Renewed partnership helps kids connect with nature, explore animal-related careers
With spring just around the corner, Northwest campers should be prepared for encounters with black bears, cougars and bobcats — not to mention sea otters, elephants and giraffes. The Oregon Zoo's popular spring break camps return March 25-29, and summer camps start June 17.
Banfield Pet Hospital renewed its year-round commitment to the zoo as a signature partner and is once again the presenting sponsor for zoo camps, including the popular Wildlife Careers and Creature Care camps, both of which feature visits from Banfield veterinary team members.
"Banfield's partnership with the zoo is helping to provide exciting and inspiring educational opportunities for kids from around the region," said Grant Spickelmier, zoo education curator. "Together, we are committed to developing the next generation of leaders in animal care and wildlife conservation."
Camp activities — specifically planned for the interests of each age group — include games, tours, stories, songs, animal visitors and take-home art projects inspired by the day's theme. Campers will also get to try out scientific technologies like thermal imaging, temperature and light sensors, and video microscopes. At the Wildlife Careers and Creature Care camps, Banfield veterinarians help kids explore animal-related careers and teach them about veterinary care and responsible pet ownership.
The zoo's professional camp staff has been helping children explore the wonders of wildlife through fun, hands-on learning since 1983. Staff members are selected for excellence in programming for children and typically have also worked for public schools, OMSI, Outdoor School or Audubon. Most are college graduates or are working on a degree, and many return year after year.
About Banfield Pet Hospital:
Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield is the largest general-veterinary practice in the world. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc., family of businesses, and today has more than 1,000 hospitals across the United States. More than 3,500 Banfield veterinarians are committed to providing high-quality veterinary care for 3 million pets annually. Banfield's charitable arm, the Banfield Foundation, was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of pets and communities. In 2017, Banfield Pet Hospital — including the work of the Banfield Foundation — was named among Points of Light's Civic 50 as one of the most community-minded companies in the U.S.