Through team-building and experiential learning activities, Zoo Crew campers will explore the relationships between animals, humans, and ecosystems. They will meet zoo scientists and zookeepers, go on field trips, sleep over at the zoo, and ultimately complete a project that generates awareness about a conservation issue.
During this after care, campers will enjoy additional time on zoo grounds and within the classroom while participating in a variety of activities, including going to animal buildings and playing games. Campers will receive an additional healthy snack during after care.
Lincoln Park Zoo offers partial and full scholarships for Zoo Crew.
Active Lincoln Park Zoo members at the Individual level and above receive a 15% discount on summer Zoo Crew registration, and members at Safari level and above are eligible to register early. Members also enjoy invitations to exclusive zoo events, free and reduced parking, and discounts on purchases and other youth programs.
Each Zoo Crew session will host a sleepover on the second Thursday of the two-week session. Campers will attend Zoo Crew as usual from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and then stay afterward to have dinner, participate in nighttime activities at the zoo, and sleep in an animal exhibit building. On the Friday morning after the sleepover, campers will present their culminating project for caregivers, zoo staff, and their campmates. Caregivers are invited to join at 9 a.m.; checkout is at 9:30 a.m.
All lunches come with a main item, such as a chicken salad wrap or cheese pizza roll up, as well as a juice box, fresh fruit, sunflower seeds, a cheese stick, and either dried fruit or applesauce. Vegetarian and gluten-free diets can be accommodated, and all lunches are peanut-free and made in a nut-free facility.
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. During the program, the camp inclusion specialist will help facilitate an inclusive summer camp experience for all participants. During the registration process, parents/guardians will be asked to share any information about their camper that can help us provide individualized support.
Open House & Gear Pick-up Days
Dates for these events will be released in your confirmation email upon completing the online registration for camp. At the open house, parents and campers can meet camp staff, see classrooms, and pick up and purchase camp gear, including T-shirts and backpacks. Camp families can also get their camp gear on designated pick-up days or on their first day of camp.
Lincoln Park Zoo Camp continually assesses and strengthens measures needed to ensure the safety, health, and security of the campers, staff, and volunteers. Staff maintain close and ongoing working relationships with local police and emergency personnel who support the day-to-day safety of the zoo.
Here are more ways Lincoln Park Zoo Camp keeps campers, staff, and teens safe:
In Zoo Buildings:
- Controlled access
- Security cameras
- Two camp instructors in each classroom
- Background-checked staff
- Camp instructors are CPR-, AED-, and first aid-certified
- Camp instructors complete a rigorous staff and leadership training
- Up to two camp teen volunteers in most classrooms
- Camp teen volunteers complete mentorship and safety training
- Class size capacities are as follows:
- Grades PreK–K 7:1
- Grades 1–4 9:1
- Grades 5–8 8:1
- Group bathroom visits supervised by camp staff, or campers are escorted to and from the bathroom by a member of the camp team
- Authorized camper pick-up list and picture identification needed to check out a camper
On Zoo Grounds:
- EMT and security on site during camp hours
- Camp instructors carry radios and first aid kits
- Campers, staff, and camp teen volunteers wear specific color T-shirts for easy identification
Policies and Procedures:
- Comprehensive emergency action plan
- Regular emergency response drills during staff training
- Two fire drills during the summer camp season
- Accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums