I am currently finishing out my graduate studies in Ancient Hellenic studies at Sacramento State University, but my heart will always truly reside with camp. I will be returning for my second year at Copper Creek Camp where I hope to continue to run the amazing mountain biking program that Copper Creek has to offer.
I am always at peace when I am in the beautiful Greenville mountains teaching kids how to bike, I have never been more happy in my entire life than when I am up there.
My goal is to make sure that every single child that attends Copper Creek leaves camp feeling exactly the way I do about it, I want them to make the same connection I have made to camp and make the same quality friends that I have made. The thing about camp, while it only lasts a few weeks, it will leave a lasting impression on you for the rest of your life.
Although I’m only 20 months old, I am, and have always been, the rightful heir to the throne of humanity. Don’t forget it! Born in late July, I am a Leo in every sense of the word. My name Ronan (http://www.babynamesofireland.com/ronan) is one to be feared and obeyed for I am the first of the seven Seals. My demeanor is gentle, but cross me and you’ll experience the fullness of my wrath.
In the beginning I was known commonly as Ronan the Babe-arian. But then I grew, and as I grew I developed talents for devastation and soon became known as, Ronan the Destroyer. In my fullest form, and as you will come to know me, I stand alone on a white horse, Ronan the Conqueror, lord and master over all that I survey. You will bow to me and claim fealty to my dominion or be crushed and sold as wheat and barley to feed the hogs. I offer, with your allegiance, my protection that you may be spared from the Black and Red Riders, and my endorsement with the Pale rider that you may also be spared from an afternoon of me crying because I didn’t get my way.
Watch me closely because I will wander far and wide if not properly monitored and I have yet to learn of the dangers of this Earthly abode. And, like any wild thing, please do not feed me. The body that I inhabit is not accustomed to modern foods and requires a special diet that is Dairy and Gluten Free.
To know me is to love me. To love me is to serve me. To serve me is to be loved by me.
Meet Cathal, (the oldest son of Devin and Sinead- see blog posts from 4/22/2013 and 4/23/2013)
This will be my second time coming to Copper Creek Camp and my first summer there. I am a very bright, handsome, multi-lingual, 4 ½ year old, dual citizen of Ireland and the US. When I’m not creating works of art with finger paints, crayons, and paper mache, or riding my bike through the biggest puddles I can find, I like to ponder the deepest existential questions of human kind like, ‘How did the first baby get into his mommy’s tummy?’, and other such philosophical paradoxes. But, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy throwing rocks into ponds, playing games and chasing dogs just as much as the next kid… maybe even more.
As a budding engineer I have grown quite fond of Lego and have graduated from the Mega Blox into the more traditional ‘small’ pieces (don’t let Ronan eat them) that were liberated from Granddad’s attic during the Great Removal of 2013. I like to build towers, garages, and multi-story castle complexes in my spare time. Be ready for me to enlist your help in the many projects that I have planned this summer. With me around you will never be bored or lack for things to do. If you are lucky and a hard worker you may be rewarded with a small amount of babysitting time and/or the chance to read to me, play with me, or entertain me.
I plan to be in as many places as I can at Camp like the pool, horses, small animals, and the pond, so be ready to see me running around and causing trouble. Remember, I am intelligent and highly verbal so expect to have to explain yourself when you see me doing something I’m not supposed to do, or when you are trying to get me to do something that I am supposed to be doing. If you follow some simple rules and heed my wishes, we should get along just fine.
I’ve got to say that most of the best summers of my life I have spent at Copper Creek Camp. I am so happy to be able to return this year with my husband (Devin) and our 2 boys (Cathal and Ronan).
Ever since my first time at Copper Creek Camp I knew that there was something special happening there; the fresh air, the clean water, living in the woods and mountains… bliss! The fact that I met my husband there only adds to the mystique and grandeur that camp holds in my heart.
After many years in the corporate IT world I knew it was time for a break. I needed sunshine and hard, physical labour in my life. That is not to say that I didn’t work hard outside of my software engineering work, I certainly did. Leading up to the time I started with CCC I was riding horses nearly everyday and competing in dressage, jumping, x-country, and 3-day events almost every weekend.
In addition to that I started and ran 2 Shotokan Karate clubs, and actively pursued training and competition in my spare time… what little of it I had. In fact, the winter following my first CCC summer, I was fortunate to be able to compete for the Irish Squad in the World Shotokan Championships in Las Vegas, NV.
These days my life has mellowed out a bit, at least that’s what they tell me. I am working as a teacher in a secondary school, as an online facilitator for a master’s level IT course, and I am a full-time mother to 2 young boys. I continue to train in Shotokan, having recently earned my 4th Dan, and still have 1 of my clubs. And, I try to get out and ride my dear sweet Rosie as often as possible.
This summer you’ll likely see me down at horses when I’m not chasing around after a 20 month old and a 4 ¾ yr old. Also, it is my hope that Lauren might let me spend some time working on the high ropes course, going to the lake, and maybe even getting to go out with the TREK program. Hey! A girl can dream can’t she?
