Bringing Camp to the Community

Scholarships Share the Summer Fun

Last summer’s Conservation Camp brought hundreds of happy kids to the zoo for wildlife-related fun. Children from throughout the city spent a week—or two—making friends, exploring the zoo and building piñatas and “browse balls” to enrich everything from Andean bears to La Plata three-banded armadillos.

Campers met peers from different backgrounds. They saw the work that goes into caring for the zoo’s animals. More than that, they forged a deeper connection with the natural world. It was an experience that everyone will look back on fondly for years to come—the kind of experience that every kid should have.

It was also an experience some families may not be able to afford. So, to broaden Conservation Camp’s outreach, Lincoln Park Zoo provided 10 full camp scholarships to kids living in homes affiliated with affordable-housing group Mercy Housing.

“Lincoln Park Zoo is known for being free and open to everyone,” says Community Outreach Manager Alex Gallegos. “We wanted to build that accessibility into Conservation Camp as well.”

The scholarships covered a full week of camp as well as transportation to and from the zoo. Scholarship recipients joined new friends in activities from playing conservation games to running their hands along the skin of a blue-tongued skink.

Even now the kids look back on their experience fondly. “I think this camp was good because we saw animals and had Ms. Alia and Ms. Jessica and all these friends,” says fourth grader Keshaun Moore.

“We got to feed cows, see ponies, pet goats and watch a farmer milk a cow,” says fellow fourth grader Sha’ron M. Green.

Planning for the next season of Conservation Camp is already underway. And while zoo educators are working to make the experience as fun as possible, they also look forward to sharing it as widely as possible with a new set of scholarships. Look for details in December.


by James Seidler

Apply for a 2012 Camp Scholarship!

Lincoln Park Zoo offers a limited number of Conservation Camp scholarships. Scholarships are available only for full-day campers entering first–fourth grade in Fall 2012; they will cover the cost of one week of participation.

  Download the Conservation Camp 2012 Scholarship Application



Bringing Camp to the Community Slideshow
Lincoln Park Zoo offered 10 full Conservation Camp scholarships to kids in Mercy Housing homes, letting them join summer fun ranging from enrichment creation to “sharks and minnows” tag.