Is magic created when children learn to care for animals?  Perhaps so – in The Powerful Bond Between People and Pets, Psychologist Elizabeth Anderson wrote, “Nothing less than alchemy is involved when animals and children get together, and the resulting magic has healing properties that work well.”

Camps in the Rockies connect children with horses, dogs, cats and other critters. Studies indicate that these camps promote health and fitness, improve social skills and build relationships, teach self-discipline and problem solving while boosting self-confidence and well-being. Besides, they’re fun!

Kids & Critters Camp, Longmont Humane Society
The Longmont Humane Society’s half-day mini camps promote development of safe animal-handling skills, encourage careers with animals and teach kids 7 to 12 years old to help animals in the community. Campers expand their knowledge of animal care, welfare and safety through interactive animal-themed games, activities and guest presentations. Limited space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Summer Camp 2020 sessions are Monday through Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sesssions are June 8-10, June 15-17, June 22-24 and June 29-July 1.

Triple Creek Ranch, Longmont
Triple Creek Ranch is a beautiful 64-acre facility in Longmont at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  The Horsemanship Camps are for the beginner or returning campers with limited experience with horses. Campers explore different types of riding, English, western, bareback, games and trail riding. Each day features a different horse-related activity including dress up, painting horses, mini horses and more. Sessions are June 8-12, June 22-26, July 13-17, July 27-31 and Aug 3-7. The Eventing Boot Camps are four-day intensive camp for experienced youth riders who are ready to explore eventing or improving their riding skills no matter what discipline they ride. This challenging camp is open to riders who have started over cross rail fences and have control at the walk, trot, and canter. Sessions are June 15-19 and July 6-10.

Running Wolf Riding Center, Broomfield
Running Wolf Riding Center is dedicated to clients, their safety and their ambitions. The whole family can enjoy a safe and wholesome experience in both English and Western riding disciplines. Camp is June through August with half-day horse and art programs for ages 5 to 15. Students will learn everything from the ground up, such as the care of horses, feeding, first aid, grooming and riding skills. There is one formal lesson per day. Trail rides are included one day a week.

By Linda Thorsen Bond, Raised in the Rockies