Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Summer Zoo Camp

Summer Camp at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is going full STEAM ahead in 2022!

With brand new STEM-based themes and an overall re-focus on STEAM programming, we are committed to bringing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics to our Summer Camp in 2022! Observe, design, create, build and analyze in one of the most exciting and interesting places possible, the zoo. Hands on learning and experiences have never been more fun!

What’s new in 2022?

  • Brand new camp management system that will streamline and improve registration, maintaining health and safety and attendance
  • Increased offerings including an addition week of camp added from August 22-26
  • The option to pre-order lunches from Catering at the Zoo
  • Pre-order purchase of additional camp items such as hats and water bottles
  • Payment plan with qualifying deposit

Most camp sessions run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Before and After Care available and runs from 8-9 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. Exceptions are noted in the schedule below.

Online Registration Starts:

Members: Wednesday, March 2 at 9 a.m.
Non-members: Wednesday, March 16 at 9 a.m.

Register online and find out instantly if your camper is placed into the camp he/she wants!
To make this process as fair as possible, we do not accept phone or in-person registrations. 

Registration Information

Mail-in-in registrations will no longer be accepted or processed. Please contact the Education Department for assistance with registering online for the best possible service and experience.

 

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo has implemented a new camp software system that will streamline and improve the registration process, record keeping, attendance and safety and wellness of your child(ren). All personal, emergency, and medical information will be entered and kept securely and immediately accessible to camp staff, increasing our ability to perform to the highest quality. You can even signup for a payment plan with a qualifying deposit at no extra cost! Parents will be able to purchase items such as additional shirts, hats and water bottles and even purchase meal plans! Education staff will be available to assist with learning and manipulating the new system.

Members: Please make sure your membership is up to date prior to March 2. A membership discount code will be provided to members prior to the registration date. Please note that the participant must be covered under the membership account number to receive the discount. If non-members utilize the membership discount and membership registration period you will be refunded and placed on the waitlist to be contacted when non-member registration begins. Call membership at (315) 435-8511 x8537 for any questions or concerns related to your membership account or to sign up for a membership.

 

Yes! Registering multiple children for sessions is easy online in our new system!

 

We feel that campers can maximize their Zoo Camp experience by interacting with peers at their own age level. All sessions offer hands-on learning that is age appropriate. Please register your child for the appropriate age group.

 

You will have the opportunity to be added to the waitlist during the registration process. If space becomes available during the waiting period, we will notify all parties on the waiting list in the order received.

 

Before and After Care may include games or quiet reading and is not part of the normal Zoo curriculum. Before Care runs 8 - 9 a.m. and After Care runs 4 – 5 p.m. You may register your camper for one or both sessions. Cost is $50 per week per camper for either session; $75 per week per camper for both sessions. Before and After Care is not offered per diem; you must register and pay for the full week. Pre-registration is required- no drop-ins. If you are late picking up your camper from the regular camp day or Before and After Care, late fees will apply. 

Summer Zoo Camp Schedule

Ages 3 & 4: Wild Wardrobe (9 a.m.-12 noon) 

Age 5: Wild Wardrobe (1-4 p.m.)

Ages 6 & 7: Grossology

Ages 8 & 9: Jr Vet Camp

Ages 14-16: Zoo Crew (2-week program/begins at 8 a.m.)

Ages 3 & 4: I Like to Move It! (9 a.m.-12 noon)

Age 5: I Like to Move It! (1-4 p.m.)

Ages 6 & 7: Red, White & Zoo!

Ages 8 & 9: Grossology

Ages 10 & 11: Wild About Art

Ages 14-16: Zoo Crew (continuation of 2-week program)

*Please note due to the 4th of July Holiday, there is no class on Monday

Ages 3 & 4: Zoo Tales (9 a.m.-12 noon)

Age 5: Zoo Tales (1-4 p.m.)

Ages 6 & 7: Project: EcosySTEM

Ages 8 & 9: Animal Engineers

Ages 10 & 11: Jr. Vet Camp

Ages 14-16: Zoo Crew 2.0 (2-week program/ By invitation or application only/begins at 8 a.m.)

