Ranch school

Kim Chappell recently relocated to Culpeper in July from northern Nevada and began preparations to restart her KinderRanch and RanchSchool programs for school-aged children.

Culpeper’s kids will soon have an outlet to learn leadership and responsibility through farm-focused lessons thanks to Nevada transplant Kim Chappell.

“These kids are so excited to work,” Chappell said.  “I cannot even begin to tell you the joy they have once they get their head wrapped around what we’re doing here.”

Chappell, a New York native, recently relocated to Culpeper in July from northern Nevada and began preparations to restart her KinderRanch and RanchSchool programs for school-aged children.

In 2002, Chappell began working horse camps, teaching riding and horsemanship before realizing kids needed help with leadership and life skills. In teaching skills, kids would not only become more successful with not only the horses but also in life.

So Chappell, after working with horses and kids for 30 years, designed the KinderRanch and RanchSchool programs to do just that.

KinderRanch is a program for 4, 5 and young 6-year-olds. It’s designed to teach kids leadership and life skills by using a hands-on approach by working on the ranch with horses, chickens and other livestock. 

RanchSchool program is for 7-year-olds and up. It is a work program to teach lessons by way of working on the ranch by doing daily duties such as cleaning stalls, feeding livestock, repairing fences, building, filling/cleaning water troughs, handling horses, stacking hay, vet emergencies and more.

“In essence the ranch belongs to them because they put their signature on it,” Chappell said. 

In learning the inner workings of the farm, Chappel said, students gain self-esteem, confidence, a can-do attitude, teamwork, manners, problem solving skills and more.

“From this, a child’s sense of self and confidence grow as they learn not only how to do stuff but how to be a part of a team where being responsible and accountable matter,” Chappel said. 

Both programs have been in operation for over 10 years.

Before becoming a part of the program, Chappell interviews each child with a parent to determine if they’re a right fit.

Although not specifically targeted towards them, participants have primarily been homeschooled children due to the weekday, morning/afternoon hours. Chappell said, however, she’d be interested in creating an after school program for public and private school students.

Chappell projects the ranch schools will begin in October, although the regular ranch year would run from September through May.

Parents interested in more information or registration to either KinderRanch or RanchSchool should contact Chappel by email at kkc827@aol.comby phone at775-901-6795 or online at  www.chappellranchllc.com.


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