The Summer break has officially kicked off. I am sure by now that most of you mom and dads have figured out what the kiddos are doing for the summer? During the last few weeks I have been doing a lot of research on summer activities and local play locations for children in the East Bay. There is one thing about the bay area, and that is, there is no lack of summer camps for our children, or play areas to go to. The Contra Costa community is incredibly family friendly and has created this abundance of youth programs for children and safe places to play outdoors.
In the process of my research on summer camps, one program in particular stood out to me the most. I’m not sure if you know this but, I am a huge animal lover. I would have a huge farm for free range rescue animals if I could. Which is why the ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) summer program caught my eye. I had never heard of it before and I was excited that they offered a summer program for children and families. The summer programs called Camp ARF for kids is not the only type of program they offer. Other options include, Birthday parties, Scouts and group, All ears reading, Canine courage, School programs, Student projects, Family programs and, Youth volunteering. Its incredible that all these programs are available for our youth community.
Tony La Russa
ARF was founded by the manager Tony La Russa of Oakland Athletics. When a kitty was dashing across the field looking for food, the team Oakland A’S scrambled around the field to collect her. After an exhausting ordeal the team finally coaxed her into the dugout. After the Game in 1990 Mr. La Russa and his wife Elaine took this kitty under their wings after the game with the hope to find a “safe haven” for her. Their search for a home for Evie the kitty led their huge love and advocacy for animals into starting ARF. A rescue program for dogs and cats with a no option to be euthanized.
The Impact Animals Have On Children
There are a huge amount of studies of the positive impact on children with pets living in their home. These impacts include, teaching children empathy and help reduce anxiety. When a child has a pet living in their home it gives the child an opportunity to have nonjudgmental being to communicate with, also teaching a child to love unconditionally. A pet does not necessarily have to be a dog or cat. Other types of great in home pets may include ducks, rodents, rabbits, and horses. I recently read an article which of course led me to a study on the positive impact animals can have on children. The world can be a scary place for them. As parents we can’t help to think why our children are being put into these scary situations? How do we help our children through these situations if they occur? How do we prevent them from happening? Could having a pet in your home help a child’s emotional well being, or help the world be a less scary place? It can create an opportunity to teach a child how to communicate, or find an outlet if they have anxiety. Having a bunny may help a child who needs stress reduction, or even just needs a sense of unconditional love? Interesting situations to think about. If you are not in the position to have a pet in your home, there is also the option to visit a place like ARF or the humane society, to give your child the opportunity to bond with animals.
ARF Summer Camp
Keeping all that information in mind. If you still have some weeks your are looking to fill for the kiddos, consider ARF. With so many reasons on why animals can positively impact your children. You can also help ARF save our cats and dogs. This also gives these animals the attention they deserve from children in the program. There is no question this summer program all around is a fantastic choice.
Some things to help you consider ARF are: They have options for all ages. With age groups split up by grades in school. Groups include grade TK-K, grade 1-2, grade 3-5, grade 6-8, grade 9-12. ARF also has an option for Scholarship and financial aid. You can find the form on AFRs website.
Happy Summer Families