What do you think of when you think Camp Magruder? Most people think of the beach or making friends and the community built here. What I think of is a bit more hairy, walks on four legs, and brays for treats. Thats right... donkeys.
Camp Magruder has been home to donkeys since 1957. Washington Sate School for the Blind donated Mr. Finnegan and thus began our tradition of riding and caring for our large friends. As our donkeys have aged they have developed arthritis and are no longer working animals. They currently enjoy getting brushed and fed treats by guests of Camp Magruder.
Over the many years donkeys have come and gone. I remember riding Betsy around the ball field as a kid. There was Jet, who was with us for a very short amount of time before got hit by a car. Who can forget Jonah. He sure had sass and would give a crazy ride. The donkeys that have remained constant for the last 30 years have been Abraham, Caleb, and Jenny. Abraham has gotten sassier, Caleb more docile, and Jenny just as jealous and rude as ever.
The donkeys have played a vital role in Camp Magruder. They have been used as ride givers, therapy animals, and their poop is a major ingredient in our compost here at camp. They constantly serve as a reminder of how awesome God's creation can be.
They have taught myself and many others many different things.
1. Donkey poop is just hay and stomach juice. It's ok to step in it.
2. When a donkey pins their ears back watch out because they are angry.
3. Donkeys bodies are not designed to let them throw up.
4. Donkeys are pack animals. If one eats, drinks, poops, or is loved... they all must.
5. Never look a donkey in the face as they are sneezing.
6. Lice are species specific.
7. Donkey life spans are about 30 years.