School Safari Camps
Times & Fees
Parents can drop participants off as early as 7:30am and pick them up as late as 5:30pm. Snacks are provided but participants must bring a sack lunch if they are participating in the all day session.
|FOSZ Member Rate||$29.00 per session|
|Non-Member Rate||$33.00 per session|
Enrollment will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. Enrolled students will receive a confirmation packet discussing schedule, dress code and camp checklist. Registration will open Monday, August 15 at 8:00 a.m..
Permission Forms & Parent Handbook
All families are encouraged to read through Sunset Zoo's School Safari Camp Handbook. This outlines specific procedures, like drop off and pick up, as well as behavior expectations. Not following the policies, procedures, and expectations outlined in the Handbook, may result in a camper being removed from camp. The Handbook can be found here.
Current COVID-19 Related Information
The health and safety of your child is extremely important to us. We are currently enacting enhanced cleaning protocols and using HEPA air purifiers to ensure the camp environment is as safe and clean as possible. While we are maintaining our capacity at 24 as in past years, we will utilize two classroom spaces to allow for extra distancing between campers and staff.
Face coverings in all City of Manhattan facilities, including Sunset Zoo, are currently optional regardless of vaccination status. This includes all Adventure Camp participants, and it includes adults picking up and dropping off. Any changes to this policy will be communicated to parents prior to any camp day through email and this webpage.
We do ask all families to help protect all campers and staff so we can continue offering this program by following CDC recommendations regarding isolation and other mitigation factors should a family member test positive or become identified as a close contact. Please contact Riley County Health Department if you have questions about current recommendations.
A full refund is provided if registration is canceled prior to one week (7 days) of start date. Partial refund given if registration is canceled between one week (7 days) and 48 hours prior to start date. No refund given if canceled within 48 hours. A full refund will be provided is Sunset Zoo cancels a camp.
Overview of Camps
Each camp is themed around a specific topic, and activities include live animal interactions, themed tours of the Zoo, crafts, games and nature hikes. Depending on the camp classroom, special activities may be planned regularly with the pelicans, chimpanzees, and their zookeepers for the respective groups. See below for more details about each camp classroom and the current session topics.
The Pelican Pod is a School Safari Camp classroom at Sunset Zoo with day-long activities specifically designed for youth enrolled kindergarten through 2nd grade. Pelican Pod campers will meet zoo animals throughout each day camp, explore numerous outdoor spaces in and around the Zoo, and engage in crafts and games connected to the day's theme.
The Pelican Pod will also interact with Sunset Zoo's pelican zookeeper, Trevor, as time and conditions allow. The will meet Sunset Zoo's resident pelicans, learn all about their amazing classroom mascot, and might even get a chance to see the pelican eat.
Below are the themes for the upcoming school semester:
|Sept. 23||Moving Mammals||To escape the cold, the heat, or lack of food, animals move from one area to another. Typically, we think about birds doing this over winter, but the Pelican Pod will explore the other animals that move great distances.|
|Oct. 10||Fur vs Hair||Do humans have hair or fur? What about dogs? Cats? Bats? Sunset Zoo staff will help the Pelican Pod discover which is correct while exploring numerous examples.|
|Oct. 14||Horned Animals||On the side, in front or on top, horns can come in lots of different shapes and sizes and in different locations. This session will explore what horns are, who has them, and what they are used for. |
|Oct. 20||Arthro What?||Arthropods are one of the largest families of animals including insects, spiders, millipedes, lobsters, and shrimp. The Pelican Pod will discover all the beauty, scary, and uniqueness within this group of animals.|
|Oct. 21||Animals in the Dark||Halloween is right around the corner and full of nighttime celebrations. Around the globe, there are animals that enjoy the nightime year-round. The Pelican Pod will meet some nocturnal animals and learn how these animals thrive in the dark.|
