February 20, 2018

“Wildhorse”: A Parent’s Perspective

This article was first published in May of 2012. It’s reposted here for your enjoyment.
‘Obstacles refine the character that defines us’. – Jason Vanya
What would cause a person to willingly give up sleep, time, money and all the comforts of home to take on the challenge of transporting gear, moderating bunk time and feeding nearly 300 hungry mouths?  This task would be an overwhelming obstacle for some, but for the dedicated few known as the ‘Wildhorse Work Crew’, it is just part of the normal routine.  For most of them, this was their first experience where as others it was their 6th, 7th or 8th tour of duty!
Why do they come back year after year?  They simply want to serve the amazing students at Corbett Middle School and maybe prove to themselves that they can rise to the challenge yet again.

WFR in Antelope, OR

Washington Family Ranch in Antelope, Oregon is the camp that hosts the end of the school year retreat.  This Disneyland of the high desert offers hiking, zip lines, go-carts, ‘The Screamer’ swing, olympic size pool, over the top lake activities and a sports arena just to name a few of the big attractions.  The dining hall food has yet to leave anyone hungry and then there’s always the snack shack.  Regardless of any young persons interest, they’re almost guaranteed to find something that is going to leave them talking about this experience for days to come.

I think it’s because of the students experience that these amazing parents keep coming back.  To see them grudgingly load the buses after a full 24 hours of pure fun is absolutely hilarious.  None of them ever want to leave. 
 
‘It was so worth it’, one of the dads commented.  ‘I’d do it all over again, and I fully plan on it next year, just to see my daughters smiling face!’.
Is it a challenge to prepare food for six hours straight, wash dishes while suffering extreme hot water temperatures, snake your way through 39 tables making sure not to miss a kids special dietary needs or take a crack at running a small store (snack shack)?  Go to bed and then wake up a few hours later only to start all over again???  It might be, but it’s so worth it.  And what’s crazy is that these parents paid to do this without any guarantee of spending time with their son or daughter! 
 
The Wildhorse experience wouldn’t exist without a group of parents who rise up each year to overcome a few obstacles in order to serve our students.  As one of them, it truly was an honor and a privilege.  I can’t wait till next year!
 
Vance Rogers
’12 Work Crew Boss(fellow servant)
About Carrie Church

Carrie Church loves teaching at Corbett Middle School. She has taught kids from pre-kindergarten through middle school, in almost all imaginable combinations. Before moving her family to Corbett, Carrie has lived in Alaska, Indiana, Michigan, and northern Italy. Carrie still loves to travel to new places and learn new things, and especially loves teaching science. She has three kids who attend Corbett School, goats and chickens, too much garden, and an indulgent husband.