Gramma Shirley’s 4-H camp honours longtime leader

Twenty-nine enthusiastic equestrians gathered in Donalda over the May long weekend

Submitted by Lori Reule

Twenty-nine enthusiastic equestrians gathered in Donalda over the May long weekend for the second annual Gramma Shirley’s 4-H Horse Camp.

The 4-H members represented 10 different 4-H clubs in the east and west central regions.

The camp honours the memory and philosophy of the late Shirley Woods, a longtime 4-H leader and mentor to many young riders in the east-central region, by offering many varied activities for the members to experience over the weekend while supporting the 4-H program.

Gramma Shirley’s 4-H Horse Camp sprang from the vision of Karen Sorensen, Shirley’s friend and fellow 4-H volunteer. The main goals of the camp are to encourage members to try something new with their horses and to have fun while strengthening the bond with their four footed partners.

Last year, the riders got to try polo-crosse. This year, they got to experience being part of a drill team.

Various clinicians throughout the weekend keep the kids and horses moving. Barrel racing, equine massage, driving, trail, jumping, showmanship, equitation … horses and riders had no trouble sleeping at the end of the busy days.

Consistent favourites have been Kelly Strandquist, who gives the members a chance to try roping, horsemanship instructors Dustin Grams and Marty Gardner, and Jeopardy Trail (imagine “Minute to Win It” on a horse).

On Friday evening, the kids were inspired to overcome any obstacle by motivational speaker Dausen Kluin, whose down-to-earth approach to life with cerebral palsy brought laughter and tears.

Saturday evening’s gymkhana gave the kids the chance to engage in a little “friendly competition,” as did the show that wrapped up the camp on Monday.

Generous sponsors have allowed camp organizers to offer top quality instructors, a great facility in the Donalda Arena complex and fantastic food, thanks to Marie Bignell’s catering.

The members were also rewarded with prizes for things such as “camper most willing to try anything” to high points in the gymkhana/show events.

The tremendous support of sponsors and volunteers has encouraged the organizers to make this camp an annual event.

However, a comment made on Monday by one of the campers represents the true reason that the organizers will ensure the camp continues. A young girl who had heard about last year’s camp told the group, “I joined 4-H just so I could come to this camp.”

Shirley would be proud.

Just Posted

Thanks and gratitude for those who serve and protect

Thanking police officers from Camrose to Beaver County, Wainwright to Drumheller, Hanna to Stettler

Our town Stettler: Blast from the past

Stettler’s pharmacy opens in 1904 before Alberta was a province

Stettler Slam hip hop show

Rappers ignite crowd and dancefloor in Stettler Aug. 10

Endiang landmarks torn down

Posed a public safety hazard

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

WATCH: Pioneer Days runs all weekend at Sunnybrook Farm

Red Deerians brave the smoke to celebrate Sunybrook’s biggest event

Ride to Reynolds Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin

Smoky but awesome event celebrates everything ‘motorcycles;’ open Sat. Aug. 18 to 4 p.m.

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Vintage vehicle subject of RCMP search

Two Hills RCMP seek to identify owner of recovered 1940’s vehicle

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.