A field Trip to the Oasis Camel Dairy in San Diego County!
When think you of dairy products, where do you imagine they come from? Cows. Sheeps. Sometimes even goats. But did you know that camels also produce milk? It is a strange concept, but true.
Last fall I planned a field trip for over 100 homeschoolers to visit the Oasis Camel Dairy located in Ramona, California. A friend of mine had coordinated a prior field trip to farm and highly recommended it. Plus at the time our Celebration Education’s students were learning about Egypt, so this was the perfect trip to tie into their lesson plan.
The Oasis Camel Dairy was established over twenty years ago by owners, Gil and Nancy Riegler, as America’s first camel dairy. The Rieglers raise and care over 22 one-hump camels, otherwise know as the Dromedary, on their farm.
A Dromedary is the type of camel that is common to Africa and the Middle East. They use to be exported all over the world and is now relatively common in Australia and North America, where they have been used sporadically over the years as a pack animal. The Dromedary can drink and store enough water in its own hump to last approximately 2 weeks.
Celebration Education listened to a talk about the animals and received a tour of the Oasis Camel Dairy. The owners shared with us that camels are similar to dogs in nature. They are loving and affectionate animals. In fact, when one of the caretakers is gone for awhile, the camels will welcome them home by giving them wet kisses!
Camel milk is currently not available for consumption in California. However, the Rieglers make homemade soap and lotions out of the milk and sell them on the Internet, at fairs and during tours. I personally purchased their pomegranate scented camel’s milk soap and love it.
After our presentation, the students got to visit with and pet the camels. To my surprise, the camels were very friendly and interacted with us a lot. They also tried to give us wet kisses!
Field Trip Boy had the opportunity to ride one of the camels. He said it was similar to riding an elephant at the zoo.
The Oasis Camel Dairy also have a few exotic birds on the property for people to enjoy.
The Oasis Camel Dairy does not have normal operating hours. Therefore, to see the camels yourself, you have to set up a private tour or attend one of their open farm tours offered at various times throughout the year.
Oasis Camel Dairy offers the following private tours for a specific fee:
Oasis Camel Dairy’s next Open Farm Tour is on January 17 & 18 from 1:00 to 4: 00 pm. The cost of admission is $10 general / $8 senior and active military / $7 kids 4-14 / kids 3 & under are FREE. To buy tickets, simply visit https://cameldairy.wufoo.com/forms/oasis-camel-dairy-public-tour/
Camel rides are available during all open farm tours. Camel Rides prices are $5.00 for children ages 3 to 14 and $10.00 for 15 and up. The camels have a 200 lb weight limit. Camel Rides can also be added to private tours. There is a minimum fee for adding rides to a tour package.
There are also several other local tourist places to visit in this part of San Diego. For us, Field Trip Boy and I made a quick jaunt down to Julian to enjoy some of their homemade apple pie and to see the beautiful scenery in the county.
To learn more about the Oasis Camel Dairy and how to schedule your own tour, please visit here.
Happy Field Tripping,
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.