On July 30th, members of our community were invited to visit Great Plains SPCA and thanks to the coordination of KC’s own Supergirl, some of us were able to attend their Young Heroes for Pets Summer Camp.
The summer camp is a week long program offered to youths aged 8-13 and these amazing young individuals learn not only about the pets at the SPCA, but all of our friends in the animal kingdom. They learn about safety, animal welfare, and a list of topics in between…most importantly, how they can make an impact and be a voice for our furry friends.
Our crew arrived as the youth assembled on the lawn for lunch, four of us in costume, and Steve Daniels there to draw some fantastic pieces for our developing heroes.
As we make our entrance and round the corner, we enter their view, and one camper exclaims “IT’S DEATHSTROKE!” The excitement quickly takes over the once calm crowd, who, just moments earlier was enjoying their picnic on a perfect July day.
We walk around and engage the group while they enjoy their lunch, after a few minutes of chatting, we allow the excitement to come back down to a more contained level. Supergirl gives them a superhero worthy speech and explains how they can impact their community, give back, and be that voice…and advocate for these animals. The children hang on her every word. I then ask the crowd of near 30 campers what they have learned and if they are having fun. The excitement builds again as smiles wash across their picnic site and they very excitedly tell us the things they have learned. You can see the genuine passion in their eyes.
One of our group arrived as DC Comic’s The Question, and, in conversation we soon discovered there were a lot of Whovians. Magically, The Question transformed into The Doctor, and grew quite a following, though; don’t get me wrong, quite a few knew of The Question.
We asked the kids who their favorite heroes were, they all began to eagerly announce their heroes, and ultimately, it led to an impromptu recital of Green Lantern’s Oath by Deathstroke, Steve, and some of our campers.
At this point, the kids were done eating and began to engage us more. Many asking a lot of great questions about my Ghostbusters uniform and gear, The Doctor had quite a few questions, Steve was drawing away, Deathstroke impressed the group with his arsenal, and soon after…Supergirl emerged with a stack of comics from our amazing supporter…Elite Comics.
As the kids began to read their books, we went inside and were able to meet the amazing SPCA staff and all the animals that are in dire need of adoption. The groups of individuals, from volunteers to management…were all amazing people. So passionate in what they do, and you can see their sincere love for the animals. I highly encourage you to check out their website and visit their Merriam and Independence locations, and, if possible…take one of their pets home to become one of your family members. Their facility is magnificent, and I can’t stress enough, you can see how passionate the SPCA is about what they do.
We really enjoyed our time at the SPCA and we were treated like rock stars. The campers we’re full of excitement, and the day ended by them all wanting our autographs on their books or artwork. As most of us were signing here and there, we look up and see Deathstroke has a line formed. Slade had quite the audience.
It was a fantastic experience, and one that I encourage everyone to experience in some capacity. If you couldn’t make it to the SPCA, hopefully there will be future events, as we discussed additional volunteering with them. If not the SPCA, find out how you can get involved in your community and give back. There is always someone in need of time, whether you are in costume or not. Get involved! Trust me, you will be glad you did.
Yours in crunk,