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Zoo Explorer Overnight

June 24, 2010 | Tag(s): Zoo Explorers
By: Brenda, Director of Education and Volunteers, Audubon Zoo
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It’s 7:30pm and it’s been a very long day. (One of the highlights of the day was when a goat in the contact yard head-butted a camper and the camper then lost his lunch on the goat.) The day is not over yet. The Zoo Explorers (Campers 5th, 6th and 7th grade) are spending the night here and they are having a blast! They “fell” in a fountain, ate hamburgers and hotdogs, sang some real bad karaoke, played tug of war over the mud pit that used to be our lawn. They are great kids. They are running and laughing and playing.

In a while they will quietly go into the night zoo and look for Great Horned Owls, zoo animals out enjoying the cool night, and  ibises and herons roosting in the trees. They’ll  listen for tree frogs and crickets.   They’ll have a late night movie and then “camp” out in the library and auditorium. The campers (that now smell like wet dogs) will probably fall asleep way too late.

It makes me smile. They are having an experience that they will remember always. I’ll be here to serve the smelly, tired kids breakfast in the morning and I know they will tell me stories about this evening and how much fun they had. 

How cool is it to spend the night at the zoo? How cool is it to just be a kid and not worry about oil spills and hurricanes for awhile? Nobody here tonight wants to see a television or video game. Who would have thought that a zoo is so much more than a home for animals?   It’s a whole lot more, just ask these Zoo Explorers. 

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