Zoo's spring, summer camps help kids connect with nature

March 4, 2015 - 8:02am

Campers learn about species from around the world, explore animal-related careers

With spring just around the corner, Northwest campers should be prepared for encounters with bears, cougars and bobcats — not to mention polar bears, lions and orangutans. The Oregon Zoo's popular Nature Rangers spring break camps return March 23-27, and summer camps start June 15.

"Zoo day camps are a great way for kids to have some active, outdoor fun and connect with nature," said Grant Spickelmier, zoo education curator. "Campers explore little-known areas of the zoo, learn about animals by meeting them face to face, and leave inspired to care for the natural world."

Camp activities — specifically planned for the interests of each age group — include games, tours, stories, songs, animal visitors and take-home art projects inspired by the day's theme. Themes for this year's Nature Rangers spring break camps are Wild Ways, Zoo Clues, Critter Connections, Good Migrations and Awesome Oregon.

As of this writing, spots are still available for most age groups, but Spickelmier says they tend to fill quickly as spring and summer breaks draw near. For more information and to register for camp, visit www.oregonzoo.org/discover/camps-classes-and-programs.

The zoo's professional camp staff has been helping children explore the wonders of wildlife through fun, hands-on learning since 1983. Staff members are selected for excellence in programming for children and typically have also worked for public schools, OMSI, Outdoor School or Audubon. Most are college graduates or are working on a degree, and many return year after year.

Learn more and register