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Whitworth English

Josie Camarillo (’14) has learned that there’s no casual way to drop “rodeo Bible camp” into conversation, especially within earshot of Westminster Hall. Josie recently sent us this post as well as the photos. The photo above, Josie explains, is an example of “bareback riding, where the boy is on an untamed bronc horse holding onto a rope around the horse’s belly and must stay on without touching the horse with his free hand for at least eight seconds to receive a good score from the judges.” Dang.

Josie is a Whitworth English Writing and Psychology double major, amateur photographer, and cowgirl. Here’s what she has to tell us about this extraordinary summer experience:

I grew up with on a ranch, at a horse vet clinic, and at an annual rodeo Bible camp. No, you did not read that wrong; I did type “rodeo Bible camp,” and it’s not a contradiction. When my mom remarried, her and her new husband decided to become instructors at the Northeastern Oregon Christian Cowboys (NEOCC) Rodeo Bible Camp. It was the second year of the camp and little six-year-old me tagged along. I continued tagging along until the grand year that I turned thirteen and became A CAMPER.

The premise of the NEOCC Rodeo Bible Camp is simple: share the Good News of Christ through teaching thirteen to eighteen year olds rodeo events over a four day camp. Girls can choose from goat tying, barreling racing, pole bending, team roping, and breakaway roping while boys can choose from saddlebronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, or calf roping. Each camper chooses one event and gets five clinic sessions total from Monday through Wednesday as well as attending mandatory chapel once each on Monday and Thursday and twice each on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I had a blast photographing these fun kids and watching them learn about God. This camp is one of only a handful of its type, and I have been privileged to have been at it in some capacity for the past 14 of its 15 years. Below are a few of the photographs I took throughout the week.

Whitworth English

Goat tying is a timed event where the girl steps off of her running horse to flank a goat and tie its legs as fast as she can.

Whitworth English

Barrel Racing instructor Cindy wears a camp shirt from 2000.

Whitworth English

Barrel racing is a timed event in which the girl rides her horse in a set pattern around three barrels as fast as she can.

Whitworth English

Calf roping is another a timed event. The boy ropes a calf, and then his horse stops, and he steps off to tie the calf’s legs as fast as he can.