Summer Camp Program Information and FAQ’s

General Program Information

How do I register?

You can register online by visiting our website at

The website has information about available spaces.

Once the registration is completed, you will receive an email immediately which includes confirmation of your registration

When does registration close for each summer camp week?

Summer camp registration closes on the Thursday prior to the week of camp at 12:00 pm. This allows us to prepare for the upcoming week.

What will my child do in a day at Zoo Camp?

Camps are designed with program components that inspire participants to take action to sustain wildlife in wild places. Campers will engage in activities, games, crafts, interpretive programs and tours on grounds. Campers will see different parts of the zoo throughout the week and will have opportunities to meet an animal technician and one of our small ambassador animals up close in the classroom.

Our goals are that campers will be safe, have fun, have a positive social experience, as well as learn how the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo works to be Canada’s leader in wildlife conservation.

Camp leaders will be able to show you a detailed itinerary at the beginning of the week of camp.

What camps are available for each age group?

We aim to place children together in the same age group in order to plan a program that is appropriate for their age and to facilitate positive social interactions.

Campers must be specified age for each session by the first day of camp.

Northern Leopard Frog Morning/Afternoon (Half Day) Ages 4/5 preschool aged (not yet completed Kindergarten)

Mountain Bongo and Sitatunga Ages 5/6 (completed Kindergarten)

Burrowing Owls and Greater Sage Grouse Age 6-7

Whooping Crane Age 7-8

Marmot Age 9-10

Hippo Age 10-11

Swift Fox Age 11-12

Fisher Age 13-14

What camp should my 5 year old attend?

You can register your 5 year old who has completed kindergarten in either Northern Leopard Frog or Mountain Bongo or Sitatunga.

As Mountain Bongo and Sitatunga are full day camps, we recommend children that have not experienced full day programs be enrolled in Northern Leopard Frog.

If campers have not completed kindergarten, they are only eligible for Northern Leopard Frog Camp.

My child attended camps in previous years. Will the program be the same?

No, each year new programs are planned by our qualified staff to ensure that new themes, activities, crafts and games are incorporated.

Can I enter my child in more than one week of camp?

Yes. A child may attend as many camps as they want in their particular age range. However, our camp program plans are repeated each week which can become uninteresting for campers, if you are planning on registering for more than one week of camp you may wish to consider choosing a different camp for each week depending on your child’s interest and age group.

Can I register my child in Northern Leopard Frog morning and afternoon in the same week?

Yes! You are more than welcome to register for both camps, however we are unable to provide supervision between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm.

We do require you to pick your child up once the morning program is completed and drop off again for the afternoon program.

Can we put our child in the same camp as their friend?

Yes. The website shows the number of spaces available in each camp. If space is available, you can register each child in the camp and you will receive immediate confirmation.

Can we put children of different age groups together?

We aim to place children together in the same age group in order to plan a program that is appropriate for their age and to facilitate positive social interactions. As such, we are not able to place a younger child in a camp designed for older children, however, we are able to place an older child in a camp designed for younger children if required. Please call us at 403-232-7732 or email prior to registering.

Please note, if campers are registered in the incorrect camp our refund policy will be followed.

What if my child has special needs or a disability?

Please indicate any special needs on your registration form. Children who are in regular school classrooms and have an aide will generally be able to attend if they are accompanied by the aide. Please call 403-232-7732 for further information. Our staff undergo training on a variety of different learning and behaviour needs and are provided with access to disability education resources.

Are there animal experiences?

Each camp will have an opportunity to have an animal experience with a Animal Care Technician, which may or may not be behind the scenes. In addition to the animal experience, participants have opportunities to meet smaller animals (i.e., snake, bird, etc.). Please note that due to behind the scenes age restrictions, we are unable to offer animal experiences with an Animal Care Technician for the Northern Leopard Frog Camps (although they will still get up close visits with smaller animals).

Is there camp on statutory holidays?

The weeks of July 2-5 and August 6-9 will be shortened due to the holiday Monday and will begin on the Tuesday instead. As this week will be one day shorter, the price will be pro-rated for four days.

Is a waitlist for camp available?

No, our system does not do waitlists for summer camp.

Our website has up to the minute availability for all camps. Please check back often as available spots are reflected as soon as we receive a cancellation or transfer.

Personal Belongings

What should be brought to camp?

