When school's out, zoo camps connect kids with nature

June 1, 2015 - 9:02am

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

School's almost out — have you made plans for your kids this summer? Opportunities for summer fun and learning are going fast at the Oregon Zoo. The zoo's popular summer camps return June 15 and run through Aug. 21, with programs for children 4 years of age through entering eighth grade.

"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."

Each weeklong camp — specifically planned for the interests of each age group — includes games, tours, stories, songs, animal visitors and take-home art projects. As of this writing, spots are still available for most age groups throughout the summer, but Spickelmier says they tend to fill quickly as the end of school draws near. 

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