Summer Camp

Caldwell Zoo Camps run weekly from June 7th through August 6th.
Programs are available for all children from 4-13 years old.

Registration opens March 1, 2021. Camps can fill up quickly. Don’t delay and sign up as early as possible.
Please register by Apri 24, 2021 to ensure proper T-shirt sizing.

Parents will have the option to register for:

FULL-DAY CAMP

Includes Registration, Snacks and 1 T-shirt

ALL-INCLUSIVE FULL-DAY CAMP PACKAGE

Includes Full-Day Camp Registration, Snacks, Hot Lunch from the Café and 2 T-shirts

HALF-DAY OPTION (4-6 year olds only)

Includes Registration, Snacks, 1 T-shirt

About Our Camps

Price

Full-Day Camps (Available for ages 4-6, 7-9, 10-13)
Non-members: $225  |  Zoo Members: $200

All Inclusive Package (Available for Full-Day registrations only)
Non-members: $265  |  Zoo Members: $240

Half-Days Camps (Available for ages 4-6 only)
Non-Members: $135 | Zoo Members: $120


Schedule

All full-day camps run from Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Half-day camps are available for children 4-6 years old and run from 9:00 am-12:00 pm. Please check listing for details and availability.

Meals

Full-day camps include a morning and afternoon snack for each registered camper. Full-Day All Inclusive adds hot lunch from the café.
Any food allergies or special diet restrictions must be communicated at the time of registration.

Campers must bring lunches from home or purchase our Full-day all-inclusive camp package which includes delicious meals for the week from the zoo’s café.
The menu can be viewed here

Clothing

All campers will receive 1 custom Caldwell Zoo Summer Camp T-shirt (2 shirts with the All Inclusive Package). Camp T-shirts must be worn each day of camp. (This helps counselors to keep track of all the campers.) Please register before April 24, 2021 to reserve your place, shirt size.


Important Information

  • Please see the weekly camp schedule. All camps run from Monday to Friday. Each weekly camp has a special theme and each day has different activities to energize, engage and inspire.
  • All camps are organized by age ranges. Campers should register for the age group that corresponds to their age at the time of that specific camp. So, if your camper has a summer birthday, choose the age group that aligns with your camper’s age at the start of the weekly camp session.
  • For answers to many common questions, please review the Frequently Asked Questions section below.
  • For any additional questions, please contact our Education Department:
    Phone: 903-593-0121 ext. 228
    Email: education@caldwellzoo.org
    Please include your contact information and any details about your inquiry. Our staff will respond ASAP.

2021 Caldwell Zoo Camp COVID Precautions (PDF)

Sample Day at Zoo Camp

9:00 am - 9:10 am Drop-off/Check-in
9:10 am - 9:45 am Topic Exploration
9:45 am - 10:30 am Time on Grounds
10:30 am - 10:45 am Snack
10:45 am - 12:00 pm Experiments/Crafts/Games
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Lunch/Outside Time
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm Free Time
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm Time on Grounds
2:00 pm - 2:15 pm Snack
2:15 pm - 3:00 pm Experiments/Crafts/Games
3:00 pm - 3:10 pm Pick-up/Check-out

Note: This schedule is a generic sample. Actual schedules will vary based on activities and age-dependent considerations.

 

Camper Drop-off

All campers should be dropped off and picked up at the Caldwell Zoo Bus Parking Lot. The Bus Parking lot is located on West Gentry Parkway. If you are traveling from the downtown area on West Gentry Parkway, drive past the traffic light at Martin Luther King Boulevard. The Bus Parking Entrance will be on your right, just before the Sonic restaurant.

If you are coming from the North on West Gentry Parkway, you will travel past the Taco Bell and the Sonic. The Bus Parking Entrance will be just after the Sonic on your left.

Summer 2021 Adventure Tracks

Caldwell Zoo Summer Camps will feature 3 distinct and exciting themes for each age group of campers. The camps for each week are designed with exceptional variety so that there’s activities that engage every camper, no matter what their interests may be.


Summer Camp Activity
Camp & Elephants

Let the Games Begin

This camp’s theme is inspired by the spirit of the summer Olympics. Campers will relish in game-based activities that teach, challenge and rejoice in friendly competition. Fun facts about wildlife will enhance the games by sharing how animals compete for survival and learn through play.

Sensation Nation

This camp explores animals with super senses and how our human senses compare. Campers will form personal connections with wildlife through fun activities engaging all of their own sensory super powers.

 Artistic Animals

This camp focuses on creative inspiration from the amazing color and artistic beauty of the animal kingdom. Campers will learn about the purpose of animals' colors and explore their own creativity through painting, printmaking, sculpting and more.

4-6 Year Old Camps

Younger campers may not be ready for full day camps. So, we offer a half-day camp option for children 4-6 years old, if you don't feel your child can manage full-day.

Full day camps are 9:00 am- 3:00 pm, and the Half day camp option runs from 9:00 am- 12:00 pm. Campers will be escorted by zoo staff to the Bus Parking lot for pick-up.


