Damian has been involved with ranch programming for almost 3 years now. He is 12 years old and his foster mom will tell you, he is a different kiddo. This past weekend at the volunteer breakfast, Damian asked if he could be the ranch hand leader at the ranch on Saturday mornings, of course before sessions start. We hadn’t thought about our kids taking on these leadership roles, because, well, we just didn’t. Damian may be setting a new trend of junior leaders, to lead a group of other kids at the ranch in various tasks that need to be done. We interviewed him for this important role, and this is what he had to say.
What do you like about the ranch?
I like to help take care of the horses and do activities with the horses. When I am out there, the ranch makes me feel safe, protected, secure, calm and makes me feel like it is my home.
Why do you like to volunteer?
I enjoy volunteering because I like to learn more and I like to practice being a leader. I like to volunteer because I believe that the horses need the help and I also like to volunteer to thank them for what they did for me.
If you could lead a group of junior ranch hands on Saturday mornings, how would you do it?
First, we would open up with a prayer. Then I would get everyone together and let them know what we were doing for the day. We would do many things that needed to be done like feeding the horses, muck their stalls, and feed the animals in critter corner. Next, we would go up to the tack room and do what we need to do like get halters or play a game or something. Then I would have the kids wrap everything up and unsaddle or put away the horses and hang the halters and put saddles away. Lastly, we would have a discussion of what we did for the day and talk about what we learned that day.
Tell me what comes to mind first when you think of what you have learned at the ranch?
The 10 cowboy codes come to my mind:
4: Do what has to be done
5: Be tough, but fair
6: When you make a promise, keep it
2: Take pride in your work
3: Always finish what you start
What skills can you bring to the ranch as a junior ranch hand leader?
The skills that I bring to the Ranch are the following:
- I am a hard worker
- When I do something I finish it
- I am friendly
- I am educated about the Ranch
- I am willing to learn
- I do what I’m asked right the first time