It’s been 11 years since Catherine Fisher first visited Still Meadows Enrichment Center and Camp – but clearly, that initial tour made quite an impression. In the ensuing decade, she’s volunteered countless hours to support the Virginia-based non-profit’s day camp, field trip and therapeutic riding programs.
Founded to provide therapeutic activities for children and adults with developmental and physical challenges, Still Meadows relies on its team of horses and other farm animals to keep participates active, engaged and having fun.
“Animals bring out so much for a child with special needs,” Catherine explains. “Whether they’re cuddling a baby chick, feeding the camp cat or riding one of our horses, all I see are huge smiles.”
Time at Still Meadows is packed with fun, but important learning happens, too. Participants practice critical social and communication skills as they engage with volunteers and other campers, and gain a sense of accomplishment – and improve physical skills like balance – as they learn to ride a horse.
“I go home exhausted but satisfied, knowing we brought joy for those few hours we were together,” Catherine says. “These children and adults look forward to attending our programs, and their enthusiasm, smiles and laughter is so fulfilling. It feels great to make a difference.”