Kodiak Baptist Mission Internship

Kodiak Baptist Mission Internship
By Hailey Simpson

This summer I spent 3 months living in Kodiak, Alaska where I worked as the Summer Barn Director. I was in charge of running and planning horse camps, general horse care, and group events at the barn. I thought it would be another camp counselor job, but I was challenged every day by new tasks appointed to me. We had 5 horses, 1 pony, and the 1 and only mule on Kodiak Island that I was responsible for retraining, maintaining, and every day. Of course coming from the Midwest and working with competition level horses, I had a lot to learn when it came to Kodiak.

The mission Director, Johnny Walker, is originally from West Virginia and grew up riding horses his whole life. He was brought to the mission to offer gun breaking horses as a service to the community. Back home Johnny competed and trained mounted shooting horses. Johnny was able to teach me a lot of simple ways to maintain a horse, such as simple farrier work, riding techniques, and gun breaking. Not only was I getting experience in leading horse camps, but also as in a wide assortment of new training tools when it came to riding. Johnny trained me and helped me compete in my first Cowboy Mounted Shooting competition where I placed 3rd in the Alaska State Championship.

My day to day schedule is included below:





Adult Chapel


8:30 am

Gather Horses

Bringing horses in from pasture, groom, tack up, warm up rides

10:00 am

Outside group Pony rides

Groups not affiliated with the mission would come and ride horses around the ring

1:30 pm

Horse camps

Individual horse lessons, horse games etc. For kids ranging from 5-12 years old

4:30 pm

Barn Chores


Painted horsesOf course, my schedule was different every day, but that is just part of teaching at a camp! Some weeks I would have four kids in horse camp sometimes I would have 16 kids. Some days we would teach proper riding technique and others we would spend time painting horses and playing with goats.

KBM was in the process of moving up their farm program to the next level. They were in the process of building the first certified goat dairy on the island, followed by re-establishing a cattle herd on Woody island- a property the Baptist association owned. I have to be a part of all this change, which was amazing. KBM offered a specialty camp to Woody Island, where we took all the horses over by boat, and then camped on the island.

This opportunity is one I feel very blessed to have had. I was able to explore the island and some of mainland Alaska, and I would not trade this summer for anything.

Fish Net  Hiking pyramid mountain Whiskey mounted shooting