Ahhh, spring break. A time for rest, relaxation, and … creative feline toy construction supervised by a hairless cat named Jedi?
At the Dumb Friends League’s spring one-day camp, children in third through sixth grade take part in a range of fun activities – from designing cat toys to competing in a spirited game of Wildlife or Pet Care Jeopardy. Young campers also have the opportunity to interact and forge connections with animals like tiny Jedi or a 120-plus pound pup named Scout.
Year after year, the highly anticipated event, happening this year on March 15, brings more fun and innovation than the last – all in the name of humane education.
What is humane education? And why does it matter? Glad you asked!
Humane education helps build empathy and respect for people, animals, and the planet we share. According to Kyle, Community Educator at the League, the critical topic “provides children with the tools they need to make smart, compassionate choices in life, whether it affects humans or our non-human friends.”
As a Socially Conscious Animal Shelter, the League is committed to using community education as a tool to instill values that both encourage the respectful treatment of animals and nurture the human-animal bond. The League’s Humane Education department offers year-round programs to kids and teens at the Leslie A. Malone Center, Buddy Center, Harmony Equine Center, and our new Veterinary Hospital at CSU Spur.
From camps to service days to school visits, you never know where you might see the Dumb Friends League Humane Education team next.
And wherever there’s a League educator, there’s probably an “ambassapet” nearby! That’s right – there are seven staff- or volunteer-owned four-legged friends (known as ambassapets) who help our humane educators and provide hands-on learning experiences for participants. In fact, some are already counting down to spring break camp, where they can meet even more animal-welfare advocates.
Read on to learn what our ambassapets are most excited about …
- Rosco | 2 years old | Hug Enthusiast
You may not know it at first, but I’m visually impaired, and I love seeing the looks on kids’ faces when they find out! I’m just your average, happy-go-lucky, rough and tumble good boy, and a little blurriness isn’t going to keep me down! Plus, I’m batting 100% on hug return. The kiddos are the perfect height for me to nuzzle my head in their necks – my favorite!
- Scout | 2 years old | Resident Polar Bear
Did someone say, “new friends?” Oh, boy! I’m there. All 120-plus pounds of me – and especially if it’s spring break camp. I live for the pets, and, I’ll admit, the shock and excitement over my sheer size never gets old. It’s my best “trick,” and it always means more snuggles!
- Jedi | 3 years old | Thrill Seeker
First things first: I own this place. I spent my earliest days here at the Dumb Friends League before I was adopted by my loving human. That wall? Climbed it. This ledge? Scaled that, too. I’m quite the acrobat, but my favorite thing to show off is what happens beyond the walls. Spring break campers get an opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes at this special place, and I love that we get to share that understanding!
- Daisy | 10 years old | Lady of Leisure
Two words: Belly. Rubs. And lots of them. Personally, I think hands-on learning is great – especially if the hands are petting me! There’s not much I won’t do for a treat (wanna see me sit, shake, and roll-over all at once?), but I love to see it “click” with the kiddos when they learn proper training techniques and safe animal handling.
- Juicy | 11 years old | The Matriarch
My favorite thing about spring break camp? These kids keep me young. You see, I used to work in school reading programs, but these days I like to let loose! Spring break = fun! And there’s never a dull moment with the goofy educators – especially when we’re playing crazy games like Pet Care Jeopardy!
- Lucy | 7 years old | Always the Advocate
I’ve been with my human for almost my entire life (since I was 5 weeks old!), and I haven’t had to want for much … but when I do, I’ll let you know. So here it goes: What I really want everyone to know about spring one-day camp is that it matters that you’re there. You’re making a difference in the lives of all my furry friends.
- Kiwi | 3 years old | New Kid on the Block
I’m new around here, and this is my first spring one-day camp! I’ve been preparing by joining other Humane Education programs, but I hear this one is unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’m just excited to see for myself what everyone’s been buzzing about around here!
There you have it, straight from the experts themselves! Sound like something your kiddo might enjoy? Sign them up now before registration slots are gone!