Conservation Leadership Camp

2019 Conservation Leadership Camp Registration: Members Only Registration begins February 1st, General Public Registration begins February 15th

Register New for 2019, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is offering Conservation Leadership Camp for children ages 10-14. This new opportunity not only provides a full week of day camp, but an overnight stay at the Zoo as well! Campers will stay overnight at Rising Waters Safari Camp on the Thursday evening of each session. Dinner Thursday evening and breakfast Friday morning will be provided. Campers are responsible for bringing their overnight gear (sleeping bag/pillow, change of clothes, toiletries, etc.)


Conservation Leadership Camp Online Registration:

  • Click the 'Register' button in the upper right hand corner of this page to begin online registration and to view current session availability in live time.
  • Administer Meds Form and Release/Waiver Form – If registering online, a signed copy of these forms MUST be submitted to the Zoo Registration Office prior to the start of the earliest Camp session for which your child is registered.

Mail-In Registration:

Mail in registration to:

ATTN: Education Registration Office
3900 Wildlife Way
Cleveland, OH 44109

For more information, contact the Education Registration Staff at 216.635.3391 or email

Limited individual Conservation Leadership Camp Scholarships available for eligible recipients.

Apply starting February 15, 2019 for up to two (2) scholarships per family. You will be asked to provide your first and second choice of camp dates to determine availability. Click here to apply.

Scholarship Terms & Conditions:

Scholarship Eligibility:  Campers must reside in Ohio and attend a school that has >30% student body participation in the Federal free and reduced lunch program as verified by the Ohio Department of Education. Campers must be between ages 10-14 by June 3, 2019.

Transportation:  Campers must provide their own transportation to and from the Zoo to attend camp Monday-Friday of the selected camp week. Camp starts at 9am.

Extended Care Options:  Extended care options will be made available as part of the awarded scholarship for parents that need early/late accommodations. Before Care starts as early as 7:30am and After Care ends by 6pm.



9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with one overnight stay on Thursday night of your selected session


  • Session 1 - June 17-21 with overnight stay on June 20 
  • Session 2 - July 8-12 with overnight stay on July 11
  • Session 3 - July 22-26 with overnight stay on July 25

Course Information

Young conservationists will experience what it is like to be a wildlife biologist by participating in field activities such as camera trapping, radio telemetry tracking and animal behavior observation.  They will learn more about Zoo careers, conservation field partners, and sustainability as they hone in on leadership skills working with other camp groups and staff throughout the week.

The Conservation Leadership Camp program is designed to provide campers with a variety of wildlife and conservation themed activities in a safe, nurturing, and fun atmosphere.  The camper's day is a balance of active and quiet activities suitable to the age and abilities of the campers in the group.  Campers will have the opportunity to participate in individual, small and large group activities.  The activity schedule will remain flexible to allow camp counselors to maximize those times when Zoo animals are visible and most active.


All prices are for the full week:
  • Members: $250
  • Non-Members: $275
  • Before Camp care (begins at 7:30 am): $26
  • After Camp care (ends at 6:00 pm): $30


How big are your T-shirt sizes?

  • Youth Small
  • Youth Medium 
  • Youth Large
  • Adult Small
  • Adult Medium
  • Adult Large
  • Adult XL

Will my camper have an opportunity to help an animal keeper?

For the safety of all, direct contact with exhibit animals is not possible. Please refer to the Activities section of the Parents’ Guide for additional information.

Can I come into camp with my camper on Monday morning?

Yes, you are welcome to accompany your camper into the Zoo. During drop-off and pick-up, we ask that you park your car in the designated Summer Day Camp Parking Area and escort your camper to the registration tables. Here you will be able to meet your camper’s camp counselor and ask any questions that you might have.

What is your refund policy?

No refunds will be issued for no-shows or after the start day of the session for which you are registered. Please refer to the Registration/Admissions Policy section of the Parents’ Guide for additional information.

Does my camper need to bring a lunch?

Campers are responsible for bringing their own lunch and beverage.  Please note: Campers will need to bring two (2) packed lunches with them on Thursday, as they will not be going home Thursday evening.  The Zoo will provide dinner Thursday evening and breakfast Friday morning.

Where do I find my Camp ID Number?

Your Camp ID Number is located on your confirmation page. You must have the Camp ID Number for any camper that you are picking up.

After registration, what information will I receive?

