Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dog Camp!

What is Dog Camp?
Awesome
What do we do at camp?
Everything
Who is camp for?
The best kids in the world
Why should we come to camp?
Because it is awesome
But I’m not a teenager and camp sounds fun! Can I come to camp?
Eventually...
Who teaches camp?
Some people who started shovel (our endearing term for all of our projects) collecting at a very young age and haven’t learned their lesson yet…
OH… You wanted REAL ANSWERS?!

What is Dog Camp?
Dog Camp (previously known by its long name: The Ohio 4-H Teen Dog Experience) is an overnight camp where teenagers and their dogs spend three nights and four days having an awesome time while learning about training, leadership, and teaching skills.

What do we do at camp?
The short answer is a little bit of everything. The longer answer is that we do a wide range of dog activities including everything from flyball and agility to nosework and obedience so there is something for every dog and camper and ample opportunity to increase positive reinforcement based training skills. We also have sessions on becoming a more effective teacher or people trainer where campers get to practice teaching in a low stress and positive environment. As if that wasn’t enough stuff already, we also manage to squeeze in more “normal” camp activities with a dog twist including scavenger hunts, cookouts, and crafts.

Who is camp for?
Camp is for the teenage dog enthusiast! We have one camp just for 4-H members, and another camp for any teenager! If spending four days playing with and learning about dogs and dog training sounds like your idea of heaven, you will love camp. It is the perfect place to learn about science-based training, get the opportunity to refine your training skills, and see improvement in your bond with your dog.  Also, we spend time at camp discussing animal based careers and our staff are involved in a wide variety of animal-based activities so it is the perfect place to explore interesting paths your life can take with animals.

Why should we come to camp?
Ask any former camper and they will tell you that you should come to camp because you have to experience it to fully appreciate just how much fun it is! You get the opportunity to meet “dog-crazy” kids from all over the state and spend four days where no one will roll their eyes because you are talking about how adorable your dog is AGAIN. These friendships you form at camp will last long after you have left camp and you will always know you have their support whether or not you get to meet up with them at your next dog event.

But I’m not a teenager and camp sounds fun! Can I come to camp?
Eventually! Right now we only have camp for teenagers, but we are looking into having camps for adults in the future.  Be sure to let us know if you are indeed interested in coming to an adult camp because the more interest we get in having a camp, the faster we are likely to pursue it. In our opinion, camp is WAY more fun than a trial (though we might be a bit biased!)

Who teaches camp?
We aren’t going to hide the truth from you, our directors aren’t experts in competition sports (although one of our instructors has her C-ATCH and another has a highly ranked flyball Golden…) but they are indeed experts in dog training, camps, teaching teenagers, and having fun. Also, everyone who has teaching responsibilities at camp has proven themselves to be a competent and effective teacher by obtaining a TAGteach certification. Our directors are one of only a few Level 2 Certified TAGteachers and all of our staff hold at least a Primary Level certification. They have been running camp for over 7 years, teach a variety of “interesting” classes (everything from parkour to outdoor adventures) and one of them is a licensed veterinarian who works with animals who have behavior problems. Needless to say, if it is a unique dog experience, they have you covered!