Why Camp Zoo?
Children will have fascinating adventures with the natural world at Camp Zoo. Each session is filled with up-close animal encounters, behind-the-scenes experiences, hands-on activities, games, in-depth investigations and organized free time.
All camp lessons and activities are age-appropriate and designed for multiple learning styles. Campers engage in projects independently and within groups, which encourages individual expression and helps promote collaborative skills. Content is delivered with an awareness of campers’ development and is flexible to meet the needs of each particular group. Camp Zoo instructors have respect and understanding for children and a deep passion for the natural world. They are well trained in interpretive techniques, group management and activity facilitation.
Summer Camp Zoo 2018
Registration opens March 1!
- Learn More
- General Information
- Session Descriptions
Children will have fascinating adventures with the natural world this summer at Camp Zoo. Each week-long session is filled with up-close animal encounters, behind-the-scenes experiences, hands-on activities, games, in-depth investigations and organized free time. During the mornings, we take advantage of the cooler temperatures and participate in outdoor activities such as water-play and hiking. In the afternoons, when the temperatures increase, more time is spent participating in indoor activities.
Two different camp topics are offered on alternating weeks, so children can attend more than one session at Camp Zoo. All camp lessons and activities are age-appropriate and designed for multiple learning styles. Campers engage in projects independently and within groups, which encourages individual expression and helps promote collaborative skills. Content is delivered with an awareness of campers’ development and is flexible to meet the needs of each particular group.
Camp Zoo instructors have respect and understanding for children and a deep passion for the natural world. They are well trained in interpretive techniques, group management and activity facilitation.
We encourage campers to participate in all activities as designed, and are also able to provide modified lessons and accommodations for campers with special needs. We also have special day camps designed for children with orthopedic and sensory impairments. Visit our Special Needs Programs page for information about Camp Zoo programs for children with special needs and additional information to help determine if Camp Zoo is a good fit for your child.
Camp Zoo is for students who are entering kindergarten through eighth grade in fall 2018. Choose from eight weeks of full-day (8 a.m. – 3 p.m.) or half-day (8 a.m. – Noon) sessions, with the option to add Extended Day Camp (3:30 – 6 p.m.). Please note that for kindergarten only half-days are offered, and for seventh and eighth grades only full-days are offered.
All camp participants receive a shirt, hat and water bottle with lanyard. Additional shirts are available for $10 each. Campers must wear their Camp Zoo shirts every day. Full-Day campers must bring their own lunch every day.
Camp Zoo 2018 Fees
Full-Day: Member $250 General $275
Half-Day: Member $155 General $170
Extended Day: $15/day or $50 for the entire week when paid in advance, $1/minute for late pick up after 6 p.m.
Session 5 Fees:
Full-Day: Member $200 General $220
Half-Day: Member $125 General $135
Extended Day Camp: $15/day or $40 for the entire week when paid in advance, $1/minute for late pick up after 6 p.m.
Scholarship information for Camp Zoo 2018 will be available soon!
Camp Zoo 2018 Sessions
Session 1: June 4 – 8
Session 2: June 11 – 15
Session 3: June 18 – 22
Session 4: June 25 – 29
Session 5: July 2 – 6*
Session 6: July 9 – 13
Session 7: July 16 – 20
Session 8: July 23 – 27
*This session is only 4 days long and is priced differently. No camp on July 4.
Camp Zoo 2018 Daily Schedule
Camp Zoo Check-in: 7:45 – 8 a.m. each day
Half-Day Check-out: Noon – 12:30 p.m.
Full-Day Check-out: 3 – 3:30 p.m.
Extended Day Camp Check-out: Anytime 3:30 – 6 p.m.
Camp Zoo 2018 Orientation
May 30, 5 – 7 p.m. | June 2, Noon – 2 p.m.
Families who are already registered for Camp Zoo are welcome to attend one of two orientations that are offered. Attending an orientation allows you to pick up your Camp Zoo gear early, meet Camp Zoo Instructors and management staff and ask any questions you have about the Camp Zoo experience. Attending an orientation also helps speed up check-in on the first day of camp!
All Camp Zoo sessions include up-close animal encounters, behind-the-scenes adventures, art and hands-on learning activities, fun games, in-depth investigations and organized free time within the unique environment of the Phoenix Zoo.
Animals have inspired many wonderful stories throughout history. Today, some of the most beloved children’s books are all about animals. Campers will be exposed to some of the greatest animal stories ever told and will meet the animals that inspired the stories. Offered sessions 1, 3, 5 and 7
Many of the world’s greatest artists are not people. Animals around the world create beautiful pieces of art every day! Campers will learn about the unique artists of the animal kingdom and get a chance to mimic these incredible creatures, with art projects so wild, they could only come from nature. Offered sessions 2, 4, 6 and 8
Tortoises and coatis and hornbills — oh my! Are you crazy for animals? Then this is the camp for you! Campers learn the zany, amazing and specialized adaptations and anatomy of living things throughout the animal kingdom. Offered sessions 1, 3, 5, and 7
Home Sweet Home: Animal Style!
