Critter Kids Unleashed is the Second Chance Center for Animals (SCCA) summer day camp. The camp, taking place this week, immerses students in animal-related learning activities, animal interactions, and engaging visits with special guest speakers. Campers also help with projects benefitting both local wildlife and the animals at the Second Chance Center. The camp is instructed by humane education coordinator Sherie Jones with assistance from high school camp counselor Layni Wells.
Ten animal-lovers, ranging in age from seven to ten, discussed the importance of prairie dogs in our grassland communities. The campers then pulled up the tall weeds in the SCCA's Gunnison Prairie Dog Habitat to improve the landscape so prairie dogs could more easily scout predators. Sherie ensures that the students in the camp learn about our native wildlife as well as domestic animals in the summer camp. A speaker from the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery team visited with the students earlier in the week.
Layni, a Flagstaff High School junior, has been volunteering at SCCA for the past seven years. She recently attended the summer Veterinarian Program for Future Veterinarians at Colorado State University. Sherie is a Certified Vet Tech, has been at SCCA since it opened in 2004, and has been working in animal welfare for 20 years. Sherie believes "Educating the public is so important in our mission to enhance the human-animal bond. Helping children learn to respect and care for all living things and the environments they live in is why I am here."
SCCA has educational components as part of their volunteer program. A new program, Animal Science Kids (ASK), will have monthly animal and veterinary education for high school students. Sherie also gives tours to STEM clubs and classes visiting the SCCA. She also presents information at school sites. There is almost no limit to what Sherie can discuss when it comes to animals! She has presented on veterinary medical procedures, pharmacology with science and math connections, animal nutrition, animal diseases and much more. Contact Sherie or Mindy if you are interested in learning more about SCCA outreach.
A big thank you to Sherie, Layni, and the Second Chance Center for Animals!
Flagstaff STEM Coordinator