No matter how impressive a camp’s guiding principles, activities, and facilities may be, they are all for naught without the right combination of young people to make them meaningful and memorable. At Road’s End Farm every effort is made to recruit an excellent staff and to appeal to campers who will appreciate the camp’s lovely farm environment and low-key program. Ever mindful that the diversity of a well-rounded group of girls maximizes each girl’s opportunity to broaden her horizons, every effort is also made to attract campers from far and wide. Not surprisingly, the fruits of these efforts are readily apparent in the thriving friendships and good-natured quality of life that abound at the camp each summer no matter the amount of rainfall or number of sunny days.
Originally from Concord, Massachusetts, Sarah has enjoyed a diverse career, including holding positions in public education and the nonprofit world. She attended Dartmouth Medical School before transitioning into a career as a medical education consultant for several years. Now, she’s eager to shift gears and immerse herself in the world of camp life, drawing on her deep connection with Road’s Ends Farm spanning over 25 years.
Sarah first set foot on the farm at 8 years old as a camper, creating cherished memories of summer days spent with horses and forming friendships that endure to this day. Her passion for camp led her to work as a counselor the summer before college. In recent times, Sarah has rekindled her connection with the farm, cooking during the camp season and finding joy in welcoming campers to work beside her in the farm kitchen.
Sarah is immensely grateful for the opportunity to steward the program by assuming the role of camp director. She looks forward to spending summers with campers, accompanied by her dog, Maple, and sharing the foundational principles of kindness, hard work, living simply, and maintaining a deep respect for nature— Road’s End Farm values that played a significant role in shaping her.
Having spent over three decades directing the camp program, Alicia Eitzman and Tom Woodman now enjoy camp life as the Farm’s owners or, more importantly, as its stewards. Still young-at-heart despite their ages, they remain fully involved with the workings of the Farm and assist with the Camp as needed and desired by the Director. With the life lessons and knowledge gleaned from their experiences at Road’s End Farm over so many years and their willingness to share both, Alicia and Tom embody a repository of information and sometimes advice for interested campers, staff members, and parents.
By happenstance back in 1987, Alicia mistakenly found herself at the end of Jackson Hill Road in search of wildflowers and, as fate would have it, stayed around as one herself in the eyes of the campers, the staff, and most of all, Tom. As the lovely perennial that she has always been, Alicia enhances everyone’s stay at the Camp with her unwavering compassion for children, animals, and the environment; and, in no short measure, for her commitment to making certain that all meals served are as enjoyable as they are nutritious. Indeed, life can only be better for those who have the opportunity to know Alicia and spend time with her.
Unlike Alicia, the stork that dropped Tom off at the Farm back in 1948 did not get confused and leave him off elsewhere. With his formative years spent on the Farm and his summers involved with the horsemanship camp his folks created there in 1958, Tom has over 70 years of Road’s End Farm memories that he is quick to recount for inquisitive campers and others. He still gives evening “Tom Talks” with suggestions for how to be successful to the girls upon request, and without even trying he sets an example that invites one and all to dress comfortably and appropriately for life on a working horse farm, fashion be damned.
The Riding Director
Holly’s history with Road’s End Farm began at just 11 years old when she came to the farm as a camper herself. While she grew up riding mainly in the jumper ring on thoroughbreds, she has experience in dressage, barrel racing, and eventing. Holly spent four years as a counselor while she attended the University of Chicago, living at the farm for a year during the pandemic. She especially loves the notoriously difficult Road’s End Farm horses, attending to medical needs of the herd, and mothering the goats. Holly worked at a law firm in Chicago for two years before her love of all things Road’s End Farm drew her back to the end of the road as the camp’s Riding Director in January of 2023. In addition to her role at the farm, she is a law student at UNH Franklin Pierce.
As a camp program is only as effective as the people who implement it, considerable thought goes into the choice of the resident camp staff at Road’s End Farm. Prerequisites for selection to the staff include competence, a sincere desire to work with children, and the ability to serve as an admirable role model. Once chosen, staff members are often reminded of the virtues of kindness, teamwork, and leadership by good example. Ten to twelve counselors, two cooks, and a registered nurse who is on-call and resides at the Farm during the summer, help to provide positive camp experiences for everyone. Deserving seventeen-year-olds, who have been campers at the Farm and know which end is up, also lend helping hands as counselors-in-training.
The senior counselors, each well-qualified in one or more facets of the camp program, help one another in conducting the various camp activities. Aiding them are counselors new to the camp, who are also generally skilled riders with Red Cross certification in lifeguarding or advanced first aid. Aside from instructional duties, each counselor has responsibility for one dormitory room as well as a fair share of the dining room tasks. As most counselors selected for the staff have interests and talents well beyond the activities that the camp offers, they are encouraged to share them with the campers as much as possible. With few exceptions, the counselors at Road’s End Farm fall between 19 and 23 years of age and most either attend or have recently finished college.
Inasmuch as children are children regardless of race or religion, a girl needs only to desire a leisurely, fun-filled camp experience and be willing to freely contribute to that end to be welcomed and respected at Road’s End Farm. The girls who find the Farm most appealing share a love for horses and the outdoors as well as a wish to be treated as responsible individuals. Naturally, many of them return year in and year out to nourish old friendships and make new ones and some eventually become counselors—just as it should be.
In the hearts and the minds of the campers, little can compare with the horses that grace the pastures along Jackson Hill Road. The Farm’s herd numbers about sixty animals with roughly two thirds of them registered Morgans and the other third comprised of Arabians, Quarterhorses, Standardbreds, Hackneys, and a fair share of lovely grade animals. Their sizes range from several ponies of 13.2 hands up to a few horses of 16.0 hands with the vast majority falling in the 14.1 to 15.2 hand range, which is ideal for most camp-age girls. Aside from being suitably trained for riders of different abilities, the horses and ponies in the herd have been selected for their dispositions, manners around children, and soundness.