Special to Iredell Free News

Parents of preschoolers to eighth-grade students can now register their children for Rescue Ranch’s 2022 Critter Camps, daily spring and daily/one-week summer camp sessions offering hands-on educational experiences with animal interactions.

Critter Camps are designed to be fun, educational camp experiences for children who love animals. All camps involve daily interaction with animals, games, crafts and STEM activities. Campers will learn how to care for animals, provide enrichment, and to promote humane animal care to others.

In addition, campers will explore the Ranch’s walking trails and have access to the 10,000-square-foot inclusive Earnhardt Family playground.

Assisting with each camp session are Rescue Ranch’s 79 permanent residents and animal ambassadors that include steer, turkeys, miniature horses, potbellied pigs, a variety of parrots, ferrets, rabbits, snakes, lizards, tortoises and more.

The 2022 Critter Camp schedule is as follows:

Spring Break

For kindergarten through fifth-grade students, the spring break session is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $43 per day or $200 per child, per week, March 7-11.

♦ Animal Engineers –This week campers will learn what engineering is, what animals are engineers and attempt to engineer their own animal. Campers will play games, complete STEM activities and have hands on animal interactions.

To register for the Spring Break Critter Camp, visit rescueranch.com/programs/camps/.

Summer Camp

For preschool children ages 4 or 5, there is one session available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

♦ Animal Alphabeteers – Campers will learn about the alphabet with animals. They will also learn about shapes, colors, letters and numbers through crafts, games and exploration. The cost is $110 per child, per four-day session. Dates: June 6-9.

For children entering kindergarten through fifth grade, there are seven themed, weekly and daily sessions available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

♦ Animal Archaeology – Campers will learn about animals throughout history. They will learn how animals were discovered, where mythological animals came from, and what it takes to discover an animal. The cost is $210 per child, per five-day session. Dates are June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27- July 1 and July 6-8 ($45 per day for this session).

Are You Smarter than a Pot-Belly Pig? – It’s not just dogs who can be trained to do tricks. Campers will learn about all the amazing things that animals are capable of doing. The cost is $210 per child, per five-day session. Dates: July 25-29, August 1-5, and August 8-12.

For students entering sixth through eighth grade, there is one themed weeklong session from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Animal Careers – From veterinarians and zookeepers to wildlife rehabilitators, campers will learn about different careers for animal lovers. The cost is $210 per child, per week. Dates: July 18-22.

For campers with special needs, entering first through sixth grade, there is one weeklong, half-day, sessions available from 9 a.m. to noon.

Animal Alphabeteers – Campers will learn about the alphabet with animals. They will also learn about shapes, colors, letters and numbers through crafts, games and exploration. The cost is $25 per child, per week. No additional discounts are available this week as the cost has been reduced thanks to donor support. Dates: July 11 – July 15.

These sessions are open to children with disabilities including but not limited to, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other special needs that require more supervision and a smaller group setting in order to have a successful camp experience. This camp is taught by certified teachers with exceptional children experience who are first aid and CPR certified. This camp will have a 3 to 1 ratio of kids to adults with junior counselors to assist. All abilities welcome.

To register for this session, contact Allyson Floyd at (704) 768-0909 or at education@rescueranch.com.


A 10 percent discount applies for any preschool, elementary or middle school Summer Critter Camp if registered by March 15 or a 5 percent discount if registered by May 1. Also available is a $10 sibling discount when registered together. For some sessions, extended care is available from 8 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 5:30 p.m. for $15 per day.


Registration will remain open as long as space is available. For more information on Rescue Ranch’s Critter Camps or to register, visit rescueranch.com/programs/camps/. Payment plans and partial scholarships are available.

About Rescue Ranch

Rescue Ranch is a nonprofit animal welfare organization founded by Krissie Newman and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman. The 87-acre facility offers school, Scout and camp programs, birthday parties and private tours, which promote humane education through hands-on learning. Rescue Ranch is located in Statesville.