What ages are your camps for?
Most of our camps are for children ages 6 to 12. We are offering select camp experiences for children ages 4 to 5.
What will my camper do at Zoo camp?
They will have a blast and learn a ton! Campers will participate in physical activities and crafts based on their camp theme. They will go on Zoo walks and hear facts about the individual animal ambassadors and species around the Zoo. Campers also get to experience a few of our animal ambassadors from the MetaZoo such as turtles, chinchillas, non-venomous snakes, armadillos, opossums, or lizards up close during an animal encounter. They will have two snacks and an hour-long lunch along with free time throughout the day based on the group’s energy level, behavior, and time constraints. During lunch counselors will often put on an age-appropriate show or movie. Once campers are finished eating, they may play with various items we provide or use toys brought from home (please note: toys from home are permitted so long as they are appropriate and do not cause a disturbance to the camp environment.)
The contact email provided during registration will receive a pre-camp email detailing procedures for pick up, drop off and any other camp-specific information. You will also receive a “Keystone Activity” document that will allow parents or guardians to facilitate a dialog at home based on a few animals, science topics and activities that will be talked about during the camp. After camp, we will send out a group photo. Photos are subject to camper participation and may not feature all campers. Individual photos of campers may also be taken over the course of the camp but we cannot guarantee photos of any individual or small group.
What are your class sizes?
Due to guidance from the CDC and public health officials, our camps will be limited in size to allow for appropriate social distancing. Each class will be limited to 12 or 15 students.
Do you have any programs for younger children?
We offer early childhood and family programming throughout the year. Keep an eye on our Individual and Family Programs page for specific dates and program details!
What are your camp class sizes?
Each camp class will be limited to 12 or 15 students depending on the topic and age group.
What are your camp hours?
Zoo camp program hours are 9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. each day. Parents may drop off as early as 8:30 a.m. After-care is included and is provided from 3:45 – 5 p.m. each day.
What should we bring to camp?
The following is a list of items you should bring with you each day. We ask that parents and guardians label everything they send with their camper as it is important that the campers do not share belongings or food unless pre-approved by a parent or guardian:
- A water bottle (one will also be provided to campers on the first day of camp and left at the Zoo as a back-up)
- Comfortable walking shoes that have already been broken in. Please wear sneakers for safety!
- Sunscreen (camp staff cannot help your child with lotion-based sunscreen, but may assist in applying aerosol sprays)
- A lunch
- Two snacks: one for the morning and one for the afternoon
- A sweater or sweatshirt in case your camper gets cold as it can get chilly inside our classrooms
- Weather-appropriate outerwear
Any prescribed medications can be sent with your camper and camp staff may assist in giving medication so long as your camper can take the medicine themselves. Please alert camp staff to any medication, even if they take it at home, during the camp registration process in case of any emergencies. Label all medication and talk with camp staff to ensure proper dosage and application process during drop off on the first day. Including written instructions with the medication is strongly encouraged.
What are your drop-off and pick-up procedures?
Signage will be present at the parking lot to instruct parents/ guardians where to go for drop off and pick up; please follow all signage instructions to ensure a smooth drop-off and pick-up procedure.
On the first day of camp, you will need to park in the main parking lot and walk your camper to the front entrance for drop off. This is so we can validate the information we received during the camp registration process and ensure we have all necessary contact, medical, and behavioral information for your camper.
For multi-day camps, we have one option for drop-off in the mornings: a curbside or carline drop-off point at the front of the Zoo available between 8:30 and 9 a.m. We offer two pick-up times: a MetaZoo pick-up between 3:45 and 4:15 p.m. (this requires parents/guardians to park and enter the Zoo free of charge) and a curbside/carline pick-up offered between 4:30 and 5 p.m. at the same location as the morning drop-off. From 3:45 – 4:15 p.m. campers will watch an age-appropriate movie or show to keep them occupied and quiet while we call names. From 4:30 – 5 p.m., campers will be able to socialize with their group and may play games while supervised by their camp counselors.
All parents/guardians are required to present a photo ID and be listed as an authorized adult for each camper they collect. Education staff will not release campers without an ID and confirmation that you are approved to collect the child.
What will campers do when the weather is very hot or very cold?
The campers should always come prepared for the weather (comfortable shoes and clothes only, please!) but the Zoo is prepared too! We have games, activities, crafts, and other things that the campers can do indoors in a temperature-controlled environment. Over the summer, outdoor activities tend to be scheduled for when campers arrive in the morning so they can still experience the whole Zoo before it gets too warm out. In the afternoon, campers will likely spend most of their time indoors. The campers all receive a free water bottle, and we stop frequently for water breaks and cool down time indoors. When it is cold out, campers tend to be outside during the afternoon and will take breaks to ensure a safe and comfortable camp experience.
What if there is severe weather forecasted?
Zoo camps run rain or shine, with indoor activities prepared to avoid any severe weather. In case of dangerous weather, we will contact the registered participants by email and / or phone. Campers should always come dressed and prepared for the weather in comfortable shoes and clothing including a rain jacket, umbrella or boots if it is forecasted to rain heavily as we will need to walk to and from their classroom space.
Do you accept campers who may need special accommodations or are special needs?
We strive to offer a camp that is inclusive and welcoming to all campers. Due to limitations on staffing and classroom spaces, we cannot accommodate every camper’s needs, but if it is within our power, we will happily accommodate your camper. The most important factor to consider when sending your child to camp is if they will be able to follow basic instructions and stay with the group at all times. This is for their safety as well as the safety of our staff and animals.
If your child has special dietary requirements, we are unable to have them eat in a separate classroom but may be able to have them eat separately from any campers who brought items of concern. Any food-based activities have been designed with common allergens in mind, but we can make accommodations based on your camper’s needs.
During the registration process, please let us know about all special needs or accommodation requests so that our staff can have the tools required to best make your camper feel welcomed. It is imperative that during camp registration you alert camp staff to any diagnosis that may effect your camper’s behavior, social interactions or impact you their experience so that our staff can have the knowledge needed to facilitate an amazing camp experience.
What is your refund policy?
You may cancel your camp up to two weeks prior to the start of your program to receive a refund. There are no refunds for camps that are within two weeks of the start date. Please note that refunds may take up to 30 days to process. All requests must be made in writing by emailing Zoo Education.
What if I need to reschedule?
Please contact us by emailing Zoo Education. We will do our best to accommodate you based on the availability of camp programming and staff.
What if I have questions after my booking?
Please contact us by emailing Zoo Education. Email is the best way to make sure your question gets to the right member of our education team without any misunderstandings or misspellings of your details.