Ages 3 & 4: Jr. Vet Camp (9 a.m.-12 noon)

Age 5: Jr. Vet Camp (1-4 p.m.)

Ages 6 & 7: Animal Engineers | Wild About Art

Ages 8 & 9: Project: EcosySTEM

Ages 14-16: Zoo Crew (Continuation of 2-week program)

Ages 3 & 4: Animal Antics (9 a.m.-12 noon)

Age 5: Animal Antics (1-4 p.m.)

Ages 6 & 7: Jr. Vet Camp

Ages 8 & 9: Wild About Art

Ages 10 & 11: Project: EcosySTEM

Ages 12-14: Jr. Zookeepers (begins at 8 a.m.)

Ages 3 & 4: Colorful Creatures (9 a.m.-12 noon)

Age 5: Colorful Creatures (1-4 p.m.)

Ages 6 & 7: Animal Myths & Legends | Bizarre Animal Behavior

Ages 8 & 9: Jr. Vet Camp

Ages 12-14: Jr. Zookeepers (begins at 8 a.m.)

*After Care not available on August 5

Ages 3 & 4: Jr. Vet Camp (9 a.m.-12 noon)

Age 5: Jr. Vet Camp (1-4 p.m.)

Ages 6 & 7: Wild About Art

Ages 8 & 9: Bizarre Animal Behavior

Ages 10 & 11: Animal Myths & Legends

Ages 12-14: Jr. Zookeepers (begins at 8 a.m.)

Ages 3 & 4: Animal ABCs (9 a.m.-12 noon)

Age 5: Animal ABCs (1-4 p.m.)

Ages 6 & 7: Jr. Vet Camp

Ages 8 & 9: Animal Myths & Legends

Ages 11-14: EcosySTEM Explorers Field Trip Camp

Ages 12-14: Jr. Zookeepers 2.0 (by invitation or application only/ (begins at 8 a.m.))

Ages 6-10: Magnificent Animal Mythology

Summer Zoo Camp Class Descriptions

It’s as easy as 1-2-3! A is for armadillo, B is for bearded dragon, C is for colobus monkey… come explore zoo animals, letter by letter, through tours, crafts, games, and much more in this exciting session, guaranteed to make learning the alphabet so much more fun.

Do penguins play? Have you ever seen a frog wave at you? Why do the patas monkeys yawn? Animals have many different behaviors, and we’ll explore them all in this wild all-day camp!

Animals have different ways of finding and making shelter, from dens to burrows to dams. Explore the different structures created by animals and test your own engineering abilities in this creative construction camp!

Literature, science and fantasy meet for this magical camp as we explore the myths around animals and the legends they inspire! As a cryptozoologist, you will investigate creepy creatures like bigfoot, werewolves and dragons and maybe create a cryptid of your very own!

Did you know that a naked mole rat can run as fast backwards as it can forward? Or that Humboldt penguins can shoot their poop great distances? Discover your inner zoologist while studying some of the most fascinating animals at our Zoo. Observe interesting and bizarre behaviors and record using ethograms.

Red, yellow, blue, green and all the colors in between! Join us for an eye-catching camp for our youngest learners as we explore a kaleidoscope of creatures.

Explore all the earth has to offer in this hands-on approach to learning and discovery. Using project-based activities and adventures at the zoo and beyond, you will have experiences like no other camp!  This camp includes two field trips on Tuesday and Thursday.

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!

Walk, slither, fly and crawl into this exciting session all about animal movement! We'll meet animals up close, create colorful crafts and spend lots of time moving around the zoo!

With the opening of our brand-new, state-of-the-art, Animal Health Center comes a camp for most of our learners! Discover how our staff keeps our animals healthy and how you can practice healthy habits of your own every day! Our youngest campers (3-5 years old) will explore the basics of animal care such as performing physical exams, treating wounds, and managing diet and feeding. All this while caring for their very own 12” plush! Our older campers (8-11 years) will delve into the science of veterinary care, including taking ultrasounds, giving vaccinations, and performing surgeries. These jr. vets will receive a starter kit for practicing animal care! All age will experience a variety of activities including game play, animal demonstrations, and spending time in our new Animal Health Center.   

