2021 Summer Camp Recap

That’s a Wrap!

By Mandy Revak, Therapeutic Programs Coordinator

There’s something truly magical about meeting a puppy for the first time. Who benefits more in the interaction? Is it the puppy who feeds off your smile and attention and quickly becomes a playmate? Or is it you, who can get lost in the puppy’s excitement and suddenly feel like you’ve found a new best friend? Or what about getting a tiny kitten to playfully pounce or being mesmerized as a bunny bounces to your side to say hello? No matter the animal, the scene is always the same: silly, cute and rewarding for everyone! Whether it’s dogs, cats or rabbits, there doesn’t seem to be a more natural combination than kids and pets. Thankfully, Animal Friends Summer Camp was back for our 2021 season!

Summer camps are one of the many activities that make this time of year special. And what better type of summer camp is there than one full of adorable, adoptable friends? After taking a year off during the pandemic, Animal Friends welcomed campers of all ages back to campus this summer, from our Critter Camp for kindergarteners and first graders, all the way up to our Canine Good Manners Camp for teenagers. Let’s take a peek at how our campers spent some of their summer vacation.

Camp Counselors

Canine Good Manners Camp
Through two sessions of Canine Good Manners Camp, 15 adorable (and adoptable!) puppies were introduced to basic obedience skills by our patient and kind-hearted teenage campers. The puppies ranged in age from 8 weeks old and never having worn a collar, to six and a half months old and able to follow basic commands. Some were rambunctious and needed to learn how to control all of that puppy energy, while some were very shy and needed to learn how to come out of their shells. Yet, each puppy won over the hearts of everyone who met them. By the end of the week the puppies were well on their way to good manners and finding loving homes. In fact, some of the puppies even found their new homes with the campers and their families!

Critter Camp, Camp Animal Friends and Pets Plus Camp
Campers ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade met and interacted with adoptable animals, learned how to care for the four-legged friends in their lives and created toys and treats to enrich the lives of the animals at Animal Friends. Campers baked dog biscuits, fed yummy fruits and greens to our rabbits and made simple, fun toys for the cats out of everyday household items. Each camper had their photo taken with the cutest little kittens. And, they all got to meet with therapy dogs to learn about how to safely greet a dog and some even learned how to lead a dog through an agility course! Our next generation of animal lovers made many new friends (both two- and four-legged) and we are already looking forward to doing it all again next summer!

Kid Activities
Provide enrichment for your pets at home! Animal Friends campers learned all about enrichment as a way to keep pets healthy, happy and active. You can create enrichment for your pets at home using everyday household items, such as old toilet paper or paper towel rolls and newspaper.

Rabbit and Cat Enrichment
Cardboard tubes with fringed edges (cut into little strips with scissors) are lots of fun to bat around, toss around and rip up. This toy is fun for both rabbits and cats! For rabbits, you can even put their timothy hay inside of the roll with a craisin and cheerio for some extra fun.

Dog Enrichment
Put a dog treat into a paper towel tube. Fold both ends closed to create a closed tube. Roll the cardboard tube up in newspaper like a Tootsie Roll. Your dog can sniff out the treat and tear it open to get the reward inside!



This entry was posted in Animal Friends News. Bookmark the permalink.