My Summer Get Away to Cookson Hills

One thing I love about summer is the opportunity to take some time off from the usual routines we keep throughout the year and simply get away. Now, some of us have unlimited time and finances to take elaborate and well-planned get away trips while others on a more limited budget, ahem, like me, have to do with what you got.

Of course, having limits both in time and in finances does not mean you cannot have a meaningful, relaxing and fun summer get away. One can visit unlimited places via online travel blog sites or you can incorporate a simple summer get away–perhaps on some weekend.

This weekend, I took a meaningful summer get way to the open house of Cookson Hills Christian Ministries.

Cookson Hills, Photo, summer get away,ministries, children

Located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in rural Northeastern Oklahoma, children experiencing neglect, abuse, abandonment and estrangement within their own biological family, can live at Cookson Hills and find help, hope and healing.

The children live in family homes with each home having their own “surrogate mother and father” who offer support, love, structure, discipline and guidance like the family they should have had if circumstances were different.

Cookson Hills has over 1,000 acres with family homes, a Christian school, gymnasium, counseling services and a small area for senior citizens to live and work as staff grandparents!

goats, Cookson Hills, ministries,

No, sorry, I’m not a staff grandparent!

What I found the most interesting about Cookson Hills is their Equine Program. The open house main event was a rodeo and all the participants were children living at Cookson Hills.

Our tour guide mentioned that horses have a sixth sense and are able to sense a person’s behavior and even a person’s emotions. Therefore, a horse’s reaction or response “will always reflect truth back to that human.”

rodeo, Cookson Hills, ministries

Cookson Hills rodeo

According to the tour guide, a young man came very angry into their Equine Program. As he was cussing and carrying on, the therapist led this young man over to a horse, and the horse was calm and nuzzled up to the boy. The therapist told the boy if the horse had sensed true anger raging within him,  the horse would have reacted in the same angry way.

It was at that moment; the boy dropped down and began to cry.

He poured out all the hurt within his heart and the therapist was able to move a bit further to help heal this boy.

rodeo, Cookson Hills, ministries

Another resident from Cookson Hills demonstrates his fine ‘cowboy’ skills…

Restoring a child back to health is never easy, especially when it deals with so much pain and trauma from neglect and abuse, however, God can and does heal. 

Cookson Hills, horse, equine program, therapy, life,love,

Cookson Hills is a fine example of the power of healing using one of God’s creations, the horse.

Successfully helping children for over 50 years, Cookson Hills depends entirely on private donations only. They receive no funding from the federal or state government.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about this awesome place that is helping to build better families by taking care of children who are unable to find the basic love and care from their own biological family.

Sometimes, it is in simple summer get away trips that teach us that hope begins with us. If we can help in some way just one person today, what a better world it would be for all of us.

Thanks for joining me at the open house of Cookson Hills Christian Ministries.

Do you have ideas or plans for a simple, yet meaningful summer get away?

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22 thoughts on “My Summer Get Away to Cookson Hills

    • Sunshine says:

      Hi Marilyn, Glad you joined in this wonderful place for children who are now finding dreams of a good life can come true. Thanks for sharing…

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  1. Caddo Veil says:

    Sunshine, I was so touched, moved, enriched by this little slice–what a wonderful healing place for kids, and grown ups too, I imagine. How very lovely–I’m so please for you that you got to spend time there, thanks a million for sharing with us. And that they have a rodeo–way, way cool!! God bless you, dear heart–love, sis Caddo

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    • Sunshine says:

      You would love Cookson Hills, sis Caddo…the kids raise farm animals, tend to their gardens and of course, get healing via the horses. I thought about your bull riding as I watched the kids perform during the rodeo! 🙂 God bless you too!!

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  2. mj monaghan says:

    Sounds like a really cool place. Any foundation/organization that tries to help those who are “broken” is okay in my book. Love the animals working with humans thing. They can really make breakthroughs that humans sometimes can’t.

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    • Sunshine says:

      Hi MJ! Good seeing you and I just think we need more places like Cookson Hills–their concept of having staff live on the property as “parents and grandparents” sounds like a good way to help the children and have a support system for the adults helping in their healing process.
      I always thought horses were pretty amazing and this makes the love affair even sweeter…
      Happy you stopped by! 🙂

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  3. angelswhisper2011 says:

    Cookson Hills looks great, Sunshine, and as I see they giving the children a great time, and they certainly deserve it 🙂 Are you sure the goat isn’t a grandpa… he looks so familiar to me 😀

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    • Sunshine says:

      That billy goat does look like Grandpa! Lol! He was so patient just waiting in the hot sun for something to happen…glad I took Grandpa’s picture and I’m happy you stopped in Angelswhisper!

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  4. Sheila Hurst says:

    This sounds like such a wonderful place! I’m glad you were able to go. For the summer, we also just stay local and try to do at least a couple tourist-type things so that we can enjoy like the tourists do. It can get pretty crowded in the summer though, which unfortunately makes us just stay at home! 🙂

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    • Sunshine says:

      Summer brings out the crowd for sure and I understand totally about home being a great summer get away–especially if it’s super hot outside! I’m happy to stay around the home front and also discovering local places too! 🙂 I hope you find a few ‘uncrowded’ local areas this summer, Sheila. Thanks!

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  5. Cafe says:

    Sounds and looks like you had a great time!
    Well, I’m going to visit Asia soon! And I’m going to Korea for the first time, so that’s kinda meaningful for me (my family is from there).

    Btw, Sunshine, I am running around the blogosphere leaving this annoying message with people who had subscribed to my blog before I changed my domain name. Apparently my posts are not showing up in their Readers and I must ask them to kindly unsubscribe & resubscribe to my blog, by just unclicking and clicking on the “Following” button at the top of my page http://www.yourdailydoseblog.com

    I hate to bother everyone about this, but I’d really appreciate the help in getting things back on track! Thanks so much!!
    – Janice

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    • Sunshine says:

      Wow, Janice! Now a trip to Korea would be a dream trip and you’ll definitely have to take us all along…hehe! Oh, we know with the size of your backpack, you surely will have room for a few more!
      Thanks for letting me know about your blog name change, and it’s not a bother but an important message! Thanks!! I’m going over right after I finish this…see ya!

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      • Cafe says:

        Aww, thanks so much! I really appreciate it!
        Haha, you know me and my backpack 😉
        I’ll definitely be bringing you all along for the journey!

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    • Sunshine says:

      Hi Souldipper, (I love that name!) and Cookson Hills is truly a blessing to many children without the basic care of a home life. That is quite sad in this day and age we are prosperous in so many areas and yet, something so basic as loving a child…thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate very much. Have a great weekend! 🙂

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    • Sunshine says:

      The kids are wonderful and I had to put a shout out for Cookson Hills and their awesome work with the kids. The equine program is amazing! Thanks Ansuyo!! 😉

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