamed, even though there's no way we can keep up to 50 horses in check all at once. But we sure as hell try. Once we get back to the barn, we fling ourselves "gracefully" down, tie up our horses, and dismount all the kids to send back with their counselor. Once they disappear, we water all of the animals and let out a collective sigh of relief... that is until we have to do it again in 20 minutes.

4. We have the most fun out of all the staff.

Fotografamos / Via

Time to get real. We all know there can be shenanigans going on with summer camp staff. We're high school and barely-college age kids. We get together late at night and wee hours of the morning to do any range of things from skinny dipping to impromptu kayaking to night hikes to zip lining to bootleg drinking above the recreation hall and on the roof of the canteen to dabbling in pranks on our director but never getting caught. The most fun, however, comes to us wranglers. If we're caught out of our room, IT DOESN'T MATTER. We don't have a cabin to watch so we can do anything (almost) that we please. We can get all wranglers together and go chill, maybe even get a good shag in here and there. You know what they say about summer lovin'...

5. We stay there 24/7 throughout our employment dates... EVEN WEEKENDS.

So after campers leave, the rest of the staff stays for about another hour later and makes sure everything is in order for Sunday when the next batch of kids arrive. Then they go into town and get a motel or even go to their homes if they're lucky enough to live nearby. Us wranglers, however, get to stay through the weekend. Sure, we have to go into town to get more personal food or the occasional pair of jeans to replace the ones we lost getting on a tall horse, but then we get to come back. Know why? Because who's going to be there to look after the horses on Saturday and Sunday morning and lead renters' trail rides? You guessed it, US. We've got it made. We get a full 48 hours of peace and the camp to ourselves.

Hear that?

That's right.


6. We're the most tearful when the camp season is over.


Even though most of us aren't fond of kids, we'll still have our favorite few that make the job just that much easier. When they leave, it's always a struggle not to let a tear slip. Sometimes, we just want to thank the parents for raising a wonderful kids. But not only do we miss them, we'll miss our greatest loves. These horses are the reason why we even applied. They make the summer worth it; they make braving mosquitoes, snakes, and sometimes blistering heat worth it. In addition, this is one of the only times we'll have free lodging and food. It's the best job in the world.

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