The Official Houston SPCA Humane Education Blog

Teaching us about our animal friends


Summer’s here and so is the Houston SPCA’s Critter Camp!

Right about now the temperatures in Houston are rising and you know what that means – it’s time for Summer Critter Camp!

As the first week of Critter Camp comes to an end we thought we would take a look at all of the fun we had – check out all of the amazing activities we did below!

This session of Summer Critter Camp was in partnership with Easter Seals of Greater Houston – an organization that works with mentally and physically disabled children. Our partnership gives Easter Seals campers an opportunity to attend local summer camps that their parents might not feel comfortable sending them to without someone to help their camper out with all of the camp activities. During this special session of Critter Camp, Easter Seals volunteers, known as ‘buddies,’ are assigned to each Easter Seals camper to help them have the best experience at our Critter Camp.

All of our Critter Campers learned so much about animals this week and got to play with lots of adorable, adoptable pets from the Houston SPCA!

We have many different sessions of Critter Camp still available for your campers – see more info below:

2015 Camp Schedule 2015 Description Picture

 

To register, head over to www.HoustonSPCA.org today!

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Looking for some Summer FUN? How about the Houston SPCA Critter Camp!

camp button

 

Never heard of Critter Camp? 

Critter Camp is the Houston SPCA’s day camp available during summer, winter and spring break. Each day from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, campers ages 8-15 can come to the Houston SPCA to learn all about animals, hear from the Houston SPCA’s amazing staff, play fun animal games, create arts and crafts, and, last but not least, spend time playing with our adoptable shelter pets!

Let’s jump in and see what a typical Critter Camp day looks like!

9:00 am – Campers arrive at the Houston SPCA and begin meeting new friends, playing fun games and learning about animals.

Foster ProgramFoster care coordinator shows campers a foster kitten

9:30 am – Our first guest speaker session! Our guest speakers are staff that work in a variety of departments at the Houston SPCA. Some of our amazing guest speakers include our animal behavior specialists, animal cruelty investigators, rescue ambulance team members, foster care coordinators, and veterinarians. Each guest talks about what they do for the Houston SPCA, the educational background needed to obtain their position, stories about their favorite animal experiences, and why they love to help animals every day.

10:00 am – Lesson about animals. We have a variety of themes for our camps that include lessons about many topics relating to animals. These topics include animal behavior, basic animal care, anatomy and physiology of pets, Texas wildlife, and much more. These lessons include fun games or activities to keep our campers interacting and engaged.

Easter Seals Petting HorseTommy the Llama 110:30 am – Barn Visit! Did you know that the Houston SPCA has its very own barn where we house many equines and farm animals? Our campers get to visit the barn and meet some of our horses, pigs, goats and any other animals that might be residing there at the time. Many of these animals have been rescued from cruel situations and campers learn about the rehabilitation process the animals will go through before they can be adopted into a new family.

SPCA TShirt Toy

11:00 am – DIY craft time. At Critter Camp we love to teach our campers how to create items that can help animals. Every day we create items that can be donated to our animals (or taken home for their family pet) or that teaches them more about animals. Some of my favorites include T-Shirt Tug Toys for dogs, birdseed feeders for our native wildlife and decorated savings banks for campers to save money to donate to their favorite charity.

11:30 am – Lunch time. During lunch we put on fun animal-related movies for our campers to watch. This gives everyone a chance to relax as the day goes by so fast!

Camper getting kissesCritter Camp Chronicle Pic

12:00 pm – SHELTER VISIT!!  This is our campers favorite part of the day. Everyone in camp goes over to the Houston SPCA animal shelter and gets to play with our large dogs, small dogs and cats. Our animal interactions are in a group setting so that each animal we play with gets lots of campers to love on.

Metro K-9 visit 1

METRO Houston Police Canine Program visits Critter Camp

1:30 pm – Second guest speaker session. We have another guest speaker join us in the afternoon. They will either be another Houston SPCA staff member or a very special visitor! We work with local service animal organizations who love visiting our camps to show our campers how amazing animals can be.

Oil Spill Art

Campers create ‘oil paint art’ while learning about oil spill clean-up 

2:15 pm – More DIY crafts or game time. Our campers can decide if they would like to learn how to create new DIY crafts or if they would like to play games, play with puzzles, visit our arts stations they can do so.

2:45 pm – Snack time and parent pick-up. Campers are given a bottle of water and a healthy snack in the afternoon. Campers can choose if they would like to watch an animal video or play games / do craft activities while waiting for their parents to come.

3:00 pm – End of our busy Critter Camp day!

Sign up today for our Summer Critter Camp!

Register here: http://www.houstonspca.org/site/PageNavigator/humane_education_critter_camp

Looking for our Summer Critter Camp schedule? Look no further: http://www.houstonspca.org/site/DocServer/2015_Camp_Flyer__schedule_and_registration_info_.pdf?docID=3961 

Have questions about Critter Camp? Check out our FAQ’s: http://www.houstonspca.org/site/DocServer/Critter_Camp_Frequently_Asked_Questions_Updated.pdf?docID=3701 

Summer Critter Camp registration begins March 25, 2015!

 


The Houston SPCA Summer Critter Camp Is Back!

The Houston SPCA’s Summer Critter Camp 2014 is in full swing and our campers are having an AMAZING time learning all about animals, giving to the community, what to do to help animals in bad situations, and all about the Houston SPCA. Did I mention that our campers get to play with our adorable adoptable shelter animals every day?!

During the first week of Critter Camp, we partnered with Easter Seals and had a whole bunch of brand new campers join us for a week of learning all about the animals! If you have never heard of Easter Seals before, they are an outstanding organization that helps people of all ages with disabilities in the Greater Houston area.

Our Easter Seals campers worked very hard to design their very own LEGO animal shelter.

Easter Seals LEGOS

We also had a visit from a local animal therapy group – everyone got to play with these beautiful animals who work hard to help people be happier and healthier!

Easter Seals Camper Pet Dog

We all visited the barn and were able to spend time with some of our adoptable farm animals and horses like the miniature horse below.

Easter Seals Petting Horse

The week went by so quickly and we had so much fun!

 

This year at Critter Camp we have brand new camp sessions that teach our campers about different, important animal-related topics.

Our ‘Voice for the Voiceless’ camps have been all about helping our community and making sure all animals are taken care of properly. Here are just a few highlights of this camp session:

To help our animal friends in the wild, our campers made bird feeders out of pine cones — up-cycling at its best!

Easter Seals Camp Birdfeeder

Each year, the campers love being able to express their creativity and this year we had each camper ‘re-design’ the Houston SPCA logo. I love them all so much!

Camper Artwork 3 Camper Artwork 2

Our campers wanted to make something for the animals at the Houston SPCA that would help them have fun outside this Summer. We worked very hard and were able to make brand new agility-equipment for our small dogs to play with!

Camper building agility equipment

And, of course, everyone’s favorite part of the day is playing with the animals! Each day, our campers spend time with our cats, small dogs and large dogs.

Camp Petting CatCamp Petting Dog Camper getting kisses

There is still time to sign-up for the Houston SPCA’s Summer Critter Camp, and stay tuned for updates on our other two new sessions available this year – Operation Rescue and VetCAMP!

For more information or to register for Summer Critter Camp 2014, click here: http://www.houstonspca.org/site/PageNavigator/humane_education_critter_camp