July is in full swing, and at the San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) that means sunshine, bug spray, and fun at Summer Camp Humane!
Summer Camp Humane allows kids ages 5-15 to gain a better understanding of domestic and wild animals in the San Antonio area through lessons featuring guest speakers, games, and educational workshops. For five days campers embark on different adventures around the SAHS campus and take part in tasks that circle back to the theme of animals.
This summer’s camp has included activities such as: meeting and learning about the importance of therapy dogs, participating in volunteer work around the shelter, and reading to pets which is fun because the pets receive attention and the campers work on their reading skills. Crafts, games, and hands-on activities are implemented in the program’s lessons to ensure that campers leave Camp Humane with more knowledge of the environment and a greater respect for animals. Older campers can even receive community service hours for their participation.
What’s it like to sit in on a camp session with the 8-10 year olds? Well, Nicole Dearstine, Humane Educator at the SAHS, started camp at 9 am with a friendly welcome and a presentation about identifying San Antonio wildlife. It instantly reminded me of science class: set up on a table were replicas of animal skulls, jaws, footprints and scat. Next to those were pelts of different animal species in the area, which campers were allowed to touch while Dearstine spoke about each one. After that, campers were given snacks and had fun playing games with volunteer camp counselors.
Toward the middle of the day, campers’ identification skills were put to the test. The kids embarked on a scavenger hunt to find pictures of species-specific footprints planted around campus that Dearstine had discussed in her morning presentation. After lunch, campers finished their day with a visit from San Antonio Zoo educators with a presentation about animal care. They day was wrapped up with just enough time for an animal-themed craft before campers were released at 3 pm. Friends were made, much was learned, and fun was definitely had.
2018 Summer Camp Humane has had a healthy turnout, and it’s not hard to imagine why. For the curious animal-loving kid, the San Antonio Humane Society is an ideal place to spend time.
“Camp Humane is a great opportunity for kids in San Antonio because not only is it a fun way to spend a week, but it will also give them knowledge about some of the animal welfare issues present in their communities, and will give them some ideas of how they can make a difference,” said Dearstine.
Do your kids love animals? Would they enjoy learning about nature while interacting with cats and dogs? While registration for this year is closed, let Camp Humane be an educational resource for your children during our 2019 spring and summer sessions. Kids 12+ are also able to volunteer at any point in the year. Visit our website for more information, or come by for a visit at our 4804 Fredericksburg Rd. location.