SPCA unleashes summer camps in Penticton

Week-long camps put focus on teaching children a respect for animals

The B.C. SPCA is hoping to harness some puppy-power to influence and inspire at their summer camps this year.

The week-long camps are held from early July to late August, and offer a different experience than other summer camps parents have to choose from. The SPCA camps place a special focus on teaching children a respect for the other animals humans share the world with.

In order to do this, the camps offer a number of fun and educational activities like animal-themed games, skits, guest speakers and arts and crafts.

Not only does the camp teach the children in attendance about the importance of other animals, but gives them the chance to play with them too — the kids have a chance to directly interact with animals for an average of an hour a day.

“The highlight for many of the kids is they time they spend every day interactive with, and learning about animals such as cats, dogs, rats and other small, furry creatures,” said Paula Neuman, B.C. SPCA humane education manager.

As well, the summer camps can teach children virtues that the organizers say are very difficult to develop in society.

“Compassion and empathy towards other living beings are characteristics of nurturing behaviour,” said Neuman.

“By providing an opportunity for children to express these behaviours in a positive environment, we hope to build children’s confidence so they incorporate this into their daily lives.

“They leave feeling inspired to be young ambassadors for safer, more humane communities.”

The camps run Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there will be six week-long sessions in Penticton: July 9-13; July 23-27; July 30- Aug 3; Aug 13-17; and Aug 20-24. The camps cost between $125 and $140.

To register, call 604-599-7209, or register online at spca.bc.ca/camp.