December snuck up on us with beautiful weather and short days. It’s been an amazing year.
In March, we moved to our dream location. Tucked into a coastal canyon with ocean views, forests, a private pond, and beautiful facilities it’s perfect for the families we serve and for our animals.
In May, we built an eight-acre pasture for our retired horses. They can live out their days as a herd on natural terrain. While we can’t turn back the clock for our older horses, we see significant improvements in the movement and arthritis management.
In June, we conducted our biggest surfing and riding special needs family day ever! Over 25 families joined us at the beach for a day of riding and surfing. The local surfing community and the Boys & Girls Club – including the Junior Lifeguards – helped the kids in the ocean.
In July, we piloted a program to give first job experience to high school juniors and seniors. We hired interns from the local Mid-Peninsula High School to help us run the barn. Each intern not only learned basic job skills, but by the end, showed real leadership.
By August, we had built our own onsite campground next to the pond. In the late summer, we hosted three campouts for 13 families and for a very special group of at risk girls. The experience was transformative. Families enjoyed riding, hiking, kayaking on the pond, fireside music, and first class food. Children had breakthroughs in sleep patterns, cognitive and social behavior and – most importantly – family fun in nature. All of the camps were provided free of charge. Words cannot express how important this is for families.
2013 was a pivotal year for Square Peg. We exceeded everyone’s expectations. We have shown national leadership in the areas of recreation for autism families, in horse rescue and in developing meaningful job experiences for young adults with developmental and learning disabilities. Our new facility gives us the opportunity to grow and continue our simple but important mission to turn “I wish” into “I can” for kids and young adults who know what it’s like to be a Square Peg.