Frequently Asked Questions – Youth Focus

What animals do I get to interact with?
Nova’s Ark is NOT a petting zoo. We do not breed or sell our animals. Our primary focus is to provide animal therapy experiences for individuals with varied abilities which heightens the communication and social skills focus.
As a volunteer, you interact with our special animals by:
  • digging, cleaning and pushing wheel barrows of manure
  • grooming
  • feeding
  • walking and handling
  • developing/enhancing teamwork and leadership skills
  • learning and sharing the stories of Nova's Ark
What is Circle of Friends?
A key component of Nova's Ark is our inclusive and accepting philosophy.  We believe that each and every one of us has many strengths to share.  We ALL support one another.  As a result, Nova's Ark is proud of the many special friends that join us.  Our volunteers support our guests by creating a Circle of Friends – a unique connection between youth volunteers, special guests and our therapy animals.  Together, we develop strong social and communication skills.
What do I need to wear?
You will get dirty and your footwear and clothing will never smell the same!!  Please wear a closed toed shoe or boot and comfortable pants and tops.  No flip flops/sandals allowed!  You may wish to dress in layers depending on the weather. It is also a good idea to bring a change of clothing in case of accidents. Please ensure that the clothing worn appropriately demonstrates the strong, respectful characteristics of Nova's Ark.  YOU are the face of Nova's Ark.
What should I bring with me?
  • Big Smile, a Caring Heart and a Great Work Ethic
  • Pack a boom-a-rang lunch (Everything that comes with you leaves with you.)
  • Re-usable bottle for water that has your name on it.
  • Sunscreen

Note:  Please keep any electronics at home or in your backpack. The Camels love iPhones!

When do I come?
All new volunteers begin with a Volunteer Information Session.  (Please see our Youth Volunteer page for more information.)  After you have completed the Information Session, you may begin volunteering on our Volunteer Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  On Sundays there are mentoring and training sessions which provide knowledge and hands on experiences with our Leadership Team. All new volunteers interact directly with members of our Team that have over 250 hours of volunteer experience at Nova’s Ark. Once new volunteers gain experience, they may be invited to attend special events and interactive sessions through mentorship with the Youth Leadership Team.
How long do I have to come?
Volunteers are a gift to Nova’s Ark. Whatever you can give is greatly valued. Your hours are recorded. The more often you come, the more experiences and stories you have and as a result you become more confident, ready to take on advanced roles and responsibilities.  You do not need to pre-book your Sunday visit. There is always a lot to do at the farm. The more hands, the stronger the team. Please remember to sign-in/out with your assigned Nova's Ark PIN# each time you attend.  The record of your volunteer hours are directly connected to your PIN#.  Any questions and/or clarifications of your volunteer record may be requested by emailing:  volunteers.novasark@bell.net.
Can my little brother or sister come?
The volunteers at Nova’s Ark must be at least 12 years old. Your family is welcome to come visit when you have reached your 100 hour goal. Then you can be their tour guide. This is an opportunity for the volunteer to take on a leadership role. The volunteer will be able to share the stories of our special friends.
Do my hours of volunteering count for Community Involvement Hours?
Yes, many of the high school volunteers come for their Community Involvement Hours. Nova’s Ark is recognized within the various educational facilities. It is an honour to have so many of our volunteers remain with Nova’s Ark after completing their mandatory Community Involvement Hours.
What is my first job on the farm?
All of the new volunteers are given the hardest job first. That would be cleaning the goat area. If they can complete this task with a smile and demonstrate a positive attitude, they are ready for a very unique set of experiences at Nova's Ark.

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T: 905.706.1009                   E: volunteers.novasark@bell.net