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Feb. 12 groundbreaking
set for new equine barn

By Duane Good, EDITOR

HALIFAX TWP. • Camp Hebron’s Build-the-Barn project, featured in previous Sentinel issues, recently marked a significant milestone.

The project to replace an aging horse stable on camp property had progressed to the point where construction can begin in the near future, with a goal of completion in the spring.

A public groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 12 at the camp’s Meadowview Stables area. State Rep. Sue Helm has been confirmed as a speaker.

Once completed, the new structure will include 23 horse stalls; a veterinarian/farrier work bay; feed room; and an indoor arena so riding can continue in incelement weather.

It will be used for lessons; summer camps; educational programs; clinics and seminars for local equestrians; and a staging area for guided trail rides – all part of the camp’s longstanding Horsemanship Program geared mainly toward young people.

The newer, larger barn will replace a building that has been in use for much of the program’s 25-year duration.

April 16 auction planned. Strong community support has enabled the project – which began almost three years ago – to reach most of its fundraising goal at this time, according to Tammy Briggs, the camp’s communications director.

Even after the barn’s completion, donations will continue to be needed to meet the ongoing costs of running the Horsemanship Program, she noted.

Outfitting the facility has its own costs as well, said Susan Berger, one of the camp’s horsemanship education specialists.

‘‘We continue to work on the finishing needs such as stall mats, arena footing and equipment in the tack room like saddle racks, bridle holders and tack storage bins,’’ she noted. ‘‘It is amazing how all this adds up, and we are working hard to raise the funds as we go.’’

To that end, the camp will hold a Boots and Blue Jeans Benefit Auction Thursday, April 16 at 5:30 p.m. Additional details will be published at a later date.

‘‘We are hoping to raise enough money to cover the extra expenses and be 100 percent fully funded for the entire project,’’ Berger said.

She added that the camp is ‘‘especially grateful’’ for a recent pledge of $10,000 from the Millersburg-based Troutman vehicle dealership, saying the business ‘‘rallied to the cause when  presented with the additional fencing needed around the barn that was not budgeted in the original plan.

‘‘This gift made it possible for us to continue moving forward with the project,’’ Berger noted.

The Halifax Twp. Board of Supervisors recently approved the required Land Development Plan for the project, and a building permit should be issued soon, said Dustin Musser, the camp’s executive director.

More than just a building. At a time when many summer camps have discontinued or curtailed equestrian programs due to the rising cost of feeding and caring for horses, insurance and other aspects, Hebron has chosen to continue – and, when it can, grow – its own program, camp officials said.

‘‘Although there have been challenges at times through the years, (the camp) has committed to sustaining its horsemanship program, believing that the value of the program far exceeds the cost,’’ officials said. ‘‘Twenty-five years later, the program continues, 19 horses strong.’’

For Hebron and its staff, the Build-the-Barn project is about more than just replacing the building; it’s about keeping the Horsemanship Program current and essential to the camp’s mission.

‘‘By investing in this program, you are investing in your local community,’’ officials said. ‘‘The program directly impacts hundreds of youth each year, building strength, confidence (and) a sense of responsibility and value.’’

Officials pointed to an ongoing initiative with the  Yellow Breeches Education Center, in which ‘‘at risk’’ young people are paired with a horse and receive two hours of instruction that includes basic horsemanship skills and a trail ride.

The camp uses specially-trained horses for its trail rides, hand-led horse rides and riding lessons. Campers also are offered an opportunity to earn a riding skills certificate through the Certified Horsemanship Association.

Young horsemen to display skills. In addition to the groundbreaking, an Open Barn event will be held in the spring, once the new stable is completed.

‘‘Our students are working hard on their riding skills when the weather cooperates, and they are looking forward to showing their families and friends what they have learned,’’ Berger noted.


Contact the camp at


or email Susan Berger at

The camp’s website is

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