Say Hello Saturday: Rowanne Fairchild

Say Hello Saturday: Rowanne Fairchild

This winter and spring, we’re highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Today we headed out to Sunrise Ranch to introduce to you the lovely lady behind all things horse-related: say hello to Rowanne!

Name: Rowanne “Mela” Fairchild

Job: Ranch Manager

How long have you worked at Cascades? My first summer on staff was 2011, and I worked through the summer of 2013. I came back in the fall of 2014 as the interim ranch supervisor and became permanent in January 2015.

Favorite part about working at Cascades? I really like the diversity of the job – especially the aspect of physical labor that plays into that. There are some days that we’re stripping rails, moving hay, or riding horses, and it’s a very physically active job. It’s also a job that involves a lot of relational ministry. That’s one of my favorite parts: getting to know the hearts of people and seeing the way that God is at work in their lives and getting to witness how God is at work here through their interactions with horses.

If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? The kale quinoa salad

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? I’m really into martial arts. I love reading and writing and spend a lot of time outside of work doing that. I also enjoy backpacking and traveling. I spend most of my weekends, weather permitting, doing those things.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be either a veterinarian or a detective – I wanted to solve problems!

Favorite place at camp? I really like Osprey Glade. It’s probably my favorite remote location, right at the crook of the elbow of the lake. I really also like the top of Grandview.

Most epic camp story? During my senior year of high school I was out here volunteering and was left by myself to run the horses up to the pasture. It was my first time doing it by myself and I was super stoked to be trusted with this responsibility. Turns out I forgot to close the gate at the bottom of the covered arena, so the horses went around the top of the night pasture, which basically dumped them into the forest. I was distraught and beside myself because I figured I had just lost all these horses. Fortunately, some people from a guest group had been in the right place at the right time and saw the horses coming from the wrong direction. They opened the gate and let the horses through and closed it after them. Everything ended up being okay even though I thought I would never be asked to come back to camp again!

What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? One of my most rewarding experiences has been my relationship with one of our horses, Captain. Working with him from the time that he came and was considered by most to be a crazy and untouchable horse, to working with him that summer on most of his “firsts” and seeing him emerge not as a crazy horse, but one that was incredibly insecure. I saw myself reflected a lot in him and found freedom within that relationship to heal and develop. He still has a long road ahead of him, but is much more dependable and willing to walk into the unknown. That bond of trust with him has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

Thanks Rowanne! From her earlier years as a home school horsemanship camper, to now running the show as our year-round Ranch Manager, we love seeing how Cascades has shaped Rowanne and how she in turn is shaping the lives of others who come through our gates. Hooray for Rowanne! Pop in and say hi to her next time you’re at Sunrise Ranch.

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