Summer ZooCamp 2016

Group of ZooCampers Check out the fun waiting for your animal-crazed kids!
Oakland Zoo invites kids from all around the Bay Area to come hang out with us for an exciting week of outdoor nature discovery, animal adventures, and fun! Summer Camp activities include interactive stories, puppet play, games, craft projects, science activities and of course, animals!

Check out our ZooCamp Photo Album for a snapshot of all the great fun we had last summer - or watch us on KPIX, CBS5 News “Cool Camps!” feature story.

Oakland Zoo takes great pride in creating age-appropriate programs for campers in Pre-K, Kindergarten, First Grade, Grades 2-3, Grades 4-5, Grades 6-8, and High School. We also offer a multi-grade nature exploration class.
Campers should register based on their grade in Fall 2016.


Carefully review the sections below regarding registration, before and after care options, medical/publicity waiver, camper behavior policy, scholarship availability, and our cancellation policy.


Registration Information

Campers should register for classes based on their grade in Fall 2016.

Summer ZooCamp 2016 registration is now open. Register Here.


Reservations are made through Thriva, a secure online registration service. If you are a returning camper you can confirm your Thriva email and password or make a payment. Registration closes at noon the Wednesday before each session so that camp staff can prepare rosters and materials for the upcoming week.

Multiple Session Discount: Kids can spend multiple weeks at ZooCamp without repeating the same activities. Campers signing up for more than one week of ZooCamp will receive a 10% discount on their second and third weeks of camp! For campers preK through 5th grade, we offer two classes (Class A and Class B) on alternating weeks at each grade level. You can avoid repeating activities by registering for Class A one week, and Class B another week. Campers in grades 1-5 can add a third week of ZooCamp by attending our Nature Play program! Please note that Nature Play curriculum remains the same throughout the summer. Campers entering grades 6-8 can attend up to 2 weeks without repeating activities by enrolling in Wild Survivor or ZooArt.

Partial Payment Option: We understand that summer camps can get expensive. In order to help families budget for summer enrichment experiences, we are happy to offer a two payment plan. The first payment of 50% is due at the time of registration, the remaining 50% is due one month before your scheduled session. You will be reminded via email at least one week before your account balance is due. If you do not log in and manually make a payment, the credit card on file will be charged automatically on the payment due date.

Special Friends: Each camper may request one friend to attend camp with during the registration process. Special friends must register for the same session dates and the same program (Busy Beasts, Furry Friends, Nature Play, etc.), and both children must request each other. We will do our best to place special friends in the same class, but please know we will split up groups larger than three in order to encourage participants to make new friends and to ensure campers who come without a special friend feel included.

Registration Packet: Already registered for ZooCamp? Learn more about what to bring and where to go.

ZooCamp Holiday Closings: We will not have camp on the 4th of July. Registration fees will be pro-rated for this session. This week is noted with an asterisk in the session information below.

Still have questions? Please read the ZooCamp FAQs sheet, call the ZooCamp Hotline (510) 632-9525 ext. 280, or email the Summer Camp Registrar.


Program Descriptions

The exact class curriculum and activities are developed during staff training in June. Each class will include zoo tours, animal close-ups, crafts, games, science projects, and behind-the-scenes experiences as appropriate.

ZooCamp is committed to conservation! $2.00 of your registration fee will be donated to a conservation project affiliated with Oakland Zoo. The ZooCamp conservation partner for 2016 will be the Uganda Carnivore Program.


PreK and Kindergarten: Busy Beasts - Half Day

Note: Children must be at least 4 years old on the first day of camp and be potty trained to attend ZooCamp.
Once your camper is registered for Busy Beasts you must provide documentation of your camper’s birth date (birth certificate or medical record) to the Oakland Zoo within 2 weeks in order to confirm your registration. Submit your document as an email attachment to info@oaklandzoo.org. If you have previously provided proof of age you are not required to do so again this year. Failure to provide proof of age within two weeks of completing your online registration will result in the cancellation of your registration.

