The most Frequently Asked Questions about our Spring and Summer Camps ...

Wondering what to ask? Please review our commonly asked questions and answers below. We know that every parent’s has different inquiries, so please feel free to contact us at ponygangfarm@gmail.com or call at 803.374.2155.

 

What is Pony Gang Youth Camp's Philosophy?

Our philosophy is to teach our campers the world of horses through natural and free-resistance horsemanship training. We are also here to instruct, direct and encompass life's pathways, choices and expose the campers to as many choices as possible while they stay here at Pony Gang Youth Camp. The campers will learn the ups and downs of horse ownership, the reality of obstacles and the reality of transforming them into success. All this taught in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere as we are all here to prepare for all the years ahead. Life never stops, and people never stop learning.

 

Will my daughter sleep in a house, cabin or a tent?

Our Campers sleep in the same house as our Family does. Our Camper area sleeps between 4 to 6 girls. Showers and Bathroom is just around the corner of the sleeping area. We prefer this set up over tents as we are located at an area where we have wildlife and insects. The Camper area is set up in a friendly way, with a breakfast and dinner area right there. Also, we have a living room area with a TV for watching some horse related videos. We do not have air conditioning; however, the area is most of the time very cool and has ceiling fans. The Campers quarter will be cleaned and maintained every three days by the camp staff.

Our Camp staff sleeping rooms are located close to the Campers sleeping quarters.

 

Is Pony Gang Youth Camp a Show oriented stable?

Pony Gang Youth Camp is part of a working Riding school facility, and even if we are not currently hosting horse shows ourselves, we are Show oriented and our students participate in local horse shows. Our students show in Hunter, Jumper, Western pleasure and Ranch horse.

 

What is the average age of a camper?

There is not really an average age of our attending campers: We have as many 4 - 8 year old as we have 9-15 year.

 

Why do you limit the number of campers ?

Pony Gang Youth Camp realizes that sending your child to camp is one of the most important decisions you can make for your child’s future. We have developed our programs to totally customize to your child's needs and expectations. By keeping the camp small, each camper is given respect and attention, in a warm and caring, family atmosphere. 

 

There are many benefits of a small and organized camp program. Each rider has the ability to receive one-on-one instruction from our well versed, Equestrian Team of program leaders so that skills and expectations could improve and flourish.

 

Where do the campers arrive from?

Pony Gang Youth Camp welcomes children from every state and country. On average, we commonly see enrollments from South and North Carolina. Here at Pony Gang Youth Camp, we do not have any state enrollment restrictions.

 

When flying a minor, we suggest checking with the airlines to ensure that minors do not need to be accompanied by an adult. Many airlines have restrictions as to whether children can board a plane on their own without guardian supervision.

 

What is the structure of Pony Gang Youth Camps?

The staff at Pony Gang Youth Camps follows a schedule that enables the campers to be involved in an activity at every hour of the day, including during their "unstructured, free" time. We encourage the campers to work on their take-home crafts whenever they will find themselves to have a moment of free time.

 

Daily reports are kept by instructors and counselors which measure the progress of every camper. These reports include judgments on behavior, attention, acclimation to camp environment, and most importantly, track riding lesson progress. After camp is complete, we send copies of photos, camp gifts and reports to the campers. Parents can determine how quickly their daughter had progressed while at camp, and whether she learned anything new. The camp follows our summer camp daily schedule with some room for leniency to the program as the camper’s progress further into the summer - our kids do eventually get tired!

 

How many campers are a part of a lesson?

Do you divide campers based on experience into appropriate riding groups?

Pony Gang Youth Camp strives to ensure that education is the number one reason for which the campers come to camp. Having said that, we also want to make sure that the campers have fun, while learning. We want them to have a complete summer experience along with ice cream :)

The staff starts off with reading through previously issued riding questionnaires, and asks the riders more questions. The counselors and instructors then proceed to horse assignments and try-outs. Once a permanent mount is assigned for the duration of camp, the campers are split into level groups.

 

Riders who are of similar abilities, stick together, separated into beginner, intermediate and expert. All campers receive one-on-one lessons from their instructor. This ensures a successful learning environment, where the campers will be able to progress faster. Every child learns at a different pace and needs individualized attention.

 

How much time will my child spend with the horses while at camp?

