Sadly, pastoral places like Road’s End Farm have been succumbing to development at a disconcerting pace in recent years due to a number of factors, none of which give much credence to their worth to young people. With their passing have gone still more of the vestiges of a way of life rooted deeply in the rhythms of nature and the harmony of living beings.
Thankfully, serendipity has played a major role in saving the end of Jackson Hill Road as an open air classroom for girls and horses to teach one another about the give and take involved in life. Of course, the people who have personified this good fortune, and without whose fine efforts, knowledge, and wherewithal the Farm would be but a memory, deserve special recognition for their mostly unsung contributions. Only by honoring these generous individuals can one fully appreciate the unique collaboration of kindred spirits that results in something so fleeting yet so formative as a young girl’s summer camp experience on a working horse farm.
Coaxed into existence long ago by parents who valued the thought of Bob Woodman teaching their children more than just horsemanship, the camp has drawn upon the insight and wisdom of parents ever since. While the Farm is deeded to the Woodman family, the camp in essence belongs to the families who have supported and helped define the camp program down through the years with their camp fees, constructive advice, and encouraging words. Beginning with the wonderful daughters they have sent to Road’s End Farm and continuing on with their apt referrals of praiseworthy young women to be on the staff and their candid recommendations to the families of prospective campers years later, parents have been instrumental in perpetuating the camp and preserving the Farm.
People with a soft spot in their hearts for the camp and for what it has meant to the horse-loving girls who have been a part of it owe a debt of gratitude to the many parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who have believed in and sustained the Farm since those early camp days. This brief acknowledgment here along the way is but a small token of the Woodmans’ appreciation for all the families over all the years who have made Road’s End Farm viable for so many girls to experience and to enjoy.
Differing from camps that open up each summer after Memorial Day and close up before Labor Day, Road’s End Farm is a year-round endeavor involving continual maintenance and husbandry tasks. For the most part this work has fallen squarely on the shoulders of three dedicated people who have been assisted on a regular or emergency basis by the veterinarian, the farrier, and the hay man. Whatever success the Farm has enjoyed over the years must be attributed in large measure to these six forehanded individuals, whose combined sixteen decades of unstinting service to two generations of Woodmans could never be adequately compensated.
Much less prominent but none the less crucial to the smooth operation of the camp are the countless people employed by the Farm’s many vendors and service providers, who take pride in their workaday lives and consistently go the extra distance to make certain that Road’s End Farm offers campers and horses the best environment possible. Since the camp’s staff is front and center to receive accolades for its fine efforts each summer, ’tis only fitting that you should pass by this heartfelt tribute to all the folks who labor diligently in the background to keep the Farm ready for each camp season and each camper.