Valerie and her critters came to visit our classroom today and it was such a great experience for our students who have intellectual disabilities. She took the time to introduce each bird, bunny, or turtle and explained each to our class. It was so much more beneficial for the students to be up close and personal with them in our classroom setting. Thank you, Valerie!
Valerie and Rattlebox have given my kids the opportunity to interact with animals of every sort. My children love to handle and care for all the animals, and they have learned a great deal from their time there. I'm grateful for what Valerie and Rattlebox do for our community.
In this increasingly computer driven world, Valerie does a wonderful job of connecting children with nature. This is so important for them and for the environment.
Valerie has a great gift for helping both animals and children in need. For the animals, the need is daily care for the resident animals and homes for the rescued.. For some children, the need can be simple: exposure to animals and the natural world. For others with disabilities or disadvantages, it can be even more crucial. Valerie has been working with disadvantaged children for twenty years. The other day, she told me, she ran into one of those children, grown up, happy and healthy. He told her what it had meant to him as a child to come to Rattlebox. What better testimonial can there be?
My 11 year old son absolutely loves going to Rattlebox Nature Center every weekend to take care of the ponies, rabbits and all kinds of rescued animals. Ms. Valerie is wonderful with kids of all ages. Truly a blessing to have a place like this!!
Many thanks Valerie. Our kids from CADES loved your presentation, your animals and you! it was a great event.
The staff of Room 116
We had an amazing experience with our one and a half year old daughter. It was both fun and informative. To our surprise she even loved riding one of the ponies, Nibble. Thank you for all that you do! What a gem!
Ms. Valerie Gardner is a very kind and generous person. My daughter has been invited as a guest to her nature center summer camp many times. She is actually signed up for a week this July. Ms. Valeriehas also given my daughter2 baby guinea pigs and many accessories for it. She always calls to check how their doing even offered her help as needed. She really cares and her nature center is a wonderful place that shows the kids how to take care of many animals. I would recommend it to anyone. We feel very fortunate to have met her.
Rattlebox Nature Center is a wonderful place for the rescued animals as well as the children who are fortunate enough to attend summer camp; have a party hosted by the proprietor; attend an educational session; have a scouting program onsite or any of the other ways in which one may take advantage of the Center - all of which my family or friends have for over 10 years. We love it here & keep coming back!
Valerie is the heart and soul of this special place. She knows just what is needed for both the children and the animals.
The Nature Center is an inviting place for children of all ages to come an explore nature. This nature center allows children to interact with various animals and also learn in the process. All members of the center are warmhearted and give children exactly what they need ongoing. I have known of this center for years and try to bring my own grandchildren there whenever possible.
I support the concept for allowing young people opportunities to try new things and also take some guided risks in discovering the world of nature. II would recommend this nature center to family and friends and I am so pleased that we have a place like this for kids to come to learn responsibility and the love of animals large and small. Bonue is the love shown each and everyone who touches their feet at the Center. Thank you for your dedication and love!
Bonnie B. Steele
Rattlebox has been a great experience for my 10 year old daughter. This has been her second year attending camp. The first year she enjoyed meeting and taking care of all the animals. I like that Ms Valerie, the owner, teaches the children responsibility that goes along with having animals by letting them help with all the the chores, even cleaning out the stalls for the horses. They children are taught to respect the animals and treat them with love. This year my daughter asked to go back to camp. Because she is ten she was asked to be a CIT, counselor in training. She was able to enjoy the camp while teaching other children what she has learned from Rattlebox. I highly recommend Camp Rattlebox!
My four year old daughter attended summer camp at Rattlebox and had an absolutely amazing time. Not only did she enjoy riding the ponies, she enjoyed taking care of them and cleaning up after them. What am invaluable experience for a child. Thank you!!
My girls Milena and Eliya absolutely loved animal camp! They love to be around animals and taking care of them. Would recommend it to any parent.
This is a personal review. I have know Va for years; her kindness towards animals and compassion for kids have found a perfect union in the Rattlebox Nature Center. All Kids seem to respond in a positive when they interact with animals, and Rattlebox gives the kids a chance to do this - and the animals a home. This is a wonderfully worthwhile venture!!
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!!!
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.
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 !
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.
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.