Cow Camp Weekend

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

Earlier this year, our family relocated from the wilds of America (aka “various cattle ranches far from town”) to a small place a few miles from town. Still working as a cowboy, my husband, Jim, hired on with a semi-nearby ranch to help with the spring works. After missing him for two weeks, the kids and I loaded up our suitcases, bed rolls, and the family dog to spend the weekend at cow camp with Daddy.

Grace, Levi, Milo and our pet Border Collie “Sis” were happy travelers.

cow camp

Once we reached camp, the first thing the kids did was strip off their clothes and run through a mud puddle. Apparently, you can take the kids out of the boonies, but you can’t take the boonies out of the kids.

They spent the remainder of the evening throwing their ropes at the dummy, feeding handfuls of grain to the horses in the night lot, and looking for bugs. The highlight of the night was eating dinner in the cookhouse with the cowboy crew.

Or maybe that was my highlight of the night. Rib eye steak and homemade pie that I neither cooked nor cleaned up after? Um, yes, please and thank you very much!

The next day, we got up early and ate breakfast with the crew.

“Why are we awake in the middle of the night?” asked my three-year-old son.

“It’s not the middle of the night, it’s 4:30 in the morning,” I replied.

“What does that mean?” he asked in a sleepy voice.

“It means you need to start drinking coffee. I mean, it means I need to start drinking. We need to make coffee?”

Getting up in the middle of the night is so confusing. But, we put on our jeans and boots, climbed into an extra pickup (because as a family of five, we require our own rig) and followed the crew out to the branding. There, we waited by the trap while the cowboys gathered pairs for the day.

Once everyone was at the trap, the kids jumped into the middle of the action. My six-year-old daughter brought the vaccine guns out to her daddy. My three-year-old son “helped” brand calves by placing his hand briefly on his dad’s hand while he branded a calf. The baby mostly blew spit bubbles and kicked his legs uselessly, which is about all a person can do while strapped to the chest of someone six times their size.

cow camp

cow camp

cow camp

My big kids rode the cowboss’ good blue horse double, so they basically felt like top hands.

cow camp

And the baby was the only individual at camp to roll around on the porch drooling and chewing on a rope. We’re definitely putting that in the “win” column.

cow camp

We’re definitely putting the whole weekend in the “win” column. A visit with Daddy/hubby, cowboy practice for the kids, and delicious meals. It doesn’t get much more perfect than that.



Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit

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