Philadelphia Zoo's Wildlife Warriors summer camp

May 16, 2013 6:01:53 AM PDT
Experts have known for years that kids who have some sort of intellectual stimulation in summer return to a new school year more ready to learn. That's why libraries promote summer reading programs. And that's why summer camps do more than just swimming and games.

An option parents have this summer after an absence of many years is day camp at the Philadelphia Zoo.

The Wildlife Warriors Summer Camp provides age-appropriate day camp experiences for kids age 4-15.

The program starts with the youngest kids and progresses to the oldest teens at the end of summer.

Zoo experts will give kids hands-on experiences including safe feeding and touching experiences. It's science learning but not in a traditional classroom atmosphere.

Experiences are created to be memorable. At the end of each week, a graduation ceremony will declare the kids Wildlife Warriors, commissioned to help save wildlife.

A week in the camp costs $340, but Zoo members pay just $315. Additional discounts apply for enrolling in more than one week, and for enrolling more than one child.

The whole enrollment process happens on the Zoo website.

There is a hotline you may call for information, 215-243-5601, but actual registration is exclusively online.

The summer camp program is designed to exceed expectations.

On our "preview" visit, relatively-young children were actually feeding lettuce to a tortoise. It may not sound like much until you understand that these creatures have sharp beaks and powerful jaws. Yet, supervised by zoo experts, these kids enjoyed a safe and memorable experience.

Imagine a whole week like that! Space in each week's program is strictly limited, and some are filling up faster than others.

Parents are encouraged to check out Wildlife Warriors right away to avoid missing out.