Willow Springs western ranch company-, association- and staffparties

In a way station, you could meet all kinds of people; from the honest citizen to the outlaw looking for a temporary refuge.

This is of course also the case at Willow Springs!! In order to give its occasional visitors the change to adapt as quickly as possible

to this special environment, Willow Springs developed a couple of formulas:

 

A. Getting used to the Wild West (duration: half a day)

 

When the guests arrive at the way station late in the afternoon, the barbeque is already smoking and the open fire heats a pot of real 'camp coffee'. Shortly thereafter, the first 'giant pieces of meat' are put over the smoldering charcoal...

 

Stomachs growling, the visitors install themselves and enjoy a real western barbeque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to facilitate digestion and to make sure that occasional visitors know how to take care for themselves in case of danger, they receive, as 'desert after the desert', a crash course in 'tomahawk and knife throwing' and 'archery' .

 

After they left this behind them, the Willow Springs crew will let them even more mingle with their new environment; they will teach them some 'cowboy dances',accompanied by a real musician; afterwards, our visitors can practice their newfound skills until the wee hours...

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. The life of a pioneer (duration: half a day)

 

Especially during the 19th century, the big migrations to the 'far west' took place. Whole families assembled their belongings, put them in a covered wagon and left for the 'wild west'. A lot of them traveled on their own; others assembled in real caravans under the guidance of a (hopefully) experienced guide who informed his clients about the dangers ahead and assisted them in arriving in one piece.

 

The 'pioneers' arriving at Willow Springs this afternoon, are very lucky indeed; in preparation of their life on the frontier, they are going to receive a decent training; after a short historical introduction while enjoying a cup of real 'camp coffee', they learn how to rope a cow, how to throw a tomahawk and knife, how to use bow and arrow en how to throw horseshoes. Once they assimilated these new skills, they can continue their journey towards their new life with confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willow Springs does, however, not forget to celebrate the best 'student' in each category; they receive a souvenir for their achievement.

 

Our 'would-be pioneers' are not sent away on an empty stomach ...a delicious western barbeque, potentially followed by a 'live' country music performance and the learning of a few 'cowboy' dances, should help them in saying goodbye to civilization and looking for new frontiers ....

 

 

 

 

 

C. Discovering the Wild West (duration: half a day)

 

When, early in the afternoon, the visitors arrive at the way station, everything looks peaceful and quiet; the open fire is burning, heating a pot of 'camp coffee' and the cowboys hanging about appear to be quite friendly. After getting acquainted, push comes to shove... over here, much more is expected from visitors than simply 'looking around'... the cowboys invite the visitors to follow a crash course 'cowboy techniques' during which 'roping', 'knife throwing' and 'branding' are trained.

 

Suddenly, a coach stops in front of the way station and the driver smiles friendly at the visitors... All of a sudden, however, the once 'friendly' cowboys pull a 'bandana' in front of their faces, draw their weapon and force the visitors to put a hood over their heads. 

The visitors are put onto the coach and the coach leaves the way station for a destination unknown ....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a while, the coach comes to a halt and the passengers hear a voice ordering them to remove the hoods... they find themselves in the middle of nowhere, a 'cow' being their only companion. While the coach disappears at the horizon, every participant gets a map, indicating a starting point and a finish.

 

After having 'roped' the 'cow', they have to make sure that, being conscientious cowboys, the animal gets back to Willow Springs .

 

Somewhere along the way, they also have to 'brand' their cow; in other words, they immediately have to put their newfound skills in practice and, in the meantime, finish their task as a real ranch crew. While proceeding towards the finish, every once in a while afar,

the participants see the threatening silhouette of a horse rider observing them .....

 

Finally, the new cowboys reach Willow Springs, where the barbecue spreads a delicious odour. Very talkative and very hungry, the participants install themselves around the table...silence creeps in...only the clatter of the cutlery disturbs the peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the meal, the Willow Springs crew invites the visitors to learn a few 'cowboy' dances, accompanied by a real live musician...the end of a sensational day.

