The Boss Mares Blog

Our Secret Strategy for a Booming Lesson Business: Level Up Camps and Clinics

Level Up horsemanship camps and clinics are popular, moneymaking, memorable events. They give our students a boost of measurable progress - and help them form some close-knit friendships.

Between the pandemic and the winter winds, summer camps and clinics might seem like a distant dream right now. But time flies in the horse world, and midwinter is typically when we begin plotting out the upcoming camp season.

We’re all getting plenty of practice planning for the worst-case scenario. Let’s have a little fun planning for the best-case scenario, too!

For years, summer day camps and clinics have paid for our winter hay – and we’ve learned that their value goes beyond the money they bring in.

We’ve also learned that the Learning Levels curriculum plays quite nicely with both camps and clinics, allowing us to create popular, moneymaking, memorable events.

Our Wildly Popular Level Up Day Camps

When we first conceived of Level Up Camp, we’d been using the Learning Levels curriculum for several years and already had a summer packed full of specialty camps. (More on these in a future post!)

We didn’t want to add a lot of extra work to our schedules – to say nothing of our horses! – but thought it might be nice to have a focused mini-camp where our current students could tackle specific objectives.

The idea was that we would have just a few motivated students in a half-day camp session, allowing horses and humans to rest during the day and arrive fresh for the regular evening lesson schedule.

What we did not anticipate was that Level Up Camp would become one of our most popular summer offerings, and that volume and demand would lead us to three separate full-day camp sessions!

How our Level Up Camps work:

We discovered that these camps gave our students a boost of measurable progress — and formed some close-knit friendships. Level Up camp became something our students did not want to miss!

There were so many benefits that we started looking for opportunities to recreate the camps on a smaller scale.

Enter Level Up Clinics: recurring one-day events that pair perfectly with potluck barn parties and other invaluable social events

How our Level Up Clinics work:

Make no mistake, you will work for your money during these clinics

Four hours is not a lot of time when you want to thoroughly cover an objective and give each student individual attention. We do a lot of hustling and kid-wrangling to keep everything punctual.

But if you charge at least $50 per student — a serious bargain, considering the amount of instruction time — and eight students attend, you’ve made a minimum of $100 an hour.

Plus, your students have gotten a chance to bond and made measurable progress toward their next Levels ribbon, increasing their motivation. A profitable use of half a Saturday!

We’re here to help YOU get ready for post-COVID camps and clinics, too

With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt activities all over the world, we don’t know when we’ll get to run camps or clinics on this scale again.

But when the day comes, we’ll be ready.

We’ll include links below with sample schedules for both the Level Up camps and clinics.

We’ll also continue to add lesson plans, patterns and maps, Level Up questions and answers for quiz bowl games, and numerous other games and worksheets we developed for our camps and clinics. Look through our Resource Center for all of these helpful teaching tools.

Whether you’re planning activities for this year or a future year, let us know what resources and materials you’d find the most helpful!

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We have been blessed with many talented photographers over the years: students who voluntarily stood out in a sweltering/ freezing arena – or slogged up and down our hilly pastures – capturing lifelong memories of camps, clinics, and shows. We’re grateful to all of them!

One such student, Delaney Witbrod, is now a professional photographer with a gift for animal portraits – see more of her fine work here.

You’ll also find illustrations throughout our online courses and printed materials (like study guides) graciously donated by Rhonda Hagy, who is a student and lifelong friend. Contact us for information about her work.

Are we lucky or WHAT?!

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