It's finally here! Our supporters have been asking for a program for their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, students, etc. to be able to come to PHS, volunteer, and receive community service credit (when necessary). We are finally able to make it happen!
Here are some details on the program in general:
The Junior Keeper Program is designed to give children too young to participate in our Adult Volunteer Program a chance to learn and work at PHS. Each day is three hours long and does have a specific outline of activities & expectations.
After check-in, the junior keepers & their counselor/leader will gather together, review the rules and behavior expectations, then give an overview of the day's activities. For example, if it is a day of Tortoise & Turtle work, they will discuss the differences between turtles & tortoises, how to tell them apart, and important rules to know, like do not touch their face. After learning about the animals, their care needs, and other details for a brief time, the junior keepers will then begin their work. At the conclusion of the animal care activities ("work"), they will gather again for a discussion. This quick discussion will help make sure the participants understand the value of their efforts and why it truly matters. It is also a chance for the junior keepers to ask questions about the animals, why certain procedures were or were not done, etc.
While this is a community service opportunity, it is also a service learning opportunity. We believe that the participants should get more than just required hours of community service for their school or organization - we believe that they should be given the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience.
The age range for this is 9 - 15 years old. The students always meet with our Volunteer Manager from 9 AM - 12 PM on the scheduled Junior Keeper Days.
New Opportunity: Mammals and More!
Mammals and More is the day to spotlight all the non-reptile animals that call PHS their home. Junior Keepers for this day will learn to prepare food for and will get to feed armadillos, kinkajous, and our wallaby Daisy. Junior Keepers will also learn about the animal’s various habitat needs and will provide habitat maintenance.
We also pay attention to our arachnid and amphibian residents. Providing care and food for our toads, frogs, salamanders, and scorpions. While Junior Keepers are doing volunteer work there is an equal amount of time spent on education, so that they are not just doing work but can also learn about the animals and why they are doing the specific work and care that they are providing.
Mammals and More fun facts!
· Armadillos may not be reptiles but their hard-protective plates earned them the Aztec name armadillo which translates to turtle rabbit!
· Kinkajous are an herbivorous species of mammal from the tropical forests of south America that belong to the same family as racoons and ringtail cats!
· Wallabies are a species of marsupial that are essentially a miniature kangaroo reaching adult weights of only 20lbs!
· Amphibians breath through their skin!
· A rule of thumb is the more hair a tarantula has and the bigger claws a scorpion has the less potent their venom will be. (Scorpions are not handled by youth volunteers)
If you have any questions about the Mammals and More or any other youth volunteer day you can reach our Outreach and Office Manager, Katelyn Garcia at: