ZooCamp FAQ

Don't see your question or answer? E-mail us at zoocamp@oaklandzoo.org

ZooCamp Frequently Asked Questions

What do campers do all day at camp?

Campers have a wide variety of activities throughout the day at ZooCamp including checking out Zoo exhibits, animal close-ups, outdoor and classroom lessons, games, nature play, free-choice time, song sessions, assemblies, and super special Behind the Scenes experiences. ZooCamp is fairly active and campers will spend much of their time outdoors. Campers will experience a mix of animal-specific programming as well as more general camp programming focused on play and connection.

What do campers need to wear and bring to camp?

Campers should bring a refillable water bottle, a lunch, two snacks, and sunscreen in a bag that they can carry as groups move from place to place. (They won’t carry their backpacks all day, but sometimes it is necessary when transitioning.) When campers arrive at camp they should be wearing sunscreen, closed-toed shoes, a mask, and clothes suitable for outdoor play. It’s also a good idea to pack a hat, extra masks, and extra clothes and dress in layers as the temperature can change throughout the day. Labeling your camper’s items with their full name is extremely useful! More information about specific logistics will be sent out to registered families in the weeks leading up to the start date of their session.

What’s the deal with camp shirts?

Summer camp registrations come with a camp shirt. In the summer, ZooCamp shirts are required every Monday and Friday and extra shirts are available for $10. School break camps do not have shirts, but campers who have shirts from previous summers are welcome to wear those shirts as much as they want! Sometimes, there are leftover shirts from the previous summer available for purchase during break camps - just ask a staff member!

My child has unique needs. How can I communicate these to camp staff or check in about specific accommodations?

It’s our goal at ZooCamp to be a safe and accessible space. Our registration process requires a medical form where you can list specific conditions, medications, allergies, etc. If you have questions or want to check in about your camper’s needs at any point, please email zoocamp@oaklandzoo.org.

Can my camper request to be in the same group as their friend?

There will be an opportunity to list a friend request during registration. Please note that we organize campers by grade level, so if the friend/sibling/cousin is in a different grade, there is a chance that they will not be grouped together. Campers will have opportunities to spend time with others outside their grade groups.

Can we register for multiple sessions of ZooCamp?

Sure! You’re welcome to register for as many sessions as you’d like. Keep in mind there will be content and activity overlap between sessions.

Are parents/guardians allowed to hang out with ZooCamp?

During the days of camp, feel free to visit the Zoo anytime and wave to your camper if you see them, but we ask that campers’ adults not hang out with the groups during the day.

What are the ZooCamp COVID-19 protocols?

We will continue to follow Alameda County Department of Public Health guidelines for day camps and update protocols accordingly. We are requiring masks indoors for campers and staff and rapid testing before the start of every week, regardless of vaccination status. All Zoo staff are vaccinated and we encourage campers to be vaccinated as well. Specific protocols and requirements will be sent out to families before the start of their session.

Is there a sibling discount?

Yes, there is a 10% discount for registering two or more campers from the same household. This should automatically be reflected in our CampBrain software, please contact us if you believe you should receive this discount and don’t see it in your account.

Is there financial aid available?

Currently, we have a financial aid program for our summer season. Check the Summer ZooCamp “Learn More” page for information, instructions, and application link after the new year.

What is the cancellation/refund/transfer policy?

Cancellations made two weeks or more before the start of the session will receive a 90% refund. Cancellations made between 14 and 7 days before the start of a session will receive a 50% refund. Other cancellations due to emergency or illness will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If you would like to transfer sessions, please contact us and if there is space, we can accommodate the transfer.

What is the Oakland Zoo’s Tax ID number?


If you were an animal, which animal would you be?

Wow, thanks for asking. I’m just a website so I don’t know what it’s like to have a body at all, but I think I’d like to try out being an octopus.

Don't see your question or answer? E-mail us at zoocamp@oaklandzoo.org