|Nov. 21||Mini Mammals||The sea otter might be the biggest type of otter around, the Asian small clawed otter at Sunset Zoo is the smallest otter. The Pelican Pod will discover other examples of mini mammals, and the benefits of being small.|
|Nov. 22||Mammals Big & Tall||Making the biggest splash, peering over tall, tall trees, and much more. The Pelican Pod will explore what it means to the biggest and tallest of the animal kingdom on this zoo adventure.|
|Nov. 23||Predators||Not all animals eat turkey, but many do eat meat. It's not just the lions and tigers, it's the pelicans and ferrets, too. The Pelican Pod will explore how predators find their next meal.|
|Dec. 19||Slimy Animals||Slick, shiny, and slimy are the characteristics of some animals. The Pelican Pod will figure out which ones those are and why their skin is that way.|
|Dec. 20||Animal Groups||Family and friends are important to many animals, not just humans. The Pelican Pod will learn about the various animal groupings and how they benefit the animals.|
|Dec. 21||Unwelcome Invaders||With the help of the cane toads and Puerto Rican crested toads at Sunset Zoo, the Pelican Pod will learn just how important it is to help protect an animal's home from invaders.|
|Dec. 22||Animals Helping Animals||Animals can be helpful to people, and people can help animals. However, did you know animals can help other animals? The Pelican Pod will explore these important interactions.|
|Dec. 23||Dusk to Dawn||Waking up starts the day, or night. It all depends on your perspective. In this session, the Pelican Pod will explore the actions of animals based on the time of day. Are they resting, eating, playing, or doing something else? We'll work to figure it all out.|
|Dec. 26||From the Sky to the Ocean Floor||Are you curious who is the highest flying animal? What about the fish that can swim the deepest? The Pelican Pod will explore these feats and many more.|
|Dec. 27||Surviving the Changing Seasons||In June, July, and August, we experienced 100+ degree temperatures. This winter will be much different. We can go inside, jump in a pool, bundle up, or sit by a fire to deal with the different seasons. Join Sunset Zoo and the Pelican Pod to figure out how animals do it.|
|Dec. 28||Animals Here & There||Animals are found across the world. Some are very different from the ones in our backyard, but some are not so different. The Pelican Pod will spend the day examining this diversity of life across Earth.|
|Dec. 29||The Fastest Animals Around||Are you faster than a cheetah? Can you jump like a leap like a leopard? What about jump like a monkey? Animals move in lots of different ways, so join the Pelican Pod to figure out which method and which animals are the fastest!|
|Dec. 30||A Pelican Pod Party||It's almost 2023! How are you going to ring in the new year? Why not start your celebration with your Pelican Pod friends at Sunset Zoo? We'll celebrate the new year and help the animals celebrate all day long!|
|Jan. 2||Sea Creatures||Whales, sharks, dolphins, fish and more. Join Sunset Zoo staff and the Pelican Pod to explore these distant animals and how they survive in such a unique part of the world.|
|Jan. 3||Extreme Habitats||Extreme habitats are found around the world. Not just the bottom of the ocean, the deserts of the world, or the north and south poles. The Pelican Pod will begin an exploration in how animals can survive in these various places.|
|Jan. 16||Backyard Creatures||Backyards are full of areas where animals can live and meet their needs. We can also do simple things to help. The Pelican Pod will investigate backyard creatures and how we can help them thrive.|
The Chimp Troop is a School Safari Camp classroom at Sunset Zoo with day-long activities specifically designed for youth enrolled third (3) through fifth (5) grade. Chimp Troop campers will meet zoo animals throughout each day camp, explore numerous outdoor spaces in and around the Zoo, and engage in games connected to the day's theme.
The Chimp Troop will also interact with Sunset Zoo's chimpanzee zookeeper, Rob, as time and conditions allow. They will meet Sunset Zoo's chimpanzee troop, learn all about their amazing individualities, participate in helpful animal welfare activities, and might even get a chance to help make enrichment items for Rob to give out.
