Educational Programs

Ferncroft offers educational programs tailored for carious age group and interests.  From kids to elderly, community groups to classrooms, learning how to peacefully coexist with wildlife is a topic of interest for everyone.  Ambassadors provides an opportunity to meet an opossum and to learn about these gentle creatures.  All programs can be adapted to fit your needs

Children Ages 5 - 8


The program is 45-60 minutes.  
We read “From Pouch to Couch” authored by Pam.  We talk about “backyard wildlife” with a focus on opossums. This program can easily be adapted to meet special requests.
There is time at the end for questions and a meet and greet. Kids can have their photo taken with an opossum. The entire program will be about one hour.
We bring at least one, most often two, ambassador opossums.  The program is suitable for adults and children,

For Families/General Audience

All About Opossums - Backyard Wildlife

The program can run anywhere from 30-90 minutes.  We suggest one hour.

An overview of wildlife rehabilitation and the role of rehabbers with a focus on opossums and our rescue efforts with them. We use PowerPoint to show photos/videos of our rescue and opossums. The PowerPoint is on a flash drive and can plug into whatever computer system you use.

For Small Groups, Scouts, & Students

Ferncroft Group Tours

Appropriate for small groups, Scouts, Students,

Gain an understanding of how a rescue operates.
Tour the facilities, meet the opossums, enjoy a brief educational program.

For Families/General Audience

Special Programs

  • Presidents Day
  • Summer Camp
  • Bible School

Professional Workshops

Held at Ferncroft.  All About Opossums – Rescue, Rehab, Release
Appropriate for new & aspiring rehabbers, ACO’s, Vet Tech, Wildlife caregivers.
2 half-day workshops = 10 hrs. credit

Pam Lefferts Head Shot

Virginia Opossum Mentor

Pam Lefferts Woodstock, CT 508-864-7274 

I am a 71-year-old married woman, retired from a successful career, a survivor of two bouts with cancer, mother of three plus two stepchildren and grandmother of 12.

Seven years ago, I started the process to become a wildlife rehabilitator and today, I am licensed by the state and federal government and own and operate a non-profit wildlife rescue facility.  We learned to care for many species of wildlife but decided to specialize in opossum.  These misunderstood little critters are gentle, do not carry disease and are not biters.  They are so unique – almost magical – from birth to death.

In addition to the work of rescue, rehabilitation, and release, we present public educational programs for both adults and children.  We also offer workshops at our facility for rehabbers, techs, ACO’s and volunteers.

I prefer to mentor in-person at least once and provide support by phone, email, text, etc.

During covid I mentored using short videos followed with discussion.  It’s not the same as in-person learning – in my opinion -you really need a hands on experience.

During covid I wrote and published a children’s book titled From Pouch to Couch: Why Lavender the Opossum Lives in a House.  I wanted children who meet our opossums to understand wild animals are not pets.  The book has lots of information about opossums that all ages can enjoy.  “I love teaching both children and adults about opossums.”

Workshop 1

All About Opossums

Discussion, Videos, Hands-on. Introduces you to the specifics of opossums and how they differ. Caging to admission to release is discussed Hands-on with adult ambassadors Handouts provided.

Workshop 2

Rescue, Rehab, Release Opossums

Discussion, Videos, Hands-on. Specific care of opossums from neonates to adults. Feeding, injuries/Illness/Treatments. Release Criteria. Hands on-neonates/adolescents.

More on our Education Programs

Programs & Specific Requests

We can adapt any program to your specific requests. Additionally, we discuss various topics such as supporting wildlife during winter, preparing emergency roadside kits, turning your property into a sanctuary, learning more about becoming a rehabber or wildlife volunteer, etc. 

Whichever program you choose, there is always time at the end for Q&A and to “meet and greet ” ambassadors. We usually take two ambassadors. They wear a harness and leash, we supervise during the meet and greet.