Girl Scouts earn a ticket to ride
Post Independent Staff
Moms aren’t the only people who constantly hear, “Can we, can we, can we now …” ” at least not last weekend.
With 46 Girl Scouts settling at the Sunlight Mountain Resort on Thursday, wrangler Terri Terry was kept pretty busy catching all the questions flying at her.
The girls just wanted to know when they could ride the horses.
At the Wrangler Horse Camp, Girl Scouts age 9-17 of Chipeta Council, from 13 Western Slope counties, were eager to learn as much as they could about horses.
“It’s been a lot of fun, and it’s been as much of a learning experience for us as it has been for them,” Terry said.
After conferring for a few months, Terry and camp director Lisa Passmore decided the girls might enjoy a weekend of horseplay at Sunlight.
“A lot of parents don’t have the ability to give the girls a horse of their own,” Passmore said. “Having camps like this really gives them a good experience.”
All weekend the girls learned how to care for a horse, saddle a horse, ride a horse and more.
Unable to suppress their excitement, the girls jumped at every opportunity to get close to a horse, even before knowing what might be asked of them.
“As soon as they said I need a volunteer, 40 hands shot up,” program specialist Andrea Stanton said.
Some of those eager volunteers found themselves mucking out stalls. Mucking, the girls found out as they learned the basics of cleaning a stall, reveals a different side of the horses.
In between stall cleaning, grooming and learning safety techniques, the girls managed to find shade near the stables and time to get to know one another.
Waiting for their chance to ride gave 13-year-olds Ali Flint and Ashlee Shannon just enough time to practice being role models for the younger girls.
“The leaders said, ‘We’re counting on your help with the younger girls,'” Shannon said.
Though Flint would have enjoyed the company of more girls her age, she said she liked knowing there were younger girls looking up to her and the way she interacted with the horses.
Hoping the girls gained a greater appreciation for large animals, Terry said she understood the girls’ desire to jump in the saddle, but riding the horses would have to wait.
“They’re so anxious and they can’t wait to get on and ride, but the safety and respect on the ground have to come first,” Terry said.
Still, Stanton said the one thing keeping the girls awake at night (other than their own whispers and giggles) was knowing Sunday was coming, and with that, their chance to finally ride a horse.
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