2018 Summer Zoo School

Registration for the 2018 Summer Zoo School presented by Price Chopper is now open! We’re also offering a special Ross Park Rangers session for 13-17 year olds in conjunction with our Jr. Docent program. The summer is filled with great opportunities to have fun and learn at the zoo. Check out our exciting programs that are coming up this season!

To learn more about Summer Zoo School, Ross Park Rangers or our Jr. Docent program, contact our Education Department at (607) 724-5461 ext 235. You can also contact Ian Jensen by email at ijensen@rossparkzoo.com for more information.

Zoo School

Whoever said that learning isn’t fun? Obviously they didn’t come to Summer Zoo School! Through games, crafts and hands on animal encounters, children learn about the natural world and the animals we share it with.

2018 Schedule

  • July 9-13, 2018 (4-5 year olds)
    Half Day: Mammals, Reptiles & Birds, Oh My!
    The world is a big, diverse place, with many kinds of animals all around. During this program, campers will learn about the many different kinds of animals and what separates a mammal from a reptile, a bird from an insect. There are far more animals out there than lions, tigers and bears!
  • July 16-20, 2018 (6-7 year olds)
    Full Day: Are We Alike?
    What makes people different from the animals you see at a zoo? What makes them the same? Campers will be exploring these similarities and differences, finding the wild animals inside themselves!
  • July 23-27, 2018 (8-10 year olds)
    Full Day: Words, Squawks & Smells
    There are a lot of ways that animals and people communicate with each other: from sounds to facial expressions, body motion, markings and even smells. Campers will learn about how animals ‘talk’, listen to what they have to say and maybe even talk back!
  • July 30 – August 3, 2018 (11-13 year olds)
    Full Day: Bon Appetite!
    All animals need to eat, though what they eat and how they get their food varies widely throughout the animal kingdom. Campers will learn about nature’s smorgasbord of animal diets and how they compare to people’s diets. They’ll even create a menu for a wild restaurant!
  • August 6-10, 2018 (6-7 year olds)
    Full Day: Words, Squawks & Smells
    There are a lot of ways that animals and people communicate with each other: from sounds to facial expressions, body motion, markings and even smells. Campers will learn about how animals ‘talk’, listen to what they have to say and maybe even talk back!
  • August 13-17, 2018 (8-10 year olds)
    Full Day: Are We Alike?
    What makes people different from the animals you see at a zoo? What makes them the same? Campers will be exploring these similarities and differences, finding the wild animals inside themselves!
  • August 20-24, 2018 (11-13 year olds)
    Full Day: Wildlife Philosophers
    There are a lot of threats to wildlife in today’s world. But is it really important to save what wildlife we can? And if it is, how is the best way to positively impact our environment? In this camp, youth will learn to question assumptions—even their own—while trying to find out what’s best for wildlife.

Ross Park Rangers

An in-depth look at what it’s like to work at a zoo and be part of the zoo community. This is also a required training for the Jr. Docent program. Teens will experience what it’s like to volunteer at the zoo. They will learn many different aspects of volunteering from educating the public to working in our Children’s Zoo. At the end of the week, those who wish to volunteer as Jr. Docents will be evaluated by staff. Those that meet the Jr. Docent requirements of skill, knowledge and maturity will be able to continue volunteering at the zoo through the summer and into the school year.

If you have any questions about our Ross Park Rangers program, or wish to register, please contact Cat Dietz at cdietz@rossparkzoo.com or by phone at (607) 724-5461 ext. 235.

2018 Dates

  • June 25-29, 2018 (13-17 year olds)
    Requirements for Registration
    – Must be 13-17 years old
    – Must provide two letters of recommendation from adults who are familiar but not related to the youth (teachers, youth leaders, coaches, neighbors, etc.). This requirement is waived for returners.
    – Must provide a letter of intent expressing why they are interested in the camp and, if they already wish to be part of the Jr. Docent program, why they wish to do so. Letters must be a minimum of 150 words.
    To Continue into Jr. Docent Program
    – Must be present for all 5 days of training
    – Must meet the staff’s expectations of skill, knowledge and maturity
    – Must be able to volunteer at the zoo a minimum of 2 days a week throughout the
    summer, from July 4 – August 19. Exceptions can be made for dates when individuals are out of town, etc.

Program Cost

  • Zoo School half day: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm (4-5 year olds)
    $75 for members
    $85 for non-members
  • Zoo School full day: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (6-13 year olds)
    $150 for members
    $170 for non-members
  • Ross Park Rangers full day: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm (13-17 year olds)
    No online registration. Please call (607) 724-5461 ext. 235 to register for this program.
    $150 for members
    $170 for non-members
    $100 for returning Jr. Docents
  • Before and After Care
    $8/30 min (only available a maximum of 30 minutes before the start of the day and/or after the end of day)

Register Online

Register Now