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Published December 03 2010

Day camp to connect military youths, horses

Horses will help youths from military families discover the power of the human-animal connection during a day camp Saturday at the Riding on Angels’ Wings facility near Felton, Minn.

The “Hang Out With Horses” camp also will give the military youths some ways to cope with the stresses in their lives.

“The camp will help these youth become better team players, develop effective problem-solving skills, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve their communication skills,” says Diane Hahn, the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Operation: Military Kids program coordinator. “These are skills they can use for the rest of their lives.”

Operation: Military Kids is a collaborative outreach effort involving the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, NDSU’s Center for 4-H Youth Development and local communities to support youth from military families affected by the stress of deployment.

Riding on Angels’ Wings is a nonprofit organization that provides a therapeutic horseback-riding program.

Camp participants will learn to identify horses by color and markings, work with horses safely and interpret horses’ body language, as well as study the anatomy of a horse and explore general horse behavior.

There will be camps for two age groups: 6 to 12, and 13 and older. The cost of the camp is $10 per youth.

Both groups will leave from the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Fargo. The 6- to 12-year-old campers will depart at 8:30 a.m. and be back at the center at 1 p.m.

The older campers will leave the center at 11:30 a.m. and arrive back at the center at 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Hahn at diane.f.hahn@ndsu.edu. To register, go to www.ndsu.edu/4h/programs_events/omk.