BC SPCA summer camps empower youth by encouraging empathy and compassion
The BC 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 in Courtenay at the Lewis Centre, 489 Old Island Hwy.
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, BC SPCA humane education manager. All dogs participating in the camps have been temperament tested by BC 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 BC 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 by phone at 604-599-7209, Monday through Friday.
Camps are Monday through Friday, and cost $128. There are two weeks of camp in Courtenay, running from July 9-13 (ages seven to nine) and July 16-20 (ages 10 to 12). Camps run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information about BC SPCA summer camps being offered in locations around B.C., visit spca.bc.ca/camp.
The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by public
donations. Our mission is to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare
of animals through a wide range of services, including cruelty
investigations, emergency rescue and treatment, sheltering and adoption
of homeless and abused animals, humane education, advocacy, farm animal
welfare, spay/neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.