One Mom's 28-Year Slide Ranch Story

When Kin Davis was two years old she moved with her family to the USA from Laos. They lived in the Tenderloin District in San Francisco for the first year then moved to the Mission District. Kin attended the School of the Arts (SOTA) High school and graduated from SFSU. She worked in the financial district in San Francisco where she met her husband. They currently live in Sonoma county with their two beautiful girls ages seven and four. Kin's now a stay at home mom and loves to dance and do art projects with her girls or for her own pleasure. She also loves to get her hands dirty gardening!

When Kin was a child she visited Slide Ranch with her school as part of a subsidized trip funded by Slide Ranch donors. It left a lasting impression on her, and she credits her time here for helping her realize how much she has always loved nature. Earlier this year Kin returned to Slide Ranch with her family for an overnight Family Campout. She wanted to share her love of nature and gift her children the opportunity to feel the same excitement she felt as a child visiting our coastal hands-on education farm. The experience brought back wonderful memories for Kin and gave her and her family many new magical memories together.


When did you first come to Slide Ranch?

I was ten years old when I came to slide Ranch for the first time. It was with Marshall Elementary School on a fifth grade field trip.


What did you do at Slide Ranch?

I remember milking the goat, making cheese and adding edible flowers to it (I thought that was cool). I remember the hike to the tidepools and the guide teaching us the difference between seaweed and kelp and what seaweed was okay to eat.

What was your first impression?

How beautiful it was and how free I felt. It was a stark contrast to city life.


What do you remember the most from your experience here as a child?

What I remember the most from the trip was the wild flowers, cheese-making, and the ocean exploration.

I remember clearly like it was yesterday walking on the path to our campsite and watching all the wild flowers swaying back and forth in the wind, the bees dancing around them, and being annoyed that my hair was blowing across my face blocking the scenic view. My parents worked all the time and didn’t have a lot of money so we didn’t take trips. I remember feeling happy to be away from the city.


Did anything leave a lasting impression / stay with you throughout the years?

Yes, how happy I felt being there and around nature.


What inspired you to come back?

We live in Sonoma County, we have our own vegetable garden and we get fresh eggs from my in-laws. We are so close to a dairy ranch, vegetable farms, strawberry fields and we live in a community that promotes healthy organic living. All these places are around town but not in one location. I wanted my children to experience that in one place. A place that was kid-friendly and catered to children. I wanted to share with them Slide Ranch and I wanted that experience to pour on them all at once. I wanted them to experience the same joy and excitement that I experienced.


How did you hear about the Family Campouts?

I’ve always had this place in my heart. I forgot the name of it. I think one day I was driving around with a friend who grew up in Marin. I saw a sign that said Slide Ranch on it and I think that’s what triggered it.


What did you and your family do during your campout?

I felt as if I was reliving my childhood but as an adult with my family.

We did pretty much everything I did as a kid 28 years ago. My daughters love this place! They did not want to leave. We went down to the tide pools, visited the bone grove, made cheese, picked berries, honeysuckle, herbs and other vegetables. We also painted driftwood, sat around the campfire singing camp songs, made new friends, and ate lots of wonderful food!


What was you and your family's favorite part/s of the Family Campout?

Gosh, it was everything!


What memories will you and your family take with you from your time here?

Being together and learning new things such as making cheese. I think this will be our new family project for Thanksgiving. I am hoping we can make something together and share it with everyone this year and many more after that. My youngest daughter’s favorite memory is touching a starfish. My oldest daughter’s favorite memory is milking the goat.


Is there anything you do now that was influenced by your time at Slide Ranch as a child or adult? 

Yes, I love nature. Now that I have children of my own I would like them to love nature as much as I do. We go on hikes together, camping trips, have our own veggie garden, we go to the beach, and we introduce them to insects and animals. It is hard sometimes to capture their attention but they love being out and about with us.

Before Slide Ranch I didn’t realize how much I loved being out in nature. So it has really influenced and guided my entire life’s direction.


What do you think Slide Ranch offers families in terms of an experience, learning opportunities, fun, etc? 

The wide variety of hands-on activities such as milking the goats, making cheese, and harvesting food directly from the garden, provided our family with many bonding opportunities, as well as time to teach our children about where their food actually comes. (Surprise! Food doesn’t just come from the grocery store.) The patient, knowledgeable, and friendly staff made all aspects of our trip fun. Excursions including the Bone Grove and exploring the tidepools excite the kid adventurer in all of us. And finally the shared meals and close camping arrangement ensured we would bond with not only our family but other families as well.

We couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Kin with her husband and two children pictured at the picnic area at Slide Ranch.

Kin with her husband and two children pictured at the picnic area at Slide Ranch.