Summer Camp

Best Camp Ever

Summer is a magical time. Free days offer endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Why lie around staring at a screen or wishing you had more to do? The most memorable summer days are filled with excitement and action.

Summer Camps at the Caldwell Zoo engage kids’ minds and bodies through programs that will nurture their love of nature. Each of our weekly camps is custom-built around a special theme, with hands-on activities showing kids just how awesome the animal kingdom really is.

Summer Camps run weekly from June 6 through August 12. Programs are available for children from 4 – 13 years old.

Registration opens March 1, 2022. Camps can fill up quickly, so sign up as early as possible. Please register by April 24, 2022 to ensure proper T-shirt size.

You Can Register For The Following

Full-Day Camp

(Available for ages 4-6, 7-9, 10-13)
Includes registration, snacks and 1 T-shirt

PRICE

Zoo Members $200
Non-members: $225

All-Inclusive Full-Day Camp Package

(Available for Full-Day Camps only)
Includes registration, snacks, hot lunch from our café and 2 T-shirts

PRICE

Zoo Members $240
Non-members: $265

Half-Day Option

(Available for ages 4-6 only)
Includes registration, snacks and 1 T-shirt

PRICE

Zoo Members: $120
Non-Members: $135

Camp Schedule

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Mighty Mascots

JUNE 6th – 10th
(4-6 year olds and 7-9 year olds)

JUNE 13th – 17th
(4-6 year olds, 7-9 year olds, and 10-13 year olds)

JUNE 20th – 24th
(4-6 year olds and 7-9 year olds)

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Wild Myth Busters

JUNE 27th – JULY 1st
(4-6 year olds and 7-9 year olds)

JULY 11th – 15th
(4-6 year olds, 7-9 year olds, and 10-13 year olds)

JULY 18th – 22nd
(4-6 year olds and 7-9 year olds)

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Unsung Heroes

JULY 25th – 29th
(4-6 year olds and 7-9 year olds)

AUGUST 1st – 5th
(4-6 year olds, 7-9 year olds, and 10-13 year olds)

AUGUST 8th – 12th
(4-6 year olds and 7-9 year olds)

Summer 2022 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.

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Mighty Mascots

Do you know Tony the Tiger? What about Sammy the Banana Slug? Join us while we explore the species that inspire popular mascots and discover what makes these amazing animals great representatives for your favorite brands and teams.

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Wild Myth Busters

True or false: Ostriches bury their heads in the sand. FALSE! In this camp, we invite you to investigate animal myths and misconceptions and uncover the truth behind them.

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Unsung Heroes

Do you have what it takes to build like a tortoise, garden like a bear, or compost like a worm? The natural world is full of dirty (challenging and complicated) jobs that need doing and these animals are up to the task. Come find out if you are too!

Schedule

Full-day camps run from Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Half-day camps are available for children 4-6 years old and run from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Meals

Full-day camps include a morning and afternoon snack. Campers must bring lunch from home or purchase the Full-Day All Inclusive package, which includes a hot lunch from our café.

Any food allergies or special diet restrictions must be communicated at the time of registration.

Clothing

To help counselors to keep track of all campers, Zoo Camp T-shirts must be worn each day of camp.

Important Information

  • All camps are organized by age ranges. Parents should register for the age group that corresponds to their child’s age on the first day of the desired camp session.
  • For answers to many common questions, please review the Frequently Asked Questions below.
  • For additional questions, please contact our Education Department by phone at 903-593-0121 ext. 228 or by email at education@caldwellzoo.org. Please include your contact information and any details about your inquiry, and our staff will respond ASAP.

Sample Day at Zoo Camp

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

Note: This schedule is a generic sample. Actual schedules will vary based on campers’ ages and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Caldwell Zoo takes the health and safety of its guests, employees and animals seriously. The zoo follows the guidelines set by state health officials. We continually monitor any changes to state guidelines and make adjustments based on updated recommendations. For specific information, please contact the Education Department (903-593-0121 ext. 228 or education@caldwellzoo.org).

How many students are in each class?
We will have up to 12 campers in 4 – 6 year old camps. For ages 7 – 9 and 10 – 13, we will have up to 15 campers in a camp. A counselor and ZooCrew volunteers staff each session.

What forms are required before my child can participate?
During drop off on the first day of camp, we will collect your paperwork including your Authorized Adult form, Emergency Contact Information and Policy/Liability Release form. To expedite the check-in process on the first day, print and fill out these forms at home and have them ready to hand to zoo staff upon arrival.

What if something comes up and I need to cancel my registration?

Caldwell Zoo does not provide refunds for cancelled registrations. Our programs are planned months ahead of time, so staffing is arranged and supplies are ordered based on reservations. However, we understand surprises happen, and we will try to accommodate requests for registration changes if your child cannot attend the camp session for which he or she is registered.

You are welcome to find another camper to take your child’s spot as long as the registration is transferred before the first day of the camp session. To transfer registration to another child, you must notify zoo staff at least one month prior to the start of the session, and we must receive the registration for the new camper at least two weeks before the first day of the session. If these deadlines are not met, the Zoo may disallow the other student’s participation.

Drop Off
Each morning before camp begins, we will meet you and your child at the bus parking lot for drop off. The bus parking lot is on Gentry Parkway, right beside the Sonic. Please form a car line leading to the curb where zoo staff will greet you and help your child get to the right location inside the zoo. The bus lot gates open at 8:50 a.m. We suggest you arrive as close to 8:50 a.m. as possible to avoid backing up traffic on Gentry Parkway. Summer Camp begins at 9:00 a.m.

