Welcome to Pets Lifeline's 19th Annual Summer Camps
Located in Sonoma, CA!
4 - 7-Year-Olds: Weekly Camps from June 12 to August 3, 2023
For Kids Entering 3rd - Entering 6th grade (must be 8 years old at the start of Summer Camp):
Weekly Camps from June 12 to August 11, 2023
The Important "Stuff"- (The Details)
Weekly camps begin Monday, June 12. All camps, with the exception of the July 4th week, will be Monday-Thursday. The cost is $175/week. The week of July 4th will be Wednesday-Friday. The cost is $135 for that week.
Fees include all materials, activities, and lessons. Lunch and snacks are not provided. Campers must bring their own non-microwaveable and non-perishable labeled lunch (9:00am-2:00pm camps) and snacks (9:00-12:00pm camps) and a labeled water bottle.
Please be sure your camper is dressed appropriately for a day in the shelter and animal interaction. Closed toed shoes are required every day. Days can start off chilly, so you are welcome to bring layers!
Junior Pet Pals - Camper Age Range: 4-7 Years Old
Camps are from 9:00am-12:00pm, Monday-Thursday, with the exception of July 4th week, which will be Wednesday - Friday, 9:00am-12:00pm
*Must be potty-trained and have some school experience
Pet Pals - Camper Age Range: For Kids Entering 3rd - 6th Grade
All camps are 9:00am-2:00pm, Monday - Thursday, with the exception of July 4th week, which will be Wednesday - Friday 9:00am-2:00pm
Your program fee helps support all of our adoptable animals!
For Kids Ages 4-7
Junior Pet Pals
(Ages 4-7, unless entering 3rd grade. Rising 3rd graders can register for the Pet Pals series)
It's all about the animals (and fun)! During every week-long camp, we will emphasize compassion towards all living things! Campers will learn all about caring and advocating for animal safety. Campers will also learn how to take care of pets' basic needs. Children will engage with cats each day, learn how cats communicate through their body language, and how to calm a cat who is feeling scared. Children will also have the opportunity to meet a variety of animals and reptiles throughout the week. Each week will be filled with unique crafts, activities, and fun games!
Week 1 - Exploring Your Backyard June: JUNE 12 -15 (Monday-Thursday)
Have you ever looked closely to see what is in your backyard, we mean, look, really look...? Join us for an in-depth look at our local plants and animals as we explore our native ecosystems! Week 1: June 12-15
Week 2 - Deserts: JUNE 19 - 22 (Monday-Thursday)
Did you know deserts get really cold at night? Or, how do animals thrive in extreme environments and develop some extreme adaptations? We will explore what it takes for life to exist in some of the world’s harshest ecosystems.
Week 2: June 19-22
Week 3 - Ocean: JUNE 26 - 29 (Monday-Thursday)
Join us as we dive into the ocean. Did you know around 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by oceans and the largest ocean is only an hour away? Our oceans have so many different creatures and ecosystems to explore, and we want to talk about all of them! Whether it’s tidepools on the California coast or the depths of the Mariana Trench, we will find marine life in almost every inch of the water. Learn what whales walked on land, what to do if a jellyfish stings you, and so much more! Week 3: June 26-29
Week 4 - Rainforest: JULY 5 - 7 (Wednesday-Friday)
Discover plants and animals found in rainforests worldwide while taking an in-depth look at everything from the forest floor to the canopy. Rainforests produce oxygen, medicine, food, shelter, and a stunning variety of biodiversity while every year nearly 80 million acres are destroyed. There will even be a surprise guest animal whose species lives in the rainforest. Week 4: July 5-7
Week 5 - Communicating with Our Pets: JULY 10 - 13 (Monday-Thursday)
Our pets show emotion just like we do, but how? Learn how animals communicate, including our friendly rescue cats and dogs, and some added reptiles. You'll impress your friends and family with the facts you will learn, like what reptile changes colors when it is happy? Week 5: July 10-13
Week 6 - Feral Cats vs Wild Cats: JULY 17 - 20 (Monday-Thursday)
If you have spotted a strange cat in your neighborhood, you may be wondering if it's a feral cat or a stray cat. You may notice, the behavior varies widely between the two. What makes the feral cat different from other wild cats? You'll test your observation skills learning all kinds of exciting facts, and you will know what to do when you see one.
Week 6: July 17-20
Week 7 - Bugs and Insects: JULY 24 - 27 (Monday-Thursday)
Have you ever sat and watched a bug? Thought about their purpose? Grownups tend to be squeamish about creepy-crawly insects, but kids are often naturally fascinated by bugs! Learn the difference between destructive pests and helpful bugs that work to keep bad guys under control. We will tap into kids' natural curiosity.
