Arizona Humane Society summer camps gives kids hands-on experience, real-life interactions with animals

Arabella Wangen, Reporter

According to Stone Mountain Adventures, children’s summer camps with animals have been beneficial in alleviating stress and teaching children responsibility.

Rescues and animal organizations have created camps for children to learn and have fun over the summer. The camps teach children about animal health and responsibility.

In some instances, the programs help guide children towards careers by giving them the opportunity to discover what they really enjoy through participation and real-life experience.

Taryn Alessandrino shared with Arizona Animal Welfare League how a summer camp experience changed her thoughts on wanting to become a veterinarian.

“I thought I wanted to be a vet, too. One day, we got to go in where they were doing spay and neuter surgeries, and I instantly realized that was not something I could do,” Alessandrino said.

Shelby Brose, an Arizona Humane Society Outreach Manager, spoke to Northeast Valley News about the details of their program.

“The Arizona Humane Society’s summer camps average 400, 5–17-year-olds, over our eight weeks of programming through June and July each year,” Brose said.

She also explained how AHS’ program differs from other summer camp programs and what the benefits are.

“Each of our many different camp modules provide campers with hands-on animal interactions with both our shelter pets and ‘Animal Teachers,’ small mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates that are permanent residents of AHS and work with our many youth- education programs,” Brose said. “This hands-on interaction set us apart from other programs and allow campers to better engage with the content. They might have already learned about various concepts from a textbook in school, but seeing science, technology, engineering, art, and even math in action through the eyes of an animal allow that lesson to stick and be applied to real world scenarios. Our programs not only encourage a science-driven mindset and allow children to learn about careers in animal welfare, but also help promote empathy and compassion for pets and wildlife from an early age.”

Brose also talked about the cost of their program, compared to other available summer camps.

“Our camp programs are competitively priced with other animal-focused organizations in the Valley. We also offer a select number of scholarships each year that provide full tuition for dozens of campers each year. Additionally, all proceeds from these camps go directly back to helping AHS’ almost 18,000 sick, injured, and abused pets that we care for every year,” Brose said.

More information about AHS’ summer camps can be found at