CAMPS

The wildest day camp! Find summer and school break camp options.

CAMP FAVORS

 

Campers and staff alike are required to follow camp favors at all times to ensure everyone stays safe and enjoys their time at camp.  We will go over the camp favors with campers on the first day of camp, but we encourage you to review these expectations with your child prior to camp.

 

Be Safe

Everyone's safety is our highest priority! In order to keep campers safe we ask everyone to stay with the group at all times, do not climb up fences or into exhibits, wear your camp t-shirt so campers and staff are easily recognized, and refrain from fighting (even play fighting) as it may result in serious injuries.

Listen and Learn 

If we listen to the staff, each other and the animals, we can learn many exciting and wonderful things!  Listening can teach us things and it can keep us safe. When we listen to others and respect what they say, they are more likely to listen to us when it is our turn.

Respect

Put simply, respect means to be nice. We all need to work on being nice to each other, respecting each other's space, listening to each other and respecting what everyone has to say. This also includes respecting the plants and animals at the zoo by not picking the plants or their leaves, tapping on the glass at animal exhibits or yelling at the animals.

Have Fun

We want everyone to have fun, that is what camp is all about! Paying attention to the camp favors can help make camp great. If there is ever a time a camper is not having fun...talk to the staff! We will do everything we can to make things better!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

About Kinder Camp, Zooper Day Camp and Discoveries Day Camp

For Children Ages 3-9

 

How do I know what group my child is in?

Camp staff will direct you to your child's camp group at check-in on the first morning of camp.

Can my child be in the same group as their friend or sibling?

Camp groups are typically assigned so that all children in a group are no more than 12 months apart in age. This allows the camp instructors to tailor camp activities and learning opportunities in a way that is successful for the entire group. However, depending on the camp and time of year, groups can sometimes extend beyond the 12-month age range.

If you register a child for a camp that relies on group assignments by age, you are given an opportunity to include a grouping preference at the time of registration. If you have already registered your child and would like to submit a grouping preference, you may do so by emailing us at camps@zoo.org. Although we make every effort to honor your grouping preferences whenever possible, please understand that we can never guarantee that children will be grouped together. Unless specifically requested otherwise, we tend to place siblings in separate groups.

For privacy reasons, we are unable to give out group information about other children. However, if you have submitted a group request and we are unable to accommodate it we will make every effort to contact you prior to the start of camp. 

Who will be in charge of my camper's group?

We work hard to hire fantastic staff each summer for camp. Our instructors are often college students studying natural sciences or Education or professionals in the environmental education or teaching fields. During school year camps most of our instructors are full-time educators at the zoo. 

In each group we have an instructor and an assistant working with 13-14 children in Zooper Day Camp and DDC and 10-12 children in Kinder Camp. Sometimes your instructor team will be helped out by a ZooCorps Volunteer or Intern.  ZooCorps is a teen volunteer program which you can find out more about here: ZooCorps program. Counselors-in-training (CITs) also assist camp groups during the summer. CITs are middle school and high school students who are at least 12 years old and have attended Zoo U. CITs and ZooCorps volunteers are never left in charge of campers. They serve as an extra pair of eyes and hands and act as role models.

Will my camper always have the same instructor?

If you come to camp for one whole week you will always have the same instructor team working with your group (although the ZooCorps volunteers may be different each day). If your child attends Zooper Day Camp or DDC for more than one week you may get the same instructors or they may get to be with someone new. 

Do the campers get to go behind the scenes or touch the animals?

Unfortunately due to many things including safety, we are unable to take camp groups behind the scenes in animal units. Some years we do go to non-animal behind-the-scenes locations such as Zoo Doo, the commissary or others. Groups occasionally have the opportunity to come in contact with small zoo animals at the Family Farm Contact Area or Animal Encounter stations around the zoo.

Why is the t-shirt that color?

Every two years we change the camp t-shirt colors. Our purpose is to choose a color that is bright and easy to pick out in a crowd. 

Does my child have to wear the camp t-shirt?

Zooper Day Camp, Kinder Camp and Discoveries Day Camp Campers and staff are required to wear their camp t-shirts every day during summer camp programs. This allows us to recognize campers easily when we are out on grounds with the throngs of summer visitors. Each child automatically receives a camp t-shirt for each week they are registered for camp. If your child is registered for more than one week you will receive all their t-shirts on the first day of the first week.

If a camper does not come to camp with their t-shirt any day during camp, you can either retrieve it from home or you will need to purchase a new one for $5.00. Due to health guidelines, we cannot loan children t-shirts.

Who will be at zoo camp?

There are four different camps running each week during the summer. Kinder Camp for 3-5 year olds, Discoveries Day Camp (a cooperative program between Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle Children's Theatre) for 5-7 year olds, Zooper Day Camp for 4-9 year olds and Zoo U for 10-14 year olds. Campers come from all over the state and country -- sometimes even other countries! 

