Equestrian Program
side menu icon

Equestrian Program

GSCI is accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association. Accreditation means that GSCI voluntarily requested CHA to review our equestrian facilities, program and management to deem it as meeting CHA and equine industry safety and operational standards. The purpose of Certified Horsemanship Association is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the entire horse industry.  CHA is also recognized by GSUSA as an accredited horsemanship instructor training organization.

Want to symbolically Adopt a Horse? View all our horses, pick your favorite and begin the adoption process!

Weekend Events

Join us in the Spring and in the Fall for various different weekend equestrian events for girls of all ages. Check out the events!

Pony Tails - Daisy/Brownie

Pony Tails - Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts

Pony Tails is an hour long introduction to the wonderful world of horses and ponies. Learn with your friends how to groom a pony! Then head out to the arena to take a turn on a pony, learn how to sit properly in the saddle, and how to steer and stop!

Back in the Saddle - All grade levels

Back in the Saddle - All grade levels welcome

Saddle up girls! Saddle up girls! Build on skills that you might have learned in our Pony Tails program or maybe even in our Jr. Badge program. Spend the majority of your time in the saddle working on your riding skills with your favorite horses and ponies!

Please note: Pony Tails or Jr. Badge are NOT prerequisites for this program.

Junior Horseback Riding Badge - Junior

Junior Horseback Riding Badge - Junior Girl Scouts

Junior Horseback Riding Badge is a two hour long adventure, in which you spend time in the barn and arena learning, riding, and earning your Jr. Horseback Riding badge. Meet some of our wonderful horses and ponies! Discover the basics of horseback riding, learn about safety and how to take care of a horse, tack up your horse, and go for a ride!

Jr. Horseback Riding badge included.

Trail Rides - Junior/Cadette/Senior/Ambassador

Trail Rides - Junior, Cadette, Senior,  and Ambassadors Girl Scouts

Trail Rides take you out of the arena and on to the trail! First, you will go over trail safety. Next, you will get paired up with a horse or pony companion. After that, you will explore through the woods on horseback. And experience some of the amazing nature that Camp Tapawingo has to offer!

Family members who are 10 years old and up are welcome.

Big Tap Camp Out Horseback Riding - All grade levels

Big Tap Campout Horseback Riding - All Grade Level Girl Scouts

Big Tap Campout Horseback Riding is an hour long program spent doing various activities with horses. While at the barn: meet some of our wonderful herd, learn all about horses, and get paired up with a pony or horse friend and have some fun! (Please note: This is NOT a trail ride)


Summer Camp

Love horses? Come join us this summer! From beginner to experienced riders our state-of-the-art equestrian facility at Camp Tapawingo is the best choice to learn awareness, new skills, and confidence over the summer.

Check out the available equestrian summer sessions.

Shows and Clinics

Looking to rent out our state-of-the-art equestrian facility at Camp Tapawingo to host your next equestrian show or clinic?

Contact Julie Marks for more information at 217-725-9189 or jmarks@girlscouts-gsci.org.


We get lots of questions from parents, guardians, and leaders regarding our equestrian programs. We have compiled a FAQ list to help.

What should my Girl Scout wear/bring?

Riders will need to wear jeans or long pants, socks, and boots with a heel for riding (at least a half an inch). We do have an assortment of boots available if needed.

Where do I park?

Once you enter Camp Tapawingo drive to the parking lot next to the pool. The Equestrian Center is off to the left (big green stables). Walk from the parking lot to the stables. 

Note: Please do not drive down the gravel road that leads to the barn or park there as that is designated for staff only.

What time should we arrive?

Event participants should arrive at the Equestrian Center at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled session. Any delays may result in a shorter session.

Who is required to wear a helmet?

Helmets are required around horses anywhere within the Equestrian Center. Both children and adults must wear helmets when riding. No exceptions!

Will we be indoors or outdoors?

Majority of the weekend events are held indoors in our barn and indoor riding arena (except trail rides and unless stated otherwise). However, neither area has heating or air conditioning so please keep that in mind when choosing appropriate dress attire. 

If we are unable to attend will I get a refund?

Fees are non-refundable. GSCI reserves the right to cancel any program that does not meet the minimum attendance. If a program is cancelled a refund will be given. 

Will my Girl Scout actually ride on a horse?

All sessions (unless stated otherwise) have some time spent in the saddle. The amount of time will vary depending on the program type.

What if my Girl Scout is older than the age group listed on a weekend event?

The grade/age levels listed under weekend events are for the minimum age we will allow to participate in that particular activity, as well as a suggestion as to what ages might benefit most from the event. However, older girls are more than welcome to join. Please keep in mind that they will likely be in a session with younger girls. 

Will my session consist of only my troop members?

We try our best to accommodate requests for troop privacy; however we are also obligated to fill all sessions so there is no guarantee that your session will be completely private unless you meet the maximum number of girls allowed per session.

Does my Girl Scout get to pick her own horse?

We assign horses based on skill level, height/weight, etc. Unfortunately, we cannot always fulfill requests for particular horses due to the fact that many girls will ask for the same horse.

Will I receive a confirmation about my weekend event?

Yes, confirmation emails are sent out during the week of your scheduled activity using the email address you provide when registering. This confirmation includes a short description about the event as well as other important information such as directions, what to bring, and guidelines.

In the event of inclement weather what happens?

If a program needs to be rescheduled due to inclement weather, you will be notified as soon as possible and then given information about the new date once it becomes available. The Equestrian Program Specialist has the authority to cancel a program at any time if it is too hot or too cold and deemed unsafe to ride. 


If want to know more about the equestrian programs or have any questions you can contact Julie Marks at 217-725-9189 or jmarks@girlscouts-gsci.org. You can also contact Customer Care at 888-623-1237 or customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org for further assistance.