Please Do Feed the Animals
A local animal rescue shelter aims to teach kids about life on the farm
Social swine: Wilbur the pig makes a new friend at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Since 2001, the Catskill Animal Sanctuary has operated as a rescue shelter for a dozen species of farm animals, including horses, cows, pigs, and donkeys. This summer, they’re taking kids, too — and we don’t mean baby goats.
In July, the 100-acre CAS debuts Camp Kindness, a full-day program for children ages six through 12. There are four weeklong sessions: July 5-9 and August 2-6 for ages six to eight, and July 12-16 and August 9-13 for older children.
Run by certified teachers and educators, Camp Kindness features a wide range of activities, including gardening, vegan cooking, barn chores, crafts, and — of course — plenty of time with the critters.
“The goal behind Camp Kindness is to start teaching kids at a young age to have an appreciation for all living things,” says Michelle Alvarez, director of outreach for the sanctuary. “One of our central missions is to educate the public on the sentience and suffering of farm animals.”
To that end, the participants will be educated on the realities of the lives of animals in the factory farming industry. “We’re sensitive to the fact that these kids are young,” Alvarez says, “so we tailor it to be age-appropriate.”
Registration is ongoing. CAS is seeking volunteers to assist with camp counseling, donations for camp supplies, and, as always, good homes for the 250 or so animals now in their care.