Taylor Henrickson can be found in her room listening to music from her favourite artists such as country singer Taylor Swift. But next week, Taylor will be experiencing a different kind of country at Circle Square Ranch, in Austin, Man. This is her second time at Circle Square Ranch with the help of the Sunshine Fund.
"Camp is my favourite part of the summer. I like to ride the horses and do archery," said the seven-year-old. "Last year, I closed my one eye and shot the arrow right in the middle part."
When she isn't listening to music, Taylor likes to go bike riding with her older sister to buy Slurpees at the closest gas station.
'Camp is my favourite part of the summer. I like to ride the horses and do archery. Last year, I closed my one eye and shot the arrow right in the middle part'
"The counsellors taught me how to ride a two-wheeler bike last year," she said. "Now I always ask if I can ride my bike when my mom is outside mowing the lawn."
Although Taylor is a bit nervous about heading to camp this summer, her sister, Amethyst Gamey-Wiebe, won't be too far away.
This is Amethyst's fourth time at Circle Square Ranch, and it won't be her last.
"In my first year, I was nervous, but I realized that I didn't have anything to be nervous about. Afterwards, I made my mom sign me up to go again," said the 14-year-old. "The staff is amazing. They look out for you."
Circle Square Ranch is also helping Amethyst get ready for her first year of high school. In the fall, she hopes to get involved with the musical theatre and choir programs.
"There's a rodeo at the end of the week, a big performance for the whole camp, and we perform a dance," she said. "Last year, I got to do the worm backwards."
In her spare time, Amethyst volunteers and raises money for charities such as Winnipeg Harvest. Her mom, Sabrina Gamey, attributes her desire to help others to Circle Square Ranch.
"Camp has played a big role in her leadership skills and her desire to care for others," she said. "She's a little philanthropist."
Gamey is a single parent, attending school to obtain her master's in social work. She has never been to camp, but is equally excited for her daughters.
"I was never allowed to go to camp, but it's a positive experience they wouldn't get to have without the Sunshine Fund. They learn a lot and look forward to it every year." she said. "When I'm done school, I definitely want to give back to the Sunshine Fund."
If you'd like to help, send cheques to the Winnipeg Free Press Sunshine Fund at 302-960 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0R4
Charitable tax receipts will be issued for donations.
For more information on the Sunshine Fund, call 1-204-784-1130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.