Camp News
Camp Stories

Horsin’ Around at Victory Junction

By Hannah O’Briant

June 21, 2019

For kids living with serious illnesses and chronic medical conditions, Victory Junction is a place to overcome fears, discover new abilities, and have fun! The program activities available here at camp encourage them to just be themselves and leave their worries at the gate. 


One of the many program areas at Victory Junction is the horse barn. Campers are welcome to engage in different activities here, including riding their favorite horse, taking part in the Animal Adventurprogram, or playing games! While campers are riding the horses, they are encouraged to maneuver over poles, around barrels, and through cones. There will typically be a game of ‘Simon Says’ or ‘Red Light Green Light’ held in the arena as well. Campers who are not riding horses can participate in activities like corn hole, horseshoes, and sidewalk chalk, which is always a hit. At Animal Adventure, campers can interact with llamas, ponies, bunnies, and goats. They even get the chance to paint a horse! 

“We have seen the impact horses have on our campers,” Kelsey Repsch, Victory Junction’s barn director said. “Horses not only help physically through core strength and balance, but also mentally.” 

The horse barn is a wonderful representation of how campers can put their skills to the test by letting go of their fears and embracing the experiences that horses have to offer. Victory Junction focuses on ensuring each activity is fully accessible to everyone! The barn is equipped with a Hoyer Lift System to aid in getting campers onto each horse, and every camper rides with the assurance of a counselor leading the horse, as well as side walkers for extra support if needed. 

Barn team member Annicka Kraft loves to see the smiles come to life on every camper’s face when they interact with the horses. The best part about the horse barn is that it lets kids be kids, regardless of any disability. 

Horses have such a therapeutic quality about them that allows campers to feel comfortable around them and release any worries they might have had coming into the horse barn. These majestic animals are gentle and honest, allowing campers to empathize with them. The horse barn is a special place to be at Victory Junction and a favorite camp activity for many campers.  


Conquering your fears can be the toughest part about camp, but it will surely be the most rewarding once you leave.