For everyone’s safety, please stay in your vehicle during drop off if possible. You may get out of your car if doing so is necessary to get your child out of a car seat. For the safety of our staff and your family, please wear a facemask while zoo staff are interacting with you or your child in carpool line. We ask that parents not walk their child into Summer Camp as this delays the drop off process for others.

Please have your child’s registration paperwork filled out and ready to hand to zoo staff upon arrival.

Pick Up
The full-day camp ends at 3:00 p.m. The bus lot gates will be open from 3:00 – 3:20 p.m. The half-day camp for children ages 4– 6 ends at 12:00 p.m. The bus lot gates will be open from 12:00 – 12:10 p.m. Please form a car line leading to the curb just as you did during drop off. All adults picking up a camper must show their ID each day. We will use the Authorized Adult form to verify who is authorized to pick up each child. Please remain in your vehicle, and we will bring your child to your car.

What does my student need to bring?
Each camper should bring the following items 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
The following items also may be useful, depending on daily weather conditions:
  • Rain jacket/umbrella
  • Winter coat
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
What should my student not bring?
The following items should be left at home:
  • Toys
  • Stuffed animals
  • Weapons
  • Perfume or make-up
  • Money
  • Pets
  • Parents
  • Bad Attitude
The following items may sometimes be appropriate, but your child will be asked to put them away during certain activities
  • Cell phone
  • Digital camera
  • Backpack

What if I am running late for drop off?
Please let us know if you are running late. Call the Visitor Services office at 903-593-0121, and we will coordinate with you. Most likely you will be asked to bring your camper to the main entrance of the zoo when you arrive.

What if I need to pick up my student early?
If possible, communicate the pick-up time with camp staff at drop-off. If something comes up unexpectedly that requires you to collect your child early, call our Visitor Services office at 903-593-0121, and we will coordinate with you and our staff. Most likely you will be asked to come to the main entrance to collect your child.

What if my student will be absent?
We understand that things happen that may cause a camper to miss a day. If your camper will be absent, please let us know. We would like to get camp rolling rather than wait for someone who is not coming that day.

What if I need to cancel my registration after a session begins?
Summer Camp is non-refundable, and registration cannot be cancelled or rescheduled after a session has begun.

What if rain is predicted?
Camp will go on, rain or shine! Please send your camper in weather-appropriate clothing, as we will still be outside on rainy days. If lightning or other weather poses a health risk, we will stay inside and modify our activities.

Who can I contact in case of an emergency?
If something comes up during the day, contact our Visitor Services office at 903-593-0121, and they will coordinate with your child’s counselor.

Can I stay with my child during camp?
Summer Camp is designed to be a drop-off program, so parents may not stay with a child during camp. There is not enough space to accommodate both campers and parents, and campers can be distracted when their parents are around. We want all participants to get the most out of every session.

Can I remain at the zoo while my child is in camp?
Parents and siblings are welcome to enjoy the zoo while a child is at camp. If you know you will be remaining at the zoo during your child’s camp, feel free to park in the main parking lot as soon as you arrive and walk your child through the zoo to the bus parking lot for drop off. If you prefer to use the drop off line, you must exit the bus lot and park in the main lot, allowing you to enter the zoo using the main entrance. To enter the zoo, members must present their Member ID, and non-members must pay admission.

What if my child has dietary restrictions?
Please notify us during registration about any allergies your child has so that we can take protective measures. We will try to provide alternate snacks free of major food allergens. However, if your child has a combination of allergies or is allergic to something uncommon, you are welcome to send separate snacks for your student.

What if I forgot to send a lunch?
You can make arrangements to bring a meal for your child prior to his or her scheduled lunch break. You are welcome to purchase a meal at our on-site restaurant, the Chakula Café, or at another convenient location. Due to time constraints, campers may not buy lunch at the café themselves. Our zoo staff is not allowed to provide lunches to campers.

Can I bring group snacks?
We would love to celebrate with campers who have a birthday or other special event during the program! Please let the Education Staff know in advance if you will be bringing group snacks. Group snacks must be store bought and sealed. For the safety of all students, if these guidelines are not followed, we have the right not to serve the group snacks brought by a parent.

Is my child old enough to enjoy camp?
Children must be at least 4 years old to attend Summer Camp. To fully enjoy camp, your child must be able to play cooperatively and sit and listen for 10 minutes. Campers must be toilet trained and able to take restroom breaks independently. If you have questions about this policy, please contact us. We can be reached by phone at 903-593-0121 ext. 228 or by email at education@caldwellzoo.org.

What about my child who needs special accommodations?
We welcome campers with special needs! We do ask to be informed at registration so we can make appropriate accommodations as needed. If your child requires the assistance of an aide, the aide is more than welcome to join your child free of charge during camp as long as this arrangement is scheduled at the time of registration.

Reservations are only valid for the registered child and the session booked. Summer Camp is non-refundable. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; many camp sessions are likely to fill. Caldwell Zoo may cancel any camp session or day at any time without prior notice. If this occurs, the zoo will provide a full refund for a cancelled session or a pro rata refund for the cancelled day. Participants must follow all camp rules and the instructions provided by camp counselors. Any child who jeopardizes the welfare of an animal or the safety of anyone in the group will be removed from the program without a refund. All participants must be within their camp session’s age bracket on the first day of the session. Ages will be verified on the first day. Students registered for a session outside their own age bracket may be removed from the program without a refund. Please call 903-593-0121 for more details on program policies. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Please feel free to contact our Education Department at education@caldwellzoo.org or by calling us at 903-593-0121 ext. 228.

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