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Limping to the end

Windswept Ranch


Another season of tours is coming to an end and I can’t believe how fast it has gone by. We are always so excited when the season begins, but by the end, I think all of us breathe a sigh of relief.

We try every year to add something to make it more enjoyable for visitors. This year, it was camel rides. If you got a chance to sit high atop Mac and tour the ranch, I am sure you had an experience you will never forget.

Sadly now, we do not have enough volunteers to finish the year out with camel rides. (No more pony rides either). In fact, we are barely limping through to the end. We have a few amazing volunteers, but really not nearly enough to do justice to the people who come to learn. The few and the dedicated come early on Saturday to clean, and even give a day during the week, but by the time guests begin to arrive, we are already pretty tired. (I am not complaining, just stating facts.)

Getting volunteers is challenging to say the least. Everyone nowadays is so busy. We have jobs, children, friends, hobbies…..We have a lot. And adding one more thing is sometimes overwhelming.

But volunteerism is a wonderful way to give back to your community and make new friends along the way. It sometimes allows you to pursue a passion without the expense of actually doing it on your own. It gives you a chance to help others.

The rewards are incredible. One of our volunteers loves horses and so has the opportunity to work exclusively with our minis, all of whom are rescues. Another fell in love with Zoe, our Grants zebra when she was just a baby. Today, he and Zoe go for walks around the ranch and spend quality time together. This same volunteer brings watermelon to Valentine, our bison and feeds grapes to Earl, the emu. Another has become involved with training the camels. With no background at all, this man has formed a bond with the camels that is really quite amazing. Another helps during the season of fawns by going out in her community and getting status so we can decide how to handle a given situation. And on Saturdays, these people share their passions with the public.

I am not saying you should volunteer here at Windswept, although I hope you will consider it. But I am saying you should consider giving a few hours a week to one of the many organizations so desperately in need of help. Whether you foster dogs or cats, go to a rescue and groom horses, volunteer to drive someone who just needs help, this is your community. And you can improve your community in some way by volunteering.

Maybe you don’t have time to put in an appearance on a regular basis but have skills on the computer. Maybe you are a fund raiser. Maybe you are good at organizing. There is an organization right here in your community that needs those talents. They might not seem like a big deal to you, but they could take a load off someone who is struggling to be all things to that organization.

We are coming into the last four Saturdays of our open season, and we have closed three times due to lack of staffing. The 10th of this month, we will also be forced to close. So if you are thinking of coming out there are really only three more Saturdays, October 17, 24, and 31. If you have been saying, “I have been meaning to get out there.”, do it. I promise you will meet some amazing animals and some wonderful people.

Our community is so animal oriented. And there are so many opportunities to help out. Take some time to explore them. Somewhere, there is a perfect fit for you and you will make a difference. Hold on to those words. They are important. You are important.


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