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BC SPCA summer camps use play to teach empathy

May 10, 2018

BC SPCA summer camps will return this July and August for another season of animal-themed fun and learning, at 24 locations province-wide.

How do BC SPCA summer camps differ from some other camps offered throughout B.C.? Paula Neuman, humane education manager, explains that while camp activities are based in play, all are specially-designed to teach kids about animals and integrate the practise of empathy and critical thinking skills. “Camp activities are meant to be fun and engaging for the kids, of course, but they all aim to educate as well,” she says.

One of the biggest draws of BC SPCA camps for kids is time spent with animals. While this makes up only a portion of camp time, parents have reported on camp evaluations that their children are calmer and kinder after time working with animals. Neuman notes, “The empathy skills the kids practise during these animal encounters, thinking about how the animals feel, really do have a way of spreading into their behaviours at home.”

To avoid disappointment, parents are urged to register their children as soon as possible. Registration is open now for camps in Abbotsford, Campbell River, Castlegar, Comox, Coquitlam, Cowichan, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Nelson, Penticton, Prince Rupert, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, Vernon, Victoria and West Vancouver. Additional locations planning to hold camps will open for registration at a later date, subject to funding. Visit for more information and to be directed to registration information by region.

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