Before the teens got the chance to take the horses out onto the course, they had to introduce themselves to get the horse, and them, comfortable around eachother.

Sylvan Lake Youth learn leadership skills working with horses

The youth participated in a week-long camp July 3-6.

Between July 3 and 6, Sylvan Lake youth between the ages of 13-17 participated in the Youth Services Summer Leadership Camp, July 3-6.

The camp, run out of the Flipside Youth Centre, gave each of the participants the chance to learn valuable skills, meet new friends and volunteer in a work-like environment.

The camp also gives the teens the chance to make a positive impact in the community. After completing the leadership camp, the 16 youth will volunteer in the Sunbuster Day Camps, also run through Flipside Youth Centre. They will act as role models and mentors for the younger campers.

The week’s training included skill-building workshops in communication, leadership, facilitation, child safety and teamwork.

The week finished with a trip to Whispers Equine Learning Ltd. (WELL) on Friday, where the participants learned leadership while working with horses.

“We don’t ride horses here,” said Shana Nicholls, program director and facilitator at WELL. “Instead we learn skills you can use in your everyday life while working with animals.”

Nicholls said the youth who participated in the workshop at WELLS learned things that complimented their week-long program.

Some items the teens learned was reading body language and leading with confidence.

“Horses naturally look for a leader, and we can learn a lot through working with them,” said Nicholls.


The youth were tasked with working as a group at various obsticles to get the horse to do what they asked. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

One horse the group worked with was put so at ease she fell aslepp while the group pet and brushed her. The sleeping horse helped put one camper at ease, as he was working against his fear of horses.

One group leads their horse to work over polls of various heights during the workshop on Friday.

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