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Animal Hero Camp Policies

Cancellation policy

•    All cancelations must be in writing via our contact form
•    Cancelations made 14 days or more prior to the start of the camp session will be refunded, minus a $25 administration fee, for each registration.
•    Cancelations made less than 14 days prior to the start of the camp session will not be refunded.
•    If a camp is canceled by HES, all registration fees will be refunded in full.

Time with shelter animals

Time in our adoption center is very limited and closely monitored. Participants will have daily opportunities for contact with dogs, cats, or critters, but shouldn't expect to spend significant time with animals.

Participant behavior

While at our programs, all participants are expected to treat other participants, HES staff, and animals with respect and compassion. Behavior guidelines will be reviewed with participants. Children and adults who are consistently unable to follow these guidelines may be asked to leave or may be dismissed for the remainder of the session. No refunds will be available to campers who are dismissed for behavioral reasons.
We have zero tolerance regarding fighting or bullying. The use of tobacco, drugs, or alcohol is strictly prohibited. Violation of these policies is grounds for immediate dismissal from camp. No refunds will be available to campers who are dismissed for a violation of these policies.

Camper cell phone use

Campers who bring cell phones with them to camp may only use their phones to contact parents in the case of an emergency. Calling or texting during activities will not be permitted.

Camp program FAQs

Please review our list of frequently asked questions. If you have questions that are not answered on this page, please contact us at 423-624-5302x228 or send us a message.

How will I know my registration is complete?

A registration confirmation email will be sent to the email address you used to register your child.  (Please check your spam folder if you don't receive a confirmation message shortly after completing registration).

What grade level should I register my child for?

Please register your child for the grade they will be entering in the fall.

Camp activities are tailored to grade levels. Making exceptions to our grade level groupings poses challenges for campers and staff. To maintain the best camp experience for everyone, we do not make exceptions to the camp grade levels.


All the sessions for my child's age group are full. Will you be adding more camp sessions?

Unfortunately, we do not have the available space or additional staff required to offer additional camp sessions.


What's included in the camp registration fee?

Your camp registration fee includes all materials and activities. Additionally, Summer Camp participants are provided a T-shirt. Campers are required to bring their own water bottle.


My child would like to attend camp with a friend. Will they always be grouped together?

Each camp day includes activities for the full group (16 campers). These groups are shuffled regularly to encourage interaction with new kids throughout the week. Campers who attend with friends will have plenty of opportunities to be together, but we cannot guarantee they will participate in every activity together.


I don't have a credit card, or would prefer to pay with a check. Can I register by mail?

If you would like to check availability by phone and then pay in person, please call our Education Manager at 423-624-5302x228. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrations will not be processed until payment is received. We cannot hold spaces without full payment.

Can I drop my child off early, or pick them up late after camp?

We do not offer extended care at our shelter. Campers must be checked in with a parent or guardian shortly before 9am and are expected to be picked up promptly at 4pm for full-day camps.

Where do I bring my child for the first day of camp?

Campers should enter through our Education Center door to the left of our main adoption entrance.  Our Shelter does not open to the public until 12pm daily, however, camp staff will open the doors to greet arriving campers at 7:45am.  All campers must be signed in and out by a parent or caregiver each day. 

What does my child need to wear and what should they bring with them when they come to camp each day?

  • Campers should dress in clothes that are appropriate for active, sometimes messy activities. Summer campers will be provided with a T-shirt which can be worn anytime during the week. 

  • Athletic shoes or other shoes with closed toes are required. For safety reasons, children wearing sandals or Crocs may not be allowed to participate in all activities.

  • Bring a water bottle! Several activities take place outdoors. 

  • Campers are responsible for bringing and applying their own sunscreen. If you are concerned about your camper’s ability to apply their own sunscreen, please pack spray-on sunscreen for staff and volunteers to assist your child. Camp activities will proceed rain or shine (bring appropriate weather gear as needed).

  • We discourage all participants from bringing anything of value with them to camp. This includes money, toys, cell phones, etc. The Humane Educational Society is not responsible for any damaged, lost, or stolen items. Please label all personal items with your child's name.

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