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Kids for Nature Winter Camp Programs

Kids for Nature Winter Camps

Have a wild winter at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo! Our Winter Camp lets your campers discover a wintery world waiting to be explored. Campers will tour the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and learn about the amazing animal adaptations that help animals survive in habitats around the world and in their own backyards. Animal encounters, behind-the-scenes learning, engaging Zoo tours, and more await each camp day!

*During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will be adhering to current policies recommended at the time of your Winter Camp.

Registration is done online and no phone registrations will be accepted. All programs require advance registration and openings are limited, so register early to avoid disappointment. We recommend using a web browser that is not Internet Explorer as we have found it is not compatible with our system. You will receive confirmation of your registration via email.

Camp Policies and Procedures

Session 1: Discovering Habitats

Session 1 campers will enroll in three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp

Dec. 27 through Dec. 29

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

Zoo Tots (PreK 4+-K): (This session is currently sold out)

Explore habitats at home and abroad to learn about the amazing diversity of life on Earth.

Dates:

Dec. 27 through Dec. 29. Campers will be enrolled for a session of three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp.

Time: 8:30 am – 3 pm

Fee: $120 per camper / per session

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

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 Buddies (1st-2nd grade):

Explore habitats at home and abroad to learn about the amazing diversity of life on Earth.

Dates:

Dec. 27 through Dec. 29. Campers will be enrolled for a session of three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp.

Time: 8:30 am – 3 pm

Fee: $120 per camper / per session

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

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 Explorer (3rd – 4th grade)

Explore habitats at home and abroad to learn about the amazing diversity of life on Earth.

Dates:

Dec. 27 through Dec. 29. Campers will be enrolled for a session of three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp.

Time: 8:30 am – 3 pm

Fee: $120 per camper / per session

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

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.

Session 2: Discovering Adaptations

Session 2 campers will enroll in three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp

Jan. 3 through Jan. 5

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

Zoo Tots (PreK 4+-K): (This session is currently sold out)

Discover the amazing physical and behavioral adaptations that make each animal unique.

Dates:

Jan. 3 through Jan. 5. Campers will be enrolled for a session of three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp.

Time: 8:30 am – 3 pm

Fee: $120 per camper / per session

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

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 Buddies (1st-2nd grade):

Discover the amazing physical and behavioral adaptations that make each animal unique.

Dates:

Jan. 3 through Jan. 5. Campers will be enrolled for a session of three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp.

Time: 8:30 am – 3 pm

Fee: $120 per camper / per session

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

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 Explorer (3rd – 4th grade)

Discover the amazing physical and behavioral adaptations that make each animal unique.

Dates:

Jan. 3 through Jan. 5. Campers will be enrolled for a session of three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp.

Time: 8:30 am – 3 pm

Fee: $120 per camper / per session

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

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 Investigators (5th-6th grade)

Discover the amazing physical and behavioral adaptations that make each animal unique.

Dates:

Jan. 3 through Jan. 5. Campers will be enrolled for a session of three consecutive days of Kids for Nature Winter Camp.

Time: 8:30 am – 3 pm

Fee: $120 per camper / per session

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring to camp?

All campers should wear closed-toe shoes and dress to go outside, snow, rain or shine. Winter coats, gloves, and hats are recommended. Campers must bring something to drink and a sack lunch. A snack will be provided.

For the safety of campers, staff, and animals, campers should bring a face covering for behind-the-scenes tour areas.

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.

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 at camp. If your child requires additional support or care, please contact our Education Department at 260-427-6808 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 EpiPen, see below FAQ. 

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

Yes, you will need to supply an EpiPen 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.

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 campers interact with animals?

Yes, campers will safely interact with animals in a variety of hands-on, behind-the-scenes encounters and may even meet ambassador animals up close.

What will campers do each day?

Each camp includes activities designed to fit the grade level of its campers. In general, campers will participate in a group circle time, explore the Zoo, participate in hands-on activities, play games, and go behind the scenes.

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

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 is your current COVID-19 policy?

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. 

Will my camper need to wear a face covering?

For the safety of campers, staff, and animals, campers should bring a face covering for behind-the-scenes tour areas.

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.

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 260-427-6808 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. 

What if I need to cancel?

Refunds (minus 10% processing fee) are available if you cancel at least 2 weeks in advance. No refund if you cancel less than 2 weeks in advance.

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 and your fees will be refunded.

How do I get on a waitlist?

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

Is there a charge to be on a waitlist?

There is no charge to be placed on the waitlist.

I am currently on a waitlist. Do I need to call to check my status?

We will contact you if a space becomes available.

When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. You do not need to call to check your waitlist status and there is no fee to be on the waitlist.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact our Education Department at 260-427-6808 or email us at education@kidszoo.org

Camp Policies and Procedures

What to pack:

  • All 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.
  • For the safety of campers, staff, and animals, campers should bring a face covering for behind-the-scenes tour areas.
  • Campers should wear close-toed shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Winter coats, gloves, and hats are recommended. We spend a lot of time outside exploring even in the snow, rain, or shine.

Arrival:

  • Camp begins at 8:30 a.m. each day and sign-in starts no earlier than 8:20 a.m.
  • You will drop off your camper at the Zoo Education Center, which is located across the street from the Zoo at 600 Franke Park Drive.
  • Please park in the Zoo Education Center parking lot and walk your camper(s) inside the building to find their camp’s check-in table. Drop off can begin 10 minutes before the start of your camp.

Dismissal:

  • Camp ends at 3:00pm each day and Counselor staff will start the sign out process at this time.
  • Camp pick up will be at the Zoo Education Center, which is located across the street from the Zoo at 600 Franke Park Drive.
  • Have your photo ID at hand. All parents or guardians are required to sign campers out by showing a photo ID.
  • Please park in the Zoo Education Center parking lot, walk inside, and wait patiently at the camp’s check-out table.

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

  • All campers should come with a well-fitted face covering.
    • Campers and instructors are required to wear face coverings while entering some behind the scene areas.
  • 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. Winter coats, gloves, and hats are recommended.
  • Programs are held rain, snow, or shine.

Cancellation/Waitlist Policy

CANCELLATION POLICY

  • 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 and your fees will be refunded.
  • Refunds (minus 10% processing fee) are available if you cancel at least 2 weeks in advance. No refund if you cancel less than 2 weeks in advance.

WAITLIST POLICY

  • When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. When space becomes available for a week, we will call/email the first person on the waitlist for that week. If they want it, they get it; if they don’t, or do not respond, we move to the next person on the waitlist.
  • There is no charge to be placed on the waitlist.
  • You will only be contacted if a space becomes available for your camper.

AGE POLICY

  • Children must register for camp based on the grade they are currently in.

Camp is a fun and exciting time to explore the Zoo! To prepare, campers and parents should review the Camper Contract together so campers know what is expected of them and ensure that we all have fun at camp.

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

Steel Dynamics
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