|2001 CAMP||2002 CAMP||2003 CAMP||2004 CAMP|
Our fifth camp was held for the benefit and enjoyment of 31 youth who refused to let a little bad weather get in the way. For two days prior to the camp, it rained a much needed rain, but with that came mud that I felt would force all of our activities to be held inside. We were prepared to move inside if need be, but the classes would be limited as far as working with their animals. As luck would have it, Saturday morning arrived with sunshine which quickly dried the lot, and it was T-Shirt weather most of the day.|
We had some new instructors help with the camp this year. Our veterans, Bart May was out with a broken wrist, and Raelynn Stephens underwent surgery earlier in the week. Replacements were secured, and MTLA members Brad & Robin Hancock, Larry Smith II, and Donny Heinze stepped up to the plate to make sure the camp was successful.
Topics that were covered this year by the instructors included, anatomy, good & bad qualities, cattle evaluation, ring etiquette, judging, halter breaking, grooming, and showmanship. In addition, Larry covered the 7 different horn shapes, and Brad & Robin gave a very detailed session on saddle breaking riding steers. We had 4 pee-wee’s at the camp, and Maritza Andrews and Sabina Knoerr kept them busy with some longhorn activity books, painting, and some crafts just for fun. The kids broke up into three groups and made their three rotations with the instructors. The more experienced kids helped by being mentors for the newer kids.
We had 24 adults stick around during the camp to offer help with supervision and the meals. We served three meals including chili and nacho’s for lunch, fried chicken for dinner, and breakfast donuts and taquito’s. After the classes were over with, Paul Rudisill and Donny Heinze tossed the football with the kids. The cleats were replaced with rubber boots which provided for an even more comical display of talent. We capped the evening off with a big bonfire, a few fireworks, and some scare tactics when a group visited the lone prairie grave across the road.
All in all it was a great camp, and exciting to see all the new kids that have shown an interest in longhorns. We had at least 10 kids who had never been to the camp before, and some who have never been in the show ring. It was a perfect way for them to see if this would be something that they would like to participate in, and from most of them I think the answer was a resounding “YES”. I feel like we will see them in the show ring soon. Hopefully they learned and developed some skills that will help build confidence, and give them an equal chance to exhibit their show calves.
I would like to thank all of the volunteers that helped us with the camp, and the sponsors that made this possible. First of all, thanks to Metroplex Texas Longhorn Association for helping with food and supplies necessary for the camp. Our T-Shirts were sponsored again this year by our local feed store, Poston Feed & Supply, and Coyote Designs who did the printing. Our members also pitched in to help with donations. Craig Buchanan sponsored us with a donation, and Paul & Fran Rudisill bought dinner for everyone again this year. Lifetime member Mary Sue Cline provided the porta potties, and Maritza Andrews and Sabina Knoerr bought all of the soft drinks. I would like to especially thank Bill Kinsel who came and took digital pictures of the camp. He printed out 5 X 7 prints of our group photo that each youth member could take home with them, which was a nice benefit this year. The camp has grown each year, and we want it to remain free for all of the kids that want to attend. That would be impossible without the help of our sponsors and members who support the camp each year.