Photos of horseback riding courtesy of Minka Frohring
When sitting down to plan the project she would pursue to earn the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award, Rowan Seabolt knew it needed to involve horses.
Rowan’s love for horses started in her younger years in Girl Scouts. But it was hard for her family growing up to afford all of her horse activities. So she found many creative ways to get involved in horse activities that didn’t cost a lot of money, including doing a school project on horses and visiting area barns and horse events. Rowan also was connected with Spirit Ranch, a horse therapy organization, and became a volunteer for them.
Rowan put this all together to form her Gold Award project, a summer camp program for children in the community who might not have the resources to have such an experience to explore the world around them and develop their passions. She partnered with Spirit Ranch to put on a three-day horse camp from Aug. 5th-7th for 10 disadvantaged children at Table Mountain Ranch in Golden. The camp and transportation was provided at no cost to the families thanks to support she solicited from the community.
“I love my horse ‘Joe.’ I like that he runs, is soft, nice and listens to me,” said one of the campers who hadn’t been horseback riding many times before camp.
When I showed up at the camp during its final hours, it was evident to me that this had been a memorable experience for these children. Their smiles were from ear-to-ear, but many were sad it was the last day and ‘wanted to come back tomorrow.’ During the camp week they had done a lot of riding, as well as playing horse games and learning about horse care. Their final project was painting a piece of a mural on the property to share their experience. Many of the campers drew pictures of the horses they rode and wrote messages on how much they loved them.
The curriculum Rowan developed will be carried on by Spirit Ranch in the future. Rowan is proud to have helped an organization that gave so much to her and provide a resource to help them expand and give back to the community even more.
“I am very proud of my project, and I know the campers’ parents were thankful for the experience too,” said Rowan. “I learned a lot. I learned how to deal with last minute changes, learned the power of planning ahead and how to contact strangers and ask them to help you with a project.”
Rowan has been involved in Girl Scouts since kindergarten. This summer her troop took a trip to Europe. One day Rowan hopes to be a veterinarian, while also pursuing her love of music. In a few weeks she will be entering her senior year at Westminster High School.
A story about this project appeared in the Westminster YourHub/Denver Post