by Kelsey Burr Naples Zoo
Summer Camp WILD is in full swing at Naples Zoo! Camp WILD gives children an opportunity to connect with wildlife and nature. They’ll learn about animals from around the world, careers working with animals, what animals build, and why animals act a certain way. Children can also learn about steps they can take now to help save animals and the environment. As someone who loves animals, this would have been the dream summer camp for me as a child. To this day, I still love learning about animals and observing them. I could sit for hours in front of some of the exhibits, watching the animals as they go about their days. That’s why I believe this opportunity is so important.
Camp WILD is unique in that it gives children a place to have fun during the summer, while also teaching them valuable lessons, and providing experiences they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Those experiences include going behind-the-scenes, meeting our keepers and veterinary staff, and making enrichment for the animals. Enrichment is something put in an animal’s environment to stimulate their senses and natural behaviors. It’s exciting for the campers when they can look inside an exhibit, and see an animal eating or playing with what they made.
Specifically this summer, campers will be able to see our anteater getting fed, make animal-friendly ice cream, rake the giraffe yard and feed the giraffes, learn how to track animals, and learn how we train our animals. Campers will get to go on scavenger hunts throughout the zoo, make a conservation campaign for the animal of their choice, fill their passport with stamps, and much more! The activities vary for each theme of camp, but every camper will get a chance to see animals up close and go behind-the-scenes!
These are the themes and descriptions of Camp WILD to choose from:
TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD:
Pack your bags – we are going on an adventure into the animal kingdom. Let’s travel to some interesting places, from the most deserted to the most action-packed of all the lands. All aboard, it’s bound to be a bumpy ride!
Do you have an interest working with animals someday? Perhaps you want to be a zookeeper or veterinarian when you grow up? If so, this is the camp for you! We are going to learn about all of the different careers for working in a zoo.
Come build with us as we discover the different types of things animals construct. From dens, hives, or nests, animals create some truly magnificent works of art, and so will you!
Hold onto your hats – we have some wanted animals on our hands! Join us as we discover the animal outlaws of the world – the thieves, escape artists, invaders, and interpreters. Figure out, through games and activities, how these guys break the law! Camp WILD is offered for children ages five to twelve years old. The ages are separated into three groups, so children can learn at their level. It’s amazing to see five year olds grasp
concepts such as not putting trash out at night, so that bears stay away.
If you’d like to register for Camp WILD, there’s still time! Some weeks still have availability! Camp WILD is a week-long camp, Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day. Please visit www.napleszoo.org/summercampwild to register and learn more!
*If you miss out on Camp WILD this summer, Naples Zoo also offers Winter Camp WILD and Spring Camp WILD so children have something to do while on break from school.