Dude Ranch Life: Wrapping up and Moving on

There is one thing we can always count on at the ranch and that is we have the most amazing people come through our doors who call the ranch home for a period of time in their life.  But, along with that guarantee is the guarantee that at some point many of these folks move on to their next step in life.  As we end the summer (fall at this point) season, we are having some sad farewells.  At the very same time, Beka is busy lining up the next generation of fabulous ranch staff to come in for the upcoming winter season.

There are many great folks who are packing up this weekend to head off as we close for the season, but here are a few notable ones who have had a great impact on the VVR community.

Erica and John (JT) Thompson, as well as baby Althea and Goldie the dog are moving to Florida to be closer to family with their own growing family.  Erica has been the constant in the kids program for years now–pouring her love of children and leadership skills into heading up the program and helping make each child’s vacation memorable.  Anyone who has eaten at the ranch can appreciate JT’s contribution as Chef de Cuisine.  He and Cholly have been the most amazing match of personalities and skills in the kitchen, and their partnership has been a key to the success of our dining experience.  Both leave big shoes to fill, but we have some amazing folks who are ready to step in and move forward.

Small but mighty, our little Sam is hanging up her spurs and heading off to pursue the next step in her life.  She will still be pretty close by, we hope, so we’re looking forward to hearing her stories of life in the “real world” when she stops by to visit.  Sam has been an instrumental part of our wrangler staff, and took over the reins of running the barn this year, and lead the charge to step up our game on training and setting protocols for proper saddle fitting, which is key to the horses well being.  We think the horses will miss her as much as we do!

And the list goes on…..Anna’s style will be missed heading up the dining room, and Grace who ran housekeeping is heading off to plan her wedding with fellow staff member Christian.  Mary, otherwise known as little Miss Sunshine, who has worn almost every hat at the ranch.  Rachel who has guided the Zirkel Circle what feels like a million times (but who can get tired of that hike?) as well as led the team of those who wrangle kids.  Then there is Tim, Tay-Po, Alexis, Hannah, Tom, Johnny, and Emily.

We thank these folks, along with the ones who have just made VVR a brief stop on their life journey.  It takes an amazing team of people committed to excellence in service to make the ranch what it is today.  It’s been a joy to work with all of these fine folks, and we wish them the best in their next ventures.  There are only a few moments to pause and wipe away the tears before we jump right back in to developing the next generation of VVR leaders.  It’s exciting to have new people to help grow and teach them the VVR way!