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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rattlebox Nature Center Ltd

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Education

Mission: To teach children and adults to respect the animals we share this planet with. The provide opportunities for everyone who comes to learn about and appreciate nature and the environment.

Results: We fund raise to make sure everyone who wants to come here can regardless of their ability to pay.

Target demographics: young children learn about nature and animals.

Programs: Summer camp for children,animal shows,farm tours,workshops and pony parties

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

121 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Rattlebox Nature Center bridges that gap between children and nature and animals, giving them the opportunity to touch, feel, explore and understand and to see where they fit into the big picture.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

my daughter has been visiting Camp Rattlebox for several years. First with the girl scouts, then as a camp member and finally a Councelor InTraining. A beautiful experience, run by a beautiful lady!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter attended Rattlebox during spring break. She loved it! It's the perfect setting for a child who loves animals. You receive very personalized attention. We look forward to summer camp!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Both of my boys have attended the summer camp and pony lessons. They love learning about the animals, especially since it is all experiential and hands-on. Valerie does a wonderful job of handling my active, eager sons.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children love Rattlebox Nature Center (I have two boys, 6 and 9 years old). They have attended camp days, pony lessons, and had birthday parties at this lovely animal-centered farm. We also adopted our beloved rescue rabbit from Valerie. My boys enjoy the hands-on interactions with the animals, and always want to go back. Valerie is a patient and fun teacher as well.

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Barb20

Client Served

Rating: 5

My three kids have all attended camps and/or taken riding lessons at Rattlebox Nature Center over the past 9 years or so. I love the camp, with its opportunities for both horseback riding, and also handling and learning about all the other animals. My oldest daughter has enjoyed many opportunities to work as a CIT at camp, and my youngest daughter has attended camp for many summers. My youngest also rides weekly, which she has been doing for several years. It is such a great place for a hands-on learning experience. Rattlebox Nature Center has been a big part of my kid's lives.

Carol95

Client Served

Rating: 5

My sons, Adam and Daniel, attended Rattlebox Nature Center Summer Camp for a couple of years in a row, and loved the experience. Valerie gave them their first introduction to horses, turtles, and birds in a safe and caring environment.

Alexa D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great place for children and adults to learn more about animals, their care and their welfare. Valerie, the owner , is very passionate about her animals and her nature center and does a wonderful job as guide, teacher and organizer of events. Fun pony rides, art classes and specialized parties available to the children. My teenage son volunteered to help out and he learned a lot about the responsibility of taking care of animals.

Board Member

Rating: 5

i take lessons their hi Valirie its me emily agosto summers i ride whoopi do and i love this website

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent camp in a wonderful setting with great staff! My daughter (age 9) loved it!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There are not many places where basic concern for animals and respect for nature is instilled in such a loving way.The Rattlebox Nature is one. Without discrimination, Valarie offers these learning experiences to all. Her unselfish spirit is extended across many fields. Whether it is re- homing animals, volunteering for "Hands Across The Sea", raising money for women's shelters, or giving a disabled child an opportunity of a lifetime, Val's unwavering positivity is a wonderful influence ~ for young and old alike !

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children have been to several day camps and birthday parties at the nature center and there is just nothing else like it. Feel blessed to have a place like this in our community for our children to learn and appreciate animals birds horses etc. Valerie is great with the kids and has a true love for nature. I have even taken my girl scout troop for horseback riding and she spent time and energy teaching the girls how the ponys and horses are cared for not just a ride. Thanks Valerie for all you offer to our children. You are one of a kind :-)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with Rattlebox because of my love for horses and began to help out when I realized how extraordinary Valerie was with the children and the animals. I have never met someone who kids were so willing to respond to and who could create learning experiences so successfully. It is a truly remarkable organization and I am pleased to have sent my grandchildren there to experience it. I hope to stay involved at Rattlebox for a long time to come!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My daughter has been attending Rattlebox off and on for a number of years. Valerie does a wonderful job on so many levels, and has a great personality. We feel so fortunate to have found a place for our daughter to learn about the care of animals large and small and ride horses. Rattlebox is a wonderful place.

