By: Olivia Crespo
Festival 2021 is one for the books! A year after COVID halted all Pony Club activities, our members came out stronger than ever for their debut at the Kentucky Horse Park. It was a fantastic event brought together by wonderful and dedicated people in our Pony Club staff. Alongside these amazing people, the National Youth Board dedicated their efforts to bring forth “The Service Project” this year at USPC Championships. This initiative was designed to be a “service” project for all competitors to take part in throughout their week at championships.
Similar to the scavenger hunt at Symposium 2020, as well as the scavenger hunt for Quiz Championships competitors in 2019, the program was conducted as a scavenger hunt; but with a twist. Instead of items or landmarks to be found, the basis of this “hunt” was to get to know the volunteers around the competitors during championships. To be a competitor, there must be a competition. And to run a competition, there must be volunteers. Each competitor had the opportunity to thank volunteers through small acts of service, or just a simple hello through the program.
It was a hit! Competitors from many different disciplines came together to complete this fun, interactive program with their teammates and community. In return, the NYB was able to accumulate sponsored prizes from some of USPC’s biggest sponsors; Kerrits, Shapley’s, and SSG Gloves, to give out to teams with completed projects! Horse Management judges from Dressage and Games both commented that the kids had “a lot of fun” completing their projects and talking with different volunteers around the park.
It was certainly a great way to bring Pony Club together after a long year. Riders from far and wide were able to interact with people and other competitors, making friendships and relationships that could last a lifetime. It even brought the National Youth Board together (or some of them) for a quick photo! NYB would like to thank all those who supported and participated in this program, and we hope to bring it back and better than ever in the years to come!
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.