Two summers ago, we hired an intern, Caitlin. She was a UW-Platteville student who grew up in a suburb of Chicago, where she was one of 25,000 people. She went to a school that had a student enrollment larger than Lancaster's total population. Small town life - and farm life - was...confusing for her.
We joke all the time about how on this city girl's first day at the farm, she planted pumpkins. She laughs when Kyle goes out and recognizes everyone he meets. Hunting confuses her. And apparently, we all have an accent here?
But even though she finds the pacing of our little life here a little perplexing, Caitlin loves it. During her internship, she learned a whole host of new skills, but you probably recognize her from ice cream. Throughout her summer internship, Caitlin traveled all around with our then-new sweet treat and gave out free scoops in many of our local communities.
After a summer of scooping, Caitlin stayed through our fall season. She then she graduated, got a job, and moved on from the farm. It was good to see her go to the next phase of her life, but if Kyle and I were being honest, we were pretty bummed to see her leave.
And then, of course, the pandemic happened. She lost her new job and had to move home. Her life plan changed completely.
After a little employment reshuffling, Caitlin called up Kyle, asking for a reference. We maintain that it was the best call she's ever made, because it gave Kyle an idea.
The pandemic left us with a pretty quiet farm. So in May 2020, we started up the ice cream dream and had an incredible first summer with the ice cream truck. Although we had a lot of fun, it was also clear that we needed a new team member focused on ice cream. And when Kyle talked to Caitlin, he realized something:
Caitlin, more than anyone at the farm (maybe even Kyle) IS ice cream. And we needed her back.
It took a little convincing, but the good memories brought her back to the farm and she started with us again right before our 2020 fall season.
Since she's been back, the farm has been a different place. Sometimes - not often, but every once in a great while - a place can be transformed by a special person who can change everything. Caitlin, with her energy, her humor, her willingness to do everything from washing dishes to helping customers, breathed a lot of new life into our little team at the farm.
Caitlin fits perfectly into our team at the farm - as perfect as, they say, a scoop on top of a cone. She has a goofy humor that revives us even after a long day on our feet. She continues to amaze us with her absolutely perfect clumsiness - I personally believe she holds the world record for the most things broken in one day. Like everyone on our team - she loves to help families make memories, and everything she does is in service of this our most important value. And, of course, she LOVES ice cream. And the fall.
Officially, Caitlin is back as the new Scoops Coordinator, and she'll manage our ice cream trucks and help with fall season, but unofficially, she's back as our friend, our advisor, our pep-in-our-step. We are super grateful that she returned to our little town - even though she finds it endlessly confusing - and came back to our little farm. Because now that she's here, we can't imagine our home without her.
Fun on the farm...in blog form!