Cookson Hills is a 1000-acre ranch that provides a place for kids who can’t function in their home or whose parents have died. The kids are placed with Cookson parents and other kids to form one big family. I got the chance to interact with one of the families from the ranch. We went to eat dinner with that family and enjoyed sitting and talking while enjoying a meal together. Most of the kids that lived there were not the parents’ biological kids. Before dinner, I was expecting the kids not to bond well. When I got there, I was completely wrong. These kids acted like brothers and sisters. This taught me a new reality about life: you do not have to be blood-related to be called a family.
At Cookson Hills, I had to learn jobs to do that I don’t do on a regular basis. I had to learn how to cook for the other members of my team for breakfast with kitchen supplies you would find in most restaurants. I worked with griddles the size of a regular stove and mixers you find on the professional cooking shows.
My team members and I had to set up a giant field day event for the seven families we were serving for the weekend Jamboree. The events were a lot like our fall and spring festivals that we have at our schools but the main difference was instead of everyone competing by themselves, they competed together as a family team against the other Cookson families. We did sack potato races, tractor pulling, an apple game where you could not use your hands or your feet to pick up or carry the apple, a version of an egg on a spoon race but with small pumpkins instead of eggs, a mummy rap race, and pig catching. Each family worked together as a team to see who would be the winner of the Golden Boot which is the trophy given at the event each year. One extra thing that I did was judge the chili/soup cook-off. This was fun to do and each family took pride in their creation.