Education

Camp Pawsome

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Camp Pawsome

Camp Pawsome, located at the Houston Humane Society, is an animal-focused day camp for children ages 7-12.  Since 2001, we have offered a unique blend of fun activities, hands-on learning, and valuable life lessons centered around compassion, empathy, and responsible pet ownership. Visiting with the animals at our shelter is a highlight for campers and keeps them coming back!
spring-break-camp-flyer
 

Junior Counselor Positions Open for Camp Pawsome!

Camp Pawsome is back for Spring Break, and we are looking to fill junior counselor positions!
 
The job of these young animal advocates is to serve as role models to campers and to assist staff with tasks and camp activities. This volunteer opportunity has been designed to foster skills in areas such as leadership, animal handling, personal accountability, and communication.
 
Need volunteer hours? Being a Junior Camp Counselor is a great way to achieve all those required hours for school!
 
Age Requirement: 14 and up
 
 Application Process:
  • Fill out the application.
  • Receive confirmation of acceptance from Camp Director.
  • Attend one of the Camp Counseling Trainings dates.
  • Attend HHS Volunteer Training (If not already an HHS volunteer.)
Key Dates
Spring Break Camp: Monday, March 11-Friday, March 15 9 AM-3 PM
 
Camp Counseling Training: Friday, March 8; 4-5:30 PM or
Camp Counseling Training: Saturday, March 9; 12:30-2 PM
 
HHS Volunteer Training: Saturday, March 9; 2-4 PM
 
Junior Counselors need to attend one of the Camp Counseling Training dates and the HHS Volunteer Training.
 
 

Camp Pawsome FAQs

If you would like to added to the Camp Pawsome email list, sign up here: Camp Pawsome Email List
 
Who can attend Camp Pawsome?
Camp Pawsome is open to children ages 7 to 12.
 
Where is Camp Pawsome held?
Camp is located at the Houston Humane Society Animal Shelter at 14700 Almeda Rd. Houston, TX 77053. Camp will take place both indoors and outdoors, so please dress accordingly.
 
How many campers are there per session?
We currently accept 24 campers per session. Register as soon as possible to ensure your child’s spot!
 
Do you provide lunch?
No. Campers should bring lunch to camp. We will provide two snacks per day and water.
 
What should we bring?
Campers should bring their lunches, a water bottle, a jacket, and wear closed-toed shoes and pants.
 
How much time should I expect my child to spend with the animals at the shelter?
Our campers should expect to spend approximately 2 hours per day with our shelter animals. We have found this to be ideal for the well-being of our shelter pets. In addition, we will also have our HHS Mascot animals to visit with the campers throughout the day.
 
Do you offer scholarships or financial aid to attend camp?
Yes. Send an email to camp@houstonhumane.org to request a scholarship application, or for more information.
 
What COVID precautions are in place?
We encourage campers to follow CDC guidelines. Masks are welcomed, but not required.
 
What does a typical day at Camp Pawsome look like?
Each day will feature lessons or a speaker that connects to animal science or welfare. In addition, each day will feature two 1-hour long animal socialization times where campers can choose between cats, small dogs, large dogs, or mini-mammals, games, a craft, 2 snacks during the day, and character building discussions.
 
Can we accommodate campers with special needs?
Yes, we can. Parents and guardians of children who require one-on-one assistance in school will need to provide a one-to-one aide at Camp Pawsome.
 
We appreciate having as much information as possible to ensure safety and a great experience for every camper.
 
If you have any questions about your child being at our camp, please call our humane education department at 713-341-3339 or email us at camp@houstonhumane.org.
 
My child is a very active, rough and tumble, exuberant kid. Is this a good camp for them?
While many camps provide opportunities for active and rough and tumble play, Camp Pawsome is not well equipped to provide needs for large motor activities, and we spend the majority of the day indoors. If your child is looking for an active camp, this may not be for them.
 
Will There Be a Waitlist After A Session Reaches Capacity?
Yes. Please send an email to camp@houstonhumane.org with your camper's name, the session you are choosing, the parent/guardian name, and a phone number.
 
Why didn’t I receive a confirmation email?
A registration confirmation email will be to the email address you used to apply. Occasionally our emails will be flagged as an unknown sender/spam. Please make sure to check your spam folder if you don’t receive a confirmation message shortly after completing registration. It is also a good idea to add camp@houstonhumane.org to your email account’s trusted senders list.
 
Can I register my child for more than one week of Camp Pawsome?
For winter and spring break camps, we only allow one registration per camper. Summer Camp Pawsome is able to allow multiple registrations as space allows.
 
All of the sessions are full. Will you be adding more camp sessions?
Unfortunately, we do not have the available space or staff required to offer additional camp sessions. You may add your child to the waitlist for your desired camp session, and a HHS staff member will contact you if a spot opens up.
 
How does your waitlist work?
We experience a high demand for our camps each year, and we know that not everyone will get into their first choice, or even into a camp at all.  Our waitlists can be very long, and we ask for patience as we work our way through filling openings and changing registrations. You will be contacted by HHS staff if a spot opens up that you are waitlisted for.
 
My child would like to attend camp with a friend. Will they always be grouped together?
Each camp day includes activities for the full group as well as small groups. Campers who attend with friends will have plenty of opportunities to be together, but we do not guarantee that they will do every activity together.
 
