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‘The Bucking Barrel’ by Paige Swan

Updated: Nov 2, 2021



I think it’s interesting how something as simple as that bucking barrel has united so many campers throughout the years.


It’s rusty, squeaky, chronically needs oil sometimes you rip your jeans when you get dumped but man does that thing bring people together.


It bring joy, laughter, a few bruises and tears I will admit but most importantly it brings memories. Not memories of hanging around watching movies, everyone on their phones comparing memes, or having to explain through a video although some of them should’ve been; but through telling a story like a good ole fashioned cowboy campfire story that everyone listens to, in anticipation for the pinnacle point or the punch line.


Twin Lakes Ranch Ministries is kind of like that, they are a community. A family of all sorts of people who gather together around a bucking barrel to see who can stay on the longest and who can create the hardest ride, they cheer for the ones who stay on and help dust off the ones who fall off to get right back on and try again.


In turn I’ve witnessed that in real life with these people when life gets rocky. It might’ve been a weekend camp but we keep in contact throughout the year, and constantly check in on each other. Campers and staff alike keeping in communication about events outside of camp to see each other, horse shows and competitions or just plain old trail rides. Even going as far as driving 4 hrs one way to spend the weekend because that person wasn’t doing good and they needed someone who had real tangible memories with them to pull them out of a dark place.


It’s fascinating really, to help someone out of a dark mental place because of a real memory from a bucking barrel. Something so simple so seemingly small and insignificant, yet has had such a huge impact on so many people.

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