The benefits of interacting with the outdoors and nature range from improved health to an improved ability to learn and concentrate. What better way to take advantage of this with your children than at the zoo? This summer we invite your young ones to join us for our Zoo Edventures. Not only will they have a great time, but they will continue their education over the summer helping to keep them ahead of the curve for the next year of school (but don't tell them that). Each camp runs from Monday to Friday. Drop your camper off at 8 a.m. and return to pick up an excited child ready to tell you about their Edventure at noon.

Our first camp of the summer, "Shapes of Apes and Funky Monkeys," is geared for first- and second-graders. "Shapes of Apes and Funky Monkeys" will run from June 10 to June 14. Primates are amazing and have wonderful body shapes and adaptations that help them to survive. This camp will explore these adaptations and focus on the movements and actions that help primates swing through trees, pick up objects and sense the world around them.

Next will be the third- and fourth-grade campers who will enjoy "If I Ran an Island: Madagascar" from June 17 to June 21. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take charge of your very own island? To manage the animals, plants and people that live there? Well now is your chance to find out! Journey with us as we discover the island of Madagascar and learn about the unique characteristics that make this place a hotspot for biodiversity. With so many needs demanding our attention, it might not be as easy to find a balance as you may think. Do you have what it takes to allow the plants, animals and people to all live in harmony? Come join us and find out!

From June 24 to June 28 your fifth- or sixth-graders can take part in "Life On The Edge." Edventurers will journey from the depths of the oceans to the vacuum of outer space as we uncover the exotic world of "extremophiles." These amazing animals can survive in conditions people can only imagine. We will test the limits of some of these incredible creatures and discover our own surprising abilities on the way.

The second first- and second-grade camp will take place July 8 to July 12 and the Edventurers will learn to "Play, Nature's Way." Play doesn't just happen inside. Nature is the playground for all living things on Earth. Get outside, get dirty and have fun as we explore the variety of habitats that animals inhabit and discover what "play" means to them.

From July 15 to July 19 Edventurers going into third and fourth grade will experience "Growing Up Wild." Life in the wild is hard work. While some animals have parents carefully guide them through those first days, others are on their own from the start. Discover the amazing adaptations which allow animals to survive in the wild and learn how humans have learned to do the same.

For the second year we have opened up Lee Richardson Zoo's Zoo Edventures to students going into seventh and eighth grade. From July 22 to July 26 these Edventurers can become "Junior Wildlife Biologists." Wildlife biologists work in the field and in the lab to study wildlife and help protect the Earth's vital habitats and species. Become a protector of wildlife as we explore this rewarding career path through real-world experiments and hands-on discovery.

Each Zoo Edventure runs Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Registration for the entire week costs $60 ($50 for Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo members) and includes all crafts, games and snacks each day as well as a Zoo Edventure T-shirt. For more information or to register, visit or contact Tarra Tyson, manager of educational outreach and camps, at 276-1250 or The benefits of exposure to nature are boundless and we are happy to help guide your Edventurer through nature's vast expanses. Be sure to sign up soon. Spaces are limited and filling fast.