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I’ve attended summer camp as a child and as an adult as a counselor. However, I’ve always wanted to attend summer camp with my dogs. (Just think of the campfire songs!) Camp Gone to the Dogs was created for people just like me. Located at Marlboro College, Marlboro, Vermont, the camp has been running since 1989 and includes camping activities, such as hiking, trail running, and games for all, plus classes in agility, treibball, obedience, heelwork, dock diving, and much more. All campers stay with their dogs in the dormitory rooms, cabins, or cottages in a rustic mountain location.
No worries about dreaded camp food. Owner Mare Potts sent me the menu, which included everything from blueberry pancakes, bacon, and hashbrowns to Reuben sandwiches, salads, roast beef, grilled asparagus, and chocolate cake (for the humans). For the final farewell to the dogs feast, the dogs get a separate table of two whole turkeys.
Mare shared what you get out of being a camper. “Lifelong friendships that go beyond camp, a better understanding of dog behavior, training techniques, and a fun dog-centered vacation with crazy dog people,” she said. Sign me up, already!
But wait, my two furry buddies are a few training classes away from being the epitome of well-behaved dogs. So what makes a good furry camp candidate? “Camp is a highly social setting in which close contact between dogs and humans is inevitable,” Mare said. “Dogs do not need to be highly trained, but should not bark excessively. Dogs with ‘dog’ or ‘human’ issues are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if camp is the right environment for them to attend.”
Mare shared one camper and her dog’s experience. The new camper brought her new shy dog to camp. The dog and camper were introduced to agility, nose work, rally, obedience, barn hunt, and lure coursing.
“They both blossomed and developed new friends and gained a huge fan base,” explained Mare, “as we all watched these two develop a relationship and gain confidence over the years.”
Sound like something you want to try? For more information, visit Camp Gone to the Dogs.