Summer Camp FAQs

WHAT WILL MY CHILD DO ALL DAY AT ZOO CAMP?

Zoo Camp is full of fun! Your child will be introduced to the world of animals and science. Zoo Camp has age- themed programs including games, up-close animal encounters, hands-on science, along with crafts and songs. Since your camper doesn't tell you everything, we'll also have a parent chat before camper pick to discuss the focus of the day, what exhibits we visited, what animals we met and some questions to test your camper's knowledge.

WHO IS THIS CAMP FOR?

Zoo Camp is perfect for children/youth who have an interest, love or passion for animals and science. We offer a variety of activities that connect campers to nature, but it's great when our participants come to us with an initial interest in animals since we are Zoo Camp!

HOW MUCH INTERACTION DO CAMPERS HAVE WITH ANIMALS?

Each day the campers will experience a close encounter with an animal from our education animal collection. Other special activities might include seeing an exhibit animal up-close for feeding, enrichment or training sessions. They will not be allowed to hold any animals, but will have the chance to touch some of our creatures. The Careers in Conservation program include a variety of behind the scenes components and opportunities to connect with animal keepers.

WHAT IS THE COUNSELOR TO CAMPER RATIO?

The counselor to camper ratio varies with age and registration. Our average group size is around seven campers to one counselor. Each group also has trained volunteers who help supervise campers.

IS THERE A NAP TIME?

We have a time dedicated to resting or napping in Kinder Zoo Camp but there is no designated rest time for the other camps.

DO YOU PROVIDE SNACK?

We provide a healthy snack daily. We try our best to supply snacks with few allergic interactions such as tree nuts. Please make sure that all allergies are listed on the medical form and if your child does have food allergies, please pack a snack just in case. Since snack times may vary, please make sure that your camper eats a healthy breakfast before coming to camp.

SHOULD I PACK A LUNCH FOR MY CAMPER?

Yes. Please send your camper to Zoo Camp each day with a NUT-FREE lunch. Please do not send any snacks or foods containing peanuts or tree nuts. Many children have allergies to different types of nuts. We hope to ease parents' concerns about allergic reactions. Sharing of lunch items is not permitted except amongst siblings.

WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD WEAR TO CAMP?

Dress appropriately for the weather. We will go outside rain or shine, so rain gear is needed sometimes. For younger campers, please make sure their clothing is easy for them to remove while using the restroom (zoo staff cannot assist campers in the restroom). On the first day of camp, your child will be given a special Zoo Camp t-shirt. We require your child to wear this shirt every day of camp. It increases visibility while touring the zoo. Extra shirts can be purchased for $15 when you register or on the first and second days of camp. Closed-toed shoes are required for your child's safety.

WILL YOU BE OUTSIDE ALL DAY?

Many of our activities include outside time, but we have an indoor classroom space for some of our activities. Please make sure your camper is wearing sunscreen. Counselors are not allowed to apply sunscreen, so please make sure you put it on your camper each morning. We require that you send your camper with a full, reusable water bottle. We make routine stops at the water fountains, but it does get hot during the summer and your child will be running around outside for most of the day.

CAN I STAY WITH MY CHILD DURING THE DAY? MAY I EAT LUNCH WITH MY CHILD?

For the safety of campers, we do not allow adults who are not camp staff to spend time with the camp group. This includes parents.

Payment and Registration

WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

  • All cancellations must be submitted via email to cpzeducation@wcs.org. Please state the child's name, camp session, date, and the reason for the refund request.
  • Each change to the original registration is subject to a $50.00 administrative fee.

Notice and refund amounts:

  • If your request is received at least four (4) weeks prior to the camp start date, a full refund will be issued, less the $50.00 administrative fee.
  • If your request is received between two (2) and four (4) weeks prior to the camp start date, a 50% refund will be issued.
  • If your request is received within two (2) weeks of the camp start date, no refund will be issued unless we are able to fill your spot from our waitlist. A 50% refund may be issued if we are able to fill your spot from our waitlist. *Please note that existence of a waitlist does not guarantee that your spot will be filled.*
  • Camp Registrations are non-transferrable.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY SPOT IS CONFIRMED?

