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Kids for Nature Summer Camp Programs 2024

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Kids for Nature Summer Camps

Spend a WILD week at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo! You’ll explore the Zoo, visit friendly animals, meet Zoo Keepers and make new friends in this unique summer adventure.

Registration is done online and no phone registrations will be accepted. All programs require registration and openings are limited, so register early to avoid disappointment.

Camp Policies and Procedures

KIDS FOR NATURE SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION OPENS FEB. 1

Campers must be registered in the grade level in which they are enrolled in for the current school year.

For example, if your camper is currently in third grade, please register them for third grade camp.

Kids for Nature Summer Camp Sessions are One Week in Length

Zooper Senses (PreK-K age 4+): How do animals use their senses to move around their world? Join in as we intentionally listen, see, smell, and feel around the Zoo to connect to animals in a new, exciting way.

Fee: $150

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-11:30 am
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-11:30 am
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-11:30 am
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30-11:30 am

Animals in Action (PreK-K age 4+): Get ready to slither, hop, and waddle along as campers meet some amazing animals in motion!

Fee: $150

Dates:

  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-11:30 am
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-11:30 am
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-11:30 am
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-11:30 am

When a program sells out, registration closes and there is no waitlist available. If a spot becomes available, the camp will reopen. Check back regularly to reserve a spot. Phone registrations will not be accepted.

We all have first-day butterflies before camp! In this sensory story, you can talk your camper through all of the sights, sounds, and sensory experiences they may have during camp. This can help those first-day butterflies fly away.

For extra learning and reflection, consider these conversation starters for parents.

Zooper Senses (PreK-K age 4+): How do animals use their senses to move around their world? Join in as we intentionally listen, see, smell, and feel around the Zoo to connect to animals in a new, exciting way.

Fee: $150

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 12:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 12:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 12:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 12:30-3:00 pm

Animals in Action (PreK-K age 4+): Get ready to slither, hop, and waddle along as campers meet some amazing animals in motion!

Fee: $150

Dates:

  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 12:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 12:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 12:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 12:30-3:00 pm

When a program sells out, registration closes and there is no waitlist available. If a spot becomes available, the camp will reopen. Check back regularly to reserve a spot. Phone registrations will not be accepted.

We all have first-day butterflies before camp! In this sensory story, you can talk your camper through all of the sights, sounds, and sensory experiences they may have during camp. This can help those first-day butterflies fly away.

For extra learning and reflection, consider these conversation starters for parents.

Animal Tales (PreK-K age 4+): Animals will jump right off the page as your favorite nature stories come to life! Start your morning off by enjoying storybook tales full of wonder and adventure. Campers will create lasting memories to dream up their very own Zoo story!

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 5/27-5/31 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/29-8/2 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

Animal Builders (PreK-K age 4+): From complex webs to intricate nests, campers will uncover the unique structures that could only be made by nature’s diverse builders.

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 5/27-5/31 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30- 3:00 pm

Nature’s Artists (PreK-K age 4+): Art is not only found in museums or galleries – it’s all around us! What do you see? What excites you?  Become inspired by nature’s beautiful textures, colors, shapes, and patterns as campers create wild masterpieces all week long.

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/9 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm 
  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30- 3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30- 3:00 pm
  • 7/29-8/2 M-F 8:30- 3:00 pm

When a program sells out, registration closes and there is no waitlist available. If a spot becomes available, the camp will reopen. Check back regularly to reserve a spot. Phone registrations will not be accepted.

We all have first-day butterflies before camp! In this sensory story, you can talk your camper through all of the sights, sounds, and sensory experiences they may have during camp. This can help those first-day butterflies fly away.

For extra learning and reflection, consider these conversation starters for parents.

Ecosystem Explorers (1st – 2nd grade): Explore the diverse ecosystems that animals call home. Together campers will learn about biodiversity and discover how each ecosystem plays an important role in providing resources for plants, animals, and even us!

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/4 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

Animal Acrobats (1st – 2nd grade): Do you ever wonder how monkeys balance in a tree? Or how sea lions tumble through the waves? Move your way through the Zoo while we meet the amazing acrobats of the animal kingdom!

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

Creative Critters (1st – 2nd grade): Some of the most imaginative art comes from animal artists.  Influenced by the Zoo’s wild backdrop and natural palette, campers will explore their creative side with unconventional materials found in nature!

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

Wild Kitchen (1st – 2nd grade): Get the inside scoop of how we feed 1,000 animals every single day! Discover the wild world of animal food groups, nutrition, and Zoo diets that keep our animals healthy all year long.

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

When a program sells out, registration closes and there is no waitlist available. If a spot becomes available, the camp will reopen. Check back regularly to reserve a spot. Phone registrations will not be accepted.

We all have first-day butterflies before camp! In this sensory story, you can talk your camper through all of the sights, sounds, and sensory experiences they may have during camp. This can help those first-day butterflies fly away.

For extra learning and reflection, consider these conversation starters for parents.

Animal Olympics (3rd – 4th grade): The animal kingdom has some incredible athletes with some amazing record holders. From super sprinters to long jumpers, compare your own skills to animals’ abilities in a week of interactive Zoo activities.

