Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun at Camp!

Thanks to Gail Skee of Mis Amigos Pet Center for sending us this description and photos of her kid's summer camp program. Gail is a Be a Tree presenter and she understands the importance of teaching kids how to read dog body language and to act safely around dogs. Kids at her camp learn these things and more and have a ton of fun doing it!

The kids camp was open to kids 8 to 12 years of age. I limited it to 12 kids but only had seven which was a nice size for my facility. We charged tuition and I was able to get sponsors for three kids. The kids and their dogs had to pass an interview and we actually had to turn one young lady down because her dog wasn’t well socialized. We offered a loaner dog (one of my dogs) but she wanted to work with her own dog.

The camp was five days long Monday thru Friday 8:30 am to 3:30 pm with a dog show Friday evening at 6:30pm. I had to experiment with activities trying to balance and gauge attention from both dogs and kids with energy levels of both. That along with the hot June sun was a challenge. I do have an event tent over one of my play yards that came in handy for practice in the shade. Anyway we would start out with agility in the morning then a nap time for dogs and snack for kids. Then we would do an activity for kids and sometimes this would include dogs sometimes not. We had lunch and another activity/game, snack and then home at 3:30. I had to be flexible but I think by the end of the week we had a working plan. I will have a better idea of what works next year.

Some of the activities included learning how to read dogs, comb and brush dogs, train dogs to touch a target, we made several dog toys (fleece), other dog related crafts (picture frame and we inserted a picture of the child and their dog doing the agility course), we had camp t-shirts that we handed out, of course we played “You Don’t Say” and “Doggone Crazy!”. hope to have camp again next year and if anyone has any ideas to share I would love it. I know there were things we could have done better and hope to next year.

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