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Girl Scouts More Than Just Cookies The Family That Rides Together Barking Frogs Conservation The Land of Enchantment On Horseback Chamber News & More!

The Great Outdoors


or information, contact: 5 75 .74 6.4 2 1 2 Artesia Arts Council’s O C OT I L LO P E R F O R M I N G A RT S C E N T E R

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The Porter family, pictured from left: Blair, Jack, Aubany and Hudson Photo by Jessica Addington



Lajuana Martinez, Publisher - Staci Guy, Associate Publisher Adrian Martinez, Director of Business Development Staci Guy, Editorial Director - Daniel Zamarron, Sales Consultant Photography by Staci Guy , Jessica Addington, Kyle Marksteiner & Submitted Photos Special Contributors: Kyle Marksteiner, Molly Marley, Jessica Addington & Leland Pierce FOCUS ON ARTESIA IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY AD VENTURE MARKETING

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from the editor

Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed and find

myself needing a break, one of my favorite places to head is to our family’s ranch in the hills of Piñon.


Editorial Director


It’s a no-frills, no-fuss place with limited connection to the outside world. Troubles fade away and life becomes simple at the ranch. Makeup? What’s that? Nice clothes or my hair straightener? They don’t even get packed. Our packing list usually includes plenty of sunscreen, baseball caps and hair ties, shoes suitable for hiking or messing around at the barn, old t-shirts and jeans. And depending upon the season, perhaps a jacket. A couple of months ago my family and I spent several days at the ranch, and I was reminded once again how important it is for children to experience the great outdoors. During one particular outing, we stumbled upon a rotting cow carcass. To my six-year-old daughter who dreams of becoming a veterinarian, our find was the equivalent of you or me hitting all sevens on a slot machine. Jackpot! She eagerly jumped out of the Ranger and began gathering the bones for her “collection.” Yes, she has a collection. Don’t ask. Between the rotting cow carcass and the dead buzzard we saw floating in the nearly full water tank, the ride back to the ranch house was full of “what ifs” and “wouldn’t it be cool” scenarios. Their imaginations ran wild. Aside from exciting excursions, we also went

roclaimed As a self-p tor, c bone colle e jackpot th Mollie hit me ca when we g cow ttin upon a ro tured ic P . ss a rc ca my with her is stin. u A , w nephe


searching for arrowheads, encountered wild critters, shot .22s and pellet guns, told stories around the campfire, roasted marshmallows and ate some of my aunt’s good old home cooking. There were no time lines or agendas to follow. We did what we wanted, when we wanted. After a few days away, we returned home with dirty hair and happy hearts! It’s difficult to explain the satisfaction that comes from spending quality time with the ones you love most and not having to vie for time and attention with anything electronic. You’re able to reconnect, rediscover and remind yourself what it is that’s most important to you. In this issue of Focus on Artesia, we wanted to explore ways to help our readers really get the most out of life in the great outdoors. Friends, we are so fortunate to live in a state with endless opportunities to explore, hike, ride, bike, hunt, camp or just relax outside to your heart’s content. Within these pages, you can learn about horseback riding trails that are favored by locals Ken and Delma Simons, get a firsthand look at the growing sport of mountain bike racing courtesy of the Coor family, and even see how you can take a walk in nature without having to leave town thanks to the Navajo

Nature Trail. If you have a young girl between kindergarten and 12th grade, you’ll want to make sure and check out the spread we did featuring Girl Scouts. We packed this issue full of trivia and recipes, stories and one of my favorite features, reader submitted photos. We took to Facebook to solicit some of your favorite outdoor pictures, and you did not disappoint! We received nearly 100 photos—far too many to include here—but you can view them all in a gallery on our website, I hope that this issue of Focus on Artesia will prompt you to get outside and explore the beauty of nature. There’s no substitute for the great outdoors! Best Regards, - Staci Guy, Editorial Director A B O U T T H E E D IT O R

Staci Guy is the editorial director of Focus on Artesia. She can be reached at

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Calendar of Events








Stand Up Comedy Live Inn of the Mountain Gods 287 Carrizo Canyon Road Mescalero Every Wednesday 6:30 p.m. 575-464-7089

First Friday Downtown Market Downtown Roswell Every first Friday of the month 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Free admission


Outdoor Summer Movie Spring River Park and Zoo 1306 E. College Blvd. All movies begin at dusk (approx. 8:30 p.m.) Free admission

Summer Movies in the Heritage Heritage Walkway, downtown 300 block of Main Street Movies begin at sunset Free admission Free popcorn Bring a chair and a drink Contact the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center for more info




Dawn of the Bats Carlsbad Caverns Ntl. Park Natural Entrance 5:30 a.m.


Carlsbad Community Focus IHOP 2529 S. Canal St. Every Friday 7 a.m. • Speaker begins at 8 a.m.

JULY 21 - 23

Bring Back the West Show Roswell Convention and Civic Center 912 N. Main St. 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Free admission

JULY 14 - 15


Down Syndrome Foundation of SENM 5th Annual Educational Workshop Roswell Convention and Civic Center 912 N. Main St. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Ruidoso Convention Center Ruidoso Art Festival 111 Sierra Blanca Dr. Ruidoso 12 p.m.-6 p.m. (Friday-Saturday) 10 p.m.-5 p.m. (Sunday) Over 100 of the nation’s most talented artists will be set up at the Ruidoso Convention Center showcasing a broad spectrum of mediums including sculpture, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and more. 575-336-4800

2017 New Media Show/ Hobbs Outdoors Vision Fest Shipp Street Plaza 122 W. Broadway Hobbs 8 p.m.



Carlsbad Chamber Banquet Pecos Conference Center 711 Muscatel 6 p.m.-9 p.m. 575-887-6516

575-703-4882 6465 7 Rivers Highway Artesia, NM 88210



Ruidoso Downs Race Track 26225 US Highway 70 East Rainbow QH Derby Final (G1) $1,200,000 est. purse


Spencer Theater Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist 108 Spencer Rd. Alto 8 p.m. 575-336-4800


International Day of the Cowboy Ocotillo Performing Arts Center & Bennie’s Western Wear


Ruidoso Downs Race Track 26225 US Highway 70 East Rainbow QH Futurity Final (G1) $1,000,000 est. purse


Movies Under the Stars - Nine Lives Del Norte Park 4314 N. Grimes Hobbs 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.


Ruidoso Downs Race Track 26225 US Highway 70 East Zia QH Derby Final (RG2) $150,000 est. purse Zia QH Futurity Final (RG1) $400,000 est. purse

AUGUST 4 - 6 & 11 - 13

Into the Woods ENMUR-R Performing Arts Center 64 University Blvd. 7:30 p.m. (Friday-Sunday) & 2:30 p.m. (Sunday)

Please visit for additional events and up-to-date info. AUGUST 4 - 12

82nd Annual Lea County Fair & PRCA Rodeo

AUGUST 18 - 19

Pro Rodeos Eddy County Sheriff’s Posse 1601 E. Greene St. TBD 325-668-0163


Movies Under the Stars - Sing Del Norte Park 4314 N. Grimes Hobbs 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.


Red Dirt Black Gold Festival Downtown Artesia and Heritage Plaza Free admission Entry fee to NM Beer Garden Entry fee to enter Oilfield Olympian or Oilfield Cook-off team Visit for lineup of musicians and for more info


International Vulture Awareness Day Living Desert 1504 Miehls Drive 1 p.m.-3 p.m. 575-887-5516





36th Annual Heritage Dinner Roswell Convention and Civic Center 912 N. Main St. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. 575-622-8333

Two Rivers All Handcrafted Arts & Crafts Festival Wingfield Park 415 Wingfield St. Ruidoso This will be the third year for the show. Free to the public


6th Annual Roswell Elks Charity Golf Tournament NMMI Golf Course 201 W. 19th St. 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Ralph Brown 575-627-9255

Ruffles and Rust Expo Roswell Convention and Civic Center 912 N. Main St. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 Admission, 12 and under FREE

Wolf Awareness Day Living Desert 1504 Miehls Drive 1 p.m.-3 p.m. 575-887-5516

OCTOBER 20 - 22 & 27 - 29 Guys and Dolls ENMU-R Performing Arts Center 64 Univeristy Blvd. 7:30 p.m. (Friday-Sunday) & 2:30 p.m. (Sunday)


Clay Crushers Sporting Clays Fun Shoot Eddy County Shooting Range 131 N. Firehouse Road Friday Night Game Night Two rotations available Saturday 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Registration fee includes gift, targets and lunch 575-746-2744 for more info



