The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando launched our hugely successful Summer Camp program in the summer of 2007. Since then, we have seen kids embrace their passion for dogs and cats and become advocates for animal welfare. We have heard many poignant stories of human-animal bonds formed with shelter animals during this program. While education and community outreach is our primary focus with the summer camp, we have also witnessed participating families blossom into adopters, volunteers, counselors, staff members, and donors.
Three years ago, we noticed that something was missing from our summer camp program. Even though we were providing scholarships to children who couldn’t afford the camp, we still weren’t reaching kids with transportation issues.
There were kids in the community that would benefit greatly from our camp but simply couldn’t get there. This forced us to face some difficult questions. Could we logistically operate a traveling summer camp? Could we find an off-site location to host our camp? Could we find a donor to offset the cost of an offsite camp? The search began and all three questions were answered with a resounding YES from our community partners.
Through the generosity of a grant from Franklin’s Friends, our dream to reach the Parramore community with our summer camp became a reality. Franklin’s Friends sponsored the program in 2017 and has committed to funding the offsite summer camp for the next five years. That commitment has enabled us not only to launch the program but also is a promise to the Parramore community that we are there to stay. We want to help the children in their community become advocates for dogs & cats and embrace the human-animal bond.
New Image Youth Center was excited to host our offsite summer program. They were already providing summer camp services to youth in the Parramore area and were looking to enhance their program. Pet Alliance was able to add a week of pet-related modules to their summer camp curriculum. Our team, including our dog ambassador, literally brings our summer camp to elementary, middle and high school age boys & girls in Parramore. The week culminates in a field trip where students go to explore 75 acres of farmland and meet the pigs, donkeys, goats, and cows of Kindred Spirits animal sanctuary! Our off-site summer camp has become a highlight of the summer for our staff.
The Pet Alliance of Central Florida is so thankful to our community partners for enabling us to launch this offsite summer camp program. Franklin’s Friends and New Image Youth Center have made an enormous impact in helping us to expand our summer camp program to the Parramore community. These children are enjoying not only a week-long animal focussed summer camp, but will celebrate the human-animal bond this program helps them to forge for years to come.
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