Summer Safari Schedules 2021

Denver Zoo Summer Safari Bird Logo

So You Want To Work At A Zoo

6th through 8th Grade

Camp Description

Does your camper dream of one day working in a zoo? There are a plethora of opportunities, but where to begin?  From animal care and horticulture to field conservation and education, the roles at Denver Zoo are as diverse as the more than 3,500 animals we care for.  Explore some of the many careers that work towards saving wildlife every day.

Week Overview

Daily Schedule Subject to Change

**Ask your camper the questions below to learn about their day!


  • Question of the Day: Can you create new enrichment that will improve the life of an animal? 
  • Zoo Exploration:
    • Look for enrichment and exhibit design styles
    • Primate Panorama
  • Animal Experience: Who did we meet today?
  • Engineering Challenge:
    • Campers design new enrichment for an animal that will help it to exercise its body and brain
    • What did you design? How will it help an exercise its unique skills or body type?
  • Further Exploration
    • Training Game - what is positive reinforcement?


  • Question of the Day:
    • AM: How can animal behaviorists tell if training, enrichment, and exhibit changes are needed and if they are working for the desired results? 
    • PM: Can you design a new and unique exhibit feature?
  • Zoo Exploration:  

    • Predator Ridge or Northern Shores, and Sting Ray Cove
    • Behavior/health observations
  • Animal Experience: Who did we meet today?
  • Engineering Challenge:
    • Campers design a cool, new exhibit feature
    • What did you design? How could this be useful or fun for the animal?
  • Further Exploration 
    • Toyota Elephant Passage
    • What training, enrichment, and exhibit changes has Denver Zoo implemented that have improved the lives of our elephants?


  • Question of the Day:
    • AM: Can you help Denver Zoo by doing Conservation field work?
    • PM: Why does Denver Zoo support animal conservation?
  • Zoo Exploration: 

    • "Field" Work led by Denver Zoo Conservation Experts!
    • Campers’ Choice – explore a species related to DZ’s conservation efforts – e.g., Cinereous Vultures, Bighorn Sheep, Lake Titicaca Frogs in Tropical Discovery
    • Where did we go and what did we get to do?
  • Animal Experience: Who did we meet today?
  • Further Exploration:
    • Outdoor Bird Exhibits or more exhibits related to conservation efforts – e.g., Bactrian Camels, Przewalski’s Horses, Tigers, Rhinos
    • Which animals are success stories in Conservation?


  • Question of the Day: 
    • AM: How and why are plants an important part of Denver Zoo?
    • PM: Can you design a new way to incorporate plants into a part of the zoo that doesn't have any?
  • Zoo Exploration: 
    • Horticulture Experience - look at unique ways that the zoo uses plants!
    • Tropical Discovery – look for the ways plants are used in exhibits and to improve the visitor experience
  • Animal Experience: Who did we meet today?
  • Engineering Challenge: Campers design a new way to incorporate plants into a part of the zoo
    • What did you design? What plants did you use?
  • Further Exploration: 
    • Campers' Choice!
    • Where did we go?

**City Park Fountains!



  • Question of the Day: How do we do medical procedures on huge or difficult-to-move animals?  
  • Zoo Exploration: 

    • Giraffes and "difficult to care for" animals
  • Animal Experience: Watch an animal receive camper-made enrichment!
  • Engineering Challenge: Design a medical procedure for a zoo animal that is difficult to move or treat
    • What did you design? What animal is it for?
  • Further Exploration: 
    • Vet Hospital
    • Lorikeet Observation
    • What interesting things did you notice or observe?

Taking It Home

What does it take to work at a zoo?  What are the different types of jobs that zoo employees are responsible for?  What zoo career would you enjoy the most?


  • Camp runs in rain or shine. Make sure your camper is dressed for the weather.
  • Campers are required to bring:
    • Backpack
    • Sack lunch + 2 snacks
    • Face Mask (cloth or disposable)
    • Water bottle
    • Craft Supplies: Scissors, colors, glue
  • Please note the day your child’s camp group will take a walking field trip to the City Park Fountains. While playing in the fountains, campers must keep their camp shirt and pants/shorts on – quick dry shoes and shorts are recommended on this day, but not required. Campers are welcome to bring a change of clothes, but are usually dry by the time we return to the zoo.
  • Drop-off and Pick-up occurs at the Special Programs Entrance (Gate 1), according to their designated time window. 
    • Drop-off:
      • 8:30-8:45 AM -- 6-8th Grade + 4-5th Grade 
      • 8:45-9:00 AM – K-1st Grade 
      • 9:00-9:15 AM – 2-3rd Grade 
    • Pick-up:
      • 3:45-4:00 PM -- 6-8th Grade + 4-5th Grade 
      • 4:00-4:15 PM – K-1st Grade 
      • 4:15-4:30 PM – 2-3rd Grade 
  • You will need to bring an ID every day for pick-up.

Contact Us

If your camper liked Summer Safari, they will LOVE Fall, Winter, and Spring Safari Mini-Camps! When school is out, Safari Camp is in! These camps run from November through March. There’s a Safari for every season!