Wondering how to develop leadership skills in your children? It’s as easy as sending them to youth camp programs. Summer camps for teenagers are a great place for teens to meet new friends with similar interests and to learn how to lead and function in a group. Horse camps, in particular, are great experiences for teens with an interest in equestrian activities.
Choosing a horseback riding camp for your child is best done with his or her help. Since sleep away camp is sometimes a teen’s first experience away from home, it is important for him or her to feel comfortable with the decision. Including them in the selection process boosts the comfort level of most teens, helping them feel more secure.
Most camps operate under similar models. One or two camp counselors are in charge of a group referred to as “bunks,” “huts,” or “cabins” which participate in activities together. At horse camps, these might include experiences in the basics of dressage, jumping, distance riding, and rodeo. Horse camps tend to either fall into the “Western” category or the “English” category. Western riding tends to relate more to cattle roping while English riding is more closely related to Olympic equestrian events. Horse camps never include training in breaking horses, the process of training a horse to be ridden by humans, which is very difficult and best left to professionals.
Horse camps and other types of summer camps also come with a different type of knowledge: leadership skills. To begin with, campers learn how to be on time, know their responsibilities, and demonstrate perseverance. After those traits are mastered, it’s time to teach campers how to rely on teammates to accomplish a goal. At many camps, leadership tends to fall on counselors at the beginning of the session. By the end of the summer, however, counselors will step back, allowing kids who have demonstrated leadership qualities to assume more responsibility and practice their skills.
As an activity, horseback riding tends to help teens develop a greater sense of responsibility, but enrollment in a horseback riding camp can boost that into full throttle leadership. If our child loves horseback riding and could use a hand becoming more of a leader, talk to him or her about a summer camp opportunity. It might be the best decision you ever make. Helpful sites.
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