Marie33

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful place. My children have loved it over many years, for camps and for lessons. I know that Valerie also serves children who have had serious hard ship in their life for free, allowing them to be near, touch, and learn about the animals. It is great fun and therapy at the same time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were introduced to Rattlebox by one of my son's preschool teachers for a class trip. Since then, my son has attended camp and taken individual pony lessons with Valerie. A very special and unique center, Rattlebox delights children (and adults) while both teaching children about the significance of animal caretaking and bolstering their confidence from being given responsibility for living creatures. Moreover, Valerie's commitment to introducing animals and nature to youth populations who otherwise would lack such rich experiences is unparalled.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Valerie and her team of beautiful animals and wonderful staff have taken part in an annual event at our school and all the children LOVE them! Her enthusiasm is infectious and her passion for her work is inspiring! The event typically welcomes around 300 children and families and Rattlebox is always one of the highlights of the day! Mary Schugsta

Thomas Fox P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son, a two year old boy, had a blast here with a guided pony ride through the woods, an introduction to a dozen different birds, and the opportunity to hold and pet rabbits, guinea pigs, and more. This a fantastic place! We didn't get to the art portion, but the facilities look great and I love their emphasis on recycling and repurposing everyday materials.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was an active participant at Rattlebox from the time she was quite small to when she graduated to bigger horses. She still participates as a CIT when she has the time. Rattlebox and Valerie were a big part in getting my shy daughter to come out of her shell. She had sensory issues and the calm and nurturing environment at Rattlebox helped her overcome them. My daughter and I think of Rattlebox as a little slice of heaven!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a party for my daugher at Rattlebox. What a wonderful experience! Not only did the children learn about animals and ride the horses, but it felt good to know the monies paid were going to help a good cause. What a wonderful thing Valerie is doing, not only for the kids that she sponsors for camp, but also for the animals that she often gets as rescues.

Donor

Rating: 5

As someone who has donated to Rattlebox in the past I'm happy to report that it has been some of the best money I have ever spent. One can actually see in a very real and tangible way how your money effects positive change. Animals and children alike benefit on a daily basis from the work Rattlebox does and it's a wonderful feeling to help in any way possible!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have visited Rattlebox many times over the years, and each time I am struck by Valerie's unwavering dedication to the welfare of all animals and the variety of unique opportunities she provides to individuals of all ages to interact positively with the animals in her care. The majority of these people might not otherwise hold an animal or a bird, play with a dog or cat, groom or ride a horse. At Rattlebox they do all of these things in a safe, cozy, relaxed environment under Valerie's complete supervision. She teaches and guides with compassion, wisdom, patience and humor. While most of her programs are designed for children, interacting with and helping care for her menagerie provides confidence, comfort and joy to children and adults alike. Riding any of her four horses, from miniature to full size depending on the rider's level of comfort and ability, gives every rider a lasting sense of accomplishment. Rattlebox programs encourage awareness, understanding and a sense of responsibility through direct, hands-on connections to animals and nature in a manageable, non-threatening setting, indoors and out. Where else might you see or maybe even ride a very small horse in the house?! Valerie is committed to sharing her extensive knowledge as well as her love, respect and concern for the animal kingdom by creating situations in which participants may have personal contact with each of the animals in her care. This promotes the well being of visitors and animals alike. All of the animals and birds at Rattlebox are gentle and receptive to guests. One of the best and most unique aspects of a visit to the Rattlebox Nature Center is Valerie's cheerful presentation of the wonderful, amusing personality of each of her animals and birds. Rattlebox is a friendly, inspiring, educational, and fun environment, ideal for young children whose eyes and hearts are open to the wonders of the natural world. In circumstances where a visit to Rattlebox is not possible, Valerie will do her best to bring one of her animal programs to you.

ckuntz

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rattlebox Nature Center is a great educational resource, camp, outreach, and animal fostering resource. Valerie is an extremely caring and patient individual who accommodates kids of all backgrounds and disabilities. My daughter loves Valerie's kind ways and loves attending to the large variety of animals Valerie fosters or owns.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and son have both learned so much about caring for animals, respecting nature, and they've learned so much about themselves in the process. This will be the fourth year that my kids will return. Valerie is so easy-going and provides a great environment for them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Valerie is family, my cousin, actually, so I hope my endorsement won't be considered gratuitous, because Val and I know each other well enough to both trust our shared honesty. I recently took my 2 year old grandson to see his "Auntie Val" and all her wonderful animals. From holding bunny rabbits, to going for his very first pony ride, I have to say that the experience has marked him for life. The look on his face was worth a fortune. Val does such wonderful work with rescue animals, giving them a renewed chance on life and then introducing these precious animals to young minds and the wonders of nature. These children come away from Rattlebox Nature Center with an appreciation of life beyond their bedrooms, backyards, neighborhoods and schools, that hopefully will help save our planet as they grow and become the leaders of our future. Valerie's work is but a fundamental, but absolutely essential first step in the education of our children so that they will grow with an appreciation of just how precious and fragile our planet is. This simple little organization and others like it hold the keys to a healthier future for all of our children.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rattlebox Nature Center does so much to help both animals in need, and children who could benefit from learning about them. Valerie teaches children responsibility, encourages their creativity and offers them rich learning experiences. Children who have the opportunity to attend camp at Rattlebox Nature Center benefit on so many different levels.

