Today I was thinking of lessons I could teach on and came up with this little story.
The ranger stepped out onto the large porch of the main house just after 8am. The days group from the city should be here soon. He looked at the clip board with the days activities on it. Fishing, boating and horseback riding. He then looked up into the sunny sky and took a mental note. It was already getting warm and it was only going to get warmer as the day went on. For the horses health and well being the ride should be done first before it got to hot. He looked down towards the barns and watched the saddled horses being led up from the barns, guess the other rangers thought the same thing. He then heard an engine in the distance. turning his head he looked down the dirt road and saw a dusty tail swirling up into the dry air as wheels of a vehicle traveled on the dry road. A church group from the city was up for the weekend. This is going to be a lot of fun. Sharing the outdoors with this group of eager learners.
The ten and twelve year old boys were the first to arrive, their excitement was over boiling and put a smile on the Rangers face. He loved their unbridled excitement. The van had barely come to a stop when the doors swung open and the boys laughing and yelling were jumping out, dragging their fishing gear and swim towels. In their excitement they didn’t know what they wanted to do first, fishing, boating or horseback riding. The ranger suggested that they put their fishing gear down at the boathouse and they go riding first so the horses could get their exercise before it got to hot out. The boys agreed and took off yelling encouragement at each other as they ran down towards the boathouse to drop off their fishing gear and towels, ready for them to use when they returned. Next to arrive was the van full of girls and right on their bumper were the families. The energy in the air was electric and was intensified as the boys came running back. The excitement level was so loud, everyone almost missed the instructions that were being given by the Ranger. A loud shush was heard, and the Ranger was heard to say. ” It is important that you listen very carefully, as there are bears and cougars in the area.” You must obey the Rangers instructions.
All the visitors took in a slow deep breath, looking at each other as if to ask, what have we gotten ourselves into? They were city people and knew nothing about wild animals. They began to feel very unsettled. The Rangers reassured them that all would be alright, they just needed to stick together and not stray from the trail. They then proceeded to help all the people get matched up with the right horse for the ride up into the mountains.
Let’s Saddle Up
The youngsters all ran around laughing and yelling about what horse and who they were going to ride with only added to the chaos of the morning. The word “Stop” was hollered by the Ranger and young bodies all froze where they were, looking sheepish they lowering their eyes to the ground and shuffling their feet, they faced the Ranger. A group “Sorry” was given and order was restored once again. The rangers sizing up the children matched them with horses more their speed. Not to slow, but not to fast either. As each person mounted their horse and got themselves settled into their saddles. The Rangers began putting them into a specific order, mixing up experienced riders with riders who had never ridden before and making sure not to put too many of the energetic boys together.