There’s More To Scouting

When you hear the term Girl Scouts, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Did you say cookies? If so, you’re not alone. Most people associate Girl Scouts with irresistible little girls selling irresistible little cookies, but there’s more to Scouting than just sweet treats! As is the case with most clubs and organizations, the world of Girl Scouts expands far beyond what most outsiders realize. “There’s a misunderstanding about Girl Scouts and a lack of knowledge about what we do. Most people just think it’s selling cookies, but it’s a club, and like most clubs, you have to be in it to know it!” expressed Maria Landrie, Girl Scout Membership Manager for Eddy County. As a child, Landrie learned first-hand the importance of Scouting and the role it played in shaping her into the woman she is today. by Kandice Barley “I have great, strong memories of when I was in it,” she recalled. “Growing up as a girl, I can’t even imagine all the opportunities I had because of Girl Scouts. I know I would not have have been as strong a human and persevered through life’s challenges without having been a Girl Scout.” Her success is one of the reasons she is passionate about leading young girls to and through the program. Unlike Landrie, Priscilla Lafferry, the county’s program specialist, was not a Girl Scout as a child and is getting to know about the organization as an employee. She has attended an employee camp and has completed hours of training in an effort to educate herself



on the things that make Scouting unique. “I think that helps push me with the things I do to promote Girl Scouts. I started working here in February, and I am already learning so much!” she exclaimed. In 1912, in the midst of the Progressive Era—and at a time when women in the United States couldn’t yet vote—Juliette Gordon

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Than Cookies! by Staci Guy


Official Girl Scout Motto:

“Building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.” “A lot of people want to compare us to Boy Scouts, but Boy Scouts has pretty much kept things the same for their existence,” Landrie noted. “Girl Scouts has changed a lot in the past 100 years; we have evolved, especially in the world of technology. There’s a big push for STEM right now, which is awesome!” The Girl Scouts organization introduces girls of every age to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in order to help them see how they can improve the world—whether they’re discovering how a car’s engine runs, learning to manage finances or caring for animals. To help girls explore different aspects of STEM, they created a unique, “fun with purpose,” kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum to inspire girls to embrace and celebrate scientific discovery in their lives. Landrie said something called Leadership Journeys are an interactive, hands-on way of allowing girls to discover more of what they really care about. They can explore a wide range of interests along their Journeys— everything from the arts to the outdoors and, of course, STEM. For example, in the “It’s Your Planet – Love It!” series, girls can explore the natural world by learning about the water cycle, completing energy audits, assessing air quality, calculating their “food print” while learning kitchen science and figuring out how much trash is created and how to reduce it. There are also Girl’s Choice badges that are selected annually by girls nationwide. This year, as well as last, the girls selected “outdoors” as the theme, which means the badge choices will be STEM in the outdoors. Low, a nearly deaf 51-year-old woman, gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia and organized the very first Girl Scout troop. Low and her troop sparked a worldwide movement inspiring girls to “embrace, together, their individuality, strength, and intellect, and to make the world a better place.” According to the Girl Scout website, “They played basketball. They hiked, swam and camped. They learned to read the world around them—for instance, by studying a foreign language and telling time by the stars. They shared a sense of curiosity and a belief that they could do anything. But most importantly, just like Girl Scouts across the country and around the globe today, they offered a helping hand to those in need and worked together to improve their corner of the world.” Today, more than 105 years later, the organization is 2.6 million members strong with 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

“I love that Girl Scouts is very big on STEM,” Landrie stressed. “The float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade this year was STEMthemed. And Sylvia Acevedo (who is from Las Cruces and went to New Mexico State University) is a rocket scientist and Girl Scout person and pushes for STEM in Girl Scouts.” An important component of Girl Scouts, as Landrie was quick to point out, is that it is girl led. “That’s what makes us different than a lot of organizations,” she acknowledged. “We guide them, but we want them to figure things out for themselves—things like cutting their paper or pouring their own juice, picking out which activities and service projects they want to do...It’s all girl led. We work with the leaders to give them time and let them figure things out on their own. That’s the best way to learn things.” Laffery interjected, “With me working here now, I understand that better, and I’m letting Shana (my daughter) do SUMMER 2017 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE


ntary and intermediate archery skills to eleme Local Girl Scouts taught 7 school year. 6-1 201 ject during the students as a service pro

more things by herself. It’s neat to see what they can do when we let them just do it!” Landrie added, “Scouting is essential for kids because it gives them a chance to come in here and try things they’ve never tried or try them a different way, and no one is pushing them to hurry or telling them how to do something. They have the creativity and freedom to do things how they want on their timeline. It’s neat to see the service projects they select, see the people they want to help, the animals they want to help…they have some great ideas.”

Artesia Mayor Phil Bur ch proclaimed the week of March 12-18, 2017 as Girl Scout Week in Artesi a.

Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

The Girl Scout curriculum is laid out in such a way that it encourages the girls to make their own decisions, try new things and learn how to work together. “We have three learning processes for all of our badge work and curriculum. It is girl led, learn by doing and cooperative learning,” Landrie explained. Some of the local outreach programs that troops have conducted in the last year include an inventor workshop with the kids at the summer library program; Be a Friend badge workshop at the Artesia Summer Recreation Program; Healthy Living Programs with the students at Yeso Elementary School; science with the fourth graders at Hermosa Elementary School; archery with kids in grades four through seven at Yucca Elementary, Roselawn Elementary and Zia Intermediate schools; and numerous girl programs that focus on things like financial literacy, first aid, babysitting and entrepreneurship. “We’re always looking for collaborators—people who want to help girls. Anyone with a project to share, people to introduce, skills to teach or facilities to tour,” Landrie encouraged. “Girls need that so their experience is well-rounded. Anyone who wants to get involved in a short-term way should call our office.” In order to keep that process going and help the girls achieve their dreams, Landrie emphasized they “absolutely need new funders who want to help our movement.” Girl Scouts teaches a range of things



Local Girl Scout Troop 20004 set up a Girl Scout cookie booth in the parking lot at 13th and Main Streets in an effort to boost cookie sales. The girls earn money for each box of cookies sold, the proceeds of which they spend however they choose.

from etiquette and soft skills, to technical and high adventure skills that will help ensure an intelligent and hardworking workforce in the future. Girls can learn how to talk to new people, how to design and build a video game and also how to build a campfire – all of these things translate to making girls more effective leaders of tomorrow. “We know there are funders out there who want to help mold that new workforce,” she prompted.

As is the case with all volunteer-run organizations, Girl Scouts are only as strong as their volunteer members. “Right now Artesia needs more of them,” she pleaded. “If anyone is interested in becoming a troop leader they can contact me. The time commitment on average is eight to 12 hours a month or two to four hours a week, and we provide all the training so you don’t have to know anything going into it. Some troop leaders commit as little as four hours a month.” The biggest issue she runs into with new parents is that they want their daughter to participate but all of the troops are full, and the families feel like they don’t have the time to commit to being a volunteer. “The girl then misses out on what could be an amazing opportunity and, to me, it’s tragic,” she confessed. Studies show that a girl who is in Girl Scouts for two or more solid years has increased wages as an adult, makes better grades, scores better on tests, and shows a more positive outlook on life. “It’s a huge deal to miss out on for a couple of hours a week. Troop leaders and volunteers, for the most part, work full time jobs, have other children, have full lives. The truth is that nobody has time for this. We make time; we carve time out of our crazy schedules to focus on building up girls because, truly, what’s good for girls is good for our country and our world.”

Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Local Girl Scout Troop 200 03 enjoyed horseback ridi ng and other outdoor activities on a win ter trip to the mountains of Ruidoso.

Local Troop 20009 toured the Artesia Fire Department’s primary station on W. Main Street during a recen t outing.

for the entire In 2016, Troop 20009 sold enough cookies rnia. troop to take a group trip to Disneyland in Califo

GIRL SCOUT LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE OUTCOMES • Girls seek challenges in the world. They develop positive attitudes toward learning, seek opportunities for expanding their knowledge and skills, set challenging goals for themselves and take appropriate risks.

• Girls are resourceful problem solvers. They can use their knowledge and skills to set up and implement creative and effective “action plans,” locate the tools and resources they need, and know when, where and how to enlist help from others.

• Girls promote cooperation and team building. They recognize the value of working together and learn to make decisions that benefit the whole group. They can build effective teams, learn to be accountable for shared goals, and show recognition for others’ contributions and accomplishments. • Girls develop a strong sense of self. They have confidence in themselves and their abilities, feel they are able to achieve their goals, and form positive gender, social and cultural identities.

Contact information:

Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest Council 2703 W. Main St. (behind the Moose Lodge) |

Girl Scouts of Artesia SUMMER 2017 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE


TOP REASONS WHY GIRLS SHOULD GET OUTDOORS More than S’mores: Successes and Surprises in Girl Scouts’ Outdoor Experiences, a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, talked to nearly 3,000 Girl Scouts in the fourth through eighth grades. Take a look at some of their findings. 1. Girls really enjoy outdoor activities in Girl Scouts. 2. Monthly outdoor exposure contributes to girls’ challenge-seeking and problem solving. 3. Girl Scouts who get outdoors are twice as likely to connect with and care for the environment than non-Girl Scouts.






