STATESVILLE – More than 200 children will receive hands-on experience with animals at Rescue Ranch’s Critter Camp, a one-week camp session for first- through eighth-graders offered nine weeks this summer. 

Rescue Ranch is a nonprofit animal welfare organization aimed at promoting humane care and education, as well as ending pet overpopulation. NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and his wife, Krissie, started the ranch. 

Children will be fully immersed in learning by experiencing all things fur, feather and scales with animal-related educational activities, animal interactions, special guests, crafts and other activities.

Select camp sessions also feature a mock veterinary program provided by VCA Animal Hospitals. Children will learn some of the ins and outs of the profession, including practicing sutures and learning about animal health.

Each week’s activities may also include interaction with Otis, the ranch’s new 7-month-old Holstein steer; the herd of Tennessee Fainting Goats; Ola, a Green Cheek Conure; and Hank, the Flemish Giant Rabbit.

“We have developed an exciting line-up of activities that will educate the children on the importance of humane care while also allowing them to have fun,” said Krissie Newman, executive director of Rescue Ranch. “The mock veterinary programs taking place are a great way for the kids that may have already shown interest in that type of career path to get a feel for what it is really like.”

Camp activities will allow participants to complete service projects to benefit animals, including making blankets and toys for shelter animals, decorating bandanas for shelter dogs, building birdfeeders and designing educational posters.

Registration for camp will remain open as long as space is available.


Want to learn more? For more information on Rescue Ranch's Critter Camp or to access the camp registration, visit