STATESVILLE – Parents of preschoolers to eighth-grade students can register children for Rescue Ranch’s Critter Camps, daily spring and one-week summer camp sessions offering hands-on educational experiences with animal interactions.
The nonprofit will host a free Critter Camp open house from 1 to 4 p.m. March 24. Families can tour the facility, learn about the animal ambassadors, meet the teachers, complete STEM and craft projects, hike the nature trails, and play on the 10,000-square-foot playground. Discounts will be provided for those who register at the open house.
Krissie Newman and her husband, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, founded the animal welfare organization. The 87-acre ranch uses educational programs to promote respect for animals and responsible pet ownership, as well as agricultural, environmental and wildlife conservation.
Each week’s activities include interactions with many of Rescue Ranch’s animal ambassadors including Otis, a curious Holstein Friesian steer; a herd of Nubian/Tennessee fainting goats; Kiwi, a Quaker Parrot; and Hershey, a Lionhead rabbit.
Parents will also be able to obtain some recommendations of online resources that make great learning materials for children. These resources will include YouTube channels, online games, and much more.
The 2019 Critter Camp schedule is as follows:
For kindergarten through fifth-grade students, with an option for middle school students to apply to be a junior counselor. The spring break session is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $45 per day or $200 per child, per week, April 22 to 26.
• Go Green For Spring – Campers will learn about and interact with the more than 80 animal ambassadors. They will also create art with recycled materials, be a part of the recycling Olympics, complete science experiments, and come up with new ways to do everyday things that would make Mother Nature proud.
Visit www.rescueranch.com/camps to register.
For preschool children ages 4 or 5, there is one session available June 10-13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $100 per child, per four-day week.
• Critter Palooza – This session involves crafts, games, sensory play, as well as interacting with animals such as rabbits, lizards, barnyard animals and more. Campers will be given a free pass to come back on Friday or Saturday for Summer Family Fun Days.
For children entering kindergarten through fifth-grade, there are two themed sessions available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Critter Palooza – This session will investigate bugs, mammals, reptiles and animals with wings. Campers will transform into many different animals as they learn and understand their strange characteristics and techniques of survival. The cost is $190 per child, per week. The dates include June 17 to 21 and July 8 to 12.
• Wild Thing Workshop – Campers will learn how to provide a happy and healthy life to Ranch’s animal ambassadors while creating new enrichment experiences for them. In addition to sharing the day-to-day activities of pets, campers will come up with ways to make their lives even better. The cost is $190 per child, per week and the dates include July 22 to 26, July 29 to Aug. 2.
• Wild Thing Workshop Part 2 (daily camp options offered Monday-Wednesday this week)– Campers are invited back for another week of enrichment activities by using creativity and the engineering process to make items that will enhance the lives of the ranch’s animal ambassadors, in addition to daily animal interaction and assisting with animal care. The cost is $45 per day or $190 per child, per week and the dates include Aug. 5 to 9.
For students entering sixth through eighth grade, there is one themed session available July 15 to 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $200 per child, per week.
• Future Veterinarian – Campers will have mock clinics with local veterinarians throughout the week while learning about the diverse facets of veterinary life and the care they provide to our furry friends.
For campers with special needs, entering first through sixth grade, there are two sessions available June 24 to 28 from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m.
• Critter Palooza – The smaller group setting will offer a one-to-three teacher-student ratio in addition to a buddy system, to provide a more supervised and successful camp experience. Each day will include hands-on time with animal ambassadors, crafts and time on an on-site, fully accessible playground. The cost is $25 per child, per week.
Contact Stacey Foreman at 704-768-0909 or at email@example.com to register for the session.
A $15 discount applies for any elementary or middle school Summer Critter Camp if registered by March 1. Sibling discounts are also available. For some sessions, extended care is available from 8-9 a.m. and 4-5:30 p.m. for $10 per day. Payment plan options are available by request.