What’s included in the camp registration fee?
Your camp registration fee includes all materials and activities completed throughout your week at camp. In addition, a camp t-shirt will be provided. Campers are required to bring their own water bottle and lunch every day.
 

CAMP PAWSOME POLICIES

Camp Pawsome Cancellation Policy
Cancellations made 14 days or more before the start of a camp session will be refunded, less a $50 administration fee per registration.
 
Cancellations made fewer than 14 days prior to the start of a camp session will not be refunded. All cancellations must be in writing and sent to camp@houstonhumane.org.
 
If you know your child will not be attending, please let us know so we can reach out to our waitlist.
 
As for unforeseen circumstances, we can discuss as the situation arises.
 
Note: If a camp or program session is canceled by HHS, all registration fees will be refunded in full.
 
Registration fees for Camp Pawsome are non-transferable.
 
Check-in and Check-Out Policy
Campers must be checked in by a parent or guardian daily before the program start time and promptly at the end of camp. Camp Pawsome staff will meet you at the Audrey Jones Beck Adoption Center doors to check-in. Please park and come inside to drop off and pick up your child.
 
Health Policy
Signs of illness: Please monitor your child for signs of illness and keep them home when ill. Participants with symptoms of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and gastrointestinal infections should stay home.
 
Illness while at camp: If a participant does not feel well at camp, the camper’s parent/guardian will be called and required to pick them up early. We ask that parents/guardians be available by phone during camp time.
 
Allergies: The Houston Humane Society is not a nut-free environment. Cat or dog allergies should be mentioned beforehand to protect from allergic reactions. Epipens should be with the camper at all times.
 
Medications: Unless it’s an epipen, Houston Humane Society staff are unable to hold, store, or administer medications for campers. Because of this policy, campers will need to be capable of self-administering medications. Camp staff are willing and able to give reminders to participants with a known medication schedule. 
 
Participant Behavior Policy
In order to make the experience of our programs a positive one for all campers and staff, we have established the following policy to manage chronic behavior incidents, camp disruptions, and/or safety issues:
  • Camp staff will document chronic behavioral or disruptive incidents during the camp day. If staff document multiple incidents involving disruption of the whole group, including ongoing verbal abuse or inappropriate language, or refusal to follow camp counselor’s directions, a parent or guardian will be contacted.
  • If camp staff notes one behavior incident in which a camper endangers themselves, other campers, staff, or shelter animals, a parent or guardian will be contacted. Any incidence of fighting or physical violence, including using an object as a weapon, will result in immediate dismissal.
  • We will support your child the best way we can to make camp as successful as possible. However, campers who are consistently unable to follow our behavior guidelines after parent/guardian contact has been made, may be asked to leave for the day or dismissed for the remainder of the camp session.
  • No refunds will be available to campers who are dismissed for behavioral reasons.
Inclusion
At HHS, we strive to include as many people as possible in our mission to strengthen the bond between animals and the humans who love them.  We understand that our campers have different needs, and we try to help every camper have the best experience possible in our programs.  During registration, please include as much information as possible regarding helpful information, strategies, or accommodation requests you may have for your child.
 
While we have the desire to accommodate every need, it is important for us to be upfront about our limitations as a staff: we do not currently have the capacity to offer 1:1 camper-staff support. Also, while our staff includes many skilled youth workers, we are not mental health professionals, nor are we licensed in special education.
 
Cell Phone Use
We will permit campers to use their phones at the following times during the day: snack time, lunch, animal visit times (photos only), and for specific activities as directed by a camp counselor. At other times, there will be signage alerting campers to put their cell phones away. We encourage campers to keep phones put away so they can explore the real world around them, get to know their fellow campers, and practice patience.
 

PREPARING FOR CAMP

Lunch and Water
Campers need to bring a lunch and water bottle each day. There will be no access to refrigeration or vending machines.
 
Animals
One of the most exciting parts of HHS Camp Pawsome is interacting with animals!  Most direct animal interactions will be with our animal mascots, our mini mammals, cats and kittens, dogs, and the occasional farm animal. A lot depends on what animals we have in residence the week your child is at camp, and that is something we never really know about ahead of time.
 
What to Wear and Bring to Camp
  • Clothing that is appropriate for active, sometimes messy activities. Campers will be provided a Camp Pawsome t-shirt which should be worn on Friday. Camp activities will proceed rain or shine, so bring weather appropriate clothing as needed.
  • Athletic or closed-toed shoes are required. For safety reasons, campers wearing sandals or crocs will not be able to participate in some activities.
  • Bring a lunch, including beverages, each day as needed.
  • Refrigeration is not available nor are vending machines.
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen as needed. Campers are responsible for bringing and applying their own sunscreen.
  • We encourage you to label any clothing item such as hats, jackets, mittens, etc. that can be easily misplaced.
  • Medications (please see medication policy), Campers are responsible for keeping it in their possession and administering their medications.
What Not to Bring
We discourage campers from bringing anything of value to camp. This includes money, toys, cell phones (see cell phone policy), etc.
 
The Houston Humane Society is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen equipment brought from home. Please label all personal items with your child’s name.
 
Campers should not bring weapons, drugs, or alcohol. If this occurs, the parent/guardian will be contacted for immediate pick up and camper dismissal without a refund.