CLOTHING: Each camp spends approximately half of the day on zoo grounds rain or shine, so please pack appropriate clothing i.e. raingear, jacket, comfortable walking shoes, and a reusable water bottle. We also recommend washable clothing since some of the activities/crafts your child may be participating in can be messy. Campers are provided with a camp hat that they must wear at all times on zoo grounds. They will be able to take their hats home on the final day of camp.

FOOD: Please pack a reusable water bottle every day. Campers will be very active during can and we recommend you pack a substantial lunch and multiple snacks for your child. Please do not include peanut food products since many children are allergic to them. Children are not allowed to purchase food, drinks, snacks, or gifts on grounds so please do not send money with your child.

Lost and Found

Please label all your child’s belongings with their first and last name. We will contact you if a labelled item is found or turned in. At the end of the week, check the summer camp lost and found for items that may have been misplaced during the week. Unlabeled items in the summer camp lost and found for more than 2 weeks following the camp will be donated to charity.

*Please do not send valuable items (cameras, phones, iPods, money, etc.) to camp with your child. The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Drop Off and Pick Up Information

Camp Drop off and Pick up Times

All day zoo camps (ages 5-14): 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Northern Leopard Frog Mornings: 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Northern Leopard Frog Afternoons: 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Should I pay for parking?

When dropping off in the morning and picking up in the afternoon, you will have a 30-minute grace period in the zoo’s North Parking Lot. If you are staying longer than 30 minutes, the regular $13 fee applies unless you have a Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo membership that includes parking.

Drop off and Pick up Location: Full day zoo camps (ages 5-14)

Full-day campers should be dropped off and signed in with the camp leaders at the bus loop near the North Entrance (the bus loop is located outside between the North Parking Lot and the C-Train tunnel). Parking is in the North Parking Lot. There will be a 30-minute free grace period for Summer Camp drop-off and pick-up.

*Please note that if you are staying longer than 30 minutes, the regular $13 fee applies unless you have a Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo membership that includes parking*

Drop off and Pick up Location : Half day zoo camps (ages 4-5)

Northern Leopard Frog Camp (both morning and afternoon camps) drop off and pick up is at the Karsten Discovery Centre entrance.

Late Pick Up Policy

Parents who have not picked up their children by 4:10 p.m. (5:10 p.m. for after care) will be charged a $20.00 late fee for the first 10 minutes and $5.00 for each additional 10 minutes which must be paid before the beginning of the next camp day.

My child has to be away from camp because of an appointment or a vacation. Will that be an issue?

If you have an event planned please notify us by email and speak to the summer camp leaders on the first day of camp. Please note that we are unable to provide partial refunds for any days missed.

If your child will be missing any part of the camp (arriving late, leaving early, or missing a day), please call and leave a message with the leader of your child’s camp, indicating your child’s name and the details of their absence. Please give us as much warning as possible so that we can be prepared.

We are not able to pro-rate the cost of a weeklong camp should your child need to miss any day(s) or portions thereof.

Before and After Care Program

Before and After Care Program

Before care runs from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. before camp starts in the morning.

If you plan on arriving after 8:45 am, please drop your camper at their designated meeting location in the bus loop.

After care runs from 4:10 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the end of the camp day. Both will be located in the Karsten Discovery Centre across from the Penguin Plunge. There will be a maximum of 60 spots available each week in each session.

Where is Before and After Care located?

Before and after care is located at the Karsten Discovery Centre (across from Penguin Plunge). This is the first building on the right as you exit the tunnel after entering the zoo.

Parents/Guardian will walk their camper to this location to sign their child in and out each day.

How do we access Before Care during camp?

If you arrive and the gates are closed, please contact security using the call box located to the left of the entrance gates, and the same process applies thereafter.

Continue to the Karsten Discovery Centre (first building on your right as you exit the tunnel).

Before care leaders will be waiting outside the Discovery Centre to sign your camper in.

Before and After Care phone (monitored during July and August only): 403-561-6875

How do we access After Care during camp?

Proceed to the entrance gates and check in with the information desk staff member who will have a list of you and your child’s names.

Campers are to be picked up by 5:00 p.m. Please call should you experience circumstances out of your control that may cause you to be late.

Before and After Care phone (monitored during July and August only): 403-561-6875

Hot Lunch

What will be offered for the hot lunch option?

Each week on Wednesdays , campers who purchase the lunch option will receive a hot lunch. This combination is $ 15 per camper.

