Above: Honey, with Jasmine the Minon who has earned her Minion jacket.
Firefly Farm believes in responsibility.
As a parent, you try very hard to teach your child how to behave in public; how to have good manners, be respectful, and have a good work ethic.
I want that for your child, too.
Here at Firefly Farm, we have a volunteer program called the “Minion” program. The kids who are in the program are responsible, respectful, and have an excellent work ethic. The kids are 9 or older, and they volunteer their time to help at the barn when they aren’t doing lessons. They don’t expect to ride during these volunteer hours. They know that this is a “job.”
Some kids volunteer once a week; others, once a month.
They all have one thing in common, though–after 8 hours of volunteering their time, they get a FREE horse lesson.
If they don’t write down their hours and have their “boss” (The adult in charge) sign their notebook that day, the hours don’t count. If they are disrespectful or unkind toward others; if they bicker or are disobedient; if they talk back to adults (including a parent) they’re released from the program.
In all, it’s a win-win.
Students must take at least 4 lessons before volunteering here at the farm. After they volunteer, they learn the tasks they’ll need to know in order to become a Minion. By volunteering, kids will learn all the horses by name and sight, they’ll memorize the bucket colors for feeding, and learn to feed and muck stalls.
Before a child is allowed to volunteer, they must be able to safely groom and saddle a horse by themselves. Volunteer hours for feeding and birthday parties do not count toward earning lessons since the child is still learning. Tasks are much, much slower when we have to teach as we go.
The kids MUST have at least one lesson per month (either paid for with cash or Minion hours) in order to stay in the program. Inactive Minions must volunteer again for at least an hour for each type of volunteering (feeding, cleaning, birthday parties) and take at least one lesson before their Minion status is re-activated.
If you’re interested in enrolling your child in the Minion program at Firefly Farm, please call 517-332-7669 or let me know through Facebook:
(^ Which is the easiest way to find the farm.)
If, instead, you want to friend me personally (Really?! Lil’ ol’ me?! I’m so flattered!) I’m at:
We also have adult volunteers who enjoy working here, like Sandy:
Our adult volunteers earn double time, so adult minions earn one lesson for every four hours of work. When you’re a parent of a Minion and you stay to help with chores, your child earns double time if you work, too. If you work as an adult volunteer, even if it’s not on a regular basis, your child (only one child for the time you work–multiple kids can’t count you at the same time) still earns double time.
If you drive somewhere and take Minions (i.e. Meijer Gardens, Grand Ledge Victorian Days) and save your gas receipts, I pay for your gas, too. We barter gas and time in exchange for lessons.
7. Accomplish tasks without complaining.
*Kids who don’t yet understand the value of hard work will learn it here. We–me as the owner, you as students and Minions–do everything we can for our horses, not for personal gain. Every penny that the farm earns goes right back into maintaining it as well as supporting our ability to own these animals. We’re grateful for every moment we can spend with each other and in the barn. Whining, complaining, snapping, irritation, grumpiness, rudeness–none of that is allowed here. You will be sent home and not be able to volunteer again.