4. Girls of color and girls in lower socioeconomic backgrounds report even stronger benefits from outdoor experiences.

Because of Girl Scouts... 71% 48% 71% 29%

of girls tried an outdoor activity for the first time of girls helped other girls do an outdoor activity of girls improved an outdoor skill of girls overcame a fear of an outdoor activity

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Camping Hacks, Tips & Tricks Sure camping can be fun, but it can also be a lot of work! We searched the internet and scanned our memories to come up with these useful tips, tricks and hacks to make camping a little bit easier. Let us know if you try any of them this summer; we love to hear from our readers on Facebook!

• Headlamp Lantern (via Creative Green Living) – Need the power of a lantern but only have a small headlamp? A clean gallon milk jug or translucent laundry jug filled with water can help lighten things up. Just attach the headlamp with the light facing toward the inside of the jug to help expand the glow. • Tent Camping with Foam Floor Tiles (via A Little Campy) – Before you throw out those big foam floor puzzles, check out how you can use them to make a comfortable pad for walking and sleeping in a tent. • Scrambled Eggs in a Bottle (via LifeHacker) – Here’s a no-mess way to enjoy scrambled eggs. At home, break eggs into a lidded plastic container. If you whisk them before you travel, use a permanent marker to label the container as you add each egg to show the quantity of eggs in hash marks.

• Mason Jar Matchbox (via Craftaholics Anonymous) – Keep your matches dry by crafting your own Mason jar matchbox. Trace a circle on sandpaper using the jar’s flat lid and cut it out. Hot glue the sandpaper circle to the lid, add the matches to the jar, then close the jar with the lid (sandpaper side out) and ring. The sandpaper needed to light the matches will always be handy.

• Hand Washing Station (via Do It and How) – How handy would it be to have a hand washing station right there at camp? Create your own by attaching an inexpensive paper towel holder to a five-gallon water jug with a couple of bungee cords. Position the water spout over a five-gallon bucket so you don’t make a muddy mess, and don’t forget the soap!

• Fire Starters (via Over the Big Moon) – These little fire starters are as simple as combining dryer lint, an empty toilet paper tube and a sheet or two of newspaper. Simply stuff the lint (cotton fabrics create non-toxic lint) inside the tube, wrap it in newspaper and tuck in the ends.

• Emergency Toilet (via Mom with a Prep) – When the nearest bathroom isn’t near enough, this DIY toilet will come in handy. Make your own toilet from a five-gallon bucket. Line the bucket with a heavy duty garbage bag, add kitty litter and top with an inexpensive toilet seat. Don’t forget a roll of toilet paper!

• Briquette Fire Starter (via Sew Many Ways) – A recycled cardboard (only) egg carton makes for a great briquette storage and an equally easy fire starter. Simply place “match light” charcoal briquettes inside the carton and toss it in the pit.

• Toilet Paper Container (via Field and Stream) – Keep your toilet paper dry and safe by repurposing an empty plastic coffee container as a toilet paper holder. Place the toilet paper inside and cut a slit in the side large enough to pull the paper through. Poke a small hole in the center of both the lid and the bottom of the container and run a string though it to hang it off of the ground.



Camp Mitre P A Passport to the by Staci Guy

“It’s hard to explain the spirit of camp and the magic that happens there. It’s something you just have to experience to really understand it!” That’s how Marie Landrie, Girl Scouts membership manager for Eddy County, described Camp Mitre Peak, a Girl Scout camp nestled between Fort Davis and Alpine in the rugged mountains of West Texas, which sits at the base of its 6,000-foot namesake, Mitre Peak. It is an outdoor lover’s dream, offering activities such as horseback riding, hiking, crafts, canoeing, rappelling, star gazing, archery, swimming and backpacking. “You’re away from your family, so you kind of have to make a new family while you’re there. Your bonds are so much closer to the other girls.” Priscilla Lafferry, program specialist for the local Girl Scouts, interjected, “And they’re different than other friendships they would have. Girls get extremely close during that week of camp.” Landrie added, “I know adults that are still friends with people they met at camp years ago. Even just going as a volunteer, I am closer to the other volunteers who have gone to weekend camps. You sweat, you work really hard, you just bond.” So what is it about Girl Scout camp that is so unique and special? It’s a combination of factors, according to Landrie. For starters, true to Girl Scout form, the girls choose how long they want to attend camp--for one, two or even


three weeks. Then they choose which programs they want to complete. Programs range from photography to cooking to high adventure such as rappelling, hiking, canoeing and horseback riding. Aside from the fun and learning, girls are also given some responsibilities during their stay at camp, such as various chores in the mess hall and kitchen, maintaining camp and keeping their dorm rooms clean. “They’ll still do things like swimming and hiking and crafts and so forth, so it’s pretty wellrounded,” Landrie noted. Camp is open to all girls entering third through 12th grades. While at Girl Scout camp, they are encouraged to make new friends, learn to work and build a community with others, develop self-confidence and discover new skills. The activities and programs offered are specifically designed to help girls achieve each of those goals. “There’s something about being outside that’s important for girls. They stand a little taller when they learn to do hard things and learn to do things outdoors, because they learn from it,” Landrie explained. There are challenges that you can get outdoors that you can’t get anywhere else. Those challenges are all around you outdoors, so girls being surrounded by that and being able to survive and can’t be replicated anywhere else. The most important thing is it builds confidence!” Camp staffers keep the atmosphere light and fun while still maintaining a culture of respect for others. For instance, it is customary for camp leaders to have camp names, something that speaks to their personality, likes and strengths. “Back in the day it was not appropriate to call an adult by their first name, and saying Miss or Mrs. seemed too formal,” she noted. “So they decided to have camp names instead; things like ‘Vision’ for our program director because she has great vision, and ‘Willow’ for the camp director. Campers get names like that, too!” revealed Landrie. Fees for camp are individual, but Landrie noted the girl’s troop can pay for her to go to camp if the majority of the girls from the troop are attending. Scholarships are also available. “There are some


eak: Outdoors Camper Quiz Are you ready? Take this quiz and find out! Circle the answer that best describes how you feel. Add up your points and check your score in the averages at the bottom of the page.

1= No way 2= Maybe! 3=You bet! 123 Do you enjoy staying overnight at a friend’s house? 123 Can you shampoo and brush your own hair? 123 Do you enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, playing sports and sleeping in a tent? 123 Can you go without radio, TV, video games and a phone for an extended amount of time? 123 Can you see daddy long legs, bugs or mice without running around and shrieking? 123 Can you make your own bed and keep track of your own things? 123 Do you like to meet new people and do things with other girls, not just your best friends? 123 Do you enjoy sleeping outside and listening to the sounds of nature? 123 Do you like to help plan activities and the things you do? 123 Could you walk to a nearby building to brush your teeth and go to the bathroom? 123 Are you ready to sleep in a tent with three or more other girls knowing your counselors are nearby? 123 Are you willing to help with kapers (camp responsibilities) like sweeping your tent, setting tables and picking up your own trash? 123 Do you like having lots of fun? 123 Can you live by the Girl Scout law? 123 Are you REALLY excited about going to camp? ______ Total Points 15-25 You may not be ready yet for a full week at camp. Talk with your parents about letting you stay overnight with a friend or going for an overnight trip with your troop. 26-35 You would enjoy any of our camp programs! Just make sure you are prepared. 36-45 You must be an experienced camper! It sounds like you are ready for a camp stay of a week or longer.

girls that go by themselves every year, and some girls go every year that aren’t even Girl Scouts. Some girls from other councils come and go to our camp as well. It’s just up to the girl and to her troop,” she explained. Landrie pointed out that not every girl is cut out for camp, and that’s okay. “Our camp is awesome, but we want girls to get outdoors anywhere they can! If their families are campers, we encourage that! If they want to go to Mary White (another Girl Scout camp in Mayhill), whatever it is, we encourage that!” Landrie concluded, “It’s important for me to get girls outside, to do things that are challenging to them, and expose them to things they can do that they might not have even realized they could do. I think Girl Scouts is for all girls; some girls need Girl Scouts.” For more information about Camp Mitre Peak, visit

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Family THAT RIDES TOGETHER by Molly Marley



They say when you fall off your horse, the best thing to do is get right back on. The Coor family discovered their passion when they jumped back in the saddle after a rough experience--the saddle of a mountain bike, that is.

Amy snaps a selfie with Wyatt and David on La Cueva in Carlsbad.

