Summer Camp Volunteers- KMSummer 2016 has come and gone in a flash! At least that’s what our 210 campers are feeling this time of year.

MHS has been hosting summer camp programs for kids in Marin for more than 30 years! While the activities, games, and animal visitors may have changed a bit over the years, the purpose of Humane Summer Camp never waivers. Our goal is to educate and empower youth to lead more humane lives. And without our outstanding group of Humane Summer Camp Volunteers we would not be able to provide such a great experience for so many campers.

Volunteers from many different departments at MHS help us provide an outstanding summer camp experience. The SHARE Animal Assisted Therapy volunteer teams taught the campers how to train a dog with positive reinforcement techniques and many teams visited the campers throughout the summer during “Dog of the Day.” The Rabbit Romper Room volunteers showed the campers the wonderful qualities of our bunny companions and let them give the bunnies an extra treat of parsley stems. Yum! Staff and volunteers from the Behavior & Training department hosted dog evaluations of a shelter dog so the middle and high school campers could learn to how to “read” doggie body language.

MHS campers had training from Nancy Sanders, an Adoptions volunteer, on how to sew cat toys to bring home to their own cats. Nancy helped make this happen by doing ALL of the sewing prep ahead of time so that the campers could jump right in to making the toys. Sonja Bohannon, Special Events Manager, shared her work with her home honeybee hive; every group of campers raved about how amazing the honey tasted! Her presentation was fantastic and left campers with practical steps to help honeybees themselves. Kristin Mealiffe, Animal Care Supervisor, came to the camp room with special animal visitors each week. These visitors were extra special because they were the only reptiles the campers got to experience. Kristin brought incredible knowledge and handling experience so that the campers were always comfortable enough to pet both our turtle and our snake visitors!

The humane messages imparted by MHS volunteers at summer camp will be shared by the kids to their friends, families, neighbors – anyone who will listen to them, really!

Three cheers to the Humane Summer Camp volunteers for sharing themselves, their experiences, their enthusiasm and their animal companions with the campers!

Humane Summer Camp is vital to fulfilling the MHS mission to improve the lives of people and animals through advocacy, education and support and sharing that mission with the next generation.

Thank you summer camp volunteers!

By Chelsea Fairbanks, Humane Education Coordinator