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When school is out, Safari Camp is in!

Safari Mini-Camps provide the perfect adventure for campers that have the drive and desire to discover an affection for animals. Camps feature animal experiences, zoo expeditions, engineering authentic solutions to real-world challenges, and hands-on, camper-driven exploration. All 2020-21 camps will allow campers to build solutions to challenges based on Denver Zoo animals, their exhibits, and their native habitats!

Costs

Member-Exclusive Buy Out 

Purchase a camp program for up to 10 kids, in grade-range of choice: K-2, 2-4, 3-5.

  • 1-day - $550
  • 2-day - $1100

Individual Camper Registration

Members

  • 1-day - $57
  • 2-day - $114

Non-Members

  • 1-day - $62
  • 2-day - $124

Service and Accommodation Fees

  • Cancellation Fee: Buy-out programs canceled or rescheduled for reasons unrelated to changing state or municipality health guidelines for COVID-19, at least 5 business days before the date of camp, are eligible for a 50% refund (individual registrations incur fees of $10 each). **Within 4 business days, all sales are final.
  • Late Arrival/Early Pick up: $5 per child per camp
* All cancellations must be made via e-mail to Denver Zoo’s Guest Care Center at guestcare@denverzoo.org

Dates & Times

December 21-22, 28-29, 30-31, 2020

January 4, 2021

Each camp runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Due to operating restrictions at this time, we are not able to offer Early or Late Care. 

Important Information

Important Information PDF 

Policies and Procedures

Illness Policy

Medication Administration Permission Form

If your child requires emergency, prescription, or over-the-counter medication during camp, a parent/guardian and the child’s physician must complete and submit aMedication Administration Permission Form two weeks prior to your child’s first day of camp.  Any medication for a chronic illness such as asthma, allergies, or diabetes must be accompanied by a Care Plan written and signed by the child’s physician. Upon review of your camper’s forms, it may be necessary to meet with the parent/guardian to develop a Health Plan.

Accommodations for Special Needs

Campers of all abilities are welcome to register for camp. In order to meet our goal of setting all campers up for success, we ask that you please contact us if your child has any special needs of which we should be aware.  We are more than happy to discuss all options available. If your child needs to attend camp with his/her full-time care provider, special arrangements can be made, but must be scheduled several weeks in advance for security purposes.  After undergoing a background check, the adult caregiver may attend at no charge.

Access to Awe scholarship Fund

Scholarships are available through Denver Zoo’s Access to Awe Scholarship Fund, for individual camper registration. Scholarships are not available for cohort buy-outs. Please apply for financial assistance when registering online.

Contact Us

Questions or concerns? Contact our Guest Care Center at 720-337-1400 or e-mail guestcare@denverzoo.org

New this year...

“Buy out” a camp session for up to 10 kids in the grade-range of your choice: Kindergarten-2nd Grade, 2nd-4th Grade, or 3rd-5th Grade.  Perfect for a few families, learning pod, carpool, team or scout group; Safari camp your way. 

Program Information

1-2 day programs for Kindergarten Through 5th Grade

DECEMBER 21-22:  Too Hot (and Cold) to Handle (2-day program)

Brrr!  Don’t forget your mittens (or fur and blubber). You are going to need them!  Chill out with camp friends and discover the built-in tools animals have to survive and thrive in the coldest of conditions. Then, find out what it takes for warm weather animals to keep their cool. Don’t sweat it — the animals that you meet in this camp can take the heat!   

21st Focus – Warm Weather Animals 

22nd Focus – Cold Weather Animals 

Buy-Out: Kindergarten-2nd Grade,  2nd-4th Grade,  3rd-5th Grade

Individual Camper: Kindergarten-2nd Grade2nd-4th Grade3rd-5th Grade

 

Dec 28-29:  What Lurks in the Jungle? (2-day program) 

Powerful predators with jaws, paws, and claws are often misunderstood.  Meet these animal “beasties” and see their not-so-scary side!  Then, investigate tropical creatures and their amazing adaptations!  Can you learn the ins and outs of a rainforest by delving into the Denver Zoo jungle? 

28th Focus – Jaws, Paws, and Claws - predators 

29th Focus – Welcome to the Jungle - rainforests 

Buy-Out: Kindergarten-2nd Grade,  2nd-4th Grade,  3rd-5th Grade

Individual Camper: Kindergarten-2nd Grade2nd-4th Grade,  3rd-5th Grade

 

Dec 30-31:  Habitat Hijinks  (2-day program) 

Could animals from Colorado swap homes with hippos or monkeys? Discover how animals’ adaptations help them survive – even in places as strange as the ocean – and what happens when animals move from old homes to new. 

