Conservation Camp

Conservation Camp 2014 at Lincoln Park Zoo

Summer Conservation Camp 2015

Conservation Camp offers exciting exploration opportunities for animal and nature lovers from Pre-K to those entering fourth grade in fall 2015. Each Conservation Camp group explores the zoo and participates in activities to discover animal diversity, environmental conservation and ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo and conserves them in the wild.

Looking for summer opportunities for youth entering fifth–eighth grade? Check out Zoo Crew!

Registration | Pricing | Scholarships | Dates | Teen Volunteers | Open House and Gear Pick-Up | Themes

| FAQs | About the Staff


Members and donors eligible for early registration will receive an email with the registration link prior to their early registration date. Members can only register their own children and/or legal dependents.

  • Zoo supporters at the Curators’ Circle and above will be eligible to register early on Wednesday, February 11, beginning at 10 a.m.
  • Active Safari-level members will be eligible to register early on Wednesday, February 18, beginning at 10 a.m.

Please note: Household and Individual members will register with the general public but receive a 15 percent discount. All members should make sure their membership is valid at the time of camp registration. Contact the Membership Department at 312-742-2322 or email if you need to renew!

  • Open registration will begin Wednesday, March 4 at 10 a.m. A link to the online registration form will be available on this web page at that time.

Sold-Out Camp Sessions:
Pre-K/K morning session, June 8–12
Pre-K/K morning session, June 15–19
Pre-K/K morning session, July 13–17
Pre-K/K morning session, August 3–7
Pre-K/K morning session, August 10–14
Pre-K/K morning session, August 17–21

  Download the Lincoln Park Zoo Camp Registration Guide Tutorial

Conservation Camp Pricing

Active Lincoln Park Zoo members at any level receive a 15 percent discount on registration. Become a member today!

Lincoln Park Zoo adheres to a strict cancellation and refund policy. If the zoo must cancel a program, full refunds will be issued. If for any reason you need to cancel your registration before May 11, a refund will be issued, less a 12.5 percent processing fee. After May 11, Lincoln Park Zoo will not be able to offer any refunds for cancelled registrations.

Full-Day Programs (First–fourth graders)
9 a.m.–3 p.m.
$335/week ($285/week for Lincoln Park Zoo members)*

Half-Day Programs (Pre-K–K)**
Morning Session: 9–11:30 a.m.
Afternoon Session: 12:30–3 p.m.
$168/week ($143/week for Lincoln Park Zoo members)*

**Half-day campers must be at least 4 years old by Monday, June 8, 2015.

Registration includes:

  • Daily healthy snack
  • Conservation Camp T-shirt
  • Conservation Camp backpack

After Care

After Care is available from 3–5 p.m. for full-day and half-day campers attending the afternoon session. Campers stay after camp to play games, watch movies and visit zoo animals. Cost is $100 per camper for each week of After Care.

Conservation Camp Scholarships

Lincoln Park Zoo offers a limited number of Conservation Camp scholarships, ranging from partial scholarships to full scholarships which cover the cost of one week of participation. Please complete and submit an application to be considered for a scholarship.

Please note: Scholarships are limited. Applying for a scholarship does not guarantee a spot in a summer program.

Optional: To guarantee your child a spot in camp, you may choose to register your child once registration opens. If your child is later granted a scholarship, we will refund the total registration fee.

Application deadline: April 24.

  Download the Scholarship Application

Camp Dates

You can choose one, two or three different weeklong sessions of camp. The sessions are independent and non-cumulative, so you can choose to enroll in any or all sessions. You can choose consecutive or non-consecutive sessions. Perhaps you’d like to take a few weeks off between sessions (great for summer vacation plans)? The choice is yours.

Session A Dates
June 8–12
June 29–July 3
July 20–24
August 10–14


Session B Dates
June 15–19
July 6–10
July 27–31
August 17–21


Session C Dates
June 22–26
July 13–17
August 3–7

Age Groups and Themes


Session A: Whose Skin is This?

Session B: Storybook Safari

Session C: Artistic Animals

First–Second Graders

Session A: Homes, Holes and Hideaways

Session B: Animals Around the Clock

Session C: Leaders of the Pack

Third–Fourth Graders

Session A: Wild Within

Session B: Grossology

Session C: Animal Architects

Camp Teen Volunteers

In spring 2015, we will begin recruiting a limited number of teens (13–18 years old) who are interested in helping out with Conservation Camp. Participating teens will have the chance to work with children as well as gain professional experience. All interested teens will be required to apply and interview for this selective position.

Learn More and Apply!

Attend one of the free info sessions listed below to learn more about this opportunity and other summer experiences for teens at Lincoln Park Zoo. Former participants and program facilitators will be present to answer questions.

Thursday, February 26, 4–5:30 p.m.
Back of the Yards Library
2111 W. 47th Street

Tuesday, March 3, 4–5:30 p.m.
YOUmedia Space, Harold Washington Library
400 S. State Street

Monday, March 9, 4:30–6 p.m.
Rudy Lozano Library Branch
1805 S. Loomis Street

Saturday, March 14, 1–3 p.m.
Lincoln Park Zoo, Judy Keller Education Center
Lake Shore Drive at Fullerton Parkway

Wednesday, March 18, 4–5:30 p.m.
Richard M. Daley Library Branch
733 N. Kedzie Avenue

Saturday, March 21, 1–2:30 p.m.
Bessie Coleman Library Branch
731 E. 63rd Street

Questions? Learn more at Contact us at 312-742-2056 or

Learn More

Open House and Gear Pick-Up Days

The Camp Team will host an Open House for parents and campers who are new to Lincoln Park Zoo camp programs. At the Open House, you can meet camp staff, see classrooms and pick up camp gear including t-shirts, backpacks, etc.

Parents of campers who have previously attended Lincoln Park Zoo camp programs are welcome to drop by on one of the Gear Pick-Up Days to retrieve camp gear including t-shirts, backpacks, etc.

Dates for these events will be released in your registration confirmation email upon completing online registration for camp.

Conservation Camp 2014 Themes


Session A: Whose Skin is This?

From the smooth scales of snakes to the warm fur of black bears, animals protect themselves from the elements in many ways. Come explore the different coverings of some of your favorite zoo animals and how these coats help them to survive!

Session B: Storybook Safari

Discover the zoo through the pages of some of your favorite books! Amazing animals have inspired many wonderful stories over the years. Come meet some of the magnificent animals that make the stories come to life! From the fuzzy bat in “Stellaluna” to the big bear in “Bear Wants More,” share in their stories while you learn about animals!

Session C: Artistic Animals

Did you know that some animals, such as a humpback whale, sing beautiful, complex songs to impress a mate? Bees will do a waggle dance to help other bees find food, brightly colored feathers of peacocks and Himalayan monals attract females, and spiders weave intricate webs to catch their prey. Come learn about these animals and other artists of the natural world.

First­–Second Graders

Session A: Homes, Holes and Hideaways

Where would you look to find your favorite animal? From the frozen tundra to toasty deserts, birds, bears, bugs and other animals live in every corner of the earth. Join us as we investigate the variety of animal habitats—and the critters themselves—from around the world!

Session B: Animals Around the Clock

What’s your bedtime? And when do you feel the most wide awake? While some animals snooze all day, some sleep hardly at all! Discover the unique behaviors and sleep habits of some of the most interesting animals, from hibernating bears to nocturnal bats!

Session C: Leaders of the Pack

In the animal world, males are often dominant. But in a group of Japanese macaques, it’s the females who make the rules. In a colony of ants, one female lays all of the eggs and is protected by an army of male soldiers. Still, other groups are ruled equally by a male and female pair, living as a family and working together to raise their young. Explore the different groups that animals form and find out who are the real leaders of the pack.

Third–Fourth Graders

Session A: Wild Within

Giraffes stand almost 20 feet tall, but did you know they have the same number of neck vertebrae as you do? Learn about other awesome similarities—from the inside out—between you and the wild inhabitants at Lincoln Park Zoo!

Session B: Grossology

Are you fascinated by the weird but true, wild and wacky, gross and yucky? Animals can be delightfully disgusting! Come explore how the waste of some animals helps others survive, how scat can help you identify animals, how animal blood colors vary and how slime helps some creepy creatures to move, digest food or defend themselves!

Session C: Animal Architects

In the heart of Chicago it’s impossible not to notice the massive skyscrapers towering above your head. These man-made structures are certainly impressive, but they were preceded by the giant mounds built by termites in Africa and the complex nests social weaver birds construct out of twigs and straw. Join us to learn all about the amazing homes animals create and how these models have inspired some of our modern building practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

  Download the Zoo Camp FAQs

About the Conservation Camp Staff

Each camp group is led by two camp instructors who have extensive professional experience working with children and a demonstrated commitment to connecting children to the natural world. Camp instructors facilitate all educational components of the camp day, but groups also have the chance to meet zoo staff throughout the week, from veterinarians to zookeepers to scientists. Camp Teen Volunteers provide additional support to the camp staff and their groups.

For more information please email or call 312-742-2056.