Monday, 2 September 2013

Baark! Sponsors Kids Summer Camp

On Monday 28th July I made my way to East St at 8 am to meet a group of children for the first time. These kids had got to know the Operation Potcake volunteers in January, when they held the clinic at the Junkanoo Music Makers shack on Fowler St. Luckily a resident spotted us and helped myself and Tali round all the kids up. Tali, who was an original East St Operation Potcake volunteer, had recruited the kids the week before. We then boarded a mini bus and drove the short distance to the Humane Society.

From the outset, the children were all very well behaved and listened well, despite being very excited! The older ones would look out for the younger ones and correct them if they thought it necessary. Their ages ranged from 6 to 13. This was to be the pattern every day, however, we did have some new faces join us during the week and others who didn’t show up for the whole week. The kids told me about one boy, who came on Monday and Tuesday, when he didn’t show up on Wednesday I enquired if anyone knew why. It transpired he was being punished by his mother for stealing  $10. The next day they told me he was seen setting off firecrackers behind the Surrey horses that were kept in their neighbourhood. I was saddened by this news and wondered why he would do that after attending two days of the camp, where the children learn about being kind, considerate and respectful towards animals. I considered whether if he had attended the full week, whether it may have influenced his future behaviour? And whether his mother realized that there may have been longer term consequences of keeping him home instead of letting him attend camp, when it came to his treatment of animals.

Anyway, there were 13 children who consistently attended the whole week and you knew by talking to them that they were aware of what was right and wrong when it came to the correct treatment and care of animals. What you can only hope, after spending a week educating them and leading by example, is that when the opportunity presents itself, they make the right choices and treat others as you would have yourself treated, our mantra for the week.

The children were a joy to spend time with and they were certainly very appreciative of all the yummy snacks of Go Ahead Cookies and Jumex Juices. Lunches that were generously provided by KFC, Chive Café, Goodfellow Farms, Subway and on Friday we took the kids to Sbarro for pizza! In fact we would look forward to lunch time, as it was when the children were at their quietest with their mouths otherwise occupied! Some of them even got the chance to try home made lasagna for the first time, putting away way more food than we imagined physically possible!!

During their time at the Humane Society, they watched videos and took part in many discussions regarding the animals that we share the planet with. Then they got the opportunity to put their new found knowledge into practice around the shelter, walking the dogs every day, grooming horses, bathing puppies and adult dogs, playing with kittens and cats and feeding ducks and rabbits. They even got an opportunity to make their own individual cat toy, an activity that they approached with great gusto and creativity! Our BHS hosts for the week were Donna, Caroline and Linda, with other volunteers helping out, including a young man called Calvin from British Columbia, Canada, who was on vacation in the Bahamas visiting family and chose to spend his week helping us out! On the last day we gave all the kids an 'Animals are our Friends" T-shirt and a fun bag containing lots of animal goodies and educational products to help them continue learning about animal care as they returned home.

It was definitely a worthwhile venture, making a difference in the lives of those children, to hopefully be advocates for animal welfare in their communities and amongst their peers. Custom Computers, Think Simple, PIC Insurance, Micronet and NUA Insurance contributed to camp fees. We hope to repeat this annually, with the continued support of all our sponsors and private donors, without whom none of this would be possible.

By Shelley Hardman,
Baark Volunteer

Please spay and neuter your pets.

By ensuring your animal cannot produce more litters you are saving lives and decreasing the suffering of unwanted animals.  Please consider donating or helping with Baark!’s efforts to improve animal welfare in the Bahamas.

For more information contact us at or (427-SPAY)

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