Lifestyle

SPCA summer camps empower youth

The B.C. SPCA is offering week-long summer camps which offer fun animal-themed activities for kids while empowering them to create a better world. Camps will be offered this year at the Kelowna SPCA branch,  3785 Casorso Rd.

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, B.C. SPCA humane education manager.

All dogs participating in the camps have been temperament tested by 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 behavior,” she says.

“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.”

Camp spaces fill up quickly, so please register early. Register online or by phone (604-599-7209, Monday to Friday).

The camps are Monday or Tuesday through Friday, and cost $125 to $140. There are six weeks of camp at the Kelowna SPCA branch, taking place July 3-6, July 9-13, July 16-20, July 23-27,  July 30-Aug. 3, and Aug. 7-10.

Camps run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and are open to children ages eight to 12. Kids can be dropped off as early as 9 a.m., and picked up as late as 4 p.m.

For more information visit spca.bc.ca/camp.

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