Friday, July 24, 2009

Volunteering at Camp

Our week-long Kid's N Critters Day Camps include doing volunteer work around HAWS. The kids clean cages, stuff food into Kongs for the dogs to work on, sort newspapers, and the older kids do some dog training.

When I first proposed adding volunteer work as part of our camp cirriculum I was told that it would be hard to get the kids to want to do it. However, I knew that part of what we want kids to get out of our education program is the realization that while pets are a lot of fun, they are also a lot of work. What better way to get that point across than to have the kids actually get a taste of it?

I think many of the parents would be amazed to find out that most of the kids actually enjoy the volunteer work that we have the kids do -- including the litterbox scooping, and rabbit cage cleaning. And I'm very sure that many of these same kids balk at having to clean up after their own pets at home.

Hopefully the message that caring for animals is a responsibility is getting through to the kids as they attend camp. And maybe getting a taste of volunteer work now will create a desire to be official HAWS volunteers when they are old enough.

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