Sage K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful gem tucked away in the countryside of Delaware County. My daughter and my friends children have all had the opportunity to go to camp here. The hands on approach to horsemanship, animal handling and care have been a true gift that will last their lifetimes. I can't say enough about the atmosphere, the arts & crafts and the staff who welcomed us into their unique farm like setting. Rattlebox is truly a joyful childhood learning experience.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great place for children to learn the basics of caring and responsible ownership of animals. A wonderful experience for all ages.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rattlebox Nature Center is a hidden gem! My children loved their time spent with Valerie and the animals. From pony rides (and grooming) to learning about birds, turtles and much more! Valerie really takes the time to teach them about the animals and the care they need. I would highly recommend Rattlebox Nature Center to anyone looking for a fun and educational outing for your family or group! Perfect place to learn about so many different animals, how to care for and respect them.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children received a gift certificate for a riding lesson at Rattlebox Nature Center last summer. They LOVED it!! Not only did they ride the ponies but they learned about them and how to care for them. Then we were allowed to see all the animals that Valerie has rescued and cares for. My children loved the one on one attention and enjoyed learning about and holding the animals. They especially liked seeing the snakes and turtles! I would definitely recommend Rattlebox for an afternoon out or even a school trip! Both Fun and Educational! Thank you Valerie for all your hard work and dedication!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My duaghter has enjoyed Rattlebox for years! She loves seeing so many types of animals, and cherishes her time with the horses!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rattle box is a place that kids can learn about nature and animals. Valerie really works hard to give everyone a great experience!

Kara P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rattle box and Valerie are always wonderful and provide a fantastic service

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Anyone can create their own 'Rattlebox', but how many of us, myself included, go the distance it takes to serve & care for the unpredictable needs of all living things encountered? To tout the endless ways that this establishment serves others is almost unneccessary because the bigger, more important, purpose-impact, would be missed. The purpose, intent & relentless energy of Rattlebox is sustainable and is always renewed/replenished - somehow. It is a gift to be able to give of oneself & material goods so willingly, so effortlessly, without judgment or bias or greed. People, like the founder of Rattlebox, are a rare breed, especially among the non-profit community. We can all partake in this gift by allowing ourselves to simply be affected by one another, animal or human, by taking the time to listen, observe & care and to realize that only through the release of our wants & materials, can any living thing on this earth, hope to discover & live as happiness/calm & peace...I feel this from being at Rattlebox, I willingly give, I receive what is given. It is food for the soul - and the the animals are really cute:)

Donor

Rating: 5

Rattlebox Nature center has done fantastic work by introducing underprivileged children in our community to the wonders of the natural world. Valerie gives these children, who have no exposure to anything beyond their own difficult worlds an opportunity to see and feel a live animal. This exposure builds confidence, wonder and interest in these young minds. Thank you Valerie for opening up these children to a new world.

Melody5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rattlebox is a great place. They help so many animals as well as people. I try to tell as many people as i can about this terrific place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a regular volunteer at Rattlebox. I lead ponies for the pony parties and help with animal shows. I am also the landscaper for the property. My Jack Russell comes too and helps any children overcome their fear of dogs. He is especially helpful to the shelter children who visit every week.

Doris E.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Rattlebox Nature Center is just the thing for today's children who are often allowed to be too self-absorbed. It's a perfect location which puts them in touch with the wondrous creation around them and their responsibility to nurture and protect the environment of which they are a part. The benefits which redound to them are not easily quantified, but the enthusiastic response to the multifaceted activities at Rattlebox and the willingness of children and parents to both return and spread the word, speaks to the quality of the teaching there. Mrs Gardner's commitment to providing an excellent experience for all children regardless of their circumstances is exemplary. It is probably because of the Rattlebox Nature Center that I provided a home for an Irish Wolfhound and three cats!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 3 preschool children and I spend one morning each week at Rattlebox Nature Center. We LOVE spending time with Valerie and the many animals for whom Rattlebox is home. We have learned how to care for many different kinds of animals, including ponies & horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, turtles, fish, snakes, and many more. Each week we participate in the care and feeding of the animals. My children have learned so much about animals and nature in general at Rattlebox. They have developed a love of, and compassion toward, animals that they will carry with them for their lives. Valerie is a wonderful teacher, and is able to relate to and teach children at their level of understanding. I believe my children's experience at Rattlebox will help them to become better citizens of the Earth, as they are now much more attuned to our connection with animals and nature in general. Rattlebox is a truly wonderful resource.

