MONTEREY, Calif. - The SPCA Camp has quadrupuled in size the past few years, and has waiting lists as early as November. The small summer program has expanded through the entire summer, as well as winter and spring breaks. Along with the fun come some big lessons for the kids.
The kids could hardly contain their excitement the first time they were brought down to the barn to hang out with the animals at the Winter Break Session at the SCPA camp, and one 9-year-old, Ashton Noyes, thought twice about his career path.
"Well I was going to be an architect, and I thought maybe a major league baseball player, but when I get my first job, I want to work at the SPCA. I want to teach kids how to be nice to all the animals," said Noyes.
SPCA staff member, April King says the relationship between children and animals is precious and important because "it not only teaches them responsibility, but more importantly it teaches them compassion."
Peyton Kelly, only 8 years old, is begging her parents for a dog, and learned some things that she can teach her parents about dogs.
"Some positions like if they have tail between legs means they might feel angry or bite," said Kelly.
The kids get safe and intimate one-on-one interaction with animals, and the lessons they learn from them are ones they can use everyday.
"One of the first things the kids learn on their first day is how to properly introduce themselves to another person you make eye contact, shake hands, and say something nice. That's how we meet another person then after that, we learn how to meet an animal properly, so it all ties in together," said Dawn Fenton of the SPCA.
Kelly and all the other children who attend know when the week is over they have gained some new friends.
"I made other friends, like animal friends," said Kelly.
If you'd like to sign your child up for the SPCA camp click here.