Spectacled Bear

Spectacled Bear

The spectacled bear gets its name from the distinctive rings of white or beige fur around its eyes. These markings stand out against the rest of the bear, which is usually black or dark brown, and look like eyeglasses (or spectacles).

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Summer Camp

Please scroll down for session descriptions, dates, and costs!

Summer Zoo Camp is seven weeks of fun filled camp sessions geared toward specific age groups. At camp, kids participate in zoo tours, hands-on activities, games, and crafts and interact with animals and staff here at the zoo. Our Zoo Camp instructors are experienced, enthusiastic staff and each session has a 1:8 adult to child ratio. Zoo Camp offers your child a unique opportunity to experience all the Rosamond Gifford Zoo has to offer! These fun, educational camps fill up quickly, so don't delay!

Zoo camp

For general information about camp, please check out the Zoo Camp Info Sheet.

To read a brochure outlining the rights and responsibilities of campers, camp operators, and parents, please click here.

Camp Registration

Registration for Zoo members begins on April 1 at 9 AM and open registration begins on April 15. We strongly encourage you to register online for the fastest service.  Members receive early registration and discounts for all Zoo Camp sessions. To learn more about membership, please click here.

If you would like to register via mail, please download a registration form here and mail it to the address at the bottom of the form. Mailed in registrations postmarked before April 1 will not be considered until all appropriately postmarked registrations have been processed. Mailed in registrations will be processed in the order in which they are received.

Registration Tips:

Have you used our reservation site to purchase  tickets before? If not, please check out the site here, follow the directions on the log-in page to request your password, and make sure you are familiar with the registration process before  April 1. This will ensure your camp registration goes smoothly.  If you have used the reservation site before, please do a 'dry-run' by logging into your account to make sure you can log in smoothly before camp registration begins on April 1.

zoo camp

Is your membership expired or do you plan to purchase a membership and camp session together?  To ensure a smooth process on registration day, please consider renewing or purchasing your membership at least a week before camp registration begins, and logging into your account ahead of time. To renew your membership or purchase one now, please click here.

Please Note: Your reservation is not complete (your 'spot' is not held) until you hit the "Accept" button at the end of your reservation, after you have entered your credit card info. Please know which camp/s you are interested in and have your credit card ready before you begin your purchase.

Cancellation Policy:

If your child is enrolled and you must cancel for any reason, your registration fee is nonrefundable unless a child on the waiting list can fill the space. In the event the cancelled slot is filled, a 25% processing fee will be deducted from your refund. If there is no waiting list for the program you are cancelling, no refund will be issued.

Camp Forms:

Please review Zoo Camp's Behavior Policy with your camper before camp begins.

The following summer camp forms must be on file at least one week before your child's camp session. Please note, these are NOT the same forms for winter or spring break camp. These forms are summer camp specific.

  • Camp Medical FormZoo Camp Ally
  • Consent and Waiver Form
  • Pick Up/Drop Off Form

Forms can be hand delivered or faxed to Liz Schmidt at (315) 435-8517.  They can also be mailed to:

Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Attn: Camp Forms
One Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY  13204




Session Offerings, Dates, and Cost

Pre-K Camp (New This Year!)
For campers ages 3-4

Dates

Animals A-Z!
$125 Members/ $135 Non-members

Come explore the zoo, from alpacas to yellow tang! We'll practice our alphabet while exploring the zoo through tours, demos, crafts, dance and songs! This exciting camp is limited to 10 spaces per session!

 

Session P1:
July 6-10
9:00 am-12:00 pm

Session P2:
August 10-14
9:00 am-12:00 pm

Session P3:
August 17-21
9:00 am-12:00 pm 

Entering Kindergarten
Campers entering Kindergarden in the Fall 2015

Dates

Zoo-Zoo-Zoom!
$100 Members/ $120 Non-members

Slither, trot, swim, pounce, and prance...these are some of the ways that the animals at our zoo move! Each day campers will explore a new area of the zoo and see how the animals that live there get around!

Session K1:
June 29-July 2
(No camp on Friday, July 3
9:00 am-12:00 pm

All the Big and Small!
$100 Members/ $120 Non-members

Do you know what is the zoo's smallest animal? How about the biggest? Lots of weird and wonderful creatures call our zoo home, including some of the most poisonous and the fastest animals in the world! Come explore the many sizes of the zoo in this wacky camp!

 

Session K2:

June 29-July 2 (No camp on Friday, July 3)

1:00 pm-4:00 pm

Entering 1st & 2nd Grade

Dates

Icky-ology
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

From penguin poop to vulture vomit, the zoo can be a pretty gross place! We'll explore the icky, yucky, gross side of working with animals, and find out why a little gross can be a good thing in this scabby camp!

Session A:
July 27-31
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Claws, Jaws, and Paws
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

Why do red pandas need such sharp claws? Can a naked mole rat chew through concrete? How big is a tiger's paw? You'll learn all about how animals use their claws, jaws, and paws to do some amazing things in this jaw-dropping camp!