Times: 9:00am-12:00pm
Fees: $206.00 for members, $231.00 for non-members

Class A: Animals move in weird and wonderful ways! Slither, slide, creep, crawl, waddle, and walk around to discover who in the zoo runs, rambles, climbs, swims, and romps!
Sessions: June 13-17, June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 25-29, August 8-12

Class B: Have you ever met a bat who thinks she’s a bird? How about a caterpillar who likes to eat pie? Story books are filled with kooky characters based on amazing animals - explore the zoo with us and get to know some of them for real.
Sessions: June 20-24, July 5-8*, July 18-22, August 1-5


PreK and Kindergarten: Busy Beasts - Full Day

Please note that we are unable to offer a nap time. If your child requires one, please sign them up for half-day camp.

Note: Children must be at least 4 years old on the first day of camp and be potty trained to attend ZooCamp.
Once your camper is registered for Busy Beasts you must provide documentation of your camper’s birth date (birth certificate or medical record) to Oakland Zoo within 2 weeks in order to confirm your registration. Submit your document as an email attachment to info@oaklandzoo.org. If you have previously provided proof of age you are not required to do so again this year. Failure to provide proof of age within two weeks of completing your online registration will result in the cancellation of your registration.

Times: 9:00am-4:00pm
Fees: $309.00 for members, $339.00 for non-members.

Class A: Animals move in weird and wonderful ways! Slither, slide, creep, crawl, waddle, and walk around to discover who in the zoo runs, rambles, climbs, swims, and romps!
Sessions: June 13-17, June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 25-29, August 8-12

Class B: Have you ever met a bat who thinks she’s a bird? How about a caterpillar who likes to eat pie? Story books are filled with kooky characters based on amazing animals - explore the zoo with us and get to know some of them for real.
Sessions: June 20-24, July 5-8*, July 18-12, August 1-5


First - Fifth Grades Together: Nature Play Camp

Times: 9:00am-4:00pm
Fees: $309.00 for members, $339.00 for non-members.

What can you find under a rock in the creek? What signs of wildlife are all around us? The day will fly by as kids tour the zoo, explore Knowland Park, build forts, look for native wildlife, and come nose-to-nose with nature. Nature Play camp groups will visit the zoo, but the main focus of this program is creating firsthand experiences in nature. Campers in grades 1-5 will play together in this class.

Sessions: June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 5-8*, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, August 1-5, August 8-12.


First Grade: Furry Friends

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Fees: $309.00 for members, $339.00 for non-members.

Class A: What makes a bird, a bird? Or an ant, an ant? The animal kingdom is made up of millions of different families - wild and wonderful and sometimes just weird. Get to know some of your favorites, up-close and personal!
Sessions: June 13-17, June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 25-29, August 8-12

Class B: Who keeps you safe? Who gives you good food? Who tucks you in at night? Many animals help and care for their families in all kinds of ways.
Sessions: June 20-24, July 5-8*, July 18-22, August 1-5


Second and Third Grade: Animal Adventures

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Fees: $309.00 for members, $339.00 for non-members.

Class A:Ever been on “safari”? Do you know any other Swahili words? Do you know which zoo animals are from Africa and which aren’t? Africa is whole continent filled with amazing animals, diverse landscapes, and fascinating cultures.
Sessions: June 13-17, June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 25-29, August 8-12

Class B: Ever wonder how giraffes talk to each other? How do elephants know when to meet their friends at the water hole? Animals communicate with each other using sound, visual signals, scent and so much more.
Sessions: June 20-24, July 5-8*, July 18-22, August 1-5


Fourth and Fifth Grades: Eco-Explorers

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm.
Fees: $309.00 for members, $339.00 for non-members.

Class A: Do all bats use echolocation? Do hyenas really laugh? Do snakes really unhinge their jaws? Are all tarantula bites deadly? There are so many amazing things to learn about animals, come uncover the facts vs. the fiction.
Sessions: June 13-17, June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 25-29, August 8-12

Class B: Do you think you can run faster than a tiger? How about leap further than a lemur? Who do you think would be able to go across the monkey bars faster - you or an actual monkey? Learn all about these and other awesome animal athletes, and find out why they would take the gold every time!
Sessions: June 20-24, July 5-8*, July 18-22, August 1-5


Grades 6-8: Wild Survivor or ZooArt

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm.
Fees for Wild Survivor and ZooArt: $329.00 for members, $359.00 for non-members. (The cost for Wild Survivor is higher because campers will receive a survivor kit to take home at the end of the week, and the cost for ZooArt is higher because all art materials are included in the cost.)

