Placer SPCA Humane Kids Camp
06/18/2009 07:11AM, Published by Super Admin, Categories: In Print
Photo courtesy of Placer SPCA.
Nobel Prize honoree, Albert Einstein once said, “Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
By teaching young people to respect animals, you teach them to value each other and everything else. That is what the Placer Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does each summer by sponsoring “Humane Kids Camp.”
Humane Educator Mary Terrell quotes Maya Angelou when she says, “When you know better, you do better.” The mission of the weeklong day camps is to emphasize the natural connection between children and animals. “We empower kids,” Terrell says, “to make the right decisions.” Now in its fifth year, Humane Kids Camp has been helping kids to learn all about animals and themselves. The focus on building caring kids, respect and personal responsibility not only applies to our furry and finned friends, but extends to their families and grows with the campers into adulthood. “It all comes down to the good old Golden Rule,” Terrell says, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Children ages 8-12 have the opportunity to understand and appreciate animals by learning compassion, empathy and kindness. “Showing kindness to an animal,” Terrell says, “is more than providing adequate food and water.” Terrell explains kindness in terms that kids can understand – that we all need someone to love and play with, toys, lots of exercise, and proper medical care. “When you relate it to the kids the right way...they get it,” she says.
At camp, the kids watch educational videos, hear guest speakers, meet guest animals, play games and enjoy lots of fun, hands-on activities. Each day starts with crafts – kids create pieces of art such as frames and journals. The campers construct their journals on the first day so that they can keep a diary of their activities and memories. Adult camp volunteers take lots of photos of activities for the kids to keep and share with their families. Leaders also feel that it’s very important to reinforce the positive information they learned during the day. “The kids love this exercise,” Terrell says, “and their actions affect their families too.”
“Camp is wildly popular,” says Placer SPCA CEO Leilani Vierra. She is very happy to have brought this program to the area and continues to support it. “Camp is an important starting point for responsible and compassionate pet care,” Vierra adds. “To support the animals,” Vierra continues, “Placer SPCA must support our community.”
Campers Ashley and Courtney Wraa are attending again this year. “We love animals,” the sisters say, “and we love learning about animals.” Both girls think the focus on safety and kindness to pets is important. “It is important to protect your pet.” Ashley says. Courtney adds, “Never leave an animal in a car.”
Kindness to animals equals kindness to each other. What person doesn’t need a hug, a nice warm meal, and someone to play with?
For more information on the Placer SPCA and the camp, please visit placerspca.org/kids.