School Safari Camps

All Kindergarten through 5th graders can now join Sunset Zoo for unique animal experiences all school year when USD 383 is not in session. Campers will embark on journeys that will keep them engaged, both physically and mentally, while their teachers at school take time to plan for future lessons and grow professionally.  Journeys will include explorations into animal groups, individual species, ecosystems, and how they can help the natural world around them. Two age-specific classrooms are available during School Safari Camps, one for grades K-2, the Pelican Pod, and another for grades 3-5, the Chimp Troop.

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

Registration Information

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 for spring sessions opens Monday, January 2 at 8:00 a.m..

  • Online Registration 
    Register online from anywhere at anytime until classes fill.  Click here to register.
  • Phone or In-Person
    You can also register by phone at 785.587.2737 or in person during regular operating hours. 

Permission Forms & Parent Handbook

Sunset Zoo's School Safari Camps are licensed through the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) and require a specific set of permission forms to be completed for each camper. Permission forms only need to be completed once, and updated if information, like address or emergency contact information, changes. We did change permission forms in 2021. Thus, anyone who hasn't attended a camp at Sunset Zoo since summer 2021, will need to complete permission forms.

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.

Refund Policy

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.

  1. The Pelican Pod
  2. The Chimp Troop

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.  They 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:

DateSession TopicDescription
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.
Feb. 10
Scales for Skin
Snakes, lizards, fish, and more!  All share one thing in common, and that's scales.  The Pelican Pod will investigate the unique characteristics of scales and why so many animals have them.
Feb. 16Great Sniffers
From trunks to snouts, animals have uniquely adapted noses to accomplish specific tasks.  The Pelican Pod will investigate the uses of these various adaptations. 
Feb. 17Roaring Animals
What predators roar?  What are the other sounds made by animals that hunt?  Join Sunset Zoo and other Pelican Pod campers as we explore the what, why, and how of predator sounds.
Feb. 20First MomentsThe first moments of a baby can be the moset cherished by parents.  However, in the wild, the first moments of a baby animal are critical for survival.  The Pelican Pod will discover how quickly baby animals walk, hide, and climb in their first moments.
March 10Keeper for a DayWhile we know a zookeeper provides care for the animals at Sunset Zoo, but what does that really mean?  Join Sunset Zoo staff as we explore the tasks and responsibilities of zookeepers.
March 13Signs of SpringThe sound of bees, the buds on a tree, and the sight of song birds returning to the landscape are all signs that spring is here.  Join Sunset Zoo staff as we investigate these and other signs.
March 14Life in a PondPonds are home to many animals, like fish, turtles, birds, otters, and much more.  The Pelican Pod will dive deep into this habitat to explore the animals that call ponds home.
March 15Animal BuildersWhether it's using sticks to catch termites and build a home, animals use lots of tools to survive in the wild.  The Pelican Pod will explore these tools and how animals use them.
March 16Ape vs MonkeyIs a chimpanzee a monkey or an ape?  How do we know?  This session will have the Pelican Pod examining all the primates at Sunset Zoo to determine which are monkeys and which are apes.
March 17Springtime AnimalsWhether it's a bear making their first stretch after a long winter or a turtle emerging from it's burrow, many animals become active again once spring returns.  The Pelican Pod will discover which animals are most associated with the spring season.
April 10Rain Lovin' AnimalsSome animals come out at night, others come out at dawn and dusk.  However, there are some that emerge when it rains.  These rainy day animals will be the focus for this session of the Pelican Pod.
April 28All the Better to Hear You WithWhether it's for hunting, hiding, or communicating with others, animals use sound and their ability to sense it in different ways.  The Pelican Pod will explore how animals use this sense in the wild to survive.