2023 Adult Summer Camp


    HSSC's Second-Annual Adult Summer Camp took place on Saturday, July 29, 2023. More than two dozen kids at heart filled the Education & Training Center to marvel at animals both domestic and exotic, owned and adoptable. For three hours, these campers became kids again.

    We kicked things off with a pop quiz about HSSC's history and programs, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of HSSC's 38,000ft2, 3.5-acre campus. Then it was back to the classroom for some hands-on presentations.

    The first presenter, Abby Williams, is the current co-recipient of HSSC's Rilee Beisler Humane-i-tarian Award, and for good reason. Abby gave a top-notch presentation about her pet chinchilla, Buddy. She's only 12, but this former summer camper aspires to be a veterinarian, and she has already researched colleges that will accept chinchillas as pets.

    Next, we moved on to Miss Katie, who is a science teacher at Community Day School and a certified reptile expert. She brought three of her favorite reptiles to camp. First was the crested gecko, Julian. This extremely rare species was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994. Julian is small and soft with spines above his eyes that look like eyelashes. Even confirmed reptile-phobes were comfortable touching Julien. Then Miss Katie pulled out the big guns: Spaghetti and Meatball. Meatball is a ball python, and Spaghetti a red boa constrictor. Both are rescues. Miss Katie reassured the class that neither snake was dangerous, and nearly everyone in the room took the chance to touch the snakes, with some even brave enough to drape them across their bodies.

    Then bleats from next door made it clear that our next presenter had arrived. Enter Molly, the four-month-old goat with her human parents. This sweet "kid" is a regular at children's camp, and she is gentle enough to be held like a dog.

    We rounded out the camp with a presentation on dog handling and training by our very own behavior and training supervisor, Taylor Rymal, CPDT-KA. Taylor brought shelter dog Doe in for the presentation. Doe aced it, doing "sit" and "down" like a pro and stealing hearts in the process.

    During the course of the afternoon, campers also got to spend time with the animals in the camp room, which included several pet therapy teams, a cockatiel named Spikette, four guinea pigs, a small tortoise named Eggplant, and a larger one named Mikey, plus axolotls, two ferrets, and two adorable foster kittens.

    Thank you to all the presenters and attendees who made Adult Summer Camp great.

    Camp Photos

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