Where Cowboys and Youth Work Together
At Spiritual Care Consultants, we have been blessed to be a recipient of not only donations but through support and time of what is commonly known as the "Cowboy Church" in Hastings, Michigan. Cowboy Church is a small gathering of worship every Sunday at Thank God First Ranch. Weekly donations from the Cowboy Church are donated directly to Spiritual Care Consultants to assist our growth of God's work and to continue our consulting work of changing of lives.
In 2021, the partnership went a step further when the cowboys put on a Cowboy Camp on a Saturday morning for about 20-25 middle school kids that we work with. 25 cowboys volunteered their time, talents, and horses to provide hope and healing to our SCC youth. For this special Cowboy Camp, youth were split into 3 smaller groups of 8 or 9 each. Three different horse experiences were presented simultaneously. And then the kids would rotate. The three 45 minute sessions were: (1) a clinician demonstrating what a skilled rider and trained horse can do; (2) a session to learn about horses (horse science, feeding, how a horse responds to signals, etc.); and (3) a riding experience where the youth were taught to ride a horse (each youth was paired with a horse and 2 cowboys). The cowboys were trained to share short Christian messages at teachable moments. A few of the kids that are usually problem makers were amazingly peaceful. One kid said the day was “life changing” and many said, “Best day ever!”. Even the most timid children began to gain self-confidence as they rode. It was great to see the joy and happiness the kids had. It was the first time riding for many of the kids. The cowboys could not stop talking about how much it had meant to them to bond with these kids thru a horse experience.
It was a win-win for the youth and for the volunteers from Cowboy Church. We plan to have 4 follow up sessions with the same kids this winter. We asked SCC if the kids would be interested in coming back and got the response that most of the youth wanted to return. It is our plans to pair these youth up with the same horse and cowboy for all four sessions. This would provide consistency with the youth and horse and also create a mentor/friend relationship with the cowboy and youth. The four sessions would progress from learning more about riding, to having enough confidence to ride over obstacles, then to go faster while controlling the horse and finally working cattle from horseback. In the future there may be an opportunity to expand this ministry to a Christian based horse therapy riding program.
If you would like to support SCC and the opportunities for Cowboy Camp, we welcome your generous donations below.