Summer Safari Camps
Updated June 22, 2020
At Blank Park Zoo, we are committed as always to the safety and well-being of our campers, their families, our staff and our animals. We would never make a decision that we feel would jeopardize any of those parties. Know that we do not make any choice here without first considering its impact on our ability to maintain a healthy environment.
Are all summer camps cancelled?
We intend to hold all of our camp sessions beginning the week of June 22, 2020. We have a passionate team of educators excited to lead camp and we have implemented new practices and procedures that will position us to handle COVID-19 restrictions effectively and efficiently.
Is there still availability for camp?
In an effort to keep camp sizes small, we have decided to close registration for the rest of summe
What precautions is Blank Park Zoo doing to reduce the risk of exposure at camp?
We are following recommendations from the CDC and American Camp Association for summer camps.
- Drop off & Pick up: Curbside drop off and pick up will be instituted to avoid having parents and caregivers enter the zoo. Health questionnaires and temperature checks will be completed prior to children exiting their vehicles.
- Group sizes: Camp groups will be spread out so no two age groups share the same classroom space. Age groups will be split into smaller groups for activities and will remain separate as children tour the Zoo.
- Extended Care: To reduce exposure, we have decided to limit capacity in our before and after care program. Drop in before and after care will not be available. Reservations must be made in advance.
- Health screenings: All Zoo staff will complete daily health screenings. Campers are required to complete a health screening before coming to camp.
- Activities & Supplies: Activities and games will be modified to keep campers separate as much as possible. Each camp group will have its own set of supplies to use, when possible each camper will have an individual set of supplies.
- Water Bottles & Camper Belongings: This year campers will be required to bring their own water bottle from home. Any belongings brought from home must be labeled with the camper’s first and last name. Any unlabeled items left at the end of the camp week will be discarded.
- Cleaning & Sanitizing: Cleanliness and sanitation are always top priorities at Summer Safari Camp. We use antibacterial & antiviral solutions when cleaning. In light of COVID-19, we have increased the number of cleanings each space receives.
- Hand hygiene: We practice healthy hand hygiene behavior at Summer Safari Camp which includes the that all staff was hands at the following times:
- Arrival to facility
- Before and after preparing food or drinks
- Before and after eating or handling food
- Before and after administering medication
- After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom
- After coming in contact with animals
- After coming in contact with bodily fluid
- After playing outside or in sensory bins
- After handling garbage.
Will there be any changes to guest experiences or animal encounters at the Zoo?
In an effort to protect campers and our animals, we have made the difficult decision to exclude parakeet feeding and touching of animals during Ambassador Animal programs from camp this year.
Campers will still be able to ride the train and carousel during camp. We have made changes to these rides that include spacing riders apart and sanitizing in between rides.
Campers will still be able to feed the giraffe and goats. Giraffe feeding will not be available the week of June 22.
What if I am not comfortable sending my child at all this summer?
We understand that during this time, not everyone may feel comfortable with the idea of returning to camp. Rest assured that the decisions you make for your family are respected here. Blank Park Zoo has decided to extend the option to cancel a camp and receive a full refund.
If you have already cancelled a camp and were charged a processing fee, please call 515-974-2588 and we will refund the processing fee.
Please note, our system does not store credit card information. In order to issue a refund we will need you to call us with a credit card.
Instead of receiving a refund may I donate my camp funds back to the Zoo?
Yes, the Zoo thanks you for your generous donation. Please call 515-974-2588 to cancel and turn your funds into a donation.
I don’t want to cancel my registration but would like to switch to a different week of camp. How can I do that?
Switching to a different week of camp is very limited at this time. Please call 515-973-2588 if you would like to switch camps.
Click here to view a recorded Summer Safari Parent Informational Session.