Written by the National Youth Board
The Midwest Region Youth board was established in 2018 with the initial goal of creating, organizing, and putting on its first ever D camp. Since its hard work in successfully running that first D camp the MWR YB has gone on to be the masterminds behind D camp and C camp. The hardworking members of the MWR YB also assist as horse management judges for MWR’s Padawan Rally (a rally designed to be fun and rewarding for new members and/or green mounts). Starting in 2020 and continuing into 2021 members have organized fundraising efforts in order to promote and maintain membership in the region by working to build funds to create scholarships and opportunities to support member activities in the region. With these funds the members of the MWR YB hope to help with the cost of International Exchanges, National level certification costs, and introducing Polocrosse into the Region.
3 tips on running a successful Pony Club Camp:
Members getting hands-on during a floating demonstration at C Camp in 2019.
Step 1: Start Planning Early-
A lot has to be done to create and run camp; a location has to be picked and booked, Trainers and special guests (such as veterinarians, farriers, equine dentists, Pony Club Graduates) have to be located and available to come help for your camp dates. Camp information has to be sent out to campers in good advance in order for people to be able to register in a timely manner. Work together with your fellow youth board members to divide the work and ensure it all gets done.
Step 2: A good well thought out schedule is key-
Campers (and Volunteers!!!) have to know where to go and when to go there. However keep in mind that camp should be as fun as possible, and nobody can enjoy anything if they are running like crazy trying to get everything done in an insanely short amount of time. You also have to remember to put in a lunch break and snack breaks throughout the day.
Step 3: Keep it Super Fun:
A good camp day should have fun group activities as well as educational and ride time throughout the day. One of our camps biggest hits is Tye Dying camp shirts. One year campers became Foxhounds and followed a sticky note “scent” trail after our unmounted foxhunting session. Tack cleaning can easily become a dance party. We also like to keep things interesting, perhaps our mounted games session involves more proper dressage work than the campers (or Ponies!) realize because everybodys focused on the games. Just be creative and you can come up with some pretty cool stuff!
The National Youth Board (NYB) serves as a liaison between Pony Club’s youth members and the Board of Governors by communicating the needs, ideas, and concerns of USPC youth. NYB members also work with the national office on projects related to marketing, leadership development, and service for the benefit of the organization and all Pony Club members. Delegates of the NYB are between 18 – 23 years of age, highly motivated and dedicated, and have strong leadership and communication skills. To learn more, log in and visit the National Youth Board page.