After the birth of her son, Wyatt (now age 10), Amy Coor, like many new moms, began to focus more on physical fitness. Her husband, David, noticed he had gotten out of shape while working for a local oil company in Artesia after he had less time for the sports he once enjoyed, and he began to follow Amy’s healthy example. Now Amy works as a fitness instructor teaching a wide array of exercise classes, but the couple really enjoys getting their workouts in with mother nature. “It’s just so amazing outside,” Amy gushed. “Everything that is around us...We have some amazing places in the desert here, and if you don’t get outside, you’ll never see them.” The Coors’ love of the great outdoors began when Amy started running in 2012 with a group of women in Artesia. The whole family was inspired to begin doing races for fun, like mud runs and color runs on the weekends. Amy’s goal is to run in every state in the Unites States. The trio also enjoys hiking together. Two years ago, a friend in Las Cruces talked them into trying mountain biking, and they were immediately hooked on the sport which they have made a family lifestyle. Amy recalled, “We fell in love, and I think we have been on the mountain almost every weekend since.” David was quick to mention that they didn’t quite know what they were doing when they started, and their first mountain bike experience was not exactly ideal. He laughed, “We weren’t having the best of times, you could say.” David recalled going down Bailey’s Canyon in Cloudcroft when it started to rain on their way back up. They weren’t prepared with the proper bikes and equipment for their first trek, and everyone ended up coated in mud, but the scary part for the novice cyclists was when Wyatt hit the wrong brake going around a drop and “almost fell off a cliff ” had there not been a tree there to catch him. SUMMER 2017 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE


“As a mother there behind him, I just had a heart attack,” admitted Amy. According to Wyatt, that first experienced almost stopped him from getting back on the proverbial horse, but the whole family was quick to mention that bumps and bruises are just part of the sport and give them good stories to tell. Amy even shared that some of the girlfriends she has encouraged to join her refuse because they don’t want their legs to get scraped up like hers. “They tell me, ‘You don’t have pretty legs anymore,’ but I think they are [pretty] because there’s a story with every scar.” With the whole family interested in mountain biking, the Coors began training with another Artesia mountain biker, Josh Barnett. He helped them out with tips and pointers for getting started and, as Amy noted, “is making us faster and more technically skilled riders.” They spend most weekends training or at competitions hosted by the New Mexico Off Road Series (, which holds races in different cities around the state and in El Paso, Texas. Races are held between March and October with a spring series and a fall series each consisting of six races. Competitors are assigned points at every race depending on where they place for their age group and category. Categories range from cat 3 (beginner) to cat 1 (expert) and on to pro level. The competitor in each category and age group who has the highest number of points at the end of the six-race season will win that series, and the competitor who places highest at the end of the year will win the state title. Cyclists who compete at the pro level can even earn money in the sport. The Coors are sponsored by the Bicycle Company in El Paso, who also sponsors Barnett and a pro rider who will compete in trials to race in the 2018 Olympics. In addition

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to competing for overall points, each race gives out its own prizes for category winners, such as bike accessories, medals, belt buckles and unique trophies. When they go to a race, the Coors will haul their fifth wheel trailer and camp out over the weekend with other families. Amy pointed out, “That’s one of the best things about mountain biking. It’s like a huge family.” She described their camper as the place to socialize in the morning because it is warm and they have hot coffee. Including Amy, David and Wyatt, there are only five competitors from Artesia, but they have met other enthusiasts in the surrounding areas through the competitions. “I’ve made friends all around,” exclaimed Wyatt. The outgoing fourth grader met another kid, Zach, who has become his “best mountain biking friend” during a race in Gallup when the two boys alternated the lead for their age group. They ended up taking first and second place ahead of all the older kids riding with them. Wyatt and Zach have even competed together as a duo in the Zia Rides Series ( and will team up again in a race this summer. The Zia Rides Series hosts 10-, 12- and 24-hour races. Cyclists compete in two- or four-person teams, alternating as many laps as they can complete in the time frame, with each lap usually taking over an hour. Amy and David often compete together

in the Zia Rides and Wyatt will compete with his friend from Gallup as a duo in the 24-hour race this summer. One of the tough things about competing in the Zia Rides is learning how to manage your food, hydration and rest. To build up endurance for a 24-hour race, the Coors will train on road bikes that allow them to ride for longer periods of time. “Your road bike really helps you to get saddle time and get used to spinning,” David explained. “The more you can do that, the better off you’ll be.” The family also finds time to do some night riding in order to train for the 24-hour races. Amy pointed out that they have lights on their helmets and handle bars to light the trail. She described having a different mentality riding in the dark. “Say you’ve done a course and you know it, and you’re thinking, ‘Oh, there comes that long climb up there, I can see it.’ At night you’re just doing what you have to do, and in ten feet you can see it, and then all the sudden you’re at a climb and then it’s done. So it’s fun at night.” According to David, one of the great things about the races is that bikers are able to come and ride a lap without participating in the competition. “Our mountain biking friends from all over New Mexico are awesome,” Amy boasted. “They will come to a race not to race it but just to ride with Wyatt.” Running and mountain biking have introduced the Coors to other people who are also family oriented and enjoy the outdoors as much as they do. The women Amy runs with in Artesia often travel to races together, sometimes bringing the families along with their kids participating in the shorter distances. These connections have led the Coors to other opportunities, like the Space Port American Relay,

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which was the first relay race in New Mexico, as well as the first race to ever end on a space runway. Amy and David competed in the relay this March with several of their running and mountain biking friends that took them from El Paso to the Space Port in Truth or Consequences. Amy has particularly enjoyed meeting people who love to hike as much as she does, confiding, “When you’re mountain biking, I have to deliberately make everyone stop so I can take some pictures, because you’re just flying by.” The family recently raced on Grindstone in Ruidoso where they climbed all the way to the top of the mountain. Amy described seeing the Inn of the Mountain Gods, the lake and all the incredible scenery you miss out on when you’re flying by on a bike. The scenery of the great outdoors that the family enjoys so much has led them to downsize this year so they will have less maintenance to do when they are at home and can spend more time on the mountain. “I just like being outside,” Amy revealed. She explained that they do stay in town one weekend each month while David is on call for work, but admitted, “Even on those weekends, sometimes I’ll go do stuff and leave him at home.” All three are constantly training to improve their speed and technique so they can continue to succeed in competition, but as much fun as it is to win, this sport is really all about friendships, family and having a good time. It is also a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and experience levels, with riders continuing to compete well into their 70s. Even though there aren’t a ton of kids like Wyatt who compete, he stills says that his favorite part about mountain biking is “probably the people.” “The ones that are there, that are his age, are our kind of people,” agreed Amy. “They’re nice, friendly, down to earth…and he gets along really well with them.” The Coors also appreciate how nice it is to have something in common that the three of them enjoy. “We all love it,” shared David, adding that it has brought his close-knit family even closer. Amy remembered one time in particular, “The best moment was when we were climbing a mountain together and reached the top, and Wyatt goes, ‘This is our video game.’” Who needs television when the Land of Enchantment offers countless ways for you to enjoy the great outdoors with your family?




























11 9


1 | Vincent DeHoyos:

Summer Gardening With Kids Oil Patch on a Summer Night Snake on the Golf Course at Artesia Country Club

2 | Tonya Teel:


Frosty Oil Patch Between Santa Fe and Los Alamos Lauren Teel Peers Out at Dog Canyon

3 | Terah Sexton: First Catch, Red River Fishing, Red River

4 | Shawna Beasley: New Mexico Sunset

5 | Sharon Caldwell:

Chester Ranch Guest House, Roswell Camel Rock





6 | Rochelle McIntire: Storm Head Forming Carlsbad Caverns

7 | Robyn Green:

Aspen Trees Near Camp Wehinahpay, Lincoln National Forest Dam at Brantley Lake

8 | Olaya Merrifield: Bluff Springs Sitting Bull Falls

9 | Megan Martin:

Pecos River, North of Carlsbad

10 | Kris Luna:

Cumbres and Toltec Train, Chama Bottomless Lakes, Roswell




11 | Ken Simons: Flowers in Fort Stanton Fort Stanton Sky Fort Stanton

12 | Kathy Howard:

Tim Howard on the Pony Express Trail Ride

13 | Kathryn Dees: Sitting Bull Falls

14 | Justina Osburn: Timberon



15 | Julie Newton:

2016 BAMM Fest in Cloudcroft

16 | Jamie Lewis: Oilfield South of Artesia

17 | Grisel Samaniego: Sitting Bull Falls Pecos River Near Santa Fe

18 | Esperanza Valenzuela: Esperanza Valenzuela



19 | Donna Clark:

Grandkids on Miller Flats Road

20 | Christy Raburn:

Between Lovington and Artesia Rainbow Over Capitan

21 | Carol Sanchez:

Haboob North of Artesia, 2013

22 | Bianca Madrid: Beautiful Sunset

23 | Aaron Flores: Silver Lake



Opportunity For Citizens

TO AID IN CONSERVATION by Leland Pierce, New Mexico Department of Game & Fish

Leland Pierce is the herpetologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. He is entering his 14th year with the department, first as the GIS (geographic information system) coordinator and then as a recovery coordinator before taking his current position. Pierce has been involved in the conservation of amphibians and reptiles, particularly in New Mexico, for nearly 30 years.

In some areas of New Mexico, the anxious sound of a dog might just be ‌ a frog.

