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An Exciting Start to Zoo Camp
By: Brenda, Director of Education and Volunteers, Audubon Zoo
Yesterday was the very first day of Zoo Camp. Boy, did we have an exciting day! There was the initial excitement of meeting teachers, seeing old friends, singing “The Shark Song”, learning camp rules (#1 rule: Have fun!) and preparing for our very first trip to the Cool Zoo splash park.
The Audubon Zoo is closed on Mondays so we get the whole place to ourselves, including Cool Zoo. I told the campers I was the “water master”-they were impressed. I ran over and turned on all the pumps and the squirting cobra, the water dumping spider monkeys, and the giant white alligator that dumps a LOT of water on everyone. The campers arrived and the squealing of joy began. They ran they slid; they climbed; they swung off ropes. It was hot and they were cool. In the beginning, the counselors were too cool to wear suits and play in the water, but that lasted about two minutes and then they were sliding and splashing and soaked. (I know they will wear their suits next Monday)
The campers didn’t want to leave the Cool Zoo , but we didn’t want too much fun in the sun so the groups dispersed off to have lunch, do some arts and crafts or trek through the zoo. At 1:30 the sky opened up like it tends to do here in southern Louisiana. It REALLY opened up this time though. There was rain, wind and hail. All the camp groups were back at base, safe and accounted for or so we thought. Ron Forman, President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute, knocked on my window and said “The “Lions” (the 6 year old group) are stranded at Swamp! I heading out there with my car to pick them up, get some vehicles! Let’s go!” He headed out through the pouring rain, I ran to get the Bugmobile and others ran for the shuttle. We drove the back road with rain pouring, tree limbs down and the hail falling. Ron had his car packed and was on the return trip I when I got there and crammed more campers in the Bugmobile. Those kids were so excited! What an adventure! They were rescued at the zoo! All the “Lions” were returned safe and dry with tales to tell.
The sky cleared and it was 3:00, time to go home. Some of the children told the story of how the “man that owned the zoo” came to rescue them. I am not sure the parents will believe the stories, but they are true. Every day at Zoo Camp is an adventure. We can never predict what will happen, that’s the fun of being at the zoo.
Audubon Zoo Camp still has openings. Register here.