The Nelson SPCA is offering week-long summer camps, which have fun animal-themed activities for kids while empowering them to create a better world.
One of the main goals of the camps is to help children develop empathy by teaching them to regard the world as a shared space with other living beings, not only pets but farm animals and wildlife too. These skills are developed through a range of educational and fun activities, including animal-themed games, skits, crafts, guest speakers and more.
“The highlight for many of the kids is the time they spend every day interacting with, and learning about animals such as cats, dogs, rats, and other small furry creatures” says Paula Neuman, BC SPCA humane education manager.
All dogs participating in the camps have been temperament tested by BC SPCA animal welfare professionals.
“By gaining this compassion and knowledge, children become attuned to the needs of other people, animals, and the environment,” says Neuman. “It helps them build confidence to follow their passion and take their love of animals to the next level. They leave feeling inspired to be young ambassadors for safer, more humane communities.”
The SPCA summer camps offer a unique experience for children. As Neuman explains, it may be challenging for some children, especially boys, to express nurturing behaviour in a competitive society where such a virtue is often not encouraged.
“Compassion and empathy towards other living beings are characteristics of nurturing behaviour,” she says.
Camp spaces fill up quickly, so please register early. Register online or by phone (604-599-7209, Monday-Friday).
Camps are Monday or Tuesday through Friday, and cost $75-90. There are three weeks of camps at the Nelson branch, running from July 23-27 (ages eight to 12), August 7-10 (ages seven to nine), and August 20-24 (ages 10-13). Camps run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Kids can be dropped off as early as 9 a.m., and picked up as late as 4 p.m.
For more information about SPCA summer camps being offered in locations around B.C., visit spca.bc.ca/camp.