This week’s entry comes from Julie “Pecos” Fischer, the Statewide Horse Director for Girl Scouts of Colorado:
Because of camp. . . . .I’ve made my life around teaching scouts to joys of horses 😉 I have been a scout since I was 4 years old and was basically born into scouting. My parents are big into scouts and outdoors but neither were horse people. I was lucky enough to be influenced by local ranchers where we grew up. One of the ranchers also taught riding at our council GS camp and I worked hard every year to sell enough cookies so I could go to two weeks horse camp and learn from her during camp as well as year round. . . .because of her influence I remained with horses throughout my life and worked at my council camp along with her after completing the WIT program. I continued to work with horses at scout camps through college. I loved what camp brought regarding opportunities and how big influence it had in my decision to share my skills and show other girls how much fun camp and horses can be 😉
Howdy to all older Girl Scouts! We have room in our camp sessions for this upcoming summer! We have room in our Rocks and Ropes session as well as some of our other outdoor high adventure back packing sessions. Come spend week rock climbing and get away from the climbing wall! Come climb in nature as intended and see amazing views of the continental divide and sit at top of the world where eagles soar. . .
This week’s “Because of Girl Scout Camp” Entry is from Ash, who is our Art Program Director at Magic Sky Ranch! Sometimes it’s hard to tell who gets more out of camp…the campers or the staff and volunteers!
As we came over that final dirt covered hill, our excitement began to build. I hadn’t been back to the crystal blue Cliff Lake in a whole year, and the anticipation was killing me. I was a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) at Magic Sky Ranch the summer before my junior year in high school. My unit was filled with girls who loved camping and nature, so I was excited to show them the lake. I hoped that the graham cracker beaches hadn’t changed, and that I could still stick my feet in the pockets of warmth hidden in the sand.
Thankfully it was as beautiful as I could remember. Its stone cold cliff raised high above the lake and left a stunning reflection on the surface of the water. It dwarfed the evergreen trees standing next to it like an army of soldiers preparing to protect their peace of utopia. I knew I was back, and I never wanted to leave again. We walked along it perfect shore until we came to a water-stained bridge that seemed as if it had been there since the beginning of time. It looked as if it was made of the same wood that protected the lake from all the elements, unfortunately the army of evergreens did not protect its wooden counterpart. We had to go across one-by-one in fear that the bridge might break loose of its screws and fall into the flawless water below. Once every girl had crossed the lake safely, we continued on a small
that lead to the bronzed beaches I had longed for. We hopped across the limestone boulders to the center of the lake where the counselors and I pulled out the art supplies so the girls could draw whatever they desired in this slice of perfection. They dumped out the crayola crayons, and unexpectedly they rolled into the lake. Flashes of candy apple red, periwinkle, granny smith apple, and other crazily named crayons reflected in the water stained sand below. I knew that it would be my job to retrieve them. That was our jobs as CIT’s, we needed to protect out girls, and I wanted to make sure that none of their first memories of Cliff Lake were bad. I removed my digital watch, and thrust my hand into the sparkling water. A frosty chill crept up my arm, and a shiver ran through my body. The crayons were a great deal deeper then I thought they would be. It felt like it would take me an eternity to fetch the crayons from the bottom of the flawless lake.I thrust my hand deeper,
and deeper into the water until I felt my fingers wrap around the crayons. I jerked my hand up in a sharp, speedy movement until I could no longer feel the stabbing chill of the icy water against my arm. I opened my hand and the brown sand leaked from my palm as if it had never belonged there in the first place, leaving only the crazily named crayons behind. I put the crayons back in the box and closed it up while I instructed the girls to only take one crayon out of the box at a time. I hopped backed to the beaches, took my shoes off and plunged my feet into the sunburned sand I had longed for. The pocket of warmth heated my toes up to a toasty temperature. I sat basking in the warmth of my personal slice of perfection, dreaming of other moments in time as perfect as this one.
The Girl Scouts of Colorado Horse Program will be maintaining a blog full of information on upcoming horse events. . . .keep reading our “Hoof Notes” for what the GSCO Horse Program is running around doing! 😉 We are gearing up for summer camp season but our hourly riding program will return August 17th.
You can see ALL horse related activities at the following link
In June and July we have half day events for Brownies “Horse Fun in the sun” and Daisies “Ponies and Pals” in Parker, CO – check out them in the activity finder or the above link.
Keep checking the activity finder link above to see what riding options we are offering at Tomahawk and Meadow Mt this Fall season. We will be offering trailrides as well as lessons for all level of riders in western instruction. We will also be able to offer half day and all day trailrides at Meadow Mt. Be sure to contact Julie Fischer for more information.
We will also be putting any events and upcoming information on the horse page.
We will be starting a year round WIT program. In the Fall WITs can volunteer with the riding program during year and earn hours of experience. Starting in August, contact Julie Fischer if you are interested in volunteering outside of summer camp and get more experience. We are also looking into a Jr WIT program for younger girls. Check back for developments on our future horse programs, some starting in 2014!
