Educational Day Camps for Youth

OHS offers educational summer day camps for youth in grades 3-7. For teens in grades 8-12, we offer the opportunity to be a summer camp counselor. Campers and counselors enjoy a variety of presentations and hands-on learning opportunities about animal care and more.


The 2017 Summer Camp lottery application is now open. Apply here » 

Dates & Deadlines

Apply between January 4 – February 26, 2017.

Camp Lottery Registration Here »

Camper Notification: 2017 campers will be notified by March 6.

Camp Counselor Application Here »

Camp Counselor Notification: 2017 camp counselors will be notified by March 20.

Payment Deadlines: Camper payment from those drawn in the lottery must be received by the Oregon Humane Society no later than March 31. Payment forms will be sent out when the lottery selections are completed.

Camp Counselor payment for those selected must be received by the Oregon Humane Society no later than April 14. Payment forms will be sent out when camp counselor selections are complete.

2017 OHS Summer Camp Schedule

Each camp listed below runs from 9:30 am to 4 pm.

Dates Camp Sessions Grade Levels Cost
June 19-22 Camp Counselor Training I Grades 8-12 $100
June 26-29 Camp Counselor Training II Grades 8-12 $100
July 10-14 Shelter Buddies Camp Grades 3-4 $275
July 17-21 Shelter Friends I Camp Grades 4-5 $275
July 24-28 Shelter Friends II Camp Grades 5-6 $275
July 31 to Aug. 4 Shelter Friends III Camp Grades 5-6 $275
Aug. 7-11 Shelter Advocates I Camp Grades 6-7 $275
Aug. 14-18 Shelter Advocates II Camp Grades 6-7 $275

What Campers Do: Sample Day Schedule

A typical day at OHS summer camp includes a morning, mid-day and an afternoon session. For example: morning presentations; mid-day animal time, a craft, and lunch; one afternoon presentation and a game. Presentations cover a variety of animal- and shelter-related topics and often include visits from animals.

Sample Day

Time • Activity

9:30-10 am • Animal Story/Video & Small Animal Garden Time
10-10:45 am • Humane Investigations Presentation
10:45-11 am • BREAK
11-11:15 am • Game
11:15 am-12 pm • Rabbits Just Like Us Presentation
12-2 pm • Rotate through four activities – 30 minutes each with shelter dogs, cats/small animals, lunch, crafts
2-2:45 pm • Shelter Medicine Presentation
2:45-3 pm • Snack
3-3:15 pm • Group Picture
3:15-3:45 pm • Game
3:45-4 pm Clean-up and Goodbye

2017 Summer Camp Lottery

Lottery applications now open! Enter here »

The camp application process for campers entering grades 3-7 in the fall of 2017 will again be conducted by lottery. After the closing date we will hold one lottery for each of the following camp groups:

3rd/4th grade campers (Shelter Buddies)
4th/5th grade campers (Shelter Friends I)
5th/6th grade campers (Shelter Friends II & III)
6th/7th grade campers (Shelter Advocates I & II)

Bring-a-Friend Option

We understand that camp is often more enjoyable when campers attend with a friend, plus we want to encourage carpooling as much as possible. For these reasons we are offering the bring-a-friend option. Applicants who wish to attend with a friend must list that person on their camp application. Both applicants must list the other as their bring-a-friend choice. If an applicant is chosen to attend camp and has listed a friend to bring, both will be given a place in camp.

Family Registrations

Families with more than one potential camper per camp session need to send in individual applications for each child. If one child is chosen in the lottery, they can either exercise the bring-a-friend option or choose to have their sibling(s) attend with them.

Notification of Selection

Please do not call to see if your child was selected to attend camp. Parents of the children whose names were drawn in the lottery to attend one of the camp sessions will be contacted by email by March 6.

Lottery selection and additional information will be sent out electronically via email, so you must have a valid email address. Campers not selected in the lottery will also receive email notification.

