Learning and Giving Back Through Pony Club Opportunities
By NYB Member Brittany Flores
When I joined the United States Pony Club when I was about eight years old, I went to D camp for the first time. It gave me a great opportunity to learn about horse management and D Camp, an annual Pony Club camp that has been happening for many many years. Our D camp is run by the Santa Cruz County Pony Club which is located in the Middle California Region. This camp allows the younger members of Pony Club in the regional area to have a fun experience and camp with their horses while also learning an abundance of new lessons, responsibilities, and knowledge on how to take care of their horses without their parents or trainers around. Every year the upper level members in Pony Club volunteer their time to make this camp possible. For the past couple of years, I have been volunteering my time by being a Horse Management Judge. I think that this is a unique, great opportunity for the upper level members because it promotes one of the many fun and simple ways older members can give back to their Pony Clubs as well as it being a way for the younger members to have someone to look up to. It also instills in the younger members to volunteer their time when they grow up and they want to be a helping hand in some way in their Pony Club community. I help with the camp all weekend, specifically completing safety inspections, teaching Horse Management lessons, helping tack up ponies, leading kids on their trail rides, and assisting in running games and obstacle courses. Giving back in this way makes me feel appreciative and thankful that Pony Club promotes service so much. I am grateful for this camp and all the people that take time to help because I too was once a little camper than needed the help from the upper level members.