What is the zoo's EIN/Tax ID number?

For your tax forms and other childcare deductibles the zoo's EIN/Tax ID number is 91-6070005. 

 

 

About Zoo University (Zoo U)

For children ages 10-14

 

Can my 9-year old participate in Zoo U?

We are very firm on Zoo U's age range.  Students must at least be turning the minimum age during the week they are enrolled.  Zoo U is a small group of students that spend a full week together; significant age discrepancies have a tendency to disrupt group dynamics.

Do most Zoo U students attend with friends?

Occasionally a pair of friends will choose to attend together and requests can be noted on the registration form.  However, for the most part students are meeting one another for the first time on Monday and often new exciting friendships are made over the course of the week.

Will Zoo U students be doing the same things they did last year?

The curricula this summer will be different from the last several years of Zoo U.  None of the Zoo U curricula repeats for at least 4 years. 

Is there a special camp t-shirt for Zoo U?

Zoo U students are not required to wear the brightly colored t-shirts that Zooper Day and Kinder Camp kids wear but should dress for the various weather Seattle experiences.

Will Zoo U students go behind the scenes and/or work with animals?

Zoo U programs very rarely go behind the scenes.  However, students will have unique opportunities to meet and talk with a variety of zoo experts over the course of the week.  Some Zoo U groups may have the opportunity to touch one of our education animals while on tour at the zoo, but this is not a guaranteed experience.

Will Zoo U students spend a lot of time in the classroom?

There are a few activities each day that are better suited to a classroom environment, but most of the day will be spent exploring and playing on zoo grounds.  Occasionally, the Zoo U program will utilize areas around the zoo such as Green Lake and Woodland Park.  Campers will always be under the supervision of our camp staff on or off zoo grounds during camp hours.   

 

SAFETY POLICIES

 

Kid Codes

We rely on the Kid Code system as vital to ensuring the safety of all children at camp. Thank you in advance for respecting this policy and the staff enforcing it.

When registering your child for camp, you will be asked to create a Kid Code. This is a secret code known only by the adults authorized to pick up your child from camp and staff will only release a child to an adult who provides the correct Kid Code. In lieu of a Kid Code, we can also accept a valid, government-issued ID from the adult who registered your child or any of the individuals listed as emergency contacts. 

If an individual arrives to pick up your child withouth knowing the Kid Code, or if the child says the Kid Code out loud in front of an arriving adult before they are checked out, we will need to contact you or an individual listed as an emergency contact for permission before we can release your child to them. 

If you forget your Kid Code, you can refer back to your original registration confirmation email where it is listed. For safety reasons, we are unable to give out Kid Codes over the phone, however, we can confirm whether or not the code you give us is correct. We can also remind you of your Kid Code when you drop off your child at the start of camp.

Kid Code Guidelines

  • Typically a one or two word code or phrase, preferably in English
  • For safety reasons, never use the child’s name, nickname or a parent name as the Kid Code (name of a pet, etc.. is ok)
  • Please do not tell your child their Kid Code, or if you do, please explain the importance of keeping it secret.

Potty Policy

The following is the camp policy as written in the staff training manual.

Never take a child to the bathroom by yourself.

In the Education Center

If a child needs to go to the bathroom, a camp staffer or zoo corps intern should take a minimum of two children of the same sex and accompany the children to the restroom. The camp employee should make sure there is no one in the restroom before the children enter and other people should not be allowed in the restroom while the children are in there alone (this includes zoo staff as well as visitors). If there is another staff person or member of the public, the camp staff person should stand inside the restroom, if they are of the same sex. Otherwise, once the restroom is clear, the staff person should remain outside with the doors blocked open and not allow any other staff member or member of the public in until all campers are out of the restroom.

On Zoo Grounds

Never leave a child unattended.

While out on zoo grounds, the entire group will stop at the public restroom. One WPZ camp employee will remain outside with the children who do no have to use the facilities and the other WPZ camp employee will enter the facilities (as appropriate) with the children and remain there until all participants are finished. The staff person should never remain alone with only one child in the restroom.

If the camp employees are not of the same sex as the children, the employee should make sure there is no one in the restroom before the children enter and other people should not be allowed in the restroom while the children are in there alone (this includes zoo staff as well as visitors). Obviously this is difficult for other non-camp individuals, so it is optimal that children take restroom breaks while at the Education Center. The Taiga building and Zoomazium have restrooms that are open to individuals only. The West Entry restrooms are also seldom used and a good place for camp restroom stops.

Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.

 

Seattle Parks & Recreation
Association of Zoos & Aquariums

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5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103   |  206.548.2500  |   zooinfo@zoo.org