Payment must be received no later than March 31. If you have questions regarding the lottery or camp in general, please contact Humane Educator Barb Cushway.

Campers (Grades 3-7)

The OHS Summer Day Camps are designed to give young people (in grades 3-7) educational and hands-on experience with the shelter animals, along with increasing their understanding and awareness of the role that they can have as ambassadors for the animals.

Campers are involved with the socializing, training, and providing enrichment activities for OHS pets. In addition, they have discussions with guest speakers who work with animals, including dog trainers, OHS Humane Investigations staff, the Reptile Man, and others. A unique camp t-shirt and daily snack are provided.

Scholarships for Campers

Applications are available for partial scholarships. These are awarded based on financial need. Please submit the completed scholarship application along with your camp application form by the registration deadline. Scholarship application form »

If you are interested in contributing to the camp scholarship fund, please email Barb Cushway.

Camp Counselor Training

Camp Counselor Application Here »

Camp Counselor Training is designed for youth who are going into grades 8-12 in the fall of 2017. Camp Counselors attend a leadership training camp session (details below) and are then asked to assist at one or two other camp sessions during the summer.

All 2017 Camp Counselors must be in attendance for every day of their training sessions and must be present for the entire day.

There are two options for Camp Counselor Training. You will be asked to choose your session from those below:

Dates Training Sessions Cost
June 19-22 Camp Counselor Training I $100
June 26-29 Camp Counselor Training II $100

Attention New OHS Camp Counselor Applicants

You MUST attend one of two Camp Counselor Preview Nights as a part of our selection process. Please be sure to mark on your application which option you prefer:

Preview Night Date Time
1  Monday March 13 4:30-6 pm
2  Wednesday March 15 4:30-6 pm

If you’re thinking about becoming a camp counselor, ask yourself if you:

  • Want to further your leadership training
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Enjoy working with kids
  • Are committed to ensuring the safety of the animals and younger campers
  • Have the energy and drive to last all day
  • Are willing to participate in activities with kids (not just stand on the sidelines)
  • Love to have fun!

Successful applicants will be notified of selection by March 20.

Camp counselor selection is not done on a lottery basis, but rather on the merit of the application and an informal interview process during the Preview Night.

Payment must be received no later than April 14. If you have questions regarding the lottery or camp in general, please contact Humane Educator Barb Cushway.

Scholarships for Counselors

Partial scholarships are available for camp counselors and are awarded based on financial need. Please submit the completed scholarship application along with your camp counselor application form. Scholarship application form »

If you are interested in contributing to the camp scholarship fund, please email Barb Cushway.

Camp FAQ

What time should I arrive?

Camp runs from Monday through Friday, from 9:30 am to 4 pm. Please arrive no earlier than 9:20 am and plan to be picked up at 4 pm. It is very important that campers be picked up on time because we do not have facilities or staff to supervise children after camp is over. When camp counselors return to volunteer during their two camp sessions, they will arrive at 9 am.

Where does camp happen?

Camp takes place at OHS (1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland) in the Education Hall.

Do I need to be there every day?

We hope so! Some camp activities will build on ones from previous days, so you might miss out on something important if you miss too much time. If you need to miss a day, just let us know.

What will we do during the week?

Animals, animals, animals! We’ll talk about many different kinds of animals and how we relate to them in our world. We will do a variety of activities, crafts, projects, and games. We will also have some interesting guest speakers.

Will we get to meet any real animals?

Yes! You will meet cats, dogs, rabbits and rodents at camp. You will get a chance to hang out with shelter animals and give them some love. We will have some other animal visitors, too.

What should I bring with me?

Bring a lunch and water bottle every day. A healthy afternoon snack will be provided. If your child has special dietary needs, you may want to pack a snack for them.

What should I wear?

You should wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You never know when a dog will drool on you or a cat will shed some fur on your shirt. You must wear long pants and closed-toed shoes every day.