Ryder Champion (photo by Jessica Addington)

The two share a common trait: they both bark. PHOTO ABOVE: Aptly named, the eastern barking frog sounds like a domestic dog when bellowing for a mate. Unlike any other amphibian in New Mexico, eastern barking frogs do not have a tadpole stage. Instead, they metamorphose within the egg, so there is no aquatic stage in the life cycle. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is seeking citizen science volunteers to monitor the species. Photo by James Stuart



The timing of the barking frog’s activity has Game and Fish looking for public assistance. Within their findings, the researchers recommended using local citizen science volunteers to monitor important areas for the barking frog. The word is even included in its common name, the eastern barking frog. Found in the Chihuahuan desert in southern New Mexico, the barking frog lives in arid conditions and has a limited range in the state. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has a history of monitoring the status of the eastern barking frog, Craugastor augusti, which can be found in Chaves, Dona Ana, Eddy and Otero counties. The appearance of the frog is distinctive, with a broad head and chunky body but small limbs and enlarged toes believed to aid in climbing. The adult barking frog is greenish or brown with dark blotches, whereas juveniles are dark with a light cream band crosswise over the back.

challenging because of the nature of the barking frog.

The species is much different from most other amphibians in the state, surviving in arid conditions, generally in creosote flats with soils amenable for burrowing to provide shelter from the sun and predators. The barking frog also differs in how it reproduces. Every other species of frog in New Mexico lays eggs that hatch into a tadpole, which then changes into a small version of an adult. The barking frog, however, lays eggs that hatch straight into juvenile form, skipping the tadpole stage.

Department personnel are working with the researchers to set up forms and maps to be given to interested volunteers along with instructions on how to properly monitor for the barking frog, including identification of the call, and how to submit their data. The objective is to build upon the work already done by way of citizen science, providing New Mexicans with an opportunity to help the department meet its goal of conserving wildlife for future generations. Those interested in participating should contact Leland Pierce at 505-476-8094 or

Perhaps most unusual of all is its call. During breeding season, the male eastern barking frog emits an explosive single note every 2-3 seconds, which, when heard from a distance, sounds like a dog barking. At a closer range the call is more of a “whurr.” Because its habitat is dry and it has limited range within the state, the species was deemed a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” under the 2006 Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. In 2015, researchers from the University of New Mexico, with a grant from the department’s Share with Wildlife program, assessed the status of the species in the state. These people, trained in the call of the barking frog and where to find it, went out to historic sites to determine if the frog was still breeding in particular locations. The researchers found several important populations in the regions of Roswell and Carlsbad, near the Organ Mountains close to Las Cruces and north of Dell City, Texas on the southeastern New Mexico border. Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge near Roswell continues to have a healthy population, but researchers found the project to be

The species is secretive and is only detectable when it is calling to find a mate. That only happens when the right rainfall conditions occur, often just for a few days. The timing of the barking frog’s activity has Game and Fish looking for public assistance. Within their findings, the researchers recommended using local citizen science volunteers to monitor important areas for the barking frog. Given the tight window of opportunity each year, local volunteers would have the best chance to hear the call of the frogs at the most opportune times.

Readers can also go online to for more information about wildlife and conservation efforts in New Mexico.

ABOVE: The eastern barking frog can be found in the southeastern portion of New Mexico. A study conducted by University of New Mexico researchers surveyed several important populations, including the Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge near Roswell, as well as the mountains near Las Cruces (not included on this map). This frog species is notoriously difficult to survey because they are quite secretive and their barking call only happens when the right rainfall conditions occur, generally beginning in May.



Exploring the

Land of Enchantment... by Jessica Addington

Ken enjoys the views in Lajitas, Texas

on Horseback

Ken and Delma Simons take a break with their dog, Chance, and horses, Bella and Paladin.

Ken and Delma Simons pose with their horses at Weavers Needle in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest.

The couple rides hand in hand through the Pesos Wilderness.

Ken rides through the fields of Elk Valley Trail in Fort Stanton.

For Ken and Delma Simons, experiencing the great outdoors has become a lifestyle. As the couple settles into retirement they are able to dedicate their energy to exploring the scenery and rich history that the southwest provides on horseback. For them, it is a fresh season of life that allows the time to travel to new places and experience new adventures. “We have enjoyed the great outdoors together for 30 years,” they said. “It’s not just about the destination; it’s about the planning and preparation, wandering the miles together and collecting memories with the friends we make along the way.” The Cactus Club, made up of great friends the couple has made across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, is a rowdy mix of horse-loving baby boomers. The group coordinates several trail rides throughout the year where they ride the trails together, exploring the landscape and culture of each destination and gathering every night for a meal and campfire songs. As a child, Ken rode every chance he had and always wanted to own a horse. He begged his dad to buy him one but was told he would have to buy his own horse when he was able to afford the horse and pay for the feed. Ken never lost his dream of owning horses, however. He proudly bought his first horse in 1994 and began trail riding shortly after. Delma was reluctant to ride along on Ken’s trail rides; a childhood accident left her fearful of ever riding horses again. With Ken’s encouragement and her sure-footed palomino horse Huero, she regained her confidence and has been trail riding ever since. Ken and Delma currently ride matching buckskin Missouri Fox Trotters named Paladin and Bella. They travel to many beautiful trail riding destinations, pulling their 39-foot living quarters trailer with Paladin and Bella on board. Over the years they have ridden in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona; Monument Valley, Utah; Mount Rushmore, South Dakota; the National Sea Shore; Padre Island and Big Bend in Texas and many other trail riding destinations across Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona. While those destinations are all great places to ride, New Mexico, with all its public lands, has some of the best trail systems and horse friendly campgrounds in the nation. White Mountain Wilderness, Gila Wilderness and Pecos Wilderness are all nationally known trail riding destinations. “We are blessed to have these and many other recreation areas located in our great state,” Ken admitted. “Go out and enjoy them.”

White Mountain Wilderness is located north of Ruidoso and can be accessed from the Argentine/Bonito Trailhead west of Bonito Lake. The horse campground is located at the trailhead and offers pipe corrals and vault bathrooms. The Runnels Stables are nearby if someone wishes to rent horses. For spectacular views of Carrizozo, Valley of the Fires and White Sands, Ken suggests riding the Crest Trail. The Gila Wilderness, located in the Silver City area, has miles of trails and a horse camp called Woody’s Corrals. The camp is located near the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center and has pipe corrals, vault bathrooms and water for the horses. Many of the trailheads begin at Woody’s Corrals Campground. Visiting the Gila Cliff Dwellings is also an added attraction. Ken and Delma said they rode one trail there that crossed the Gila River 29 times. One of the most spectacular places where Ken and Delma ride is the Pecos Wilderness located 27 miles north of the village of Pecos. Jack’s Creek Horse Campground is located at the point Highway 63 dead ends and the trailheads into the wilderness begin. The only way to travel past Jack’s Creek Campground is on foot or horseback. The trails lead to high mountain lakes and up mountain peaks over 12,000 feet high. According to experts, this destination is best for experienced riders and horses. Another of Ken and Delma’s favorite places to ride is at the Fort Stanton Recreation Area between Lincoln and Capitan off Highway 380. Over 60 miles of trails on 25,000 BLM-controlled acres are in the recreation area. The actual fort has been restored and is located a few miles south of the horse camp on Highway 220. For a rich New Mexico history experience, visit the museum and tour the grounds of the historic fort. Most hike the Land of Enchantment on foot, some whiz the trails on bike and others may journey on horseback. Whatever your preference, the scenic Southwest provides a diverse landscape that allows you to experience the trail at your own pace. Most of the trails described above are open to hikers and sometimes mountain bikes; just follow the etiquette sign at each trailhead.



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Office Hours

Drop-offs begin at 7am • Doctors available starting at 8am Monday: 7:00 am to 5:30 pm Tuesday: 7:00 am to 5:30 pm Wednesday: 7:00 am to 12 pm Thursday: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Friday: 7:00 am to 5:30 pm Saturday: Closed • Sunday: Closed

Dr. Lawrence D. Young Veterinarian/Owner


110 West Mahone Drive • Artesia, NM 88210

DO YOUR PART TO HELP PREVENT FOREST FIRES As temperatures continue to rise and wind is inevitable, the result is drier fuel for wildland fires. If you plan to visit a National Forest, please follow these safety tips to prevent forest fires. • Make sure campfires are dead out. Make sure you have water on hand. • Park vehicles in areas that are paved or bare. DO NOT park in tall, dry grass. • When pulling a trailer, attach safety chains securely; loose chains can drag on the pavement and cause sparks, igniting roadside fires. • If you smoke, do so in areas that are clear of vegetation. • Never throw a burning cigarette out of a vehicle. • Say NO to fireworks. It is ALWAYS illegal to possess or use fireworks on public lands.

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Gracies Artesia

HELP SAVE YOUR Vacation HOME With it being a quick hour-and-a-half drive from Artesia to Ruidoso, Timberon or Cloudcroft, it is not unusual for residents of Southeastern New Mexico to have vacation homes in the mountains. Some home owners rent out their properties when not in use, but the majority of the folks around here opt out of renting so they can enjoy a quick getaway on any given weekend.

