Zoofari Camp at The Birmingham Zoo. This was the most expensive camp of all, but I thought it would surely be worth it. AJ loves animals, and she loves the zoo.
They also not only went all day but had before and after care available. This meant I could actually work the whole week without having to run and pick her up to take her somewhere else to just go back to work. Worth every cent!
One of AJ's friends from school went the week she attended. They were in the same small group - The Bobcats.
The only trouble with the zoo in mid-to-late June is the heat. It is DANG HOT here in Alabama. The children had a lot of fun, but it was so hot it was physically draining.
When I got AJ each night, she was exhausted. The first night, she cried all the way home.
She had fun, sang songs, danced the Chicken Dance, played games, and made crafts. She learned about various "Animal Oddities" (the theme) but mostly, she was hot. They got to ride the train and/or carousel each day, but they only got to take advantage of the splash pad on 2 of the days. This was truly unfortunate, as they could have used some cooling off.
On Friday when I picked her up, AJ asked me to hold her belongings and then dumped the remaining water in her water bottle over her head. "I've been waiting all week to do that," she told me. Evidently, the counselors caught other children doing this and told them not to.
The camp was very well-organized. The counselors were friendly and knew exactly what to do when it was time to come or go. It was easy to register online and we were on the list, even though I must have made it in right before that week's registration deadline.
You could not bring any peanut products to this camp. We bought a lot of "Lunchables" or the generic equivalent. These days, Lunchables come with a sweet treat, so I had to avoid the flavors that had fun size Butterfingers and Reese's cups. Poor AJ ended up with a "nachos" one and a "pizza" one. I was glad to make her a turkey wrap one of the days and a turkey sandwich the other (although she was not thrilled).
The good and bad thing was the kids were given 2 t-shirts to wear to camp. They were asked to wear them, but the staff said, of course, it wasn't mandatory. But I had heard a rumor (via AJ) that another one of her friends once got lost at zoo camp. So I made her wear the t-shirt, making sure to do laundry at least every-other day.
AJ has decided not to go back next year, but I am very grateful that they had a slot open this time, and that she got the experience.
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