Camps

Summer Safari Camp

Member registration for Summer Safari Camp 2017 will open February 1, 2017.

General registration will open March 1, 2017.

Join us for a mega-dose of Vitamin Z at Summer Safari Camp 2017!  A variety of incredible activities are in store during the summer break at the wildest place in town. Spaces are limited and go quickly! Children must be registered for camp levels corresponding to the school grade they will enter in fall 2017.

Camp purchases are not refundable.

Please note: For the safety and well-being of our campers and animals, youth will not handle or clean up after the animals. A variety of other engaging activities will increase understanding and appreciation toward wildlife and wild places.

We offer a COUNSELOR-IN-TRAINING volunteer program for teens ages 16 and 17.


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Zookeeper Camps (Available for each grade level K-8)

Zookeeper Camps will introduce campers to the needs of animals and the complexities of animal care. Campers will have the opportunity to explore all types of animals and learn about their health, behavior, nutrition and welfare. All of the camps will include an interaction with a zookeeper for an authentic experience and insider information.

Each Zookeeper Camp will end with a Summer Safari Camp Showcase on Friday afternoon, giving caregivers a chance to view their camper’s work.


Animal Welfare Workshop (Grades 9-12)

This week-long workshop will give high school students the chance to work with our Center for Zoo Animal Welfare (CZAW) team. Participants will explore the topic of zoo animal welfare by experiencing the Zoo through the eyes, ears, and noses of the animals. All students enrolled in this workshop will need to provide proof of a negative TB test within the past year in order to participate in special behind-the-scenes experiences throughout the week.


Single-Day Camps (Grades K-6)

Single-day camp experiences are offered July 5-7. These camps cover a variety of topics such as art, veterinary medicine and science.


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Single-Evening Camps (Grades 1-6)

Two different evening camp experiences are available. Twilight Trails I is for youth first through third grade and Twilight Trails II serves students fourth through sixth grade.  These camps give children the opportunity to explore the Zoo after it closes for the night.


Early Bird and Late Owl (All Ages)

Busy schedules and work commitments don’t always work well with a 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. camp schedule. Take advantage of our early drop-off and late pick-up program to make Summer Safari work for you. Campers are supervised by Summer Safari Camp staff the entire time, enjoying games, activities and stories. Registration for extended care is available during camp registration.

Full-Day Option for Soon-to-Be Kindergartners

Morning and afternoon camps can be paired for full-day experiences. All campers registered for both will be supervised during lunch by camp staff.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions

How can I add or change extended care after I have registered for camp?

Please email safaricamp@dzs.org or call (248) 541-5717 ext. 3800 to change your extended care schedule.

How do I authorize a different person to pick up my child from camp?

There are two ways to change the list of individuals allowed to pick up your child from Safari Camp.

  • Tell your child’s teacher at check-in.
  • Please email safaricamp@dzs.org or call (248) 541-5717 ext. 3800

Can I order an extra T-Shirt?

There is an opportunity to order extra shirts, camp packs, and lunch bags during online registration.  If you have already registered for Safari Camp and would like to order any of these items, you may do so at camp check-in or check-out. Please pay at one of the registers at the Rackham Fountain Entrance booth and then take the receipt to your child’s teacher or a Camp Supervisor. Your child will receive the item at the end of the day.

My child has allergies that may require the use of epinephrine.  What do I need to do?

Please print and complete a “Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan.”  Bring this form, along with any epinephrine or antihistamines that may be needed on your child the first day of camp. We do not accept expired medications. Your child’s teacher will discuss the plan with you.

Is this camp peanut-free?

No. The snacks provided to campers do not contain any nuts and there is a peanut-free table available at lunch time, but we do not control the contents of other campers’ lunches or food brought into the Zoo by other guests.

What do I do if my child needs to take prescribed medication during camp hours?

Please ask your child’s teacher or a Camp Supervisor for an “Authorization for Dispensing Medication” form. All medication must be prescribed by a licensed physician,  be in the original container and  labeled with child’s full name.  Please email safaricamp@dzs.org with any questions or concerns.

My child has mobility challenges and the Zoo is large.  Can he/she still attend this camp?

Yes! Please contact our camp directors at safaricamp@dzs.org. We can provide a wheelchair for long Zoo hikes if necessary.

Why are some camps designated “Premium Camps” and cost more than others?

Our Premium Camps offer significantly more time with our Life Sciences staff, additional behind-the-scenes experiences, and require more resources than our other camps.

What will my child do at camp?

While schedules vary between camps, a typical full day of camp may look like this:

9 a.m. – Welcome and warm-up
9:15 – Zoo hike
10:45 – Morning snack
11 – Activity
Noon – Lunch and free play
1 – Activity/research
2 – Project work/art
3 – Afternoon snack
3:30 – Journal and clean-up
4 p.m. – Check-out

What snacks are served at Safari Camp?

Each morning, campers will receive one piece of whole fruit. They will have at least two options to choose from, such as apples, bananas, pears, plums, peaches or oranges.

The afternoon snack schedule is as follows:

Monday – pretzels
Tuesday – yogurt tubes
Wednesday – applesauce
Thursday – string cheese
Friday – animal crackers

For ingredient lists or additional information, please contact safaricamp@dzs.org.

Campers may bring their own snacks if substitutions are necessary.