Summer ZooCamp 2014

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! ZooCamp gives your kids a unique opportunity to experience nature and wildlife like only the Zoo and Knowland Park can offer. Campers explore and discover through games and songs, creating-and-making, discovery hikes, and science activities. Plus, plenty of up-close time learning about our awesome 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 2014.


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 2014.

ZooCamp registration is now open!

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. For campers preK through 5th grade, we are offering two classes on alternating weeks at each grade level. Register for Class A, Class B, or both in any order to have an enriching summer at Oakland Zoo. Campers in grades 1-5 can add a third week of ZooCamp by attending our Nature Play program! Campers signing up for multiple weeks of ZooCamp will receive a 10% discount on their second and third weeks of camp.

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 (Mini Mammals, 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.

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.

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

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. Each Monday you will receive an outline of what your camper will be doing during the week.

Wondering about our odd dollar amounts? ZooCamp is committed to conservation! The odd extra $1.00 of your registration fee will be donated to a conservation project affiliated with Oakland Zoo. The ZooCamp conservation partner for 2014 is yet to be determined.


First - Fifth Grades Together: Nature Play Camp

Times: 9:00am-4:00pm
Fees: $291.00 for members, $311.00 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 16-20, June 23-27, June 30-July 3*, July 7-11, July 14-18, July 21-25, July 28-August 1, August 4-8, August 11-15. *See registration section.


PreK and Kindergarten: Busy Beasts

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 by fax (510) 729-7324, as an email attachment or by mail (Oakland Zoo, Attn: ZooCamp, PO Box 5238, Oakland, CA 94605.) 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: $196.00 for members, $216.00 for non-members.

A Weeks: 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 16-20, June 30-July 3*, July 14-18, July 28-August 1, August 11-15. *See registration section.

B Weeks: 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 23-27, July 7-11, July 21-25, August 4-8.


First Grade: Furry Friends

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Fees: $291.00 for members, $311.00 for non-members.

A Weeks: What makes a bird a bird? Or an ant an ant? The animal kingdom encompasses a vast variety of unique groups of incredible creatures!
Sessions: June 16-20, June 30-July 3*, July 14-18, July 28-August 1, August 11-15. *See registration section.

B Weeks: Did you know the Atacama desert in South America hasn’t gotten any rain in 400 years? In parts of Asia, it can be -90 degrees in the winter. Yet many plants and animals make these continents their home. Around the world, animals have adapted to live in all types of places - some even take trips to get away from extreme weather!
Sessions: June 23-27, July 7-11, July 21-25, August 4-8.


Second and Third Grade: Animal Adventures

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Fees: $291.00 for members, $311.00 for non-members.

A Weeks: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 16-20, June 30-July 3*, July 14-18, July 28-August 1, August 11-15. *See registration section.

B Weeks: 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 23-27, July 7-11, July 21-25, August 4-8.


Fourth and Fifth Grades: Eco-Explorers

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm.
Fees: $291.00 for members, $311.00 for non-members.

A Weeks: 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 16-20, June 30-July 3*, July 14-18, July 28-August 1, August 11-15. *See registration section.

B Weeks: How did the zebra get its stripes? Why does an elephant have a long nose? Around the globe, across cultures and oceans, animals play a meaningful role in our mythology and our lives.
Sessions: June 23-27, July 7-11, July 21-25, August 4-8.


Grades 6-8: Wild Survivor or Curious Cachers

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm.
Fees for Curious Cachers: $291.00 for members, $316.00 for non-members.
Fees for Wild Survivor: $316.00 for members, $336.00 for non-members.

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, or making a shelter. At the end of the week you'll have the knowledge to help you survive and you'll receive your very own emergency survival kit.
Sessions: June 16-20, June 23-27, June 30-July 3*, July 7-11, July 14-18, July 21-25, July 28-August 1, August 4-8, August 11-15. *See registration section.

Curious Cachers: Did you know a box turtle weighing less than a pound can navigate through a mile of forest to find their home pond? Animals have extraordinary, almost unbelievable navigation skills. Campers will improve their own navigation skills by using a handheld GPS navigation device and get an introduction to the treasure-hunting hobby known as "geocaching".
Sessions: To be determined, Due to changes in our seasonal staff, we are still determining if and when we will be able to offer this program during Summer Camp 2014. Once details are finalized, we will update this program description.



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 playing with kids and helping to lead activities while earning community service hours.
Sessions: June 16-20, June 23-27, June 30-July 3*, July 7-11, July 14-18, July 21-25, July 28-August 1, August 4-8, August 11-15. *See registration section.

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, 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 email 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 2014 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 2014 summer scholarship form now.

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.

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 is sent upon completing the online registration process.

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