Dear Tri-State Region,
This year I got to represent the Tri-State Region as one of our National Youth Congress delegates alongside Ryleigh Brown. There are not enough positive words to describe this experience. It was two days of intensive leadership training, brainstorming, and networking. It was one of the first events in Pony Club when you feel like an “adult”. Thursday night we got to go out to dinner and explore the city with friends. The whole experience was more about leadership and making connections than talking about horses. I could probably count the numbers of times we said ‘horse’ on one hand, which seemed strange at first! The weekend included different activities like an animal personality test that determined what personality was most similar to yours by your personality traits. I found out I’m a beaver, and then we used this to work together in groups with similar personalities, but also mixed the groups as we learned the best ideas come from groups with different personalities because we all bring different skills and thought processes to the table. Several of the discussions were led by Pony Club Alumni and they also gave short presentations on their Pony Club career and how it has influenced their life in a positive way no matter what career path they chose. This year’s Pony Club Alumni were Rob Burk, Dorothy Crowell, Kat Drake, and Tim Leithead.
Overall the goal of the weekend was to come up with ideas for Pony Club on a club, regional, and national level. We had to narrow it down to one main national idea and then present it to the Pony Club Board of Governor’s on Sunday morning. It was quite the challenge to narrow it down to just one, but our idea ended up being a Junior National Youth Congress Summit. We all noticed a loss of members and we were trying to find a way to keep the members engaged and aware of the Pony Club opportunities that still exist when you get older. It will be a 2-4 hour event during the annual symposium when Pony Clubbers of any age can come and participate in leadership activities, brainstorm ideas with the NYC, see an Alumni presentation, and learn about Upper Level Opportunities. Our goal is to help maintain membership by creating better awareness of all the fun things in Pony Club you can become involved in on a national level! This idea was approved by the Board of Governor’s and should be happening next year! We also came up with all kinds of other ideas for the club, regional, and national level so keep check out the pictures below and let me know if you want more information on any of the ideas listed.
Cheers, Colleen Mauro