General Camp Information
What will my camper do all day at Zoo camp?
Zoo Camp is full of fun! Your child will be immersed in a week of animals and hands-on science. Each Zoo Camp theme is designed to engage campers of specific grades in a variety of activities that foster an appreciation of nature and wildlife and connect to conservation actions. Your camper will have up-close encounters with animal ambassadors, explore exhibits and on occasion see behind the scenes areas, play games, make crafts and make new friends! To keep you in the know, we'll distribute a caregiver letter with prompts that will invite your camper to share what they did in camp on any particular day, along with a list of exhibits visited and in addition to a daily blog with images that will be shared on Monday afternoons.
Who is this camp for?
Zoo Camp is perfect for youth who have an interest, love or passion for animals and science. We offer a variety of activities that connect campers to nature, but it's great when our participants come to us with an initial interest in animals since we are Zoo Camp!.
How much interaction do campers have with animals?
Each day the campers will experience a close encounter with an animal from our education animal collection. Other special activities might include seeing an exhibit animal up-close for feeding, enrichment or training sessions. They will not be allowed to hold any animals but will have the chance to touch some of our ambassador animals.
What is the counselor to camper ratio?
The counselor to camper ratio varies with age and registration. Our average group size is around seven campers to one counselor. For Kinderzoo, we have a ratio of 6 campers to 1 counselor, while Week of Wildlife, Wild Safari, and Zoo Explorer have a ratio of 8 or 7 campers to 1 counselor. Each group may also have volunteers who help supervise campers.
Is there nap time?
Nap time is not offered in any of our camp programs. For all camps, we try to incorporate quieter activities where campers have some down time.
Do you provide snack?
We provide snack daily. We try our best to supply treats with few allergic interactions. Please make sure that all allergies are listed on the medical form and if your child does have food allergies, please pack a snack just in case. Since we don't provide a snack until late morning, please make sure that your camper eats a healthy breakfast before coming to camp.
Should I pack a lunch for my camper?
Yes. Please send your camper to Zoo Camp each day with a NUT-FREE lunch. Please do not send any snacks or foods containing peanuts or tree nuts. Many children have allergies to different types of nuts. We hope to ease parents' concerns about allergic reactions. Sharing of lunch items is not permitted except amongst siblings.
What should my camper wear to camp?
Dress appropriately for the weather. We will go outside rain or shine, so rain gear is needed sometimes. For younger campers, please make sure their clothing is easy for them to remove while using the restroom (zoo staff cannot assist campers in the restroom). On the first day of camp, your child will be given a special Zoo Camp t-shirt. We require your child to wear this shirt every day of camp. It increases visibility while touring the zoo. Extra shirts can be purchased for $20 while you register or on the first and second days of camp. Closed-toed shoes are required for your child's safety.
Will you be outside all day?
Many of our activities include outside time. Please make sure your camper is wearing sunscreen. Counselors are not allowed to apply sunscreen, so please make sure you put it on your camper each morning. It is also a good idea to send your camper with a full, reusable water bottle. We make routine stops at the water fountains, but it does get hot during the summer and your child will be participating in outdoor activities throughout the day.
Can I stay with my camper during the day?
For the safety of campers, we do not allow adults who are not camp staff to spend time with the camp group. This includes parents.
What if my camper has special needs?
If you child has special needs (dietary, allergy, behavioral, physical, etc.) please notify us in advance by contacting 800-433-4149 and/or email@example.com. We want your child to have the best camp experience possible and can only do this if we know the unique needs of your child.
Payment and Registration
When will registration open?
Registration for Zoo Camp for the general public will open on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 9am
What is your cancellation policy?
- All cancellations must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please state the camper's name, camp session, date, and the reason for the refund request.
- Each change to the original registration is subject to a $50.00 administrative fee.
- Notice and refund amounts:
- If your request is received at least four (4) weeks prior to the camp start date, a full refund will be issued, less the $50.00 administrative fee.
- If your request is received between two (2) and four (4) weeks prior to the camp start date, a 50% refund will be issued.