 CLEAR needles, leaves & other debris from the roof, gutters, eaves,

porches and decks. This reduces the chance of embers igniting your home.

 To reduce ember penetration, REPLACE OR REPAIR loose or missing roof shingles or tiles & CAULK any gaps or openings on roof edges.

As is the case with any structure, there are certain steps you can and should take in order to keep your property as safe as possible, especially since we have experienced a drier than normal winter and spring. The work you do today can make a difference to possibly help save your home from wildfires. The National Fire Protection Association suggests following these simple action steps to reduce the risk of your home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:

 REMOVE FLAMMABLE ITEMS within 30 feet of all structures,

including firewood piles, portable propane tanks and dry and dead vegetation.

 Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire, so KEEP YOUR LAWN

 COVER exterior attic vents & ENCLOSE under-eave and soffit

HYDRATED AND MAINTAINED. If it is brown, trim it to reduce fire intensity, and don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger.

 REMOVE ITEMS stored under decks or porches; replace vegetation in these areas with rock or gravel.

Fire can spread to tree tops. If you have tall trees on your property, PRUNE low hanging branches six to 10 feet from the ground; and for smaller trees, PRUNE low hanging branches no more than a third of the tree’s height. REMOVE tall grasses, vines and shrubs from under trees.

 REPLACE MULCH with hardscaping, including rock, gravel or

 TALK to your neighbors and create a plan for how to address your

vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent embers from entering the home.

stone. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.

wildfire safety challenges together.



teacher feature

KAYLA CARDWELL Kindergarten teacher at Grand Heights Early Childhood Center; Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management from NMSU; Alternative Licensure in Elementary Education from Santa Fe Community College; working on Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy from ENMU FOCUS ON ARTESIA: How did you wind up at the Artesia Public School District? CARDWELL: I am an Artesia native and grew up on the receiving end of all the amazing things that the Artesia Public School district does for its students. When I decided to enter the world of education, it was a very natural choice to come back to the place and the people who played such a huge role in my own education. FOCUS: Tell us a little bit about your professional background and your role in education. CARDWELL: I am a regular education kindergarten classroom teacher. I spent one year as a teacher’s aide and have been the lead teacher in my own classroom going on four years. The role of a kindergarten teacher in education is huge! Photo by Jessica Addington For a great deal of time, many did not consider kindergarten as important or worthy of much consideration in the world of academics. The assumption still remains that nothing beyond play or “fluff” work is done in kindergarten. This could not be further from the truth. Kindergarten is the only grade that receives students who have never been in a school setting. Very often, we have students who have never held a pencil, scissors or crayons, have never read a book, have never used a multi-stall bathroom and have never walked in a line in a hallway. We have to teach them each of these skills. Before we can even think about teaching academics, we have to address all of the above plus countless others, like how many paper towels to use after hand washing, how to play with others, etc. Then, there is the additional stress of worrying that our students have enough to eat, are clean or have weather appropriate clothes (although this is not singular to kindergarten--I know all teachers face these worries). It’s difficult to have lofty academic expectations of children who do not have their basic human needs met outside the school walls. However, kindergarten students are taught reading, writing, language development and very basic arithmetic. They are also taught many foundational life skills such as collaboration and cooperation, self-expression and conflict resolution. I attempt to remain constantly cognizant of the fact that the experience the students in my kindergarten class receive sets the tone for their entire educational experience. It is a heavy responsibility, but one that makes my job more exciting, challenging and meaningful. FOCUS: What made you want to enter the field of education? CARDWELL: I moved home to Artesia after managing a restaurant in Lubbock, Texas for a year. At the time, the enrollment at kindergarten was at an all-time high and they were in need of teacher’s aides. I applied for the job with the intention of staying only until I found something that I “really wanted to do.” By the end of the first week in the classroom, I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be. Even in that first week, I witnessed the phenomenal work that was being done in those classrooms. It was so exhilarating and I knew I wanted to be a part of that, if at all possible. I started researching how I could become a regular classroom teacher and found the Alternative Licensure program that enables those with degrees outside of education to become certified teachers. Fortuitously, there was an opening for a kindergarten teacher that following school year for which I applied and was hired. The upcoming school year will be my fourth as a classroom teacher, and I truly cannot imagine a career outside of education. FOCUS: Tell us a little bit about you. What are your hobbies and interests? CARDWELL: My job dominates my thoughts 95% of the time. It’s hard to turn the “teacher me” off! However, when I do have some spare time, I love to play volleyball, any activity near/in a body of water, cooking, dancing, reading, and spending time with my family. FOCUS: What is special about the Artesia educational system? CARDWELL: The community of Artesia, as a whole, is unique. However, the educational system in Artesia is truly one-of-a-kind. I have a unique perspective because I have experienced it as both a student and now as a teacher. Many of the educators who taught me in school are now my colleagues. I held so many of them in high regard as a student, and that has only been reinforced now that I work alongside them. I’ve experienced no other place that champions



its students the way Artesia does. Whatever the students choose to do, there is always a huge team of educators and community members helping, cheering and demanding excellence. To be a part of something like that is humbling and awe-inspiring, and I think it is that sense of family within the education community of Artesia and the commitment to helping each other succeed that keeps the tradition alive. It’s a cycle that continues to perpetuate itself through all of the truly special people who continue to work in, and for, education in Artesia. The way that we are cared for here—both teachers and students—fosters a very real and deep connection that calls so many of us back to be a part of it as adults. I know that I’m not alone in my feelings that the Artesia Public School system, and the many generous community members and organizations that support education, have all provided me with the opportunities that have enabled me to be where I am today. I feel incredibly grateful that I now have the opportunity to “pay it forward” and, hopefully, do the same for the next generation of students in Artesia. FOCUS: What do you want people to know that perhaps they might not know or understand about your school, its educators and the work they do? CARDWELL: I work with, and for, some truly incredible individuals. I am continually inspired by their dedication and commitment to their students. There are no lengths to which they will not go to do whatever is necessary for the students to learn and thrive. The amount of heart that my colleagues put into their jobs is nothing short of heroic. There are times that it feels as though educators are assigned blame for all of the world’s problems, and the expectations placed upon us are crushingly heavy. However, I watch my colleagues go to battle for their students each day knowing full well that it is a battle they may never win, yet they never lose their ferocity. I watch them cradle a sick or injured child in their arms just as they would their very own. I watch them agonize, to the point of experiencing physical illness, over the struggles their students are facing, both in and out of the classroom. I see those ever-present dark circles under their eyes that tell the story of lost hours of sleep because some of their students have no one else in their lives that will ever lose sleep over them. I see the genuine elation in their eyes when a student finally breaks through the barrier that was hindering their growth. They meticulously plan for each school day down to the very last minute. I’ve seen them buy winter clothes for the kids who come to school in December wearing t-shirts and shorts. They work through lunch hours and break times to make sure that the lesson they’ve planned will work. There are days they make it to the end of the workday before realizing they haven’t once stopped to go to the bathroom. I watch them spend countless hours researching new methods and techniques, searching for anything that might help that one student who just isn’t getting it. I watch them refuse to allow their students to be viewed as nothing more than a test score. I watch them pick up their armor and rise to the occasion, day in and day out, regardless of what their evaluation may say about their effectiveness. That level of devotion and care is not dependent upon pay or recognition, which is what makes it all the more impressive. We do it because we believe in our students and the importance of what happens in our classrooms. FOCUS: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? CARDWELL: The most rewarding aspect of the job is the relationships that develop with the kids. Each year, the students leave me in such a state of wonderment at the capacities of their hearts and minds. They are capable of so much, and to be involved in their growth and transformation over the course of a school year is an extraordinary experience. The days can, at times, be long and trying, but at the end of each school year I am overcome with emotion at the thought of where my students began versus where they end. I don’t have children of my own yet, but I think that the love and pride I feel for my students must be somewhat similar to that of a parent. I refer to them as “my kids” even after they have left my classroom, because I truly feel that sense of connection. In addition to all of that, my job is fun and entertaining! There are no two days alike and I never get bored! FOCUS: Do you have a motto or saying that you live by? CARDWELL: “Whatever you are, be a good one,” said Abraham Lincoln. We are all so many different things throughout the day. In each moment, you have to make a conscious effort to be the best version of whatever role you are assuming in that moment. Teacher, friend, daughter, citizen, employee, confidante—I strive to be the best personification of each.

Nature Trail Worth a Second Look Sandra Bailey

One of the signs welcoming visitors to the Navajo Nature Trail in Artesia.

by Kyle Marksteiner

Artesia recently paved a parking lot and put in a paradise.

