First-Time Camper Tips

Dress appropriately for the weather. For younger campers, please make sure their clothing is easy for them to remove while using the restroom (zoo staff cannot assist campers in the restroom). Please be aware that clothing, especially sweatshirts, tend to get lost during zoo camp. Your child should wear the Santa Barbara Zoo Camp shirt every day.

Closed-toed shoes are required for your child's safety. If your camper is not wearing close-toed shoes, they will miss out on behind-the-scenes opportunities. Closed-toed shoes also help protect your child when playing games with their camp group.

We provide a snack daily. If your child has a food allergy, we suggest you pack a snack for your camper and give it to his or her counselor in the morning.

Please make sure your child is wearing sunscreen. Zoo Campers are outside for the majority of the day. If you would like us to apply sunscreen, you must give us consent in the morning and send sunscreen with your child.

Water Bottles
It is a good idea to send your child with a full, reusable water bottle. We do make routine stops at the water fountains, but it does get hot during the summer and your child will be running around outside for most of the day.

Separation Anxiety and Camp
It is perfectly normal for young children to be anxious about camp. If this is your child's first time away from you for the day, or if you know your child tends to have a difficult time with separation, it is helpful to prepare them for the experience prior to the first day of camp. Tell them about some of the fun things they will be doing, and assure them that you will be there to pick them up at the end of the day.

Please keep in mind that during sign-in, you will need to sign your camper in and leave. If your child is upset, you will not be able to sit with them and their group.

Most campers, even the ones that have a difficult time at sign in, love camp. You are always welcome to call the office during the camp day to make sure your camper is doing alright, and you can be assured that we will call you if there is an issue.


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