KidZu - Camps for All!
Written by Nikki Peterson, Community Education Coordinator, North Carolina Zoo
What is your favorite memory about summer camps as a child? Was it making new friends, attending with old ones, trying new experiences, or competing in a camp competition? Here at the North Carolina Zoo, we feel every child should have the opportunity to make summer camp memories that will last a lifetime. We offer two camps focused on special accommodations - Kidzu Camps and our virtual camps. Zoo summer camps allow participants to make new friends and learn about their favorite animals here at the Zoo and in the wild through exciting games, hands-on activities, crafts, and even animal encounters.
After a brief hiatus, the North Carolina Zoo is bringing back our KidZu Camps! This is an amazing opportunity for rising 3rd-8th grade campers with high functioning autism (or other sensory challenges) to experience the Zoo in a more structured way. There will be a camp counselor for every one or two campers, depending on how many campers register. A parent, guardian, sibling, or aid is welcome to stay with the camper for the whole camp or part of the camp, whatever helps them feel more comfortable.
Each camp will be filled with various activities that go along with the different themes that focus on a specific group or groups of animals. Campers will have access to their camp's schedule, so they will know what they will be doing when they are doing it and where they will be going for their activities. KidZu campers will have access to support systems, such as retreat zones or sensory tools if they feel overwhelmed at any time during camp.
A few weeks before a camp date, parents/guardians will be sent a comprehensive health form to fill out. This form will help give camp counselors the information to make your camper's experience as positive as possible. The North Carolina Zoo is excited to bring KidZu camps back, and we look forward to seeing you this summer!
There are still several KidZu summer camps available – please view the listings here: https://www.nczoo.org/education/camps/summer-camps