The Navajo Nature Trail, stretching parallel to J.J. Clarke Drive, has been a labor of love since it was first conceived in 2013. Volunteers from HollyFrontier Navajo Refining Co., local schools and members of the community have transformed the formerly-vacant strip of property into an ideal environment for native bees, birds, butterflies, bats, moths and beetles. Efforts to transform the quarter-mile trail included cleanup, planting native trees and adding water fountains, bird nest boxes and benches. “The park-like appearance, along with the walking track, gives Eagle Draw a useful purpose and makes a community asset out of an emergency flood control facility,” observed Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch. “The fact that local entities such as Navajo Refining and Artesia General Hospital contributed the nature trail and exercise equipment make the draw even more inviting and useful. The City of Artesia is fortunate to have the draw and will continue to make additions and improvements for our community.”

The path was especially popular for bicyclists during a visit in May. Native plants unfolded their secrets only upon a close examination, revealing colorful buds and busy black insects. Each plant is its own independent wilderness, with the butterflies, according to Navajo’s trail signs, blending the tapestry together. Navajo Refining Co. works closely with the environmental consulting firm Blanton & Associates and other agencies to select and place the plant life. In the fall of 2014, Navajo Nature Trail received Wildlife at Work certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council, a nonprofit, non-lobbying 501(c)(3) group of corporations, conservation organizations and individuals dedicated to restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat. Wildlife at Work certification is awarded to programs that exceed regulatory requirements and provide a structure for corporate-driven cooperative efforts between management, employees and community members to voluntarily create, conserve and restore wildlife habitats on corporate lands. “They come down twice a year and inspect the trail,” explained Debbie Bell, spokesperson for HollyFrontier Navajo Refining Co. “They want to see what species of butterflies and bugs are living along the way. It’s a pretty intense inspection.” The following year, 140 Artesia High School track athletes, along with 17 Navajo employees, helped remove weeds in the area. When the application for the Navajo Nature Trail Conservation Certification was reviewed in the fall of 2016, the criteria had been met. Navajo Refining Co. will continue to document, update, construct new features, hold volunteer events, and monitor the existing Navajo Nature Trail site in order to obtain future certifications and awards. Additional improvements and a possible expansion of the trail are expected to take place over the next few years.



The trail is also a popular destination for fitness enthusiasts thanks in part to some nearby exercise equipment. In 2015, Artesia General Hospital (AGH) donated a selection of outdoor equipment to the City of Artesia. The equipment was placed near the intersection of J.J. Clarke and Centennial Drives along Eagle Draw. Members of the hospital’s orthopedic and bone and joint departments turned out for the grand opening. “We’re committed to the health of our community,” said AGH Interim CEO and CFO Robert C. Tyk, FHFMA. “Our focus is not just helping people recover from an illness or surgery but preventing them from becoming ill.” He also noted that the hospital’s web page, www., has more information about services. The centerpiece of the Navajo Nature Trail experience, however, is undoubtedly a bench placed in memory of Sandra Odum Bailey, a Navajo Refining Co. employee who passed away in 2015. Bailey and her sister, Esther Odum Earl, worked together in Artesia for many years prior to Bailey’s transfer to the Dallas offices of Navajo’s parent company, HollyFrontier Corporation. “She was my life, and it was a bittersweet moment when she left,” Earl stated, recalling the move, “but we still kept in touch and talked two or three times a day.”

Members of Sandra Odum Bailey’s family, as well as her minister, Rev. Thomas E. Ford (far left), pose during the 2016 ceremonial unveiling of her bench. Photo submitted by Rose Mary Knorr

Bailey’s passing naturally devastated family and friends. “She was an awesome woman of God who would do anything for you,” Earl shared. “I miss her so very much.” After her passing, friends from Navajo Refining, some of whom had since retired, began a fundraising effort. The ceremony to dedicate the bench was held the same weekend as the wedding of one of Bailey’s sons. “We were all there (at Navajo Refining) forever, and it was just like a family,” according to Rose Mary Knorr, one of the Navajo Refining retirees who helped sponsor the bench. Knorr acknowledged that the goal was to find a good spot close to where several family members live. “We worked through Navajo and through the City,” she added. “It’s nice that people can donate these little benches and everyone enjoys them.” The bright flowers and butterflies patching the landscape around Sandra Odum Bailey’s memorial bench make the Navajo Nature Trail a wonderful place to remember a loved one. Pictured are a few of the local sights along the Navajo Nature Trail. The park was designed to be a haven for insects and butterflies.







5 2 0 W. M A I N S T. | A R T E S I A | 5 7 5 - 7 4 6 - 1 9 0 9 HAIR






This bench, built along the Navajo Nature Trail, was placed in memory of Sandra Odum Bailey, a long-time Navajo Refining Co. employee who passed away in 2015.

We're more than just a travel agency! VersaSpa Spray Tan • Tanning Beds Candles & Fine Jewelry • Crystal Collectibles ®

( 575 ) 746-3538 410 W Main • Artesia, NM 88210

Pictured are a few of the local sights along the Navajo Nature Trail. The park was designed to be a haven for insects and butterflies.

This ooey, gooey concoction will Campfire delight your taste buds and Cones satisfy your sweet tooth! You can even change them up however Ingredients: • Ice cream cones foil you’d like. Instead of chocolate •• Aluminum Favorite s’mores toppings: butter, mini marshmallows, chips you can try peanut butter or peanut chocolate chips, sliced butterscotch chips, or try adding strawberries, sliced bananas, etc. sliced bananas or strawberries. Directions: The options are limitless! Coat the inside of each cone with peanut butter. Fill with your favorite toppings, then wrap each cone tightly with foil.

Ziploc Omelets Ingredients:

Chop your omelet ingredients (tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc.). Cook your meats and crumble (bacon, sausage, chorizo, ham). Grate cheese. Prep work can be done prior to trip! • Bring a large pot of water to a boil (appx. 2/3 full) • While waiting for the water to boil, whip eggs in a bowl. Have a Sharpie marker ready for the next step!

Recipe by Ken and Delma Simons “Those that have camped with us know this is a sure thing!”

• Place bags (up to 6) in the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. (adding

1-2 minutes per additional egg if people want bigger omelettes) Make sure the tops of

Grill directions: Place on a heated grill for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally.

the bag don’t hang out over the edge of the pot, especially if you are doing it over a fire– you don’t want the plastic to melt. • Carefully remove the bags from the water. When you open the bag, the omelette should easily slide onto the plate. Top with any additional toppings and enjoy!

Campfire directions: Heat the foilwrapped cones over a campfire for 3-5 minutes, or until the chocolate and marshmallows have melted.

Planning a camping trip? Make these breakfast burritos ahead of time, wrap then tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil, then toss them on the campfire when you're ready to eat them.

• Write your name with the Sharpie marker on a quart sized freezer bag. Fill with your favorite ingredients and add about a cup and a half of whipped raw eggs. Press as much air out of bag as possible and seal tightly. Smoosh the ingredients around to mix it all up.

Campfire Breakfast Burritos Makes 8 burritos


• ½ Tablespoon olive oil • 1 cup frozen hash browns • 8 oz cooked ham, diced • 12 eggs • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning • 1 (4.5 oz) can green chilies • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese • ¼ cup chopped cilantro • 8 (12-inch) tortillas


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the hash browns and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add the ham. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the hash browns and ham have both browned, about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then whisk in the taco seasoning. When the hash browns and ham have browned, pour the eggs into the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs have set. Stir in the green chilies, cheese and cilantro. Warm the tortillas. Put 1/8 of the egg mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up like a burrito and wrap tightly in foil. Store in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator or in a cooler. When ready to cook, place wrapped burritos in hot coals next to fire. Let the burritos sit in the coals, turning once, until heated through, about 10-15 minutes. (The time will depend on how hot your fire is.)

business spotlight

Sun Country Garden Center

How long have you been in business? 30 years

What makes this business so special?

We want our customers to be successful with their lawns and gardens. We only sell plants that will do well in this harsh southwest environment, and we strive to sell our customers top quality products.

What are you best known for and why? We believe that we provide the strongest tomato and pepper plants in the area. We start them from seed ourselves and nurture them from seed to fruit. Our lush Proven Winner hanging baskets are the most beautiful in a 400 mile radius.

What is the history or background of this business?

The business was started 30+ years ago when Verna finally realized her dream. She worked the nursery mostly by herself for the first year or two as Fred was employed elsewhere. As the business grew, it became apparent that Fred’s time was better spent helping with the family business. The Funks were blessed to be able to raise many grandchildren and great-grandchildren alongside their grandparents. What started with one hoop house has grown into two 100-foot greenhouses, a growing house, two hoop houses and a large tree yard.

What aspect of this business are you most passionate about? Growing quality plants for our customers.

Why should a customer choose your business?

We care about your lawn and garden and we want you to succeed.

Are there any tips you would tell customers to improve their experience when they visit your place of business or conduct business with you? Please ask any questions that you may have; otherwise, we will leave you alone to do your shopping.

“When a customer walks into our business they can expect quality products and personal customer service, from selecting your plants to helping to load your purchase in your vehicle.” - Verna Funk, Owner

1102 W. Main Street Artesia, NM


575.736.0021 Each office is independently owned and operated

Are you prepared?