Your registration confirmation page will automatically be e-mailed to you. Please be sure to retain this page as it contains your Camp ID Number. If registering using a paper form, your confirmation page will be mailed to you.

My camper has special needs and has difficulty functioning at grade level. How should I register my camper for camp?

If you have a concern about your camper’s needs, please call the camp office (216-635-3391) prior to registration.

Can I send sunscreen and/or insect repellent with my camper to camp?
My camper will require medication during the day. Can the camp staff administer this medication on my behalf?

Yes. If you would like for camp staff to apply sunscreen and/or insect repellent or administer medication, you must complete the Request for Administration Form. Please refer to the Participant Health Records section of the Parents’ Guide.

Can my camper attend camp for more than one session?

Yes, your camper may attend for multiple sessions; however, each session is treated as a separate order. Please complete separate forms for each session that you are registering for.

Where should I drop off my camper if we arrive after 9:00am?

Up until 9:00 am, drop off takes place in the designated Summer Day Camp Parking Area of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. If you arrive after that time, please check in at the Reinberger Education Center (first building on the left when you drive into the Zoo).

Why must I park my car and escort my camper into camp?

  • We ask that when arriving to or departing from camp, your car is parked in the designated Summer Day Camp Parking and your camper is walked to and from the registration tables. These policies have been made in an effort to ensure your camper’s safety and to make Summer Day Camp both more personable and more environmentally friendly.   
  • Parking and turning off your car eliminates time spent idling, which reduces car emissions, making Summer Day Camp a greener place to be.  
  • By taking a moment to park your car, it will also help to alleviate the pressures of heavy traffic on Free Mondays throughout the summer.  
  • Escorting your camper to registration allows you, not only the opportunity to meet your camper’s camp counselor before Day Camp even begins, but to ask any lingering questions that you might have.  
  • For complete details, see the Arrival/Departure Procedures in the Parents’ Guide.  
  • Pick up locations are subject to change due to construction. You will receive the most up to date parking and pick up information in your camp reminder email. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we make improvements to the Zoo. 

What should I do if my camper will be absent?
My camper has a doctor’s appointment and needs to leave early. Is this possible?

If your camper will be absent or will need to leave early, please contact the camp office (216-635-3391).

Are there discounts available for registering multiple campers or registering for multiple sessions?

The only discount available is for Cleveland Zoological Society Members. Please refer to the Parents’ Guide for Summer Day Camp rates.

Can my camper bring a backpack, additional clothes, water bottle, or camera to camp?

Your camper will be responsible for carrying all items. Please refer to the Do’s and Don’ts section of the Parents’ Guide.

Is it possible for someone else to pick up my camper from camp?

For campers participating in car pools, the vehicle that picks up the campers must have the Camp ID Numbers for each camper to be picked up, or the campers will not be released. This is done to ensure the safety of your camper.

How do you select your camp counselors?

In addition to being the best of the applicant pool, camp counselors are subject to criminal background checks and drug screening. They are also required to submit three letters of recommendation. All camp groups consist of both Senior Counselors (ages 18 and above) and Junior Counselors (ages 16-18).

Where do campers sleep for the overnight portion?

Campers will sleep at Rising Waters Safari Camp in tents that sleep 8 people (4 bunk beds per tent).  Campers will be placed into all male and all female tents for same gender sleeping accommodations.  There will be no mixed gender tents.


What meals will be served during the overnight portion?

Pizza will be served for dinner along with beverages and other campfire snacks.  Breakfast will be continental style consisting of cereal, oatmeal, granola bars and beverages.


Where will overnight gear be stored during regular camp hours?

All overnight gear and camper personal belongings will be stored in the locked tents at Rising Waters Safari Camp.  Although these tents are locked, we recommend campers do not bring items of value.


Who will be staying overnight at the Zoo with my camper?

During the overnight portion, one overnight coordinator (regular overnight staff) and one senior camp counselor will be sleeping at the Zoo to supervise campers.

What will my camper need to stay overnight?

Sleeping bags and pillows are necesssary.  Bunk beds are provided.  Please be sure to pack appropriate clothing for the predicted weather (sleepwear, change of clothes, towel, wash cloth. toiletries, outdoor garments and comfortable shoes).  Just like Day Camp, the overnight portion runs rain or shine.  In the event of hazardous weather, campers will sleep in the Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine.