School Break Camps
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.
In addition to summer recess, school breaks at other times of the year are great opportunities to offer educational camps through your organization. Many school districts have a mid-winter vacation and a spring break. Parents and guardians are often looking for engaging experiences for their children that allow them to participate in a meaningful activity during their time off from school. Some parents and guardians are in need of enrichment programs because they have to work during these school vacations, and they are not able to be at home all day with their child.
If you are new to running camps, offering a program during a school break can be a good way to ease into the process, since it usually lasts for only a few days or a week. You can see how it goes and then decide whether you would like to offer multiple camp sessions during the summer.
If you have been offering summer camp for a long time, these additional school breaks provide you with a chance to reach more children and potentially bring more income into your organization. Many parents and guardians expect to pay a fee for camp, so you can use camp not only as a means to fulfilling your organization's mission, but also as a way to raise funds.
If you are running a camp during the winter or spring, consider offering some activities that are unique to that time of the year. It is perfectly fine to provide some of the same activities for multiple camps because even if you have repeat campers, there are certain activities they will enjoy and look forward to doing again. However, consider adding new activities each time as well so that the program does not become too repetitive and campers are encouraged to come back.
In our featured download, we have provided some camp activity ideas that are specific to winter break and spring break. We have also provided resources in this month’s bulletin that can work for a camp being offered anytime throughout the year. Even if you do not run a camp, consider using these activities for any type of humane education program that you teach.
If running a camp is completely new to you, consider watching our Summer Camp Planning video, which includes lots of tips for how to organize a camp from start to finish. Even if you are running a spring break camp or a winter camp, many of the logistics discussed in this video will be relevant to you.
Lessons & Activities
Chicken Enrichment Toys
Students make chicken enrichment toys that can be given to farm sanctuaries. They can create a chicken treat rolly-bottle, a pecking mobile, and a pecking skewer. All the toys let students use their creativity and building skills to construct fun, interesting toys for rescued chickens.
Catnip Toy and Dog Treat
These classic activities are always a hit. Campers create cat toys and dog treats to give to animals they know or who are at a local animal shelter. If you are running a camp at an animal adoption center, campers can give these items to the animals at your facility.
Puppy Face Mask
Young campers create puppy masks. Then, they draw and/or write what dogs need to be happy and healthy on the back of the masks to demonstrate responsible animal guardianship. Ask campers to share their work so that they can learn from one another.
Campers create maps of their neighborhoods, highlighting different landmarks related to animals. Ask campers to research these landmarks to discover if they are helpful or harmful to animals. Challenge campers to identify additional services and facilities that their community may want to meet the needs of animals and animal caretakers.
A Day in the Life
Campers research a career that involves animals, and then they write a story about what someone’s life is like who has that career. This is great for a camp theme focused on careers in animal protection, a popular topic for many young people.
Camp Forms and Samples (ASPCA)
Creating the paperwork needed for your shelter camp can be an overwhelming proposition! These customizable forms can help... READ MORE >>
Shelter Camp Marketing (ASPCA)
With the large number and variety of camp programs available to children in most communities, you’ll need an effective promotion plan for your shelter camp program. The good news is we’ve collected some great marketing tips... READ MORE >>
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