The animals play a big part in Three Circles Foundation day camps, and there is a wide range of animals with which our young men can interact. This cast of characters includes horses, dogs, goats and cats. We believe that the interactions the young men have with the animals often makes significant contributions to their overall camp experience. And many leave having made some new friends.
Campers Leave Three Circles Having Made New Friends
We thought we'd share just one of many stories of the connections campers sometimes make with our colorful cast of farm animal characters. One young man -- we'll call him Robert -- attended his first camp with ear bugs for his MP3 player firmly implanted. He left them in all day, creating a sort of protective barrier between him and the rest of the world.
Nothing much was getting to him except for his music. Although he spoke when spoken to, it was clear that he was content to fly under the radar. Then he met L'il Dude. Once Robert stepped into the corral with that horse, the ear bugs came out and all of his attention was devoted to developing a relationship with that 1,200-pound animal. We could just see Robert begin to open up and enjoy himself for the first time. And he finally began to relax.
Another boy, we'll call him Samuel, was abandoned by his father some years ago. Not surprisingly, he has had trouble facing challenges and change. But Samuel quickly embraced the companionship of Bo, our pompus and malodorous goat. Bo introduced himself by pushing Samuel around, but a mutual respect immediately developed. Now Samuel looks forward to seeing Bo at each camp.
Finally, meet two brothers who we will refer to as Peter and Michael. Their parents are no longer a part of their lives. Upon arriving at camp, the pair quickly revealed themselves to be cat "whisperers." When the boys arrive at camp in the morning, the very first thing they do is seek out their feline friends. And when the cats aren't hunting moles or birds, Ace and Winnie are quick to settle down in a warm lap and soak up all the love and praise they can get. It's a match made in heaven.
(Names in these accounts have been changed to protect our campers' privacy.)