Who would benefit?

O P E N M O N - S AT

Kitchen: 11-9 | Pub: 11-? - Open over 17 years -

• Private Banquet Events • 575-746-0640




513017 W5GRAND - 7 4AVE6 •-ARTESIA 2 8 9NM2 Courses available regularly in our office or can be scheduled on-site at your location.

Southern New Mexico’s Premier Art Gallery

Representing 30 noted artists. Images below: Necklace by Karen Veni • Birdhouse by Bob Murray Clay bowl by Marcia Westfall

575-887-1210 • 120 S. CANYON • CARLSBAD, NM Open: 10am-5pm, Monday - Saturday

Promotional advertising provided by the City of Carlsbad Lodger’s Tax.

575-748-3400 409 COMMERCE ROAD

These make great meals when you’re camping or if you are serving a large group for an outdoor birthday party. Just grab a small bag of chips, crush them up and top with taco meat and toppings of your choice. You’ll then be free to roam, work the crowd or watch the game without being tied down to a table. The best part is that there are no plates and cleanup is easy!

Walking Tacos Ingredients:

• 1 pound ground beef • ½ cup diced onion • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning • 6-8 snack sized bags of Fritos or • Doritos

The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection May-August 2017

Crush chips with your hands and open the bag. Add whatever black beans, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, toppings you desire and eat with a fork as you walk around! Drizzle sour cream, ranch/salsa mixture (1:1 ratio of with ranch/salsa mixture. prepared ranch dressing and your favorite salsa)

Out of Africa & Into Artesia

The Ray & Helen Bartlett Out of Africa of Africa The Ray & Helen Bartlett &Out & Into Artesia Into Artesia African Animal Trophy African Animal Trophy The Ray & Helen Bartlett The Ray & Helen Bartlett The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection African Animal Trophy African Animal Trophy Out of Africa & Into Artesia

Collection Collection


May-August 2017

May-August 2017

Brown beef and drain the fat. Add the onion to the meat and saute a couple of minutes until soft. Add the taco seasoning along with ½ cup of water and simmer until water is absorbed. If serving immediately, pour into a bowl.

Suggested Toppings:

OUT OutOF of AFRICA Africa & Into ARTESIA Artesia & INTO Out of Africa & Into Artesia


May-August 2017


The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection

May-August 2017

May-August 2017

May-August 2017

505 West Richardson Ave. • Artesia, NM (575) 748-2390 • Out of Africa & Into Artesia

Out of Africa & Into Artesia

Out of Africa & Into Artesia

Out of Africa & Into Artesia

The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection

The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection

The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection

The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection

May-August 2017

May-August 2017

May-August 2017

May-August 2017

Out of Africa & Into Artesia

Out of Africa & Into Artesia

The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection

The Ray & Helen Bartlett African Animal Trophy Collection

May-August 2017

May-August 2017

Did You Know???

1. Deer can jump as high as 10 feet in the air from a full sprint. 2. Raccoons can purr. Like house cats, they usually purr when they feel content or safe. 3. Ticks must be connected to their hosts for at least a day and a half--36 hours--to pass along Lyme disease.

4. You can tell the temperature by listening to a cricket chirping. Count the number of chirps in 14 seconds and add 40 for the temperature in Fahrenheit.

5. Black bears can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. They also have an incredible sense of smell, so take appropriate precautions when camping in bear territory.

6. The largest wolf species in North America grows to about six and a half feet from tail to muzzle.

7. Mosquitoes can smell the carbon dioxide in a human’s breath from over 100 feet away. 8. Lightning strikes are fairly common, occurring about 100,000 times per day

worldwide. A bolt of lightning can raise the temperature of the surrounding air by 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Wildfires move quickly. Some reach speeds of 14 miles per hour, so never go

anywhere near a wildfire and check for advisories before heading out to a campsite.

*Facts by Eureka! For Life Outdoors




Come By & See Our Kids Corner!

Thank You For Inviting Us Into Your Home!

Serving Eddy County Since 1967

Since 1988, Castle Rentals has been serving Artesia and surrounding communities. Locally owned, we’re here for our friends and neighbors. We offer rent to own! Like us on Facebook!


2616 West Main Street • Artesia, NM 88210

As we celebrate our


of service, we would like to thank you for your patronage 401 South Canyon Carlsbad, NM 88220 (575) 887-1014

August 26th

107 South 14th Artesia, NM 88210 (575) 746-3782


Whiskey Myers



chamber news




Executive Director



Events & Marketing Coordinator

Director of Administration


Economic Development Director


LINENS BY BITSY 575-513-7473 • Whether you are planning a wedding or just a small family gathering, Linens by Bitsy has all your linen needs, including custom orders. UNITED RENTALS 575-746-6785 • 7217 Roswell Highway

NOW HIRING Correctional Officers at Roswell Correctional Center


The Trailblazers helped celebrate Washington Federal’s 100 years in business with a ribbon cutting. 602 W. Texas Ave. | 575-627-4691

*No Experience Required*

With the largest rental fleet in the industry, United Rentals is your single source to rent or buy heavy equipment. Count on top-tier equipment and tools, a team of industry experts and 24/7 customer service to keep your operations running smoothly day or night.

Get Paid While You Train

• Must be 18 years of age or older • High School Graduate or GED • U.S Citizen • No Felony Convictions • Pass Entry Screening Tests

Competetive Salary  Health & Retirement Benefits  Contact Human Resources 575-625-3115

"Your Office Away From Home" Quality Firearms, Western Wear, Home Decor & More!

205 West Main St. (575) 746-2542

• Cable-Color TV-HBO • In-Room Coffee • Direct Dial Phones

• Swimming Pool • Microwaves & Refrigerators in all rooms

575.746.9801 • 1.800.682.4598 1820 S. 1st Artesia Carlsbad Hwy US 285 S


artesia mainstreet IRD H T


It’s that time again! The Third Annual Red Dirt Black Gold Festival is BACK in downtown Artesia Saturday, August 26. The Red Dirt Black Gold (RDBG) Festival is a day-long celebration of music, culture and the oil & gas industry in our community. If you haven’t made your way downtown yet to RDBG, you are missing out. We promise it will be an experience for all five of your senses. Don’t believe us? Check it out! ELISABETH JACKSON

Executive Director


SEE – Come shop along Main Street and see all of the great things our local businesses have to offer. Who knows? There may be a prize or two involved if you visit all participating merchants throughout the day. Make sure you step inside the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center to cool off and view their August artist of the month art installation.

TASTE – Get those taste buds ready for some delicious New Mexico brews in the New MexiCAN Brewfest, a beer garden featuring local and regional brews. Cider and wine will also be on hand for you non-beer drinkers. Missed the cook-off? Several food vendors will be on site to serve up food throughout the evening.

TOUCH – Come interact with the Oilfield Olympics competition at Eagle Draw. Teams of four will compete against each other to win trophies and bragging rights. Be prepared to cheer for your favorite teams. They will need all the help they can get as they complete in several relay-style challenges to perform tasks using oilfield equipment. Both expert and novice teams are welcome.

HEAR – This year’s RDBG has quite a lineup for your auditory senses. Music from national acts will fill the air starting at 2 p.m. and have you up and dancing. This year’s performers include Shari Rowe, Callahan Divide, the Statesboro Revue, Dalton Domino and New Mexico’s own Bri Bagwell. To cap off the evening, our headliner Whiskey Myers will take the stage.

Looking for activities for the kiddos? Artesia Family Fitness will have inflatable fun set up indoors. Check them out all day inside their location at 4th and Texas.

Save the date, put on your boots and join us downtown for a full sensory experience on Saturday, August 26. Visit www.artesiaacd. com/red-dirt-black-gold for event information, including cookoff and Olympics registration forms. Like us on Facebook at facebook. com/reddirtblackgoldfestival.

SMELL… (OK, and TASTE, too) - The first thing you may notice when arriving downtown is the delicious smell of BBQ. Oilfield cookoff teams will fire up the grill early in the morning in Heritage Plaza with food ready to serve by 1 p.m. Teams will compete for several trophies including Greatest Grub and People’s Choice. Plate tickets will be sold for $10 and will directly support the event.


& Team we love creating beautiful smiles! Kay Younggren, DDS 575.746.1900 • 2520 W. Hermosa Dr. • Artesia, New Mexico

Artesia General Hospital Welcomes New Providers As we continue to strengthen our foundation and build for community needs, AGH is excited to welcome the following new physicians and specialty providers. A L L P ROV I D E R S A R E AC C E P T I N G PAT I E N T S To learn more about each provider, including their academic histories, interests and hobbies, please visit


Robert C. Orchard, C A RD IOL OG IS T



The Bone & Joint Destination Center

Artesia General Hospital

Artesia General Hospital







Focus on Artesia Summer 2017  
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