 

 

Discovering the wild west 1

Discovering the wild west 1

Leisurely, our guest enjoy a mug of real "campcoffee"

Discovering the wild west 2

Discovering the wild west 2

Learning how to throw a knife

Discovering the wild west 3

Discovering the wild west 3

Learning how to rope

Discovering the wild west 4

Discovering the wild west 4

The attack!!!

Discovering the wild west 5

Discovering the wild west 5

Blindfolded

Discovering the wild west 6

Discovering the wild west 6

Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discovering the wild west 7

Discovering the wild west 7

On their way...

Discovering the wild west 8

Discovering the wild west 8

reading the map

Discovering the wild west 9

Discovering the wild west 9

"Driving" the "cow"

Discovering the wild west 10

Discovering the wild west 10

Branding

D. How to become a scout? (duration : 1 day)

 

What's the benefit of knowing know how to rope, how to throw and ax and a knife or how to use a bow, when, after the first "stampede" of the herd of semi-wild cattle for which you and your colleagues are responsible, you are left behind in the middle of nowhere? .... None !! ! When, on top of that, also the horses and the covered wagon are gone, the disaster is complete. Behind every corner a Native American, eager to get your scalp, can hide; rivers can be slightly too wide or too deep ...

Fortunately also for this kind of “troubles” Willow Springs has the solution. Armed with map and compass, guided by our own scout, our cowboys start off, trying to recuperate their herd, horses and gear.


Along the way they do, of course, have to escape from Native Americans, braid a "rope", make a bow and, at noon, prepare their own soup, hamburger and coffee over an open fire, ... .. in order to, eventually, let’s hope, return to the way station; our cowboys learn, in fact, the necessary skills to recuperate their lost herd in order to continue their work. as a cowboy. One thing becomes very obvious from the first “test” onwards ... no teamwork, no result.

In the way station we will, of course, test whether the homemade rope captures cows and wether the bow!!! Therefore, make sure that you train these "skills" on the way and  put the best "roper" or "archer" of your team in !!! Our scout’s report will tell us which cowboy has the most survival skills; he/she will receive a souvenir.

E. The real stuff (duration: 2 days)

 

Just as in the "the life of a pioneer” formula, the" greenhorns "that visit Willow Springs today, are very ambitious; they want to become a cowboy. Therefore, they also receive a decent education; After a brief historical introduction to a delicious cup of 'camp coffee', they learn some basic skills, namely "roping", 'tomahawk and knife throwing," archery " and ' horseshoe throwing". Once they have mastered these skills, they can continue their 'trek' with confidence. Willow Springs honors the "best student" per category with a souvenir for his / her participation.

 

Our cowboys are not sent to bed on an empty stomach ... a delicious barbecue (marinated porkbrochette, marinated bacon, sausage, salads, sauces and bread) should help them in saying  goodbye to civilization and in seeking new horizons...


However, after a refreshing night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, disaster strikes !!!

The herd, together with the horses and covered wagon, have left on a stampede; the cowboys will have to try to get everything back ... on foot !!!. On top of that, behind every corner a Native American, eager to get your scalp, can hide; rivers can be slightly too wide or too deep ...

Fortunately also for this kind of “troubles” Willow Springs has the solution. Armed with map and compass, guided by our own scout, our cowboys start off, trying to recuperate their herd, horses and gear.


Along the way they do, of course, have to escape from Native Americans, braid a "rope", make a bow and, at noon, prepare their own soup, hamburger and coffee over an open fire, ... .. in order to, eventually, let’s hope, return to the way station; our cowboys learn, in fact, the necessary skills to recuperate their lost herd in order to continue their work. as a cowboy. One thing becomes very obvious from the first “test” onwards ... no teamwork, no result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In the way station we will, of course, test whether the homemade rope captures cows and whether the bow shoots!!! Therefore, make sure that you train these "skills" on the way and  put the best "roper" or "archer" of your team in !!! Our scout’s report will tell us which cowboy has the most survival skills; he/she will receive a souvenir.