Education

Summer Classes/Camps FAQ

How do I get into the Zoo?

  • Anticipate entrance gate lines! The time required to enter the Zoo can vary greatly depending on road construction, weather and events such as free admission days, corporate picnics and school field trips. Be sure to plan accordingly. Thank you for your patience.
  • Show your receipt or reminder email with barcode to the Zoo gate attendant and instructor.

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What is the location of Zoo classes/camps?

  • Summer Zoo Classes/Camps, sponsored by Penzeys Spices, take place at the Karen Peck Katz Conservation Education Center at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
  • When you enter the building, look for the sign that indicates the location of your specific class.

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What do I need to know for Stroller Safari classes?

  • Because the group moves into the Zoo five minutes after program start time, please be on time. If you arrive late, check in the Education office or check-in table to find out where to meet the group in the Zoo.
  • If you have a travel mug with a lid, please bring it along. We provide complimentary coffee sponsored by Valentine Coffee Co.
  • Don’t forget your stroller!

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What do I need to know for child and adult classes?

  • Due to the nature of our programs, no unregistered children may attend class or wait in the hallway; this includes siblings and infants.
  • Due to space and class size we ask that only one adult joins the class with their child.
  • Enjoy tech-free time with your child! Please silence your cell phone and step into the hallway to call/text.

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What do I need to know for child-only classes/camps?

  • An adult (18 years or older) must check children in with the instructor and provide/verify the important safety-related information below:
    • Emergency phone number during class hours.
    • Names of adults authorized to pick up your child.
    • Information regarding allergies, medications or special needs. If your child needs any medication during class, you must fill out this medication form.
  • Provide a cold, bag lunch if your child is age 6 & up attending full day camp. Please do not send food that needs to be heated.
  • Dress your child for the weather as each class has a Zoo tour, rain or shine. Please, no flip-flops or wheelie shoes. Children are not allowed to use umbrellas for safety reasons, so please provide appropriate rain gear.
  • Children should be able to fasten and unfasten clothes as staff cannot assist children in the restrooms.
  • Please do not send your child with money, a camera, toys, a Smartwatch or a cell phone to class.
  • Talk to your child about appropriate classroom behavior. We will notify parents/guardians about positive or disruptive behavior observed in class.

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Do you offer AM and PM care during the summer?

  • AM & PM Care is available for children ages 6 and up and extends the child’s camp day.
  • Children are supervised in our camp classroom with free-choice activities such as coloring, puzzles, books, and computer and board games.
  • AM Care: Begins 7:30 a.m. thru start of camp (pre-registration required at zoosociety.org/summer)
  • PM Care: Begins at end of camp thru 5 p.m. (pre-registration required at zoosociety.org/summer)
  • Location: Education building 1st Floor, Lab classroom
  • If you arrive past 5 p.m., the flat rate late fee is $6.

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Do you serve snacks?

  • We serve a snack in all of our classes/camps. Full day campers must also bring a cold, bag lunch.
  • Snacks for each class/camp can be found online via the classes’/camps’ specific “Class Info” links on the education registration site.
  • When registering, please thoroughly complete the “participant information” form with any food-related allergies and/or call our staff with updates at 414-258-5058.

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What is your commitment to a welcome environment?

The Zoological Society is committed to inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination. Our practices support this commitment and are consistent with other institutions in the Milwaukee community.

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How do you guarantee my child’s well-being and safety?

  • Be sure to fill out all relevant information during your online registration and discuss any additional concerns with your child’s educator for the day. The more information you can add to the registration, the better our educators can prepare.
  • If there are any changes to your child’s allergies or medical needs from the time of registration, call our staff with updates at 414-258-5058. Staff will verify information on the day of class.
  • All staff are given significant training to ensure a wonderful camp/class experience!
    • Each class/camp educator has a four-year degree in education or related field, receives additional training, and is certified in CPR, AED and First Aid (including EpiPen® administration)
    • College education interns receive over 70 hours of training including developmentally appropriate practices, behavior management, Zoo safety, and First Aid (including EpiPen administration)
  • Our child only classes/camps have a high adult-to-child ratio to ensure we are providing a safe, interactive and engaging experience.
    • At least 1:5 adult to child ratio for 4-5-year-olds
    • At least 1:9 adult to child ratio for 6 years and older
    • Education interns and volunteers are trained in Zoo safety and carry a walkie-talkie to ensure quick and constant communication with education staff

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What if my child requires medication, has allergies, or has other special needs?

  • If your child requires any medication (prescription or non-prescription) while they are attending a program, you must fill out this medication form and bring the form and the medicine to the education office on the day of class.
    • We will store the medication for your child to self-administer.
    • Medications must be in the original container, which clearly identifies the child, the medication, the dosage, the prescribing physician, and written instructions for administering the medication.
    • For safety and liability reasons, medications received in any container other than the original will not be accepted.
  • If your child requires an EpiPen, you must fill out this form and bring the form and the EpiPen to the education office on the day of class. The EpiPen will be kept in a fanny pack with the child throughout the day.
  • Be sure to fill out all relevant information during your online registration and discuss any additional concerns with your child’s educator for the day. The more information you can add to the registration, the better our educators can prepare.
  • If there are any changes to your child’s allergies or medical needs from the time of registration, call our staff with updates at 414-258-5058. Staff will verify information on the day of class.

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Does the Education Department engage in green practices?

  • Yes! We conduct extensive recycling, use recycled materials whenever we can in our classrooms, and we are increasingly working hard to practice sustainable purchasing.
  • New in summer 2019—we will no longer offer a plastic bag at the close of class. This will reduce our plastic bag usage by thousands of bags per year. Please remember to send your child with a reusable bag so that they can carry out and protect their awesome projects.

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How do I get my summer camp T-shirt?

  • Your pre-ordered summer camp T-shirt(s) can be picked up in the Education office weekdays after June 3.
  • Forgot to order a T-shirt? Stop by the education office, we have a limited supply of extra T-shirts for purchase!

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What do I do if I need to cancel?

  • If you’re unable to attend a class, you may offer your child’s class to a friend of the same age. Call our staff with swap information at 414-258-5058, ext. 0.
  • If you call at least 15 days before the class, we will try to reschedule your child for another available date within June-August 2019.
  • We do not issue refunds if you cancel.

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What happens if the Education Department cancels?

  • The Education Department reserves the right to cancel classes due to low enrollment, weather or instructor illness. We will attempt to reschedule a canceled class. If we are unable to do so, or if we cannot accommodate your child in another class, you will receive a refund.
  • For weather-related cancellations, refer to local news stations or call 414-258-5058.

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