From barrel racing to goat tying, kids learn rodeo skills at this Sarasota camp.
When Sandy Johnson first started the J&J Summer Youth Rodeo Camp a decade ago, she wanted to make sure it wasn't a "babysitting" camp.
Anyone watching the final day relay race, in which all the campers play a role on one of two teams, would give testament to the fact no babysitting was involved. Johnson and Kris Anderson run the camp, which ran June 29-July 3 and taught the kids various riding and rodeo skills — such as roping, cattle sorting, barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying — at the Johnson & Johnson Show Horses ranch in eastern Sarasota County.
When it comes to the competition, Johnson oversees things, but the kids, who ranged in age from 3 to 18, are on their own. If the younger ones stumble, the older kids lend a hand.
"These kids have their own horses and they know how to ride," Johnson said. "We show them new events. Everyone needs someone to mentor them.
"My goal is teamwork ... the big ones helping the little ones."