- If your request is received within two (2) weeks of the camp start date, no refund will be issued.
- Camp Registrations are non-transferrable.
- There are no refunds if your child is sick and misses camp during the program.
- If your child is dismissed from the program due to behavioral issues, you will not be granted a refund and your child will not be allowed to return to camp.
How do I know if my spot is confirmed?
Upon completion of registration, you will receive an email from email@example.com, which will include your tickets. You will receive an electronic confirmation once your registration and payment have been collected.
Can I sign my camper up for multiple weeks?
Yes! There are multiple camp experiences for kids entering grades K-5th!
Which forms do I need to complete if my camper’s spot is confirmed?
Prior to the start of camp, we will provide you with the appropriate forms that need to be completed. All forms can be completed by a caregiver and will not require a medical professional’s signature.
Do you have a multiple child discount?
We do not offer a multiple child discount. We do offer a discount for Wildlife Conservation Society members though.
What does “wait list” mean?
Wait list means that we are currently full for that session. You are welcome to sign up for the wait list, but a spot will only open up if someone else cancels their camp registration.
Do I get a refund if my camper is sick?
No. We do not give refunds for campers that are unable to attend camp because they are sick.
Do I get a refund if my camper is asked to leave camp because of behavioral issues?
No. If your child is asked to leave camp because they are unable to cooperate with camp rules, you will not receive a refund.
What happens if my camper can’t attend a day or if they’ll be late?
Please notify our Registrar if your camper will be absent or late on any given day. Please call 800-433-4149 to do so.
First Day of Camp and Sign-In/Sign-Out Procedures
Where should I go the first day of camp? Where can I park?
We will provide you with plenty of information in your Zoo Camp Parent Letter, which will describe the location of the camp and what to expect for the first morning. Additionally, we will share an orientation video with you prior to the first day of camp that will provide an overview of pick up and drop off logistics, contact information, classroom locations and more. Please note that for drop-off each morning you will need to enter through our Children’s Corner entrance located near the carousel and Leffert’s House between 8:30 am and 9:00 am.
Unfortunately, there is no parking available on zoo grounds. Street parking can be found on Flatbush and surrounding streets but can be a challenge and public transportation is encouraged.
Where should I go the first day of camp?
We will provide you with plenty of information in your Zoo Camp Welcome Letter, which will describe the location of the camp and what to expect for the first morning. On Monday morning, camp staff will be available to discuss camp policies, answer questions and address any concerns you may have.
What time can I enter the Zoo?
Caregivers are invited to enter the zoo through the Children’s Corner entrance between 8:30 am and 9:00am for drop off. We recommend arriving closer to 8:30 am on Monday morning to facilitate a smooth check-in and give your camper extra time to get acclimated. We start camp promptly at 9 am each day, so we appreciate your effort to be on time. At 9:15, our zoo gates will close and not reopen until 10 am, so if you're running late, please let us know by calling 800-433-4149.
What happens if I need to pick up my camper early?
If you would like to pick up your camper at a time other than the designated pick-up time, please notify your camper's counselor. Upon your arrival at the zoo, notify the admissions attendant and they will radio to your camper's group so you can meet up with them.
What happens if I’m late picking up my camper?
Campers who are picked up more than 15 minutes past the pick-up time will be charged $50. We appreciate your attention to this matter. To accommodate your working schedule, extended care is also available for all campers for an additional fee during all weeks of camp.
Who can sign out my camper?
People signing out campers must be listed on the Camper Release Form and have to be 18 and over. When completing the Camper Release Form, parents/guardians need to list themselves as well. All adults signing out a camper should bring a photo ID with them to verify their identity.
How do I sign up for Extended Care?
Extended care is available for all weeks of camp on a first-come first-served basis and campers can be registered on our website by clicking on the “extended care” tile and selecting the desired week(s). The program extends the camp day until 5:30 pm and allows caregivers the flexibility to pick up their camper anytime between 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm. Please note that a minimum number of participants is required for this program to run.