Posts Tagged ‘summer activities’

It’s Summer (almost)…and we’re ready for ZooCamp!

by | May 29th, 2014

zena-the-zookeeperHey kids! So now that you know all about Family Sundown Safari and how you can camp overnight here at the Zoo, let’s talk about our camp that takes place during the day – ZooCamp!! What better way to spend your      summer than learning about animals, nature, meeting new friends and having so much fun you are just wiped out at the end of the day? There different programs for all ages, so don’t worry, from pre-kindergarten all the way through 8th grade, ZooCamp at Oakland Zoo has the perfect program for you! If you’re already in High School we STILL have the perfect program for you. If you love animals and kids then 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.14073556282_9a6950f243_b

Middle-schoolers, do you like adventures? Imagine you are on a hike, and suddenly you find yourself lost in the woods-what should you do? Each day, you’ll 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! For Elementary School aged kids, we have an exciting choice of programs for every grade level. From exploring Knowland Park, building forts, looking for native wildlife, and coming nose-to-nose with nature – every day at ZooCamp will be an adventure you’ll never forget.

And guess what else? This year we’re introducing several new programs and features for children of all ages:

  • Our Busy Beasts class (preK, transitional kindergarten, and kindergarten campers) connects our zoo animals to popular story booksFor campers entering
  • First Grade, our Furry Friends class introduces them to some very cool extreme animals
  • Campers entering grades 2-3 will learn all about animal communications in our Animal Adventures sessions
  • Eco-Explorers (grades 4-5) enjoy a unique behind-the-scenes Zoo experience
  • We have updated our Curious Cachers program (campers entering grades 6-8)
  • Starting in 2014, every Thursday at ZooCamp will feature All-Camp Games sessions
  • Our Wildlife Theater is hosting a new show featuring “Pond Turtle Pinko

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All of us at the Zoo are really proud of our ZooCamp program to make sure you  always have an entertaining, engaging, and educational ZooCamp experience! You’ll leave each day with new friends, new memories, and a better understanding of the world around you and the animals that inhabit it!

Moms and Dads, here is what other parents of past seasons have to say about their child’s ZooCamp experience:

ZooCamp has been a wonderful experience for my children. Every afternoon, they came home bubbling over with new information and facts about zoo animals and life in nature. They have been singing ZooCamp songs for weeks! – Kristin K.

My son was hesitant to go, but once he got there he could not stop talking about everything he did when he got home at night! – Teena R.

I was very impressed with the level of professionalism among the staff. They were energetic and knew how to interact with kids. From what I could tell, they had varying appropriate activities for the varying ages. My daughter loved the Survival camp and found the “challenges” very engaging. I have been a high school teacher for 14 years and was impressed with the quick bond that this teacher made with his group over such a short period of time. It was awesome for my son to be with other people who loves animals as much as he does; the teachers’ passions about animals was evident. Thanks for a great program! – Rebecca H.

Zoo Camp was the perfect program for my child. She had fun, made new friends and learned about the importance of animal conservation. I look forward to next summer and participating in more zoo programs throughout the year! Thank you zoo camp! – Carly C.

There are some open spots still available for the 2014 Summer ZooCamp season so sign up today!

http://www.oaklandzoo.org/ZooCamp.php

 

It Takes A Village To Raise A Camp

by | July 2nd, 2010

You might not realize it, but it takes the entire Oakland Zoo to ensure the success of ZooCamp every summer– not just the folks in Conservation & Education. Every single department at the Zoo makes a valuable contribution to this popular kids’ program which has been a summertime tradition here for more than twenty years. After speaking with ZooCamp Director Sarah Cramer, I learned exactly what those contributions were.

1. Getting the word out is crucial to the success of any event. The Marketing department provides the advertising that lets our Zoo visitors know about the program, utilizing local parents’ magazines and websites, billboards, fliers and inserts in the Oakland Zoo visitors’ maps. They also arrange appearances on TV programs such as View from the Bay and KRON 4 Morning News.

2. The Oakland Zoo has a large active membership throughout the East Bay and beyond, providing a valuable resource of potential ZooCamp attendees. Our Membership department provides ZooCamp information in Uproar, the monthly electronic newsletter that reaches up to 24,000 people. The membership department also assists Zoo members who wish to register for camp.

Preparing the Picnic Areas

3. The Maintenance department purchases various materials needed for camp. They also maintain and repair any equipment the camp staff uses.

4. Our Human Resources department helps facilitate the hiring of the seasonal teachers and other help needed to run ZooCamp.

5. Group Services helps by directing inquiries to the ZooCamp registrar. They also help facilitate the use of the auditorium as well as picnic sites, allowing campers to enjoy their lunches outdoors.

6. With a quarter million dollars in revenue, ZooCamp depends on the Accounting department to ensure that the bills are paid and that the revenue is accurately reported.

7. The Operations staff ups the Fun Factor by letting the campers enjoy complimentary rides on the train and the sky ride.

Our Janitorial Staff

8. The Janitorial staff provides additional re-stocking of the restrooms as well as extra clean-up for those “special messes” that kids are so good at producing (such as mud from playing in the creek).

9. Our Development department raises money for the Vicki Kay Memorial Scholarship Fund, through individual and foundation grants.

10. The Grounds department increases the frequency of trash pick-ups, sets out yellow jacket traps, power-washes the Wildlife Theater, and rearranges their schedule for auditorium set-ups and break-downs to accommodate the camp groups that need the facility. They also adjust their lawn mowing schedule to allow the camp kids to use the lawns throughout the day.

11. Taking a break from their ongoing weeding and watering, the Horticulture staff gathers branches, palm fronds and other plant matter to give the kids “fort-building” materials for their survival classes.

12. The Animal Management & Veterinary Care departments help make the vital connection between campers and the Zoo animals, leading behind-the-scenes tours, providing service projects as well as helping to teach some of the classes.

13. Our Public Safety department provides first aid and CPR classes for ZooCamp staff, and manages auto traffic amid the hectic comings and goings each morning and afternoon.

14. And lastly, the Conservation and Education Department:

They teach the classes, lead the tours, organize the crafts and games, lead the songs and bandage the occasional skinned knee. Even the non-teaching staff members help by assisting with Animal Close-ups, dealing with the sick or injured campers, training the seasonal staff and providing administrative support.

Happy Campers

So the next time you see a bunch of smiling ZooCampers in their little matching T-shirts, just remember all the dedicated Zoo employees who help make those smiles possible. And don’t forget to tell your young ones about the cool outdoor fun awaiting them at Oakland ZooCamp every summer!