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The Goats are Back!

The Goats are Back!Camp Ondessonk’s love for goats began two summers ago when we leased goats from a summer staff member as a trial run to see how expanding our animal husbandry program could work. To no surprise, the goats are back for 2021 programming!

This year, Camp is renting the goats from a local woman who also rents them to 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) to help promote goat education, give children an opportunity to learn more about caring for creatures, and just the enjoyment of having a bond with an animal. Currently, there are four part-Boar and Nubian goats onsite, but every six weeks we return those goats and receive four new baby goats so that Camp can always have young, small goats, which are more manageable for children. While onsite, the goats are part of all our programming, including after-school, school groups, Girl Scouts, and of course summer camp!

Some may be asking, “Why goats? Camp already has horses.” Our answer is simple: It is not uncommon for children to be intimidated by a horse’s size once they get close. If they are too afraid to ride or pet the horses, goats are a great farm animal alternative, so they still have a positive animal experience while at Camp Ondessonk.

Equestrian director, Catherine Limkeman says, “During summer camp, the mini-campers get to play games with the goats, like leading them through an obstacle course or doing goat relay races. They are also used as a calming activity so that any camper who needs a low-key experience can pet a unique animal.” Basically, goats are just plain awesome!

If you and your family are onsite in the next few months, be sure to stop by the stables to pet and feed our sweet goats.

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