Special Needs Camps
Special Needs Camps at the Phoenix Zoo
These camps have been developed with the assistance of generous grant from the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. As part of this grant, a limited number of children with visual/orthopedic impairments will receive scholarships to attend for free. Find out about the scholarship program now!
Combining the best experiences from our week long camp curriculum, each of these one day camp experience is sure to be a memorable one! Children will have fascinating adventures with the natural world through up-close animal encounters, hands-on activities, games, in-depth investigations, and organized free-time. Camp Zoo 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.
So many children have special needs and it is not possible for one program to meet the specific needs of all children. These days of Camp Zoo are designed specifically for children with visual and orthopaedic disabilities. Terrain at the Zoo may be difficult for some, but we have selected our activities and behind the scenes experiences to maximize accessibility to our campers with these impairments. Campers must be ambulatory or capable of using a walker, wheelchair, cane or other mobility aides. Campers who need one-on-one assistance whenever they are moving are expected to provide their own guide (who will attend camp at no additional charge). 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 while at camp and so the children can fully participate in, and benefit from, the whole camp experience. If campers do have communication impairments, they should be accompanied by someone who is able to facilitate communication on behalf of the camper.
Although our lessons are developed ahead of time, we do leave room for individual self expression, and the program is flexible to meet the needs of individuals within the group. Our instructors possess 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.*
While we do not have the staff to accommodate campers with behavioural, 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 (with no additional charge). Please contact the Camp Zoo Supervisor to discuss your child's needs and ensure that Camp Zoo will be a good match as part of your child's summer schedule.
Camp Zoo at the Phoenix Zoo is for students who are entering Kindergarten through 8th grade in the fall of
2012. The camp day begins at 8am and concludes at 12:30pm.
All camp participants will receive a shirt, hat, water bottle, and lanyard. Campers must wear their Camp Zoo shirt. One shirt will be included with your registration and additional shirts are available for purchase. Camp fee includes a small mid-morning snack.
*Please note that the zoo does not employ specific individuals certified or extensively trained in Special Education. However, our camp instructors do receive pre-camp training that includes basic skills for working with children who have special needs.