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-628 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

Animal Legends (3rd – 4th grade): Does an ostrich really bury its head in the sand? Do the animals leave the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in the wintertime? There are legends and answers waiting to be discovered in each corner of the Zoo!

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

Zoo Sleuth (3rd – 4th grade): Put your detective skills to the test as we investigate tracks, fur, and animal signs to uncover and interpret nature’s intriguing mysteries!

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

Exhibit Engineers (3rd – 4th grade): Learn the ins and out of Zoo exhibit design as campers discover how our Zoo Keepers prepare habitats for our animal residents! We will investigate important animal needs and go behind the scenes for an insider look at how we meet and exceed those needs every day.

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

When a program sells out, registration closes and there is no waitlist available. If a spot becomes available, the camp will reopen. Check back regularly to reserve a spot. Phone registrations will not be accepted.

We all have first-day butterflies before camp! In this sensory story, you can talk your camper through all of the sights, sounds, and sensory experiences they may have during camp. This can help those first-day butterflies fly away.

For extra learning and reflection, consider these conversation starters for parents.

Zoo Careers (5th – 6th grade): If you love animals, there are many different fields to explore! Whether you want to be an animal researcher, veterinarian, or commissary technician, spend a week exploring your animal interests as we get to see what a day in the life is like for the various Zoo team members.

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/3-6/7 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/17-6/21 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/1-7/5 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/15-7/19 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

Junior Zoologist (5th – 6th grade): Immerse yourself in the world of animal science and Zoology as you learn some of the biology, behavior, and ecology knowledge that make our Zoo Keepers amazing at what they do!

Fee: $190

Dates:

  • 6/10-6/14 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 6/24-6/28 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/8-7/12 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm
  • 7/22-7/26 M-F 8:30-3:00 pm

When a program sells out, registration closes and there is no waitlist available. If a spot becomes available, the camp will reopen. Check back regularly to reserve a spot. Phone registrations will not be accepted.

We all have first-day butterflies before camp! In this sensory story, you can talk your camper through all of the sights, sounds, and sensory experiences they may have during camp. This can help those first-day butterflies fly away.

For extra learning and reflection, consider these conversation starters for parents.

Kids for Nature Campership Fund

To apply for a Kids for Nature Campership for your child, contact us at 260-427-6800 EXT 301 or education@kidszoo.org

Before and After Camp Care

Before and After Camp Care is available for Kids for Nature Summer Camp only. Find more information here. Questions? Contact the Zoo Education Department at 260-427-6800 EXT 301 or education@kidszoo.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will camp be held on holidays such as Memorial Day and the 4th of July?

Yes, both full day and half day camps will still be held on those days.

What should I bring to camp?

All campers should wear closed-toe shoes and dress to go outside, snow, rain or shine. Campers must bring something to drink and a packed lunch. Reusable lunch boxes and water bottles are encouraged. A snack will be provided, so please list all of your camper’s allergies in registration at check-out.

We do not recommend bringing any additional items like games, toys, or cell phones. Campers would need to carry these personal items with them. The Zoo is not responsible for lost items.

What if my camper isn't feeling well?

We ask that you verify that your camper is not showing any symptoms of illness before bringing them to camp. Please contact our Education team at 260-427-6800 EXT 301 if your camper isn’t able to come to camp.

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will continue to follow the leadership of the Allen County Department of Health and adhere to the guidelines passed down to our community from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. You can view our current COVID-19 plan here.

This policy is subject to change as new CDC guidelines become available.

Can a parent accompany their child to camp?

Camp is a time for campers to connect with animals and build social skills with one another, therefore we do not allow parents to accompany their child to camp. If your child requires additional support or care, please contact our Education Department at 260-427-6800 EXT 301 or email education@kidszoo.org

My child needs medication. Can you help my child with this?

No, campers must be able to administer medication themselves while at camp. If needed, camp counselors can remind them to take their medication by themselves. If you have any concerns regarding medication, please discuss this with your child’s camp counselor on the first day of Zoo camp.

For life saving medication, such as an Epi-pen, see below FAQ. 

My child has an allergy. Can I provide you with an epinephrine auto-injector?

Yes, you will need to supply an epinephrine auto-injector for your camper. Camp counselors will carry it with the group the entire camp day. Camp counselors are trained in basic first aid, which includes the administration of an EpiPen.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), all staff working youth activities, including camp programs, are required to complete training for epinephrine auto-injector administration. The Zoo coordinates with the American Red Cross for this training and will cover the cost of the training for employees required to complete the training.

Is there a lost and found?

Yes. Camp staff keep a lost and found box in the Zoo Education Center for items that campers may have left behind.

Will camp be held on June 15, the day of Zoofari?

Yes. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will be closed to the public on Thursday, June 15, 2023, for a fundraising event; however, our Kids for Nature Summer Camp program will continue as usual on June 15. The Zoo will reopen to the public on Friday, June 16, 2023.

Will campers interact with animals?

Yes, campers will safely interact with animals in a variety of encounters and may even meet ambassador animals up close.

What is the supervision ratio?

