Zoo Camp Policies

Zoo Camp Policies


Reservations must be paid in full prior to the program’s start date.  You may make a reservation by visiting the off-season camp webpage or the summer camp webpage. Any changes to a reservation must be made within 2 weeks of the scheduled camp and are subject to approval and availability. Credit or refunds will not be given for no shows, missed days or cancellations. Summer Safari and Off-Season Camps will be held rain or shine. If the threat of severe weather is present, the staff at LCZ will decide to end camp early or cancel. Please check your email and our social media sites for this information.  

Health & Safety:

If your child is not feeling well, please keep them at home.  Children may be sent home if they begin to show signs or symptoms of the flu, Covid or any viral infection or communicable disease.  Campers will be allowed to return to camp once they are free of symptoms for 24 hours, without fever-reducing medicine. Classrooms and areas of high touch will be sanitized before, during and after camp. 

Trained zoo staff will administer basic first aid for minor cuts, bruises and insect wounds. Parents will be notified of any medical treatment beyond minor first aid, and in some cases, emergency services will be contacted.  

All campers must be fully toilet trained and able to compete all necessary bathroom tasks on their own.


Please adhere to the following guidelines if you are bringing medication to camp for your child. 

AM/PM doses should be given before and after your child attend camp if possible.  All medications must be given to a camp supervisor by an adult.  Prescription medications must be in the child’s legal name and in the original bottle. Liquid medication must be accompanied by a measuring device.  We cannot administer expired medication, loose medicine in an unmarked package or give meds on an “as needed” basis.  Please fill out the medication consent form for each medication that needs to be administered. 

If your camper needs to bring medication to camp or has first aid, allergy or dietary circumstances that camp staff should be aware of please contact the camp director before camp to create a medical plan (i.e. a camper with asthma bringing an inhaler to camp).  

Drop off and pick up:

Drop Off begins at 8:15 at the zoo main entrance. Look for a sign with your camper's age group and enter through that gate. Please accompany your camper all the way to their counselor to check-in. If you have more than one camper in different age groups, please accompany each of them one at a time. Pick Up begins at 4:15 in the zoo greenspace directly to the south of the main gates. Campers will only be released to adults listed on their approved pick up list. Adults MUST provide a photo-ID every day.

If your child will be absent for a full day of camp please email the education department at jchestnut@lincolnzoo.org. There are no refunds or make up dates for missed camp days. 

Early Drop Off: You may not drop off your child prior to 8:15 am.  Camp instructors are busy preparing for the day prior to the start of camp. 

Early Pick Up: If you need to pick up your camper early for an appointment or scheduled commitment, please notify your child’s camp instructor at drop off on what time you will be arriving for them.   

Late Drop Off:  If you are dropping off in excess of 30 minutes past the start of camp, we ask that you walk your child to the zoo reception office (door #4, located to the right of the main entrance). You may be asked to walk your child to where their group is located. 

Late Pick Up: If you are running behind and might be late, please call 402-475-6741 to let us know. If a camper is picked up late an additional $10 fee may be charged. 


Each camper will receive a T-shirt with registration.  Please send children in comfortable, weather appropriate clothing (that is allowed to get dirty) along with their camp t-shirt as well as close-toed shoes. We will spend lots of time outside each day exploring the zoo.  

What TO bring and what NOT to bring

DO Bring DO NOT Bring
DO bring a filled reusable water bottle that is easy to carry (please avoid single use plastic) DO NOT bring outside toys.  All items brought with your camper are not the responsibility of the Zoo if they are lost, stolen, or damaged.
DO bring a small backpack with a change of clothes. DO NOT bring anything of high value (money, cell phones, jewelry, iPads, etc.) We recognize that cell phones are a way to communicate with your child, however campers will not be allowed to use them during program time. If you need to get a hold of your child in case of an emergency please call the Zoo at 402-475-6741.  Summer Safari encourages campers to disconnect from electronic devices, engage in their surroundings and make new friends.
DO bring sunscreen labeled with your campers name. Please send your camper with an initial application.
DO bring lunch and a snack. Please pack a lunch that does not need to be heated up to enjoy. If your child does not have a lunch the zoo will provide a sack lunch and you will be billed $8 for a one-day camp lunch.

Inclement Weather:

Zoo staff will be monitoring temperature, air quality and severe weather. Staff will take appropriate action to keep campers and staff safe in the event of inclement weather. Actions may include, but are not limited to communications with staff and campers’ caregivers, reducing vigorous outdoor activity, moving camp indoors, and canceling camp. We understand if families decide to keep campers home during inclement weather. Please note that we do not offer refunds for camp unless the zoo cancels camp. 


Campers are expected to be safe, respectful, and responsible during camp. Parents/guardians will be notified if their camper’s behavior has become disruptive. Please address the behavior before the next day of camp. While staff will make every attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for campers, the camp is unable to accommodate children that are of danger to themselves, of danger to others, or a disruption to the normal activities making it unreasonably difficult for other children to enjoy camp programs. If disruptive behaviors continue to affect the quality of camp for the rest of the group, the Zoo may ask the camper not to return, and no refund will be issued in this case. The following behaviors will result in immediate dismissal from camp without a refund: physical violence: hitting, kicking, punching, biting or inappropriate touching, the use of inappropriate language: cursing, name calling, derogatory remarks or hate speech. The decision to remove a child from a camp program, whether it be for the day or the entire camp, will be based on the discretion of the camp director.


Prior to arriving at camp, please sign the camp release of liability.  This form details emergency contacts, their relationship to campers, and a media release. 

Parent Communication:

All communication will be via email.  

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Julia Chestnut at jchestnut@lincolnzoo.org or (402) 475-6741 ext. 137. 

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