If you are over 18 and LOVE teaching kids how to ride, we will be hosting a CHA Instructor Certification clinic August 12-16th at Tomahawk for GSCO members and non members. You can find out more information at the GSCO horse page or activity finder link
We still have room in two of our horse camps at Meadow Mt: Blazing Saddles I and Rodeo Riders I. Come spend a week at Meadow Mt and ride ALL DAY! Rodeo Riders will learn advanced drill team patterns ad well rodeo events and do gymkhana. . .they will perform a drill team show for the parents to music end of their session. The Blazing Saddles camp will spend week riding the trails into RMNP and will have a slide show mailed with photos of their rides. This camp will also learn about packing, trail etiquette and Leave No Trace camping skills.
Check back in week or so for more updates on what the horse program is doing horsing around!
Girl Scouts get Crazy ‘Bout Horses at the Colorado Classic Horse Show
Photos and story by Alice Hughes, event organizer and volunteer, Girl Scouts of Colorado
Girl Scouts of Colorado partnered once again with the Colorado Classic Horse Show to offer the 7th annual Crazy ‘Bout Horses event on May 4, 2013 at the National Western Events Center in Denver, Colorado. More than 150 Girl Scouts, ages 10-12, attended the 37th annual Colorado Classic Horse Show to learn about horse health, horse care and the horse show industry.
The Girl Scouts watched the horse show to learn about the Saddlebred, Morgan and Arabian breeds. After the show, the girls rotated through 10 educational stations with topics such as: horse behavior, horse health, safety around horses, trail riding and packing, grooming, horse shoeing, adopting wild mustangs, barn tours and a horse trivia game.
A perennial favorite is the grooming station where troops get hands-on experience brushing a very furry white Shetland pony named Godzilla belonging to David and Cindy Vogels of Andover Farm.
“Horses are very gentle creatures and are really fun to take care of,” said Lauren, 8, from Troop # 3591 from Monument, Colorado. “ My grandparents have horses and I get to ride their Shetland pony.”
New to the event this year was the Girl Scouts sponsored pack station where girls could learn how horses will carry their camping gear and supplies at summer camp at Meadow Mountain Ranch near Rocky Mountain National Park.
“I’ve never seen pack equipment and it looks pretty complicated,” said Quinn, 10, from Troop #3584 from Highlands Ranch. “I just love horses and I really liked watching the horse show too.”
At the veterinary station, Laura Wilhelm from Aspen Creek Vet Hospital, explained the background to the saying “never look a gift horse in the mouth.” She showed the Girl Scouts how you can tell a horse’s age by looking at their teeth and correctly identified the demonstration horse as 11 years old. Girls also used a stethoscope to listen to the horse’s heartbeat while learning more about the horse’s respiratory system.
Farrier Del Slaugh fired up his forge to show the Girl Scouts how he can transform a straight piece of steel into a fully functional horse show. Heating the steel up to an astonishing 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, Del shaped the red hot metal into a horse shoe shape, added a Fullering groove and nail holes. To the delight of the girls, each group got to take home a lucky horse shoe from the demonstration.
At the horse behavior station, Girl Scouts from Troop 2762 from Colorado Springs were learning how horses express their likes and dislikes and their unique personalities. Charming the crowd was half Arabian gelding “Toi Talent” who gladly accepted a peppermint and a pat from Madison, 11.
“Horses are so beautiful and fun to ride. Even though I own a horse, I’ve learned so much today!”
Presenter and trainer Nancy Goodwin from Finesse Farms from Erie, Colorado gave useful tips on safety around horses so that Girl Scouts could be prepared for horse camp in the summer. She even let the girls find a special scratching spot on the neck of demonstration horse Hottie, an American Saddlebred gelding.
After the event, girls could continue their education with a special take-home notebook filled with horse facts, fun activities and equine industry contact information.
Keep an eye out for next year – we plan on it being BIGGER and BETTER!
Calling on Colorado Girl Scouts in the metro Denver area!
Do you have a daughter between the ages of 11 and 13?
Would you like to be a host family for a girl between these ages (11 – 13) from the People’s Republic of China?
Five girls, participants of the CAPABLE TEENS program in China, are coming to the Denver for three weeks 17 July – 4 August 2013, chaperoned by Capable Teens representatives. Host families in the metro Denver area are needed to provide room and board for a Chinese girl for approximately 10 days before and after Girl Scouts of CO (GSCO) resident camp during the three weeks. By spending time with your family, these girls from the Suzhou area of China (near Shanghai) are hoping for a thorough immersion into American life. The Chinese girls are already signed up for GSCO resident camp at Magic Sky (“Moose Magic”, July 21-26) and for Girl Scout day camp (“Science in Our World”, Clement Park, Littleton, July 29-August 2). Either girls will bring their own equipment or it will be provided by Capable Teens USA.
CAPABLE TEENS, modeled on the Boy Scouts of America scouting program, are bringing these young Chinese girls for an American girl experience as an American Girl Scout. We need your help in welcoming these young girls to CO and the US and introducing them to the GSUSA way of Girl Scouting. Small stipend per family available.
For more information and for an application, please contact: