Conservation Camp

Conservation Camp 2014 at Lincoln Park Zoo

Summer Conservation Camp 2014

Conservation Camp offered exciting exploration opportunities for animal and nature lovers from Pre-K to those entering fourth grade in fall 2014. Each Conservation Camp group explored the zoo and participated 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 | Let’s Move!


  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 12, a refund will be issued, less a 12.5 percent processing fee. After May 12, 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)*

*The week of June 30 will be a shortened camp week due to the Independence Day holiday. The registration fees for this week will be reduced to account for the holiday.

**Half-day campers must be at least 4 years old by Monday, June 9, 2014.

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 25.

  Download the Scholarship Application

Camp Dates

You can choose one or two different weeklong sessions of camp. The sessions are independent and non-cumulative, so you can choose to enroll in one or both 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 9–13
June 23–27
July 7–11
July 21–25
August 4–8
August 18–22


Session B Dates
June 16–20
June 30–July 3*
July 14–18
July 28–August 1
August 11–15

*prorated shortened week


Age Groups and Themes


Session A: Animal Movement

Session B: Lifestyles of the Small and Charming

First–Second Graders

Session A: Caring for Creatures

Session B: Investigating Animal Relationships

Third–Fourth Graders

Session A: Running a Zoo 101

Session B: Across the Food Chain

Camp Teen Volunteers

In spring 2014, 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!

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: Animal Movement

Jump like a jaguar and slither like a snake! This week of camp is all about animal locomotion. Campers will investigate all the ways animals get around—using legs, wings, flippers or fins to run, fly, crawl and swim! Campers will have fun comparing animals to themselves, observing different animal body parts to discover how they move the way they do and role-playing the unique ways some interesting animals move and live.

Session B: Lifestyles of the Small and Charming

From bunnies to meerkats to armadillos, our zoo friends are not only super cute—they’re also super interesting! Do these animals have live-born babies, or do they hatch from eggs? Do they look like their parents, or do they look different? Campers will explore the lifestyles of small animals to find out more about where they live, their unique creature features and how their senses compare to ours.

First­–Second Graders

Session A: Caring for Creatures

What goes into taking care of the zoo’s animals? Is it the same as caring for our own pets? Campers will explore wild and domestic animals that inhabit their neighborhoods and investigate an animal’s basic needs—food, water, shelter and space. In the process, they’ll become better citizens of our planet as they learn how to peacefully co-exist.

Session B: Investigating Animal Relationships

Friends? Enemies? Both? A fun way to get to know more about wildlife is to investigate different types of animal relationships. Parenting behaviors vary as widely as animals do; for example, turtles leave eggs to survive on their own while gorillas live with their children for many years! Campers will learn about the diversity of animal families and explore how animals have adapted to care for their babies under different circumstances. Campers will also explore the ways different species are able to share the same habitat.

Third–Fourth Graders

Session A: Running a Zoo 101

Imagine a day at the zoo. The veterinarian does a routine check-up on a black bear. Zookeepers train a laughing kookaburra to step onto a scale to be weighed. Researchers closely document the behavior of gorillas and chimpanzees. So much goes on every day to care for the diverse animals that call Lincoln Park Zoo home. Campers will learn the essentials of running a zoo: animal care, exhibit design, feeding, breeding and more.

Session B: Across the Food Chain

Who doesn’t love food? You love food, I love food and you’d better believe the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo love food! Silliness aside, food plays a critical role in caring for zoo animals. Did you know nutritionists work meticulously to plan specific diets for each and every animal? Campers will outline the food chain from sunlight to decomposition. Who are the producers and consumers, predators and prey in the web of life? Campers will also investigate the role of food at the zoo, in natural ecosystems and in our own cultures.

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.

Let’s Move!

Lincoln Park Zoo is committed to connecting children to nature. Did you know there are lots of ways to spend time outdoors while getting exercise?

Yoga at the Zoo
Some camp groups may have the chance to participate in yoga sessions, doing fun animal poses to stay fit. Parents, you too can enjoy Yoga at the Zoo Presented by Walgreens!

Healthy Snacks
We provide healthy snacks to campers each day. Possible snacks include fresh fruit, veggies and crackers.

Learn more about the Let’s Move! Initiative.