Payton Clark, News Editor
Oct. 29, Cargo Ranch held its annual rodeo from 3 to 5 p.m. This year’s theme was “The Crazy Cargo Circus Rodeo,” and allowed kids to show their horsemanship skills to family and the community.
“Cargo has always had a rodeo so that the kids can show off the horsemanship skills they have learned to their parents, as well as showing their families the different fun activities they can do while at Cargo, such as playing games or making art projects,” senior and Cargo ranch volunteer Brooke Hurley said.
While the Cargo rodeo serves as an opportunity for the community, parents and volunteers to get involved, the kids are the main focus of the event.
“The kids who come out to Cargo often come because they don’t fit in at school or come from broken homes and the rodeo provides an opportunity for them to be a part of a show or production,” junior and Cargo volunteer Hannah Jordan said. “They get to be the star and their parents get to come see what they have learned the whole year.”
The Cargo Rodeo serves as an important reflection on the relationship between mentors and kids, and showing parents the fruits of Cargo’s labor.
“These kids often come from broken homes and having someone to invest in them can make a huge difference,” Jordan said. “They get to show their families Cargo and why it is special to them, [and] they also get to hang out with their mentor and do things that are special just for the rodeo. It is a great time to hang out with your kid and invest in their life.”
While the rodeo does offer students a chance to show off their skills to family, it also allows Cargo to show off its work to donors and the community of Shawnee.
“Another reason the rodeo is important is because it provides donors an opportunity to see what their money is going towards,” Hurley said. “And [it provides] community members an opportunity to come see what is going on in their community.”
According to Hurley, the annual rodeo not only benefits the Cargo community through support, but it offers a fun opportunity.
“This event is important to the kids and Cargo because it provides an opportunity for all of us to show the growth that has been happening on Cargo grounds,” Hurley said. “It is also just a super fun way to finish out fall sessions before we go into potluck season.”
Community members had a chance to participate through a cook off.
“This year community members [had] a chili cook off at the rodeo which helps provide food for the event as well as an opportunity to get involved,” Hurley said.
While interacting with horses is never without incident, Jordan said that each of the past rodeos have allowed Cargo to learn and improve the event, including when it is put on.
“The rodeo was originally in the summer so the parents could get a chance to see what their kids were learning at Cargo,” Jordan said. “It was also moved to the fall so that the college and OBU volunteers will be in town and can watch their children in the show. This also means we get to meet the kids’ families.
Cargo Ranch, located at 8895 Coker Rd, Shawnee OK, provides struggling kids with the opportunity to build relationships.
“Cargo Ranch is a non-profit youth ranch for kids who have changes, struggles, or obstacles, in their lives,” cargoranch.org said. “We use horses and an outdoor environment to build relationships and open lines of communication with our youth.”
According to their website, the non-profit faith-based organization uses donations to make their program and services free for the community.
“Our program is free of charge to all of our families,” the website said. “We operate our ministry through private donations and grants from the community.”