30th Focus – Under the Sea - Ocean Animals 

31st Focus –  Mountains, Plains, and Rivers - Colorado and non-CO animals 

Buy-Out: Kindergarten-2nd Grade,  2nd-4th Grade,  3rd-5th Grade

Individual Camper: Kindergarten-2nd Grade2nd-4th Grade3rd-5th Grade

 

Jan 4:  Growing Up Wild (1-day Program)

Get the inside scoop on some of the Zoo’s most popular animal families and explore how cute and adorable animal babies grow up, here and in the wild. 

Buy-Out: Kindergarten-2nd Grade,  2nd-4th Grade,  3rd-5th Grade

Individual Camper: Kindergarten-2nd Grade2nd-4th Grade3rd-5th Grade

WINTER SAFARI CAMP SCHEDULES

Coming soon...

Individual Camper Registration Information

Step 1 of Registration: Purchase a spot for your camper in the grade-range of your choosing. No camper details will be filled out at this time

  • Members must log-in with their email on record that is associated with their membership to receive the discount. Click here to login, request password, or compete a membership look up.
  • Have a major credit card on hand and ready to go. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX.

**This step reserves your camper's spot. Step 2 must be complete prior to camp date.

 

Step 2 of Registration: Click HERE to fill out general questions about your camper(s), including a brief medical history, sign waivers, etc. Campers cannot attend camp until this step is complete. 

Have the following information available for this step in the registration process:

  • Contact details including home and work addresses, and phone numbers for the parent that is filling out this information (and any additional parent) 
  • Name and Date of Birth of camper
  • Medical History for camper
  • Name, address, and phone number of camper’s physician, dentist, and preferred hospital
  • Name, address, and phone number of two emergency contacts
  • Name, address, and phone number of any additional people (must be over 18) who are authorized to pick up camper

Buy-Out Registration Information

Step 1 of Registration: Purchase a camp for up to 10 participants. Select the date and grade-range of your choosing. No camper details will be filled out at this time

  • Log-in to Membership Account: Members must log-in with their email on record that is associated with their membership to register. Click here to login, request password, or compete a membership look up.
  • Have a major credit card on hand and ready to go. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX.

**This step reserves your camp buy-out. Step 2 and 3 must be complete prior to camp date.

 

Step 2 of Registration: The purchasing adult will be sent a form to provide parent/guardian contact details (name, email, and phone number) for each camper attending.  

 

Step 3 of Registration: Each parent/guardian will be sent a link to fill out general questions about their camper(s), including a brief medical history, sign waivers, etc. Campers cannot attend camp until this step is complete. 
Have the following information available for this step in the registration process:
  • Contact details including home and work addresses, and phone numbers for the parent that is filling out this information (and any additional parent) 
  • Name and Date of Birth of camper
  • Medical History for camper
  • Name, address, and phone number of camper’s physician, dentist, and preferred hospital
  • Name, address, and phone number of two emergency contacts
  • Name, address, and phone number of any additional people (must be over 18) who are authorized to pick up camper

Things To Know

  • Campers must be at least 5 years old by their camp date. 
  • Campers must be registered for the grade-range that matches the grade they are currently in. All camp curricula are designed based on Colorado Academic Standards with specific activities appropriate for each developmental stage. 
  • Campers will need to bring:  
    1. Face Mask (campers are expected to wear their mask at all times except during eating, drinking and mask break times) 
    2. Backpack 
    3. Water bottle 
    4. Sack lunch + 2 snacks 
    5. Craft supplies: Scissors, glue, and crayons, markers, or colored pencils (will not be shared)

FAQ: Safari Camp Preventative Measures

How do you encourage campers to stay healthy? 

We practice good hand hygiene (We follow the CDC’s hand washing guidelines)  

  • Campers wash hands upon checking into their classroom for the day. 
  • Throughout the day, campers wash hands before snacks/lunch, and after Zoo exploration, using the restroom, and blowing their noses, coughing or sneezing. 
  • In addition, 70-80% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available in each classroom and while out in the zoo, and utilized throughout the day. You are welcome to pack an alternative (please label with first and last name), or specify to the camp instructor that your child cannot use hand-sanitizer.  

 Camp Staff also encourages each camper to: 

  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes 
  • Avoid sharing food/art supplies/personal items 

Are campers and staff required to wear face coverings? 

Campers and staff are required to wear face masks throughout the day. Face masks will be removed during lunch and snacks, and during designated mask breaks. Campers will eat lunch and snacks outside, when weather-appropriate, and social-distancing measures will be enforced.  

What Social Distancing Measures are you taking? 

  • Camp capacity is currently 10 campers with 1 instructor per classroom. The same instructor will remain with each group for the entirety of the camp program (may be 1 day, or up to 3), and camp groups will be kept separate from one another indoors at all times.  
  • Camp groups will maintain a 6 ft. physical distance from Zoo guests and other camp groups out in the Zoo on exploration. 
  • Campers and staff will maintain 6 ft. physical distance from each other while indoors, during snack/lunch, and whenever possible outdoors. Classrooms and all activities will support distancing.  