Below are the themes for the upcoming school semester:
|Sept. 23||Animal Migrations||From north to south and from dry to wet, animals migrate for various reasons. Explore with Sunset Zoo staff the reasons behind migration. You might be surprised just how many animals around the world migrate. The Chimp Troop will also help tag Monarchs to aid in tracking their migration this year.|
|Oct. 10||Is it Fur or is it Hair?||A defining characteristic of a mammal is that they all have hair. Or is it fur? Maybe both? If you're not sure or you just want to explore numerous mammals, join Sunset Zoo and the rest of the Chimp Troop to explore the difference between hair and fur. That is, if there even is a difference.|
|Oct. 14||Horns & Antlers||To shed or not to shed, that's the question we'll explore throughout this session with the Chimp Troop as that is a key difference between antlers and horns. As we're exploring, the Troop will learn about the variety of animals with these adaptations.|
|Oct. 20||Arthropod Adaptations||Spiders may be one of the best Halloween creatures around with their eight legs, venom, multiple eyes, and other adaptations. However, they belong a big group of animals known as Arthropods. The Chimp Troop will go beyond just spiders as they explore the uniqueness of the animals in this group.|
|Oct. 21||Animals at Night||Ghosts, Ghouls, and Zombies may be on everyone's mind as Halloween nears, but the bats, owls, leopards, and other nocturnal animals truly own the night. The Chimp Troop will investigate the adaptations needed to be successful at staying up all night long.|
|Nov. 21||Benefits of Being Small||More places to hide and the ability to explore tight spaces are only some of the many advantages to being small. Sunset Zoo staff will help the Chimp Troop explore these benefits through animal visitors and hands on investigations.|
|Nov. 22||Mega Mammals||While small sizes might have benefits, big & and tall comes with benefits, too. From reaching the delicious leaves at the very top of a tree to moving boulders out of your way to traveling great distances quickly, the Chimp Troop will discover the advantages had by the largest animals around.|
|Nov. 23||On the Hunt||Being predator isn't an easy task, but some make it to the top of the food chain. The Chimp Troop will investigate the top predators of the world to figure out what sets them apart.|
|Dec. 19||Slippery, Slimy Skin||Animals may not compare well to Slimer, but many do have mucus coating their skin. Sunset Zoo staff and the Chimp Troop will discover why some animals have this unique adaptation.|
|Dec. 20||From Pods to Troops||Not all animals are social, but many depend on their friends. Explore with Sunset Zoo staff the benefits and downfalls to a group lifestyle, like a chimp troop or a pelican pod.|
|Dec. 21||Invasive Species||Animals introduced to different parts of the world can cause great havoc. Take the example of the cane toad and the Puerto Rican crested toad. The Chimp Troop will explore the devestation that can follow animal introductions and what is being done to help.|
|Dec. 22||Mutual-a-What?||Mutualism is more than just being a friend. It's helping another survive. Numerous animals across the world have develop mutual relationships that benefit both species. The Chimp Troop will learn about these amazing connections in the animal kingdom in this session.|
|Dec. 23||Animal Actions Across All Hours||How many hours do you sleep in 24 hours? How much time do you spend watching videos? What about eating? Is this the same for your friends? The Chimp Troop will investigate these questions in regards to animals. What do you think the answers will be?|
|Dec. 26||Animals at all Elevations||Environments are different depending where they are in the world and the features of the land. The mountain tops are different than its base. The ocean trenches are different than the shore. Why can some animals live on mountains, but not at the bottom? The Chimp Troop will explore the animals found from the highet points of the Earth to the lowest points of the ocean.|
|Dec. 27||Adapting to the Environment||Shedding fur, migrating to different locations, and taking a long snooze are just some ways animals deal with changing seasons. The Chimp Troop will take a look into the strategies used by animals in the wild to manage these changes, and how the zookeeper support the animals in our care in dealing with the seasons.|
|Dec. 28||Comparing Continents||A cat is a cat is a cat, or is it? Different species of cats can be found around the globe, but are they the same? What about bears, otters, and primates? Explore the similarities and differences between groups of animals from each continent.|
|Dec. 29||Who's Faster?||Track, cross country, and swimming are just a couple ways we challenge each other to see who is faster. Do you know the fastest runner in the animal kingdom? What about the swimmer? Discover which animals have the competitive edge with the Chimp Troop at Sunset Zoo.|
|Dec. 30||A Chimp Troop Celebration||It's almost 2023! How are you going to ring in the new year? Why not start your celebration with your Chimp Troop friends at Sunset Zoo? We'll celebrate the new year and help the animals celebrate all day long!|
|Jan. 2||Ocean Explorations||From the Pacific to the Atlantic, the world's oceans are vast. The diversity of animals in the oceans is vast. While the oceans may seem far away, the Chimp Troop will explore the animals that call the oceans their home and how we are still connected to them.|
|Jan. 3||Animals in Extreme Conditions||Deep sea pressure, acidic water, and the thin air in high altitudes are just some of the extreme environments outside of very hot or very cold. How do some animals turn these extremes into homes? We'll spend this session exploring just that with the Chimp Troop.|
|Jan. 16||Exploring Backyards||The Chimp Troop will embark on an expedition into the closest wildlife habitat around, our very own backyard. The Troop and Sunset Zoo staff will explore what makes the best backyard habitats during this session.|