Lessons Learned at Summer Camp

Kids attending your traditional summer camp might return home knowing how to build a fire, paddle in a kayak, or do a back handspring. But kids who attended Camp Kindness at CAS this summer came home with something different: stories of connections they made with farm animals, facts about animals’ lives on factory farms, and the desire to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.

At Camp Kindness, kids care for and spend time with farm animals, cook vegan meals, garden, and learn how to best show compassion towards all living creatures.

Both Richard Wood (11 years old) and Giovanni Gent (9 years old), who attended camp this summer, left Camp Kindness with a deeper compassion for animals and determination to cut animals out of their diet.

“I learned how intelligent the pigs are, pigs like Jangles on the farm, and I don’t want to eat them anymore,” said Richard, who gave up beef two years ago and is now 100% vegetarian after his week at camp. “I also learned about the animals’ lives in factory farms and how most meat we eat is from factory farms. I like really like soy cheese and soy ice cream, so I’ll just eat that instead.” His father said Richard has been experimenting with different kinds of vegetarian sandwiches and that his family fully supports his son’s new diet.

Giovanni, who bonded with Romeo the cow during camp and decided to become a vegetarian, has taken what he learned and shared it with his family and friends. “He tells everyone he meets about where the meat comes from. He knows all the facts, all the statistics, and he is so excited to educate others,” said Giovanni’s grandmother, Stephanie Gent. “Sending him to camp turned out to be a real learning experience for the whole family and Giovanni developed a real closeness to the animals at CAS.”

Betsy Messenger, our Director of Education, said that the camp gives children the opportunity to see that farm animals have feelings and behaviors just like their own. “The children love interacting with the animals and through that interaction form a deeper compassion for creatures many people consider food. They see how individual each animal’s personality is on the farm; that’s an experience many people don’t get in their whole lives. We don’t force a vegan lifestyle on the kids; we just educate them, feed them yummy vegan meals, and let them hang out with farm animals. They connect the dots themselves, and seeing that happen is inspiring.”


Watch a video of the boys’ telling their stories HERE.

Richard Wood chows down on vegan pizza at a Camp Kindess lunch.
Giovanni Gent with rescued horse Star at CAS.



Sanctuary Life