MAY 16, 2012

Animals with Scales and Tails focus of unique kids’ camp

Phoenix Herpetological Society offers serious learning and fun with reptile encounters
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phoenix herpetological societySCOTTSDALE –  Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS) is offering a week-long adventure for youth ages 9 to 14 with a strong interest in wildlife, particularly reptiles, this summer.

Campers will explore the fascinating world of reptiles and efforts to conserve Arizona’s deserts, while working alongside herpetology experts.  PHS’ Reptile Encounters Summer Camp offers four Junior Camp sessions and five Advanced Camp sessions tailored to two age groups:

Junior (ages 9 to 11) – Weeks of May 28, June 11, June 25 and July 16
Advanced (ages 12 to 14) – Weeks of June 4, June 18, July 9, July 23 and July 30

Times: Sessions are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Herpetological Society sanctuary - North Scottsdale (near Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road)
Cost: $275 per person, per session

Program fees include a camp T-shirt, water bottle, class and lab supplies, and healthy morning and afternoon snacks. Campers must supply their own lunches and drinks.

The PHS Reptile Encounters Summer Camp combines unique classroom and field sessions, including hands-on activities teaching the importance of co-existence with all animals, and respect and responsibility for often misunderstood reptiles. Through up-close encounters with a variety of  animals (more than 1,400 onsite), campers discover the impact reptiles have in our desert as well as our planet – such as why we need them, and what our world would be like without them.

“Since PHS is a working sanctuary and rehabilitation facility, incoming animals that have been surrendered, rescued, relocated or need emergency treatment become teaching opportunities,” says Wendy Cassidy of PHS. “Experiencing first-hand the conditions that some of these animals arrive in makes a big impact on campers. Observing the importance of quick assessment and treatment of an injured animal or the compassion we show toward a reptile owner forced to surrender his long-time pet are real-life situations that occur at the sanctuary.”

Campers receive a Field Journal on the first day and learn to record data and observations like a real field biologist. Typical weekly activities include: daily animal care and maintenance, food preparation and feeding, observing veterinary procedures and techniques (including dissection), collecting and comparing research data, live animal programs and desert exploration.

Guest speakers from Arizona Game and Fish Department and other wildlife rescue organizations in the state will visit and share their experiences and knowledge as wildlife educators. 

Space is limited and age requirements are firm, in order to make the most of each camper’s experience.

For more information and to register online, go to, and click on the Reptile Encounters link on the home page.