During Virtual Conservation Camp, Lincoln Park Zoo educators will lead campers, grades preK–4, through a variety of activities that explore the fun and fascinating world of animals. Each day, campers will participate in movement activities, games, and crafts. They will get to see animals at the zoo, meet zoo scientists doing important conservation work, and interact with their peers in breakout sessions.
Virtual Conservation Camp will take place via the Zoom platform each day from 10 a.m.–noon and 2–3 p.m. All sessions will be facilitated by Lincoln Park Zoo staff.
June 15–19: Habitatitude
Ready for a trip? We’ll visit habitats around the world, from desert dunes to coral reefs, and explore the plants and animals that call them home.
June 22–26: Creature Features
Why do kangaroos have a tail? How do poison dart frogs get their poison? Discover how these unique adaptations help animals survive in the wild.
June 29–July 3: United States of Animals
What animals live right in your backyard? Ever wondered about the animals that live high in the Rocky Mountains? Take a trip across the states to discover the vast array of habitats and the animals who live right alongside us.
July 6–10: Ancient Animals
Mammoths, woolly rhinos, and giant sloths all walked Earth a long time ago—and still have family members alive today! Take a deep dive into ice age animals and learn more about their modern cousins.
July 13–17: Zoo Jobs 101
How do you run a zoo? With a team, of course! Learn about the various jobs that help a zoo run smoothly.
July 20–24: Z.S.I.: Zoo Scene Investigators
Calling all sleuths: Panda-monium has broken out at the zoo and the animals need your help to crack the case. Are you up for the challenge?
July 27–31: Herbivores, Carnivores, and Scavengers, Oh My!
You are what you eat, and this week, campers will explore every level of nature’s food web. Come discover how all living things, from producers to scavengers, work together to keep an ecosystem healthy.
For all Virtual Conservation Camp programs, campers will require an internet-connected device, a daily snack, paper, coloring utensils, scissors, tape or glue, and an easy-to-clean space. Headphones are optional.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will virtual camp differ from e-learning during the school year?
While virtual camp will include educational components, all activities will center on the camper, with their enjoyment always in mind. Campers will be given suggested activities to complete on their own or with their family, but these are completely voluntary.
What will my camper need to know in order to participate in virtual summer camp?
Campers will need to access Zoom via a web link. Within Zoom, campers should have the ability to mute and unmute their microphone and turn on or off their camera. Each Monday of camp, instructors will remind campers how to perform these actions; instructors will also be able to turn off each camper’s microphone remotely in order to ensure an ideal experience for all participants. Older campers should know how to use the chat function, and all campers should display their first name on screen.
How should I prepare my camper for virtual summer camp?
Parents and guardians are asked to practice using Zoom with their campers. For younger campers, discussing how Zoom works (what happens when you’re muted, etc.) would help set their expectations. On the morning of camp, caregivers should log into Zoom and ensure that their camper’s first name is displayed so that instructors can properly address them, and have a snack prepared or set aside.
Finally, although campers should be relatively independent during virtual summer camp, caregivers may consider setting some ground rules in case help is required. If a camper seems to be experiencing technical issues or some kind of distress, zoo instructors may call or text their caregiver using the contact information provided in the camper’s registration. This will only be done if absolutely necessary.
My camper has needs that require accommodations. What should I do?
Lincoln Park Zoo is committed to working with campers and their families to create an environment where all campers, with and without disabilities, engage in camp together. To request a specific accommodation, please contact the camp leadership team at email@example.com.
Do I need to register for my camper to participate in virtual summer camp?
Yes. Campers must register in advance to participate in virtual summer camp. Please register at lpzoo.org/camps.
What equipment or materials does my camper need to participate in virtual summer camp?
Virtual Conservation Camp campers (grades preK–4) need an internet-connected device; paper; markers, coloring pencils, or crayons; scissors; glue or tape; and a daily morning snack. Virtual Zoo Crew campers (grades 5–8) need an internet-connected device, paper or a notebook, a writing utensil, colored pencils or markers, and a daily snack. Headphones are optional for both groups. Campers in the same family may share their internet-connected device if they are participating in the same camp program.
Will my camper get to see animals during virtual summer camp?
Campers will see Lincoln Park Zoo’s resident animals on their screen during virtual summer camp. Some or all of these may come via videos recorded specifically for virtual summer camp. Others, when possible, will come live from the zoo at the time of camp.
What is the zoo doing to make sure campers are safe online?
Camper safety during virtual summer camp is of the utmost importance. The zoo will follow recommendations set by the FBI for the protection of campers participating in online Zoom sessions. Links to the zoo’s Zoom rooms and passwords will only be shared with registered participants and will be changed at the start of each camp week. Zoo staff will also utilize Zoom’s waiting room feature to allow only registered participants into the sessions, and instructors will have the ability to turn off each camper’s microphone and camera, if needed.
For the safety of all participants, all Zoom sessions will be recorded; participants may turn off their camera, if they wish. Caregivers should make sure their camper is using the most up-to-date version of Zoom.
It’s the zoo’s policy that disrespectful online behavior (i.e. cyber bullying) will not be tolerated. Zoo staff reserve the right to dismiss campers from virtual summer camp for their behavior, if necessary.