The ratio varies depending on grade level. Camps have a counselor-to-camper ratio of between 1:3 and 1:5.

What will campers do each day?

Campers will do a variety of activities each day. This could include exciting Zoo tours, nature exploration, animal encounters and making new friends along the way.

Please see our Camp Story for a day in the life of a Zoo Camper.

Will camp be cancelled if there is inclement weather?

In the case of severe weather, please check your email for an email from education@kidszoo.org for up-to-date information. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo reserves the right to cancel camp in the event of severe weather.

What if I need to cancel?

Programs are held rain or shine. Refunds (minus a processing fee) are available if you cancel at least 2 weeks in advance. No refund if you cancel less than 2 weeks in advance. The Zoo reserves the right to cancel camps with insufficient registration. In the event of such a cancellation, all of your fees will be refunded.

What if there is severe weather?

The Zoo reserves the right to cancel camps with insufficient registration, to meet health regulations, or in the event of severe weather. In the event of such a cancellation, you will be notified via email.

How do I get on a waitlist?

There is no waitlist available for Kids for Nature Summer Break Camp. When a program sells out, registration closes and there is no waitlist. If a spot becomes available, the camp will reopen. Check back regularly to reserve a spot.

Camp Policies and Procedures

What to pack:

  • All Full-day campers must pack a lunch and a reusable water bottle. A snack will be provided every day.
    • Please label lunch boxes and reusable water bottles with camper’s name.
  • Half-day campers do not need to pack a lunch. A snack will be provided every day.
  • Campers should wear close-toed shoes and weather/play-appropriate clothing that may get dirty. We spend a lot of time outside exploring nature, even in the snow, rain, or shine.

Arrival:

  • Full day camp begins at 8:30 a.m. each day and sign-in starts no earlier than 8:20 a.m.
    AM half-day camp begins at 8:30 a.m. each day and sign-in starts no earlier than 8:20 a.m.
    PM half-day camp begins at 12:30 p.m. each day and sign-in starts no earlier than 12:20 p.m.

Children can be dropped off at the check-in table for their camp. Kids for Nature Camps begin and end at the Zoo Education Center, which is located across the street from the Zoo (600 Franke Park Drive).

Dismissal:

  • Full day camp ends at 3:00pm each day and Counselor staff will start the sign out process at this time.
    AM half-day camp ends at 11:00am each day and Counselor staff will start the sign out process at this time.
    PM half-day camp ends at 3:00pm each day and Counselor staff will start the sign out process at this time.

    Please pick up children promptly at the end of camp. All parents or guardians are required to sign campers out by showing a photo ID and must be listed on the approved pick-up list completed at registration.

Late Drop Off:

  • If you arrive late, please bring your camper(s) inside the Zoo Education Center for the group’s location. If the camps have left the building, take your camper(s) to the Zoo’s Guest Service Building (located next to the Zoo’s main entrance) and ask them to page the group’s location.

Keeping Safe

  • Close-toed shoes are required.
  • Wear weather-appropriate clothing. We spend a lot of time outside exploring the Zoo, even in snow, rain or shine.
  • Programs are held rain, snow, or shine.
  • Kids for Nature Summer Camps spend the majority of their time outdoors. Counselor staff will regularly remind camp groups to drink water and we play games that help us stay hydrated. Please remind your camper to drink water throughout the day.
  • Campers may wish to wear sunblock which they must be able to apply themselves.
  • For camper safety, have your photo ID at hand. All parents or guardians are required to sign campers out by showing a photo ID.

Cancellation/Waitlist Policy

CANCELLATION POLICY

  • Programs are held rain or shine. Refunds (minus a processing fee) are available if you cancel at least 2 weeks in advance. No refund if you cancel less than 2 weeks in advance. The Zoo reserves the right to cancel camps with insufficient registration. In the event of such a cancellation, all of your fees will be refunded.

WAITLIST POLICY

  • When a program sells out, registration closes and there is no waitlist available. If a spot becomes available, the camp will reopen. Check back regularly to reserve a spot. Phone registrations will not be accepted.

AGE POLICY

  • Children must register for camp based on the grade they are currently in. For example, if your child is currently enrolled in third grade, you may register them for the 3rd-4th grade camp. Questions? Email us at education@kidszoo.org or call us at 260-427-6800 EXT 301

Behavior Policy

Kids for Nature Camp participants are expected to be kind and respectful to animals, campers, guests, staff, and property. Campers are not to leave a group on their own, and are expected to be with their assigned camp groups at all times. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to deny any program participant the opportunity to participate in camp if the child’s social conduct or behavior is deemed unsatisfactory or unsafe by the camp administration. No refunds will be issued if a camper is asked to leave for disciplinary reasons.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), all staff working youth activities, including camp programs, are required to complete training for epinephrine auto-injector administration. The Zoo coordinates with the American Red Cross for this training and will cover the cost of the training for employees required to complete the training.

Due to a high volume of registrations, the camp store system may run slower than usual. We ask that patrons please be patient with load times.

Thank you to Steel Dynamics, Inc. for supporting our campers.

Steel Dynamics
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