Week 7: July 24-27
Week 8 - Cats and Dogs: JULY 31 - AUGUST 3 (Monday-Thursday)
At Little critters camp we will learn to be safe around cats and dogs. Learn how to properly introduce yourself to cats. Along the way, we'll do lots of fun art projects and interactive games. Week 8: July 31-August 3
For Kids Entering 3rd-6th grade
Week 1: Exploring Your Backyard June 12 - June 15th (Monday-Thursday)
An introduction to habitats/biomes with a specific emphasis on Sonoma’s local ecology and ecosystems. How can YOU safely/humanely interact with the creatures you encounter in your own backyard? What do you do if you find an injured baby bird? What are those bugs in your garden? These are only a few questions that we will address at our local ecology camp. Campers will also be given the opportunity to meet PLL cats and canines, encouraging conversations about animal care, husbandry, and how to work with animals. Week 1: June 12-15
Week 2: Deserts… in California?!: June 19 - June 22 (Monday-Thursday)
Did you know that there’s life in the desert? What about fish? California’s deserts contain some of the most fascinating insects, plants, and animals in the world, including the “Desert Pupfish” of Devil’s Hole (Death Valley, CA) and Scarab rain beetles with fur (“Fuzzy Bear Beetles”). Campers will take a closer look at the importance of California’s desert ecosystems, and have the opportunity to design their own desert species for one of our ‘hit’ original camp games, “Tectonic Traits.” Documentaries play a huge role in both citizen and formal science practices, and our campers will also team up to create their own desert documentary featuring their created desert-specialized species. Week 2: June 19-22
Week 3: California’s Coasts & More! June 26 - June 29 (Monday-Thursday)
Sonoma is only a short drive from one of the most famous and diverse ecosystems in the world- the California coastline. How can you explore these local habitats? Where can you find the best tidepools? Did you know that Starfish are helping us build robots? These local coasts are home to millions of wonderful creatures, including whales, sharks, fishes, seals, sea slugs, rays, otters, and more! All of these creatures have valuable roles in the marine ecosystems where they live, and our camp will explore everything from why it’s good to be a jellyfish to saving sea turtles.
Week 3: June 26-29
Week 4: Redwoods and Rainforests July 5 - July 7 (Wednesday-Friday)How old is the oldest tree? Did you know that it lives in California? California is home to the largest trees in the world- Coastal Redwoods that tower 300 feet or more. Redwood trees don’t just look beautiful, they serve as “keystone” (valuable) species in their ecosystems, and create specific climates beneath the canopies of their branches. Many endangered bird species call the Redwoods their home, and some salamanders even spend their entire lives in these trees. Our campers will learn about the history of the Redwoods in California, and how they can make a difference in their local ecosystems. Campers will also take a look at one of the most interesting organisms on the planet- mycelium! Mycelium is a root-like structure of a fungus, consisting of a mass of branching ‘threads’, and can be found in nearly every terrestrial environment. It is thought that mycelium (found worldwide) makes up the largest organism in the world (Even larger than the Antarctic Blue Whale). Come learn about, and even meet some of the largest and smallest living things in the world, and what makes them so amazing. Week 4: July 5-7
Week 5: Documentaries and Art in Science July 10 - July 13 (Monday - Thursday)
How can you change the world? It’s a big question, but we all have to start somewhere! Many don’t realize the importance of art and media in the scientific and animal communities. This week’s camp will explore documentary/film-making (both wildlife and domestic). Campers will work together to create documentaries about local wildlife and talk about ways that we can help these critters. Many of our amazing Pets Lifeline Adoptable Animals deserve their time in the spotlight, so campers will also be working to create video documentaries and posters to help our animal friends find their forever homes
Week 5: July 10-13
Week 6: Questions! July 17 - July 20 (Monday - Thursday)
How do you find a shiny beetle? What is an experiment? How can I work with animals? What can I do to make a difference in the world? We all have questions, so let’s explore some! This week’s camp focuses on scientific skills, with an emphasis on critical thinking. Campers will be encouraged to come up with scientific experiments and questions, then will learn how to answer them. One of these experiments includes (safely) growing bacteria colonies based on samples that the campers choose themselves. Campers will be given the opportunity to hypothesize and run their own experiments- just like scientists would in the real world!
Week 6: July 17-20
Week 7: “-ologies” July 24 - 27 (Monday - Thursday)
The world is made up of “-ologies” - Biology, Psychology, Mycology, Entomology, Paleontology, Physiology, and many more. Anyone can participate in these “-ologies”, and this week’s camp will focus on exploring many of them. How can you become an Ecologist? What do you do to become a veterinarian? What about a Marine Biologist? Campers will have a chance to take a closer look at insects (Entomology), learn about the microorganisms around us (Microbiology), and meet rescued reptiles (Herpetology). This is a chance for campers to strengthen their critical thinking skills, and learn to interact with the natural world, all while having fun! Week 7: July 24-27
Week 8: How to “Speak Animal” July 31 - August 3 (Monday - Thursday)
How do you safely approach a dog? How can you interact with your own animals in a way that’s fun for them too? Animal Behavior has a valuable role in our world, and this week’s camp will focus on the importance of understanding the domestic and wild animals around us. Scientists will often sit and watch a specific animal for hours, just to learn how long it sleeps, or how it communicates with others in its group. Even taking the time to understand our dog’s or cat’s behavior and body language can teach us how to have a better understanding/relationship with our animals. Week 8: July 31-Aug 3
Week 9: How to be a “Citizen Scientist” August 7 - 10 (Monday - Thursday)
Do you have to go to college to be a scientist? No! Anyone can be a scientist. Today, we have more tools and opportunities allowing for public participation in science than ever before. Campers will learn to use tools like “iNaturalist” to make observations about the natural world around them and contribute to the Pets Lifeline Natural History Collection. Games will include an iNaturalist scavenger hunt, a “Foraging Game” that teaches about beak sizes, and one of our ‘hit’ original camp games- “Tectonic Traits”- a game that teaches kids to think about the history of our planet and how life has changed over time.
Week 9: Aug 7-10
Week 10: Compassion for the World - August 14 - 17 (Monday - Thursday)
How can you make a difference in your community? Whether it’s solving pollution, sea urchins overrunning kelp forests, or learning to care for and rescue animals- we can all create change. Campers will work together to come up with ‘problems’, and how to solve them! Then, campers will create their own documentaries/mini-movies to highlight their solutions to the problems they want to solve. This camp will also focus on animal care/husbandry, and what it’s like to work with animals as a job/career. Art projects will include making posters for adoptable cats/dogs, and enrichment items for the animals living at Pets Lifeline.