Your support will make Ekone Magic happen for deserving kids! Please help us make camp more accessible for kids of all kinds.
Aluxus was ten years old when she arrived at camp last summer. She had never been on a horse before, but had always loved them and dreamed of learning to ride. Her parents got divorced last year, and around the same time, Aluxus was diagnosed with a hypothyroid condition that caused her to rapidly gain a lot of weight. Lots of changes for a little girl. “I noticed that she was becoming withdrawn and was having a hard time coping with our new life,” her mom shares. “When I started looking for horse camps, I was sad to see that they were all nowhere near my new tight budget. That's when I heard about Ekone's scholarships.”
On the first day of camp, Aluxus was excited and a little nervous. But nothing like the nerves of getting on a horse for the first time! That first ride was terrifying, and trying to balance her changing body bareback on Kona was not quite what Aluxus was expecting. We took it very slow, with lots of reassurance from the staff and loving patience from Kona. Finally, we made our first lap around the round pen, and everyone cheered at Aluxus’ success while she slid back to the ground with relief.
There were lots of other stretches for Aluxus during camp. “I have never worked so hard in my life!” she exclaimed on the second day, after walking up and down the hill to the Yummy Tummy a zillion times, working with her chore crew, and carrying the compost buckets to the chickens. That day, she hit her wall, and had such a big wave of homesickness we were afraid she would end up going home early, which almost never happens. But, after lots of hugs, snuggles with the dogs, and a good night’s sleep, Aluxus hit her stride and started to settle in to ranch life.
Her teary terror at feeling that big horse move underneath her was transformed into confident exuberance as she mastered her balance and learned to guide Kona herself. Never again did we hear her complain about her chores. Aluxus’ mom was astounded. “When I went to pick her up from camp she was the excited sweet girl I had lost through my divorce and life struggles. She was so bright eyed, you could tell that not only did the camp, horses and staff make her feel whole again, she had built back a new self confidence that no one could take away from her. She also was so active and eating good healthy meals that it helped kick start her weight loss from her thyroid. I thank all the people that are able to donate to the camp for helping bring a smile back to my baby girl’s face because without the scholarship fund, this would not have been possible! Aluxus has applied to come back this summer, and there is not a day that goes by that she doesn't ask me, have we heard back? Did I get in?”
Your donations to Ekone’s scholarship fund make this kind of life-expanding experience possible for kids like Aluxus.
This is the next generation of Earth stewards. Every investment in their capacity to love the land, take care of animals, look after each other, share in community, appreciate good food and good work, and be kind, brave, generous, gentle, strong, loving citizens is an investment in a beautiful future for us all and for generations to come.
Please consider making a generous donation to the scholarship fund today. We will match your donation dollar for dollar, so your impact is doubled. And remember that even if you can’t make a large donation at this time, the number of donors we have helps us leverage additional funds.
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