Wednesday’s menu: pasta marinara, sliced vegetables, watermelon, Rice krispie square, bun with butter, water and iced tea.

No substitutions will be available.

Please remember to send snacks for during the day and a refillable water bottle.

Where will hot lunch be eaten?

All camps will be meeting for lunch on Wednesdays at our Asia Lawn and Tent. Those who ordered the lunch option will be served buffet style and sit alongside their fellow campers who bring lunch from home.

Will snacks for the day be provided?

No. Please send snacks to be eaten during the day as well as a refillable water bottle

When can I order hot lunch?

Please add the lunch option when registering for your camp.

We will close ordering the Wednesday before each week of camp.

Friday Lunch option

We will not be offering a Friday hot lunch option in 2024.

Safety and Wellness

How can I let staff know about medical concerns?

Please indicate any medical, mobility, or allergy concerns on your registration form. Staff are trained in first aid and will respond appropriately in an emergency situation.

What if my child requires medication at camp?

Staff are not able to carry or administer any medication to campers.

Staff will support campers who are able to self-medicate if required and carry their medication with them. Staff can help by setting timer for reminders to take medication and will communicate with parents as needed.

Staff are trained in first aid and will respond appropriately in an emergency situation.

How can I let staff know about special needs?

If your child has special needs that you would like to elaborate on, please contact 403-232-7732 prior to camp. Any voicemails left will be responded to as soon as possible.

How is camper behaviour managed at camp?

Behaviour is managed appropriately to provide a fun and safe week for all campers and there is zero tolerance for bullying. If behaviour is disruptive and continuous, parents/guardians will be advised. If the behaviour continues the camper may be asked to leave camp and no refund will be issued.

How are camp staff selected?

Our professional staff are selected on their previous experience working with children and their experience in programming for children. Most are university graduates or are currently working on a degree, frequently in education, the sciences, or both. All staff members receive training which helps them to excel in their positions. All staff are also required to undergo police security checks and possess current standard first aid certification.

Is my child safe at camp?

The zoo can be a busy place and safety is our number one concern for participants of Zoo Camps.

You can help us provide a safe experience for all children by:

· Ensuring your child has the necessary items for a day away from home (refillable water bottle, rain gear, two snacks and a peanut-free lunch).

· Advising camp staff of your child’s medications and/or allergies.

· Advising camp staff of any behavioral, emotional or physical concerns that may affect your child’s camp experience.

· Asking your child not to share lunches or snacks.

We strive to give each child a great experience at our camps and work with parents, guardians and aides to enhance activities to meet each child’s needs wherever possible. However, we reserve the right to remove a camper from activities, tours, or from the camp entirely if there are repeated, unresolved concerns that put the child, other children or zoo staff in an unsafe situation.

Fees and Transfers

What are the costs to attend camp?

Weekly Camp Programs:

Our website outlines costs for each camp including the pro-rated cost for the short weeks of camp July 2-5 and August 6-9, 2024.

Unfortunately, the Calgary Fee Assistance program cannot be applied to our Summer Camp program.

Before Care:

$55 / child per week (limited spots available)

*prorated cost for July 2-5 and August 6-9, 2024 – $44/child per week

After Care:

$55 / child per week (limited spots available)

*prorated cost for July 2-5 and August 6-9, 2024 – $44/child per week

What is the Cancellation Policy?

You are able to cancel the registration within 1 business day of its submission with no fees applied. Otherwise, the following will apply:

· A cancellation made 3 weeks or more prior to the camp start date will be refunded (less a $25 administration fee).

· A cancellation made between 1 – 3 weeks prior to the camp start date will be refunded (less a $75 administration fee).

· A cancellation made less than 1 week prior to camp start date will not be refunded.

Cancellation requests due to medical reasons must be accompanied by a doctor’s note at the time of the request.

If you need to cancel your registration please contact us at 403-232-7732 or email

Can I transfer my registration to a different week?

Yes, if the transfer is initiated 1 week or more prior to the start of camp and there is space in the new week, we are able to transfer your registration with a $25 administration fee.

A transfer initiated less than 1 week prior to the start of camp is subject to a $75 administration fee as we will likely not be able to fill the original spot with a new camper.

Because we use a secure external registration system and do not keep credit card information at the zoo, we will require the original credit card number to refund the original charge and apply the new registration and transfer fee to an alternate week.

If you need to transfer your registration please contact us at 403-232-7732 or email