Let the Games Begin

June 7tht - 11th

June 14th - 18th

June 21st - 25th


Sensation Nation

June 28th - July 2nd

July 5th - 9th

July 12th - 16th


Artistic Animals

July 19th - 23rd

July 26th - 30th

Aug 2nd - 6th


7-9 Year Old Camps


Let the Games Begin

June 7th - 11th

June 21st - 25th


Sensation Nation

June 28th - July 2nd

July 12th - 16th


Artistic Animals

July 19th - 23rd

Aug 2nd - 6th


10-13 Year Old Camps


Let the Games Begin

June 14th - 18th


Sensation Nation

July 5th - July 9th


Artistic Animals

July 26th - 30th


Frequently Asked Questions

Drop Off
For drop off please STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE if possible. You may get out of your vehicle in the space around your car for goodbyes or to get children out of car seats. We strongly request that you wear a facemask. We will meet you and your child/children at the bus parking lot each afternoon of class. The bus parking lot is on Gentry Parkway, right beside the Sonic. You will form a drop off line leading to the curb where zoo staff will greet you. Zoo Camp begins at 9:00 a.m. The education specialists will open the gates to bus parking at 8:50 a.m. The entry on Gentry Parkway has a tendency to get congested with participant cars. We suggest arriving as close to 8:50 a.m. as possible to avoid being backed up on the street. On the first day of camp, we will collect your paperwork including your Authorized Adult form, Emergency Contact Information & Policy/Liability Release Form. To expedite the check in process, we prefer that you print out and fill in these forms at home and have them ready to hand to zoo staff upon arrival.
After paperwork is filled out and the health screen is complete, guardians will stay in the car and participants will be sent to their designated group.

Pick Up
Camp ends at 3:00 p.m. The bus lot gates will open at 3:00 p.m. Please form the same line of cars leading to the curb as you did during drop off.

All adults are required to show their ID daily to verify that they are listed on the Authorized Adult form to pick up that child. We will bring your child(ren) to your car.

What time does the bus lot open?
The bus lot will be open during the following times:

  • 8:50 am – 9:10 am camp drop off
  • 12:00 pm – 12:10 pm 4-6 year old half-day pick up
  • 3:00 pm – 3:20 pm camp pick up

What if I am running late for drop off?
Please let us know if your camper will be late for the start of camp. Call the Visitor Services office at 903-593-0121, and we will coordinate with you. You may be directed to bring your camper to the main entrance of the zoo. Accommodations need to be coordinated with our staff.

What if I need to pick my camper up early?
If a camper needs to leave early, please communicate the pick-up time with camp staff at the time of morning drop-off. If an unexpected early pick-up is required, please call the Visitor Services office at 903-593-0121. Arrangements will be coordinated with our staff.

What if my camper will be absent?
We understand that things happen to make a camper miss a day. If your camper will be absent, please contact zoo staff in advance at 903-593-0121. By having advance notice, camp counselors won’t delay the start of camp activities due to waiting for an absent camper.

We thank you for considering at Caldwell Zoo’s Summer Camp! We have worked hard to create a fun and safe environment for your children. Summer Camp will look a little different due to COVID-19 guidelines. Please read the document in its entirety to be prepared for Summer Camp for your child.

The safety and wellness of our participants is our top priority this year and every year. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have put new procedures in place for the safety of your campers, your family, Zoo staff, and the animals. If you have any concerns about our procedures for this summer, please contact us. As usual, for the safety of all participants, do not send a sick child to class.

Specialized COVID-19 Changes

  • Staff will wear masks indoors and when appropriate in close contact
  • All class spaces and materials will be thoroughly cleaned at increased frequency
  • Groups will be kept separate throughout the program to minimize exposure risk
  • Pick up and drop off will be done in cars in order to minimize the interaction between family groups and to prevent non-program guests from interacting with participants
  • We will conduct health screenings during drop off and students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or high temperatures will not be allowed to attend class
  • We will call parents to pick up their children from class within the hour if they begin exhibiting any symptoms of illness as listed on our Emergency Contact Information & Policy/Liability Release Form
  • In the event that a participant or zoo staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we will notify the guardians of other participants while following privacy policies.

Health Screening Procedures
The participant screening process will happen daily as follows: (1) guardians will be asked a series of COVID-19 specific health screening questions regarding their child, (2) participants will have their temperature taken, (3) participants will be observed for COVID-19 symptoms. Zoo staff will continue to monitor participants throughout the program for new symptoms. If participants display any symptoms, guardians answer yes to any of the questions, or their temperature is higher than 100.4 they will not be allowed entry to camp until cleared by a doctor. Refunds due to the daily screening are not available.

Can I stay with my child during camp?
Our summer camp programs are specially designed for children aged 4-13 years old. The programming has been carefully built to be age-appropriate and engaging for children from different backgrounds and interests. All our camps are arranged for child drop-off and pick-up. Due to space restrictions and the general design of the programming, parents cannot accompany the children in camp activities.

