Blue Skies of Mapleview Summer Camp has been the highlight of my children’s summer every year (ever since they were old enough to attend.) Blue Skies is a jewel tucked away in a beautiful farm setting convenient to Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough: the setting is lovely and the people are wonderful, warm, friendly. I look forward to the drive every day because the countryside is so pretty – wide-open farm land has become so rare, yet Blue Skies is located convenient to Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough. When we arrive at Blue Skies and walk along the path to camp, we enjoy listening to the birds singing, horses’ tails swishing: everything feels so peaceful and calm. Deborah Pearson-Moyers teaches the children how to understand, care for, love and appreciate the horses. (The children first learn how to ride bareback, with no reins, and with time/experience they graduate to using reins and saddle.)
I was trying to put my finger on what it is that makes Blue Skies so wonderful, and figured I should go straight to the source: my two daughters who are currently in summer camp there. “What do you love the most about Blue Skies of Mapleview? Reply: “Everything!”
With a little coaxing we were able to come up with the girls’ top 10 things they love about Blue Skies of Mapleview (in no particular order):
- The horses! Favorite horses: Sonny (My girls love his personality – “He’s very sweet and he loves me a lot”); Lucky, Charlie and Peanut are among their favorites, but, as the girls put it, “Well, we love all of the horses at Blue Skies!”
- Art: Interesting painting and drawing projects (including drawing horses and drawing in perspective), decoupage and collage projects, beeswax sculpting, Sculpey projects, and more! (The arts projects change with the different sessions.)
- Sarah, Sonja, Miss Deborah, Christina, Samantha and all of the camp counselors – they do a wonderful job gently teaching children how to respect and understand horses.
- Earning my reins!
- Trail Rides: “We ride through the woods and fields, and stop in a pretty clearing next to a pond and have a watermelon treat, then we give the rinds to the horses.” (The trail ride path goes from Blue Skies through woods and fields and farm land across from the Mapleview Ice Cream shop.)
- Cleanest Horse Competitions: The kids are divided in teams and clean their assigned horse (after learning all of the fundamentals of horse grooming), and the cleanest horse wins: apples! The girls have great fun and take great care as they learn to clean and groom the horses.
- “Field Trips” with Sarah and Sonja (walking over to the neighboring farms to visit with neighboring horses.)
- Getting up early and enjoying the beautiful countryside as we drive to Blue Skies (Blue Skies is located only a few minutes from Chapel Hill neighborhoods Lake Hogan Farms and Wexford, 10 or 15 minutes from Carrboro).
- Swimming: The kids enjoy splashing around with their friends in the Blue Skies pool after a fun day of riding.
- and one of my favorite things: The craft project each child brings home at the end of each Blue Skies summer camp week. One year our girls made beautiful decoupage wooden trays, with cut-out images of horses and photographs of themselves with Blue Skies horses. Now they use these wooden trays often; they love to bring us breakfast in bed on the weekend, with everything neatly arranged on their beautiful Blue Skies horse tray.
Visit www.blueskiesmapleview.us for more information.
We can’t say enough good things about Blue Skies of Mapleview … next I would love to take Women’s Intuitive Riding classes with Deborah! (I will write a separate blog about Deborah’s riding classes and Women’s Intuitive course for adult women.)
- Note: The adorable horse caps the girls are wearing in the photo were a very generous gift to all of the Blue Skies campers one session from a LOCAL Chapel Hill-area business that makes the horse hats. My girls LOVE their horse hats and have gotten great use out of them – protective from the sun’s rays. You can find these locally-made horse hats at www.ridethecanter.com Buy Local! Support local businesses! We’re all in it together 🙂