Upon completion of registration, you will receive an email from ticketorders@wcs.org, which will include your tickets as well as a Summer Camp Welcome Letter, medical forms, a photo consent form and a link to our Camper Pick-Up online form.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM PLACED ON THE WAIT LIST?

Campers on the wait list are not guaranteed a spot in their selected camp session. Wait listed campers are moved into camp vacancies, if they open, based on the order on the wait list. You will be contacted by the Registrars if are able to move off the wait list and into a session.

CAN I SIGN MY CHILD UP FOR MULTIPLE WEEKS?

Except for the Careers in Conservation, which is a 3 week session, you can only sign your camper up for one week of camp since activities for the same age group will be repeated.

WHAT TYPE OF FORMS DO I NEED TO COMPLETE IF MY CAMPER'S SPOT IS CONFIRMED?

We require all campers to complete and bring the following forms with them on the first day of summer camp:

WHY CAN'T MY 4 YEAR OLD AND MY 6 YEAR OLD ATTEND THE SAME CAMP?

For the benefit of your child and other campers, children will only be allowed in groups appropriate for their age. We focus on age specific content throughout the week. There are no exceptions to this rule.

DO YOU HAVE A PAYMENT PLAN?

Unfortunately, we do not have a payment plan available.

DO YOU HAVE A MULTIPLE CHILD DISCOUNT?

We do not offer a multiple child discount. We do offer a discount for Wildlife Conservation Society members, though.

WHAT DOES "WAIT LIST" MEAN?

Wait list means that we are currently full for that session. You are welcome to sign up for the wait list, but a spot will only open up if someone else cancels their camp registration. You are placed on the waitlist in the order that you registered and we will contact you if you are next in line for a spot for camp. Some waitlists are very long and you may not receive a spot in camp this summer. However, we do offer all people on the waitlist an opportunity to pre-register for Summer Camp so that they will be able to register for next year's summer camp before the general registration opens.

DO I GET A REFUND IF MY CHILD IS SICK?

No. We do not give refunds for campers that are unable to attend camp because they are sick.

DO I GET A REFUND IF MY CHILD IS ASKED TO LEAVE CAMP BECAUSE OF BEHAVIORAL ISSUES?

No. If your child is asked to leave camp because they are unable to cooperate with camp rules, you will not receive a refund.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD CAN'T ATTEND A DAY OR IF THEY'LL BE LATE?

Please call 1-800-433-4149 and notify our Registrar if your camper will be absent or late on any given day.

First Day of Camp and Sign-In/Sign-out Procedures

WHERE SHOULD I GO THE FIRST DAY OF CAMP?

We will provide you with plenty of information in your Zoo Camp Welcome Letter, which will describe the location of the camp and what to expect for the first morning. You will enter the zoo and go to the classroom where your child's camp will be held. Please note that parents or guardians are REQUIRED to attend an orientation from 9:00-9:30. We will give you an overview of the program, discuss safety rules, camp policies and answer questions.

WHERE CAN I PARK?

There is no parking at the Central Park Zoo.

WHAT TIME CAN I ENTER THE ZOO?

On the first day of camp, we will have Check-in set up at 8:30am near the Delacorte Clock so parents and campers can submit paperwork and get their t-shirt. On Tuesday through Friday, the entrance will open at 9:00am. We start camp promptly at 9:00am each day, so make sure to get here on time. If you're running late, please let us know by calling 1 800 433 4149.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO PICK UP MY CAMPER EARLY?

If you would like to pick up your camper at a time other than the designated pick-up time, please notify your camper's counselor in the morning. Upon your arrival at the zoo, notify the front gate and they will radio to your camper's group so you can meet up with them.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I'M LATE PICKING UP MY CAMPER?

Campers who are picked up more than 15 minutes past the pick-up time will be charged $45. We appreciate your attention to this matter.

WHO CAN SIGN OUT MY CAMPER?

People signing out campers must be listed on the Camper Pick-Up Form and have to be 18 and over. When completing the Camper Pick-Up Form, parents/guardians need to list themselves as well. All adults signing out a camper should bring a photo ID with them to verify their identity. Careers in Conservation participants are allowed to sign themselves out with adult permission.

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