Last Thursday a group of students chaperoned by Mr. Giles Campbell, Mr. Clyde Dawson and Miss Shannon Paisley left Ridley to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award trip to Pennsylvania. Arriving at 11pm to ‘The Cook County Scenic Trail Ride and Dude Ranch’ the group put up their tents, and prepared for three full days of horse riding in the beautiful Cook County State Park, located near Clarion PA.
The next morning, after cooking their breakfast, the group was introduced to their horses and began the adventure. The trails were far from tame, the riders had to negotiate steep climbs and descents, huge muddy puddles, creeks, fallen trees and best of all massive rivers! We crossed the Clarion River twice during the first day that was deep enough to make a few of the riders shoes wet!
We were blessed with perfect weather, which made the scenery even more spectacular. On Friday and Saturday the group rode for five hours. Each rider made a real connection with their horse and made progress in their riding skills.
The students were an impressive group, they worked well together, preparing meals, making fires and having fun.
This was a trip that I am sure each person will remember forever. I hope that the students will pursue adventurous journeys in the future and complete their next level of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Giles Campbell, Director of the Ridley Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program