Whether it’s a giraffe in the African savanna, a spectacled owl in the South American rainforest or a mountain lion in the North American temperate forests, animals make their homes in wild places. Campers will explore habitats from around the world, including those created in the Phoenix Zoo — and will learn how animals use their habitats and the resources contained within, to survive. Offered sessions 2, 4, 6 and 8
The world around us is an amazing place! This week of camp provides a chance to explore, observe and appreciate our natural surroundings and the interconnectedness of life. To broaden their ecological knowledge and awareness, campers will discover microscopic animals that live in a pond and will travel to unique and picturesque mountain landscapes that overlook the Zoo. Offered sessions 1, 3, 5 and 7
Zoo Action Heroes
The world around us is an important place! This week of camp, allows children a chance to help protect and conserve the natural world. Service and conservation projects within the Zoo and beyond, will allow campers to complete their week knowing they have made a difference. Camp activities reinforce the importance of respecting the places we live, the resources we need to survive and the living creatures with which we share our environment. Offered sessions 2, 4, 6 and 8
Build the Zoo
How does a zoo create a home for animals? By the end of this exciting and productive week, campers will be able to answer that question and develop their knowledge of zoology and animal care. They will design, create and present their very own animal exhibit, complete with interpretive graphics. And who knows? Maybe their design will be inspiration for a new or redesigned Phoenix Zoo exhibit! Offered sessions 1, 3, 5 and 7
Scientific Investigation and Exploration
Calling all explorers, adventurers, question-askers, budding scientists and problem solvers! Combining critical thinking with nature exploration is the goal of this amazing week of camp. Observing animal behavior, practicing animal tracking skills, designing experiments, and interpreting the clues animals leave behind, are just some of the activities campers will experience. Campers should come prepared with a sense of adventure and plenty of curiosity! Offered sessions 2, 4, 6 and 8
Who Works at the Zoo?
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to work at a Zoo? In this fast-paced, week-long session campers have a chance to learn the ins and outs of being a zookeeper. From cleaning to feeding, training to behavioral enrichment, campers will experience the rewards and challenges of this most popular job at the Zoo. But we won’t stop there… at the Zoo there are LOTS of fun jobs to do. Campers interested in food, shopping, math, anatomy, writing, computers, education, marketing, and more, may find there’s a job at the Zoo that’s perfect for them. Offered sessions 1, 3, 5 and 7
Lights, Camera, Conservation!
Do you have a passion for animals and protecting the natural world? Do you strive to make a difference? The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,400 animals including more than 30 different endangered or threatened species from around the world. Campers will meet many of these amazing animals up close and learn about the efforts taking place to protect and preserve them in the wild. Campers will write, produce and film their own short movie to educate the public about the threats to these amazing animals. Through interviews with animal experts, behind-the-scenes access and personal experiences with the animals, campers will create lasting memories, become champions of wildlife conservation, and learn how zoos function as centers for animal conservation. Offered sessions 2, 4, 6 and 8
Looking for Winter Camp Zoo?
Registration opens Fall 2018
Children will have fascinating adventures with the natural world at Winter Camp Zoo at the Phoenix Zoo! Taking advantage of cooler temperatures, participants join in outdoor activities, such as up-close animal encounters, hands-on experiences, games, in-depth investigations and hikes around the Zoo. Participants also spend time in the classroom making crafts, using scientific tools and meeting with Zoo animal ambassadors!
Winter Camp Zoo is for students in kindergarten through 8th- grade.
Sense of Wonder Camp 2018
~ For children with orthopedic and sensory impairments ~
Registration coming soon!
Combining the best experiences from our week-long camp curriculum, this one day camp experience is sure to be a memorable one! Children have fascinating adventures with the natural world through up-close animal encounters, hands-on activities, games, in-depth investigations and organized free-time. Sense of Wonder Camp offers a safe yet challenging educational experience designed to build a camper’s independence, confidence and skills. Campers are encouraged to develop strong relationships with their peers and to appreciate individual connections with the natural world. Although lessons are developed ahead of time, we leave room for individual self-expression and the program is flexible to meet the needs of individuals within the group.
Many children have special needs and it is not possible for one program to meet the specific needs of all children. Sense of Wonder is designed specifically for children with sensory and/or orthopedic impairments. While we do not have the staff to accommodate campers with behavioral, emotional or cognitive impairments, or who are extremely medically fragile, campers with these needs are welcome to attend when accompanied by their aide, caregiver or respite provider (who attend camp at no additional charge. Terrain at the Zoo may be difficult for some, but we select activities and behind-the-scenes experiences to maximize accessibility. Campers who will need one-on one assistance whenever they are moving are expected to provide their own guide. Campers also need to be able to communicate consistently and reliably in a verbal or non-verbal way, so camp instructors and peers can understand their needs and so the campers can fully participate in, and benefit from, the whole camp experience. If campers have communication impairments, they should be accompanied by someone who is able to facilitate communication on their behalf.
Although lessons are developed ahead of time, we leave room for individual self-expression and the program is flexible to meet the needs of individuals within the group. Instructors possess respect for and understanding of children and a deep passion for the natural world. They are well trained in interpretive techniques, group management and activity facilitation. Please contact the Camp Zoo supervisor to discuss your child’s needs and ensure that Camp Zoo is a good match as part of your child’s summer schedule.
All camp participants receive a shirt, hat, water bottle and lanyard. Campers must wear their Camp Zoo shirt during camp. One shirt will be included with your registration and additional shirts are available for purchase. Camp fee also includes a small mid-morning snack.