2020 has been the most interesting and challenging of years that we have seen in a long time. As the world shifted to a complete virtual environment, Winslow had to find a way to keep up. Each year, we host our Summer Youth Leadership Academy funded by the Orange County Youth Bureau. This leadership course takes place over four weeks and is completely free to a select number of individuals. Those interested in the program must first apply, then participate in an interview in hopes of being accepted into the program. For 2020, Winslow decided to restrict the number of individuals in the program due to social distancing, and created a new hybrid approach.
Participants enjoyed mornings at the barn working on mounted and unmounted horsemanship skills. In the afternoon, they logged in to Zoom and learned leadership skills through virtual learning and team-building. For their community service projects, they participated in Operation Mail Call and wrote inspirational letters to veterans in community living centers and also painted Winslow’s outdoor arena to make it easier to guide riders in their lessons. They also designed and implemented a fundraising project of tie-dying face masks in order to help raise funds for Winslow (1 for $3, 2 for $5). We are so proud of their ability to be so flexible in this new environment and are excited to see how they develop into future leaders of our community.