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Inner City Minneapolis Children and Youth to the Horse Farm
What is Camp Hope? Camp Hope is a horse farm in Andover, Mn where disadvantaged inner-city North Minneapolis and outward youth and children from families spend a summer day experiencing the joy of caring for and riding horses in a beautiful country setting.
Who attends? Youth and children are from the surroundings of Operation Living Hope’s 10th annual food Hunger Haul at 22nd and Girard, Northside, Minneapolis. These special ones are from families included in the Jordon, Hawthorne, Folwel, and Camden neighborhoods which are often struggling as winter shut ins, having difficulty paying winter heating bills, under perpetual poverty, suffering from domestic issues, hunger, and neighborhood crime. Some children are challenged with autism, other youth with depression, and many are in need of counseling, relationship building, and change.
Implementation when, where, and what? Bus service is provided every Tuesday in June at 8 AM for a minimum of twenty teens and children with their parents or guardians to ensure safety. All will visit 345 Constance Blvd. in Andover at a wonderful horse ranch facility. There will be plenty of time learning and understanding by an experienced coach about how to care for horses and how to ride them. Activities involving a good workout include grooming, hefting buckets and saddles, cleaning stalls, providing food and water.
What are the goals, benefits, and outcomes? The enjoyment of riding is more than the horse’s work. Riding is terrific exercise. Apart from its aerobic benefits, riding also helps a youngster develop balance, coordination, and flexibility. Handling, riding, and caring for a horse or pony can also develop a host of positive traits in both youth and child including responsibility, accountability, patience, level-headedness, empathy, kindness, and self-discipline. Everyone volunteers and can gain a sense of accomplishment from helping and in some cases leadership skills. Young folks appreciate and care for animals in a loving manner, and gain sportsmanship (the game is not all about winning). The participants will be able to express themselves in a comfortable setting where they can know they are cared for, and where they can learn to trust.
Investment returns and why needed in the community? One wonderful experience like this can help erase a lifetime of hopelessness. We will have our fourth annual camp this summer 2022. We cannot put a price on building positive and enjoyable memories. We only know they work. One mom at our last camp had said she and her children would never have experienced anything like this had we not invited them to Camp Hope. Their expression of excitement revealed to us a fresh start in the building of some hopeful lifetime memories.