Session B:
July 13-17
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Session C:
August 10-14
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Dinosaur Invasion!
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

Did you know that lots of the animals we have at the zoo are related to dinosaurs? We'll explore the different kinds of dinosaurs and their zoo counterparts, create our own dinos, and even go on a dino-dig during this dynamic dino camp!

Session D:
July 20-24
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Session E:
August 3-7
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Entering 3rd & 4th Grade

 Dates

Yuck-ology!
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

From regurgitation to excretion, animals do some really gross things! We'll explore the grosser side of animal care through slime, poop, snot, and more and learn why sometimes gross can be good in this disgustingly fascinating camp!

Session F:
July 27-31
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Animal Superheroes!
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

Animals have lots of superpowers, from the color changing octopus, to a naked mole rat's sharp teeth, to bats being able to fly in the pitch dark! Come learn all about the animal superheroes we have at the zoo and how they use their superpowers to survive!

Session G:
July 13-17
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Session H:
August 10-14
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Animal Art!
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

Use our colorful zoo animals as your inspiration to create in this imaginative camp! You may find yourself sketching a squirrel monkey, painting a penguin, or sculpting a skink as we explore the animal world with hands-on projects to explore your inner Picasso! To help unleash your inner artist, we'll tour the zoo, attend animal demos and meet animals up close, and finish the week with our very own art show for your family!

Session J:
July 6-10
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Session K:
August 17-21
9:00 am-4:00 pm

 Entering 5th and 6th Grade

Dates

Around the World in 5 Days!
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

You don't have to travel the whole world over to experience animals from Africa, South America and Australia! Each day we'll visit a new location somewhere in the world and discover the exciting animals that live there, without ever leaving the Zoo! Join us for a whirlwind tour of the world in only five days!

Session L:
July 6-10
9:00 am-4:00 pm 

ZSI: Syracuse!
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

Your job during this camp, should you choose to accept it, is to become a 'Zoo Scene Investigator' and unravel some of the Zoo's most intriguing mysteries! Investigate the lives of animals by learning about their behaviors, footprint patterns, different types of scat and other strategies that zookeepers use every day to keep tabs on their animals!

 

Session N:
July 20-24
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Session P:
August 3-7
9:00 am-4:00 pm

Animal Art!
$205 Members/ $225 Non-members

Use our own artistic zoo animals as your inspiration to create in this imaginative camp! We'll start the week off by observing animal artists at work. Throughout the week, campers will explore line, shadow and texture through various mediums such as charcoal, watercolor, and clay using zoo tours, animal demos and up-close animal encounters as inspiration to create unique animal art masterpieces! We'll finish the week with our very own art show for your family!

Session M:
August 17-21
9:00 am-4:00 pm


 Entering 7th 8th 9th Grade

 Dates

Zookeeper Boot Camp!
$375 Members/ $395 Non-members

Did you know that most of the zookeepers who work here started their careers with domestic animals? Now you can, too! The skills learned in the contact barn working with animals such as goats and chickens apply across all departments in the zoo, from training tigers, to enriching elephants, and caring for condors! Campers will spend their week in the contact barn getting their hands dirty through general animal husbandry activities, trying out their training and enrichment skills, and interpreting to and interacting with the public on a daily basis, just like every zookeeper here does! This camp is specially designed for the camper with an animal-related career in mind.

  • Due to a hands-on format, this camp is limited to 10 campers per week.
  • Please sign up for one week only, activities repeat every week!
  • Campers must have a negative TB test on file before their camp session begins.

Session BC1:
July 13-17
8:00 am-4:00 pm

Session BC2:
July 20-24
8:00 am-4:00 pm

Session BC3:
July 27-31
8:00 am-4:00 pm

Session BC4:
August 3-7
8:00 am-4:00 pm

Working earlier or later than Zoo Camp Hours?
Check out Play Care!

The Zoo is pleased to offer Play Care for parents who need to drop off their child early or pick up their child late for an additional fee. Play Care may include games, movies, or quiet reading and is not a part of the normal Zoo Camp curriculum. Morning Play Care runs 8:00 to 9:00 am and evening Play Care runs 4:00 to 5:00 pm. You may register your camper for one or both Play Care sessions. AM or PM care costs $25.00 per week per camper and both AM and PM costs $50.00 per week per camper. Play Care is not offered per diem; you must register and pay for a full week of Play Care. If you are late picking up your camper and are not registered for Play Care, regular late fees will apply. If you pick up your child after 5:00, regular late fees will apply. Preregistration is required, we cannot accommodate drop-ins.

Available throughout the summer

AM Hours:
8:00-9:00 am

PM Hours:
4:00-5:00 pm

Cost:
$25.00 for either AM or PM per child per week

$50.00 for both AM and PM per child per week

Severe Weather Policy

All education programs, including Edventure Academy, camps and overnights, will run as scheduled unless the zoo has been closed by order of Onondaga County administration. Sorry, but no refunds or rain checks will be given for "no-shows" for any reason.