Can I remain at the zoo while my child is in camp?
Parents and siblings who are not enrolled in summer camp are welcome to enjoy the zoo during regular business hours. Standard admission fees are applicable. All guests must exit the bus lot and enter through the main entrance. Members can show Member ID at the Main Entrance for free admittance.

Note: If you plan to enter the zoo during your child’s camp, you are welcome to park in “General Parking." You can enter through the Main Entrance and walk your camper to the Bus Parking Entrance to meet the camp counselors. This will allow you to avoid having to move your car.

What to bring?
The following items are necessary for camp every day:

  • Current year, official Caldwell Zoo Summer Camp T-Shirt
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Closed-toed Shoes
  • Lunch unless a lunch package has been purchased

Highly Recommended
Considering that the weather can change quickly, we suggest that campers have a bag or pack with the following items:

  • Rain jackets/umbrellas
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses

Not Recommended
All toys, perfume, make-up, cash should be excluded from camp
A Note on Electronics
Our camps are designed to keep campers engaged in each of the planned activities. So, depending on the program, we may ask that campers keep these devices stored during camp.

  • Cell phones
  • Camera

Strictly Forbidden
Absolutely no weapons allowed. Any camper in possession of weapons can lead to the immediate removal of the camper from the program. No refund issued.

No pets. Yes, we are animal lovers here at the Caldwell Zoo. But we have to keep our zoo animals safe and separate from pets from home.

Camp programs are “rain or shine” and follow the basic guidelines of youth sport activities. Many of our programs can continue in light rain. If there is lighting or any conditions that pose a health risk, activities will be modified or moved inside. Please make sure your child has weather-appropriate clothing and clothing that can get a little dirty during outdoor activities.

Camp registration fees are considered non-refundable. We understand that surprises happen and we will always do our best to make accommodations for changes to registration. Please note that our programs are planned months in advance. So, staffing and supplies are arranged in alignment with camp reservations.

If your camper becomes unable to attend the registered camp, it may be possible to transfer the registration to another child. To transfer registration to another child, Education Staff must be notified at least a month prior to camp. The new camper’s registration must be received two weeks prior to the start of the camp.

For all emergencies, please contact Visitor Services immediately, 903-593-0121. Zoo staff will make arrangements accordingly.

All allergies, food or other, must be communicated at the time of registration. For allergies and dietary restrictions, the camp staff will try to make accommodations that are suitable for the child’s health and safety.

What if I forgot to send a lunch?
If a camper is lacking appropriate lunch at the time of drop-off, a parent or guardian can make arrangements to bring the meal to camp prior to the scheduled lunch break.

Meals can be purchased at the zoo’s restaurant, the Chakula Café or other vendors deemed suitable by the parent or guardian. Please note that the Caldwell Zoo Staff is unable to provide lunches to campers and, due to time constraints, cannot allow campers to buy lunch at the café themselves.

Can I bring group snacks?
If your camper has a birthday or other special event during the camp week, we would love to celebrate with them! Due to possible food allergies, all food items must be cleared with zoo staff prior to delivery. Any group snacks must be store bought and sealed.

Is my child old enough to enjoy camp?
Our camp programs are designed to be suitable for children of all backgrounds and interests. All campers must register for the camp aligned with their age at the start of the specific camp that they would attend. In order to fully enjoy camp, your camper must be able to cooperatively play and sit and listen for 10 minutes. Campers must be toilet trained and must be able to take restroom breaks independently.

What about my child who needs special accommodations?
We welcome campers with special needs. If your child requires the assistance of an aide, the aide may join the child during camp programs free of charge. Please include all details about special needs at the time of registration.

Reservations are only valid for the specific registered child for the designated week of camp . All fees are considered non-refundable. In some cases, the reservation may be rescheduled or transferred when possible. (Please see transfer and cancellation policies listed above).

All camps are subject to availability. Be sure to read our zoo camp information and policies thoroughly. Caldwell Zoo has the right to cancel these camps at any time without prior notice for full refund. If your camper jeopardizes the welfare of an animal or the safety of anyone in the group, the Caldwell Zoo has the right to remove the attendee from the program with no refund. All participants must follow the rules of camp and the guidelines provided by camp counselors. Any campers that are registered for the wrong age group risk cancellation of their registration without a refund of fees. Campers’ ages should be verified on the first day of each weekly camp. Please call 903-593-0121 ext. 228 for more details on limitations. Prices are subject to change without notice.

If you cannot locate the answer to one of your questions on this page, please contact our Education Department at 903-593-0121 ext. 228 or by email at education@caldwellzoo.org.

We Look Forward to Seeing You!

Caldwell Zoo Summer Camps are built to make summertime extra special. Each camp is made to engage both mind and body through unique zoo experiences and team-building activities. We pack each day with theme related crafts, games, zoo walks, and up-close animal interactions that make learning fun. Content for every camp is designed to challenge and captivate with age-appropriate programming.

Shy or out-going, quiet or spirited, Caldwell Zoo Summer Camps are built to be fun for everyone.

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