Campers are responsible for the horses while at the camp. This includes feeding, pasture cleaning, brushing, washing, and anything else the horses need while the campers are on the Farm.

 

Your child will early in the morning help feed/water the horses. After the horses are feed the campers will together clean up the pastures of the Camp horses.  By mid-morning all of the campers collect together with the staff the horses and get them groomed and saddled for the days riding lessons. Here at Camp, it is essential for each child to spend most of the day around the horse and be involved in a horse related activities.

 

Can a camper enroll with a friend?

Pony Gang Youth Camp Staff promotes the enrollment of potential camper friends. Many children feel more comfortable bringing someone familiar with them, and in many cases, the friendship between the two campers serve as an ice breaker for meeting other program attendees.

 

Is there much free time at Pony Gang Youth Camp?

The Camp is not a place to just “hang around”. Daily strenuous levels of coaching, ranch chores, and non-equine programs keep campers extremely busy.

 

Is there a camp uniform?

No, and your child’s only concern regarding clothing is that the emphasis be geared toward clothing designed for horseback riding (safety in mind!) Campers are requested to wear our specially designed camp shirt (can be purchased through our Pony Gang Clothing Shop) on trips or other special events (a clean, plain white shirt is acceptable). We will send a suggested clothing and equipment list to help you pack.

 

What horsemanship disciplines does Pony Gang Youth Camp offer?

Pony Gang Youth Camp offers both English & Western disciplines. We take the time to educate your child about natural horsemanship and free-resistance training. Here at Pony Gang Youth Camp, the basics of training a horse, will improve the camper's riding ability regardless of experience. Many well-schooled children are often unaware of horse behavior and psychology. The riders are also unaware of using proper methods to tackle a horse that may not be listening to the rider's language. Perhaps, the language needs a tune up. The directors and instructors of Pony Gang Youth Camp ensure that every child receives appropriate guidance in every discipline. The tolerance of horses differs, some are typically schooling horses which most riding stables use - these horses do not teach the reality of riding nor horsemanship - this is the reason why our camp raises the level difficulty whenever possible.

 

Can my child bring his/her horse to camp?

During the summer, we encounter many parents whose children already have a horse and would like to train with it at camp. Pony Gang Farm has a pasture board facilities which can board your child's horse for a week or for the whole summer. We require a weekly board fee, and proof of vaccinations/coggings test from the issuing veterinary clinic. Pony Gang Youth Camp suggests signing up for more than two weeks if the child wants to bring his/her horse. This ensures more training time and one-on-one work with the instructors and trainers at Pony Gang Youth Camp.

 

Is Pony Gang Youth Camp a competitive horse camp? 

Pony Gang Youth Camp is not a competitive-oriented camp. Aside from hosting horse camps, we have a fully operating equestrian riding stable and host horse rescue and training facility. Another words, we do not close camp at the end of the summer as we use the ranch facilities for other equestrian activities. Our horse camp offers children to learn as much as possible about horsemanship and horse ground work. We want prepare campers to become well-functioning horse people who can not only say that they are able to ride a well-trained horse, but also handle emergencies that do arise during horse ownership. 

 

What is the level of supervision while my child is at summer camp?

Trips & Activities: During trips, activities and horseback riding, Pony Gang Youth Camp supervises with three staff members the group of 10-15  campers. During a casual riding day, the counselors are responsible for assisting the campers to catch horses out of pastures, supervise in tacking up & saddling, and to supervise barn chores. During mealtimes, everyone gathers at the break area where all camp staff is present. The Overnight camp girls are also supervised in the evenings as they are getting ready for bed.

 

 

Overnight Supervision: At night, the girls are supervised by two counselors. The directors are always accessible during a camp emergency. The property is gated for the protection of the campers, the staff and the horses. The gated entry also prevents strangers from accessing the premises without permission. It also enables the camp administrators to enforce the evening curfew of the staff.

 

Is summer camp at Pony Gang Camp tax deductible under the Child and Dependent Care program?

According to IRS rules, an overnight summer camp does not qualify as a child care provider.  Pony Gang Youth Day Camp’s, however, do qualify for a deduction under the Child and Dependent Care program. If you are the parent of a day camper that attend Pony Gang Youth Camps for a Day program, please contact us at ponygangfarm@gmail.com