What are Safari Camp’s Cleaning Practices?  

In addition to Denver Zoo’s rigorous sanitation protocols and campus safety updates, Camp Staff disinfect all classroom high-touch surfaces, art supplies, toys, blocks, etc. every day with a diluted bleach solution.  

Do you have an illness policy?  

As always, parents are asked to keep their children home if they, or other members of the household, are sick. We follow the Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Illness Policy (specific COVID-19 symptoms can be found HERE). During check-in, campers and staff will answer a series of health screening questions, and have their temperatures taken (as well as during the day if signs of illness are present).  Those who answer “yes” to any screening questions, exhibit signs of illness, and/or have a temperature above 100°F will be sent home immediately, including their siblings or other household members.  

 

Looking for a different camp?

Learn about the other seasonal camps and mini-camps we offer.

Educational Focus

Our top priorities are safety, education, and fun. While zoo exploration/tours and animal encounters/demos are still the core of our programs, the camps staff are taking a different look at how the campers learn, explore, and engage while at Denver Zoo. The instructors will be utilizing inquiry-based, camper-driven approaches to learning in Mini-Camps.

Why do camps require campers work with and attempt to resolve actual challenges faced by Denver Zoo keepers and animals?

We want to provide children real and meaningful challenges -- and what better challenges than ones we actually face? This helps provide some insider information to the children as they discover how much goes into providing the incredible level of care Denver Zoo commits to. Additionally, the campers get to experience science in action and do the same types of things that keepers, vets, and Denver Zoo staff do. This method helps your children build critical thinking and problem solving skills in the real world. More importantly, this approach gives campers the chance to really get to know animals personally and build empathy for Denver Zoo's residents in a way that is not yet possible through a typical zoo visit.

Why did Denver Zoo decide to move to an inquiry-based model for its Mini-Camps?

In the Denver Zoo Learning Experiences Department, we place great value on designing and implementing programs that reflect best practices in teaching and learning. This means a reflective approach to assessing our existing programs as well, where we consistently seek opportunities to revise and move the bar that much higher. We are deeply influenced by research into inquiry, constructivist learning, and the power of learner-driven experiences. We knew our campers loved attending our Mini-Camps, and we're confident they walked away with some real inspiration. But we saw Mini-Camps as a perfect opportunity to open up the learning even more to students -- to provide genuine experiences for children to let their curiosity drive their learning. A supportive camp setting can be an ideal space for genuine inquiry. And so we are super excited to see what our Mini-Camp's young learners come up with this season.

What are the benefits of this type of education?

We know from the research that student-driven learning is the most impactful for genuine learning, for long-term knowledge and skill retention and growth. When we utilize inquiry in our programming, students have the opportunity to experience an authentic scientific process -- from observation and questioning to making predictions and constructing means to seek answers. This is real science, and much more powerful for students than memorizing a simplistic scientific method, the way old-fashioned classrooms used to have them do.

Why does Denver Zoo focus on education instead of just animal welfare?

At Denver Zoo, our mission is inspiring communities to save wildlife for future generations. And while we pride ourselves on our world-class animal care and husbandry, we also recognize the enormous task in impacting human understanding about animals, the environment and our relationship to both. Denver Zoo's education programs are a terrific opportunity for us to inform and inspire new generations of environmental stewards and scientifically literate citizens.

What does all of this mean?

Inquiry-based means the campers will be investigating, searching, and solving problems. They will seek answers or information and use their critical thinking skills to gather data, use their senses to make observations, problem-solve, engineer solutions, and build a deeper understanding. Student-driven means that while staff will still be facilitating the programs, the direction in which the learning goes really depends on the campers – they will be using their own interests and passion to drive their experiences. This allows campers to construct a better grasp a broader understanding of the zoo, animals, the environment, and their connections to the larger world.

So what would my child do in a Mini-Camp?

It will be different for each group, based on the specific challenge being explored, age of the group, interests of the campers, and more. Instead of instructors sharing facts or telling the campers information, the instructor will ask questions and guide campers to discover the answers. When out in the zoo, campers will make observations and gather information to help them solve their challenge and engage in scientific arguments from evidence. Campers will have more time to more fully examine and explore their challenge, the zoo, experience animals up-close, and synthesize their learning through nature play and engineering solutions.

How is this different than Mini-Camps from years past?

Campers will be learning through doing and have more of say in how and what they learn. A typical day would see campers use everything they do that day, from zoo exploration and animal experiences to design blocks and group time, to solve their daily challenge. If something is constructed and sent home, it will be something the camper felt he or she needed to build in order to solve their given challenge. If your camper brings something home, ask them to tell you about it!