Brooks animal sanctuary offers educational camp for kids

Published: Aug. 19, 2019 at 6:54 PM EDT
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An animal sanctuary in Brooks is using hands-on education to connect with kids this summer.

"Peace Ridge was started in 2001. We're one of the biggest animal shelters in New England. We specialize in farm and equines which is a population of animals that doesn't usually enjoy the help that they need," says Daniella Tessier, Founder and Executive Director.

At the sanctuary in Brooks, it's their mission to provide the animals that have been neglected and abused with a home where they feel safe and get all the love and care they need.

"Another important part of our mission is education and outreach," says Melissa Andrews, Director of Development and Humane Education.

Now, they're doing something a little different here. They're giving kids the opportunity to come see what they do on a daily basis at a new day camp.

"Well, we love animals, and we love kids, so you put the two together, and it makes for a fun day. What we really want to do is include some of the kids from the community. Kids mostly who really love animals, who want to learn a little more about how to take care of them as well as the issues that those animals face in our society as far as their welfare goes," says Tessier.

Kids ages eight to twelve years old get to spend the week doing lots of different activities right at the sanctuary.

"It's a really great opportunity for kids who care about the planet and care about the animals and care about different people to come and connect," says Tessier.

Campers get a hands-on experience. Goat treats and hugs, of course, are included.

"The education we're providing is really giving them the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of the animal and not just the way that we see them," says Tessier.

"A camp for people who care about animals and just want to learn more about them," says Tatum Cousins, a camper from Hampden.

"I think it's great. I think that if you love animals and you like to pet goats, then come here," says Colton Webber, a camper from Veazie.

"Animals are so much more than what we're taught that they are that relationships with animals can and should be much deeper than how they usually are in our society and there's always more than meets the eye," says Tessier.