Valerie16

Client Served

Rating: 5

My two children Gigi10 and Robbie 9 spent three weeks last summer at Rattle Box camp. Both of our children love animals and have a great appreciation for nature. Sending them to Rattle Box was an experience they continue to talk about months after their time there. Rattle Box is not only beautifully in touch with nature but it a fantastic hands on learning experience for children of all ages and both genders.Gigi did the CITS program she loves the horses the most and really enjoyed the feeling of being resposible assistant. When I ask my son Robert what his favorite thing was about rattle Box his reply is "its all really fun and amazing. They will definatly be back there this summer.

Suzanne17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Well, actually, I'm a customer and a donor and a fan! All of my kids have enjoyed the animals and riding lessons and craft projects at Rattlebox and their lives have all been enriched by knowing the children from the shelter who attend the summer camp and lessons free of charge. Miss Valerie is an angel who can calm skittish, traumatized children as lovingly as she gentles a horse. Thank you, Valerie, for changing this small corner of the world one precious child at a time.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Rattlebox Nature Center is a wonderful Nonprofit because: (1) of its dedication to making its services available to all regardless of socioeconomic status, physical disabilities and for children who have activity restrictions due to illness; (2) of its devotion to animal rescue and animal adoption; (3) of its ongoing mission to promote exposure and an appreciation for nature and different types of animals; (4) children are educated about caring for animals through dialoguing with the staff and more importantly, by doing; and (5) my child absolutely loves going to the Rattlebox Nature Center and can’t wait to tell me about what she learned and did while she was there. She admires and speaks highly of Ms. Gardner, the proprietress and would go to the Center every single day if she could.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Rattlebox Nature Center is a wonderful place for everyone, especially children to learn about animals, our environment and how special we are. Our grandaughter,Emily has been taking horseback riding lessons and attented some day classes at Rattlebox and it has been so good for her mentally, emotionally and physically.

Annie9

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son received a partial scholarship to summer camp. He had a great time learning about the horses and other animals and helping to care for them. He took great pride in learning to ride, as well as in creative art projects which repurposed a variety of materials, up to small pieces of furniture. Rattlebox is a nurturing, wonderful place for children and animals alike.

Julia12

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children have been attending the camps at Rattlebox Nature Center for over 5 years and they absolutely love it. They look forward to going each time and they always come back home with new experiences. Valerie is such a caring and patient teacher.

Client Served

Rating: 5

FANTASTIC place! The best holiday present EVER for my three nieces -- for the last two years we've taken them out to Rattlebox for a real adventure. They ride ponies, help groom them, and enjoy a hands-on Meet 'n Greet with Valerie's incredible menagerie of sweet, interactive creatures: birds, turtles, bunnies, guinea pigs... The whole family has a blast. Already looking forward to December!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to Rattlebox and had the pleasure of getting to see my $ go directly work! Donating to Rattlebox has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It is a great feeling to be a part of the daily good that Rattlebox does for not only children and animals but also the envirement!

Brian29

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful place. Valerie, the director, has a gift for connecting with children and animals. My daughter loves her time here, riding and learning about horses, and meeting all the other animals. The grounds are beautiful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rattlebox Nature Center is a wonderful place where children care for animals. Some of the animals experience a real change of luck. Abandoned or left to fend for themselves, Rattlebox takes them in and provides for them. Kids enjoy what they then learn about the animals in a hands-on environment, including tending, washing, safe handling, etc. Overall, it is a wonderful sanctuary for children and animals, and one of my daughter's favorite places.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Rattlebox Nature Center was conceived and created in response to an awareness that in our increasingly urban and technological society many children exist with little experience or appreciation of the animals with whom we share this planet and the natural world that surrounds us. The goal of Rattlebox Nature Center is to provide individuals of all ages and capabilities with hands-on experience that will better their understanding of the critical role that animals play in the health and welfare of our world and to dispel false stereotypes and myths regarding their behavior and characteristics. To accomplish these objectives Rattlebox Nature Center provides supervised contact with animals,horse care and introductory riding,nature focused workshops and art projects.During the summer months these activities are also presented through a day camp for children.Additionally, an animal presentation and educational program is available offsite at locations such as retirement facilities, schools, private homes, camps and shelters.

Review from Guidestar