One of the best “friends” stories I have is one of our WNO (wranglers-night-out) nights. Anyone who has ever worked at a resident summer camp knows the long, joyous hours filled with all manner of activities and youth and adults. It’s even more intense when you add horses into the mix. In order to keep my wranglers motivated and acknowledge our hard work, I instituted a ‘wranglers-night-out’ in Estes Park every so often: code name-WNO.
We left camp after a full day of campers and rides, feeding, mucking turning the horses out for the night. Showering and changing, we piled into my 4-runner for a night out. We dined at Mama Rosa’s, one of our favorites, and then wandered in and out of stores on our way to the ice-cream parlor and chocolate factory.
We tried on matching blue cowboy hats, played on the swing sets in the park, bought rubber tomahawks and jawbreakers, ate birthday cake ice-cream cones and bought fudge. On the way home, we stopped at every stable along the way and breathed in horse-giggling at our attempt to “sneak” in. No one was around anyway! We took night shots or ourselves with these ‘other’ horses, headed back to our own camp and drove the half-mile dirt road in reverse to our corral.
Then, we went inside and ate our fudge. It was an evening of silly camaraderie-stress relief and the joy of good friends.