I look forward to meeting everyone and to an outstanding summer!
I thought I had a great life; fancy college degree, cool job, lots of snowboarding, backpacking, rafting, mountain biking, BBQing, loads of cool friends, a house with a fire place and stairs, a ‘station-jeep-wagon’, long term love affairs… everything anybody ever wanted. Then I was introduced to Copper Creek Camp and what turned out to be my empty shell of a life changed forever.
My camp experience began in the summer of 2000. That first summer I learned more about myself than I had in the 20 years prior. Encouraged to tap deep into my quintessential self I was afforded opportunities to climb trees, capsize canoes and sleep on the ground, force-feeding the expansion of my talents and comfort zones in more ways than I can list. I was even allowed to help mold and shape young minds, develop future leaders, and share my love for the outdoors.
I must’ve done a good enough job because they kept giving me more and more to do, and kept letting me come back for the next several years until something unforeseen happened that would again change my life forever. One day in late spring, while I was innocently returning from the pool to help feed horses in the afternoon (I really liked driving the little tractor and, I suppose I like being helpful in general) I was introduced to a gorgeous, porcelain skinned, blue-eyed riding instructor with an outrageous foreign accent. We were married 5 years later. That’s right, I met my wife at Copper Creek Camp and I have Lauren, Becky and Craig to thank for bringing her into my life. You’ll have to ask her yourself what brought her to camp to begin with (everyone has their reasons), but I affectionately refer to it as ‘Operation Green Card’.
This year I am returning to the scene of the crime with brood in tow. I am so excited to be able to spend another summer with my Copper Creek Family, and am ecstatic to be able to share my favorite people with the campers and staff that have been so influential in my life.
So, that’s about enough of the ‘Meadow Meeting’…
This summer I hope to be found in some of the more interesting areas of camp, for instance, I am hoping that Craig will let me drive the backhoe, move some serious dirt around, and practice my “Redneck” skills.
ROSCO: Hey Jigs- So cool of you to spend a minute talking to me.
JIGGY: No prob, Dude.
ROSCO: How long have you been at Coppercreek?
JIGGY: Ummm…probably about 13 years or so. I was kind of a wild thing when I arrived. Lornie’s Aunt Les picked me up as a rescue near Fresno. I remember they had to build a box in her trailer because they were worried I was going to jump out. Crazy. I am not that stupid but it was pretty funny watching them try to figure out how to get me from the box to Lornie’s trailer on the side of a road. I made them think I might take off but I didn’t in the end- just jumped from one trailer to the next. They backed them together and sort of herded me out like a sheep or something.
ROSCO: Wow. What happened next?
JIGGY: When I arrived at camp, Lornie was a little confused as what to do with me until she got the crazy idea of turning me into a cart horse. The next thing I knew I was put into some serious training. Lots of handling, lunging, they would wag scary stuff at me to make me not afraid. Excuse me? What is it about flapping bags in horse’s faces that makes people think we won’t be afraid anymore? They finally realized I wasn’t afraid to begin with. Hello? It is just a plastic bag.
ROSCO: How did you get your name?
JIGGY: Thankfully, Coppercreek had this great dance instructor named Jon who made all the staff learn a dance to Will Smith’s “Gettin Jiggy With It” during staff week. Lornie decided the name Jiggy fit me because of all my wild spots. Sure beats a lame name like “Spot” or “Dot”. Now my whole family is called something from Will Smith. I have my lady, “Jada” and my two kids, Willow and “Wicked Wild Wild West”, but we just call him JJ.
ROSCO: Tell me more about this cart business. All I know is I like to bark at the wheels when you go trotting by.
JIGGY: After I was driven all over camp and in a few parades, Lornie decided I needed to show, so off we went. I hit the American Miniature Horse Association show circuits and did pretty well. I think people were a bit amused at seeing this crazy looking thing in classes when really the rage, at the time, was bay horses.
I got this following though and every time I entered the show arena, all these fans would scream and clap. I must admit, it was kind of fun. And man, there were some nice looking mares at these shows, all dolled up and looking pretty. I was a bit alarmed at some of the other guys and how they behaved towards these gals. I mean, come on, you have to always remember to be a gentleman. Besides, when I behave, Lornie gives me Honey Nut Pretzels.
ROSCO: So what do you do at camp?
JIGGY: I am in charge of taking campers around the trails in the cart. Beauty, that cute little black mare, helps me. It’s pretty fun. Sometimes I get a bit confused when the campers don’t watch where they are going. Fortunately, I have had my driver’s license for a long time now and make sure we avoid trees and stumps.
ROSCO: What is your favorite part of camp?
JIGGY: I love it when I get to go up on stage at Campfire or attend a dance in costume. I secretly hope I will get discovered because my dream is to star in a movie some day.
ROSCO: Oh hey- I gotta run. Craig is on the move and my job is to follow him every where!