Wild Survivor: Imagine you are on a hike, and suddenly you find yourself lost in the woods- what should you do? Each day, campers will learn about and practice important survival skills like building a fire, finding food, collecting water, and making a shelter. At the end of the week, You’ll be prepared to survive all sorts of outdoor adventures, and you’ll receive your very own survival kit to help you do it!
Sessions: June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 5-8*, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, August 1-5, August 8-12

ZooArt: How would you choose to represent the “elephantness” of elephants? The tenacity of tigers? The merriment of meerkats? Join us for a week of art camp where we’ll use all sorts of mediums to represent Oakland Zoo animal residents.
Sessions:June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 5-8*, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, August 1-5, August 8-12


High School: Grades 9-12

Times: 8:30am - 4:30pm.
Fees: $60.00 for members, $80.00 for non-members.

Teen Assistants (T.A.): Love animals and kids? We need your help! Come to camp as a Teen Assistant and spend three weeks helping to create a fun and exciting experience for campers. Help lead games, crafts and more - all while earning community service hours!
Sessions: June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 5-8*, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, August 1-5, August 8-12

For more information and an application, please visit our Teen Assistants webpage.


Extended Care

We are pleased to offer before and after care options to help accommodate busy family schedules. Extended Care participants will spend their time supervised in our camp classrooms and picnic area with choices of coloring, stories, or games to keep them busy. Please note, this is not an extension of the curriculum-based camp program. Registration is per week only. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a per day option or accommodate drop-ins.

You can sign up for extended care during the registration process. If you are already registered for camp and would like to add extended care, please contact us by emailing the Summer Camp Registrar or call the ZooCamp Hotline at (510) 632-9525 x280.

Before Camp: $40.00 for 8:00am-9:00am
After Camp: $60.00 for 4:00pm-5:30pm
Before and After Camp: $90.00 for 8:00am-9:00am and 4:00pm-5:30pm.


Vickie Kay Memorial ZooCamp Scholarship Fund

ZooCamp scholarships are awarded based upon availability of funds and each family’s financial need. Scholarship awards cover up to 80% of the standard registration fee.

Our scholarship funds for 2016 are exhausted, but you are welcome to submit an application in case we receive additional donations. Applications will be held on file and processed in order of receipt.

Download a ZooCamp 2016 scholarship application now. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend submitting your application early. If you have questions about how to apply for a scholarship, please call the ZooCamp Hotline: (510) 632-9525 ext. 280

If you are interested in giving to the Vickie Kay Memorial ZooCamp Scholarship Fund, please contact the Zoo’s Development Department at (510) 632-9525 ext. 158


Cancellation and Refund Policy

Membership fees are non-refundable.
Cancellation 14 days or more before the event = 90% refund of the total balance.
Cancellation 8-13 days before the event = 50% refund of the total balance.
Cancellation less than 8 days before the event = 0% refund of the total balance.

*If you take advantage of our two-payment plan, the percentages above apply to your total camp fees, not the deposit paid.

Programs happen rain or shine.
No refunds are issued due to camper absences, including absences due to illness.
Registrations are non-transferable.

As long as you contact us more than eight days before your camp session begins and space is available in the desired class, there is no fee or penalty for transferring from one session to another. We are unable to make transfers within eight days of a camp session. We are also unable to make transfers between summer ZooCamp and our school break ZooCamps or other zoo programs. Call the ZooCamp Hotline (510) 632-9525 ext. 280 or email the Summer Camp Registrar to request a transfer.

Please note: if you register online for a new class, then cancel your original registration, the standard cancellation fees apply.


Medical and Publicity Waiver

ZooCamp registration includes a medical waiver, which in emergency situations will allow our camp staff to make decisions in the absence of a parent or guardian. The full text of this waiver is included in the online registration process and is attached to the confirmation email which is sent upon completing the online registration process.

During ZooCamp, we often take photographs, audio, or video recordings. These images and recordings are used in print and online promotional materials. We take care to protect participant privacy by not identifying participants by name and we do not share or sell these images to other organizations. All ZooCamp participants are required to agree to the ZooCamp Medical and Publicity Waiver during the registration process. The online registration form includes an electronic signature, no additional paperwork is required.


Participant Behavior Policy

ZooCamp registration includes agreeing to specific participant behavior expectations. Please take time to review the ZooCamp Behavior Policy with your child before they come to ZooCamp. The full text of this policy is included in the online registration process and is attached to the confirmation email which you will receive when you complete the online registration process.

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