It is our belief that your child's upcoming summer at Pony Gang Equestrian Youth Camp will be one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of her life. He/She will find Pony Gang Camp to be fun, will make life long friends, and look back at the experience with a sense of sentimentality as he/she grows older. Truthfully, there is a distinction between camp and ordinary life, and it may take a bit of adjustment to achieve the most out of time away from home. Over time, we adapted new approaches that improve the transition to camp life, and makes it more comforting.
Be positive, it's a learning experience, and for some, a first time away from home.
Decide on camp together, shop for camp clothes and riding attire, look over the materials, ask questions, determine what your child can do realistically. Camp is an exciting experience, and you, as a parent, should express that excitement to your daughter !
If sleep-away camp was not an option for your child, and now she finally showed interest, set up some practice dates or look into Day-Camps.
For Overnight Camps, you may want to set up a nature oriented experience in your backyard - invite some friends, set up a tent, and spend the weekend outside. Your child may also benefit from a sleepover at a friends house or the house of relatives.
If your child is nervous about coming to camp, reassure her that other girls feel the same way. It's only human ! It's something new.
Even the campers who have been to Pony Gang Camp get a little anxious on opening day. A new counselor or perhaps a new instructor will be at camp that your child has never met before or campers that he/she is not familiar with. Advise your child to be positive and reinforce him/her ability of making friends quickly. A positive attitude will also help him/her in taking in all that camp has to offer.
Make sure that your child knows that everyone at home wants her to have an outstanding time at Pony Gang Camp.
Avoid statements like “You will have fun, but I am going to miss you so much.”. Do not mix negative aspects of camp such as homesickness when your child is on the verge of leaving home for a considerable amount of time. Your child should be fully engaged with the idea of camp and not be concerned about missing Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, Grandma and the family dog.
First and foremost - stay away from promising your child early "pick up" deals.
We can't stress this enough throughout your child's stay at camp. One of the worst things a parent can tell their daughter is " If you dislike camp, don't worry, I'll come and get you". Believe it or not, this type of "decision" can linger throughout check-in, and the rest of camp. It's a negative approach to time away that can set them up for failure.
Once a child is told that "there is a way out" they will attempt to find everything wrong with their stay at camp. From finding fault with other campers, to disliking their horse choice, your child will make camp sound worse than it is.
Camp operators still have yet to see a child traumatized by being away from their parents - something that never happens unless the child has a preexisting condition.
Talk about her concerns, ask questions and listen.
As you get closer to the first day of camp, it is understandable that your child may experience "cold feet" about going off to camp. Again, rather than feeding into his/her anxiety, you can ask him/her a few questions instead: "Did you check off all the items you need from the camp packing list ? You will look like a pro in your new riding gear !", "Did you pack your favorite stuffed animal, a camera and photos ? You can take photos and bring some memories to show us when you get back, your brother (or sister) will be jealous !. "Remember that swimming competition you did so good at ? I bet you will be as good at horseback riding too ! Communicate and reinforce him/her small victories and successes he/she has experienced in other situations.
Be realistic. Have realistic expectations !
Just like everything in life, camp has its high points and low points. Not every aspect of camp will always be taken in with enthusiasm, and every moment with wonder. Prepare your child by discussing the ups and downs that he/she may experience at camp. Some ideas include: that all campers may not always agree or have the same opinion, that barn chores may not always be fun or pleasant, that getting up in the morning may not always be thrilling, that you can't pick your own horse for safety reasons, that the activity for the afternoon wasn't something you expected.
The purpose of camp is to relax, learn and have fun. It is not to stress, to be unreasonably unhappy, or self-indulgent and fussy.
Everyone looks forward to the Mealtimes at Camp Pony Gang. Here at camp, we ensure that your child will have wholesome meal. Each meal is cooked fresh each day by our staff members
Muesli with hot milk/hot water, pancakes, french toast with whipped cream and syrup, grilled cheese sandwiches, ham cheese sandwiches, bagels with cream cheese, nutella, strawberry preserves and cereal of their choice, hash browns, scrambled eggs.
peanut butter and banana PJ, home made spaghetti with tomato sauce, chicken nuggets with mashed potatoes/ pasta/ mac n cheese, rice and Meatballs with steamed veggies"
"Broiled chicken drumsticks & thighs seasoned herbs, served with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, mixed veggies ", milk, water or tea offered, "Spaghetti with home made sauce and ground beef", "grilled chicken with spiced pasta side, and steamed veggies", "grilled pork with mashed potatoes/mac n cheese"
Due to our small enrollment size, the camp revolves around every camper's behavior. We change our schedules regularly to adjust to every camper's needs.
The Overnight campers wake up at 7:00 am and eat breakfast between 7:30 am and 8:00 am;
8:00 am - 9:00 am help us prepare the Grain feed for our horses and ponies that need it and feed all horses/ponies with us
9:00 Arrival of Day-Campers;
9:00 am - 9:45 am cleaning horses/ponies pastures;
9:45 am - 10:15 groom all ponies with the Campers and prepare them for lessons;
10:15 am - 12:30 pm riding lessons for all (groups of beginners to advanced);
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch and free time;
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm feeding horses lunch Hay;
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm Educational - learning all our Campers need to know about horses;
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Afternoon activities - Swimming pool; playing Games; Art's and Craft's; and much more;
4:00 pm Leaving of the Day Campers;
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm help us prepare the Grain feed for our horses and ponies that need it and feed all horses/ponies with us
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm free time for Campers
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm Dinner time
6:00 pm - 9:00/10:00 pm Activities with Overnight Campers; Mini Golf; Movies; Games: DVD night;
9:00/10:00 pm Bedtime for Overnight Campers;
We experienced that some children do not enjoy a less rigid, camp experience, and prefer something less regimented. Pony Gang Equestrian Camp is similar to that of a girl scout camp. We are rustic, relaxed, and have incorporated structured and unstructured time into our program.
Please speak with your child in choosing your next camp experience to ensure that the child will be pro-active at camp, and be willing to participate in all aspects of the activities our camp has to offer.