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 eels to elephants! 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 interacting with the public daily, just like every zookeeper here does! This camp is a work experience and campers should expect to get dirty, hot, sweaty, and smelly as they face the challenges of being a zookeeper. This camp is specially designed for the camper with an animal-related career in mind. 

As a continuation of the Jr. Zookeeper experience, campers will further explore this full-filling animal-related career. This program is by application or invitation only. 

Explore the fascinating creatures of the Medieval times such as unicorns, manticores and basilisks and the real animals they are based on. Learn how to battle a dragon, create your own coat of arms and storm the castle using a catapult you actually built yourself! This camp is all for one and one for all!

Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics has never been more exciting! Join us for a hands-on approach to connecting to the animal world. Using project-based activities, we'll discover the wonders of our earth from the soil that grows our food to the animals that live at the zoo!

From red pandas to white lipped deer to blue poison dart frogs, the zoo is more patriotic than you think! Come celebrate Fourth of July week with tours, crafts, games, and animal encounters as we explore the many colors of the animals that live at the zoo!

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!

Animals don’t wear clothes, but they do still have clever coverings to protect them from the weather. Learn the connections between what works for them and what works for you! Classroom animal visits & zoo tours provide inspiration for creating an animal wardrobe of your own.

Campers can learn about the zoo counterpart to the animals of some of their favorite books.  Campers will tour the zoo, make crafts and meet animals up close in this literary wonder of a camp.

Want to be a camp counselor some day? Love working with children? Our Counselor in Training (CIT) program will give you extensive experience is the organization of camp programs, teamwork, and group management. CITs assist in creating a positive summer camp experience for campers (ages 3-11) by encouraging participation, modeling zoo camp expectations, and assisting campers with skills during activities or crafts. All while learning important leadership and communication skills!

Our Zoo Crew 2 program is a perfect fit for that CIT (Counselor In Training) ready for the next level of skill-building and hands-on experience. This second level of experience and training is designed for individuals who have completed our Zoo Crew program or already have CIT experience elsewhere. This program is by application or invitation only.  

Summer Zoo Camp FAQs

Your child will participate in fun, hands-on learning that explores every aspect of our zoo. We provide every child with a camp T-shirt, drawstring backpack and snacks each day. Each camper is expected to wear the camp T-shirt daily in order to identify them as a zoo camper to the public and zoo staff. If you would like to purchase additional T-shirts, please order online during the registration process.

All staff members have experience working with children. Camp staff pass a criminal background check and receive extensive training before camp starts. The camp director and other zoo staff are trained in CPR and first aid.

Please contact the camp director, Christian Delmotte, at [email protected] prior to registration to discuss your child’s needs.

We have a variety of outreach animals that your child may encounter such as snakes, insects and small mammals, and older campers may have the opportunity to go behind the scenes with keepers. For the safety of your children and our animals, contact with most animals is prohibited.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo will follow all protocols as mandated by the Onondaga County Health Department and indicated in the Reopening New York: Child Care and Day Camp Programs Guidelines.

Zoo camp is about making new friends and memories, and parents at camp can inhibit a child’s experience. Therefore, we ask that parents refrain from staying with children during camp.

Zoo Camp instructors are prohibited by law from administering any medication to children at Zoo Camp except for Epi-pens in an emergency. Campers capable of self-medication must submit the provided form signed by both their doctor and a parent. Camp staff can assist with the application of sunscreen and insect repellant with written permission.

For your child’s safety, we require that every person picking your child up from Zoo Camp be registered with our instructors. Before your child can leave zoo grounds, the designated person picking him/her up must provide a photo ID and sign for your child.

If your child is enrolled and you must cancel for any reason, your registration fee is non-refundable unless a child on the waiting list can fill your space. In the event the cancelled space is filled, a 25% processing fee will be deducted from your refund.

Catering at the Zoo will offer a weekly meal plan that can be purchased during registration or added later. Please note that last minute and day of requests may not be honored based on availability.

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