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2024 Summer Camps

Camp Helen Baptist Camp

14477 Baptist Camp Rd, Harvest, AL 35749​​

June 3-7, 2024 (ages 6-11) $295 9:00am - 4:00pm

July 8-12, 2024 (ages 6-11) $295 9:00am - 4:00pm

BIO QUEST: July 9-12, 2024 (ages 12-14) $250 9:00am - 4:00pm


@ J.D. & Annie S. Hays Nature Preserve

7161 US-431, Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763​

June 18-21, 2024 (ages 6-11) $250 8:00am - 3:00pm

2024 Registration for Summer Camps is closed.

Register here

NALZS Nature Camp Procedures and FAQs


Camp Summary:  Your child will participate in a variety of fun activities designed by the North Alabama Zoological Society to promote awareness of our Alabama biodiversity, ecosystems and conservation. Campers will enjoy include art projects, games, hands-on experiences, and lots of time enjoying the Alabama outdoors.

Does my child need to bring lunch?

Yes, your child should bring lunch each day, including a beverage. Campers do not have access to a microwave or refrigerator. NALZS does provide snacks, treats and popsicles each day. Campers will not be permitted to trade or share food. Your child should be aware of any food allergies they may have.

What should my camper bring each day?

Please ensure that your camper is appropriately dressed to spend the entire day outdoors. Many experiments will be studying the ecosystems and waterways. 

Parents/guardians are asked to provide the following:

* Backpack 
* Camp chair (Hays Nature Preserve Location)
* Both daily wear and water shoes or boots (No flip flops)
* Hat(s)
* Sunscreen
* Bug spray (optional)
* Camera (optional)
* Towel
* Change of clothes (optional)

* Refillable water bottle

* If you child wears glasses, please have a strap attached for use near water.

       Toys or books from home are not permitted during camp. NALZS staff members are not responsible for personal items that campers bring with them. All personal items including lunch boxes should be labeled with the camper’s name. Cell phones are permitted as they allow your child to contact you.

       Please make sure your child is aware that cell phones are to be used only for contacting parents/guardians, taking nature photos, or as directed during experiments. Violation of this rule will result in phones being confiscated for the remainder of the day. NALZS Staff is not responsible for damage to phones or any electronics.

Weather concerns and heat advisories:

NALZS Summer Camps are in the height of the Alabama summer heat and NALZS leadership stays very weather aware during the weeks of camp and can accommodate most weather issues.  The safety of the campers is of utmost importance. NALZS camps will continue during heat advisories with adjustment in schedule and activities, plus a generous dose of popsicles, water, and frozen novelties.  No refund will be given if a parent withdraws camper due to weather issues. 

Pool/ Swimming policy (Summer Camps only- Camp Helen Location):

            If attending the weeks of camp at the CAMP HELEN location there is a possibility to swim in the pool. NALZS will have a certified lifeguard on staff, as well as Red Cross certified CPR and First aid adults in the pool with the kids.   Campers will have to follow the pool rules and listen to the lifeguard at all times or pool privileges will be revoked for the rest of camp. Campers will need to participate in a swim test prior to being allowed to free swim in the pool. If you have a non-swimming child there will be alternate free time activities available during pool time.

Pool Rules: 

1.  Never swim anywhere without certified lifeguards.

2. Follow all pool rules at all times.

3. Running  or horseplay is not allowed in or around the water.

4. Every camper will be paired with another camper who is swimming in the same area at the same time. Buddies check in and out of the swimming area together, placing camp badges with their names on the Swim Board in the pool area where they will be swimming.

5. No food or drink in the pool area.

6. A camper's failure to follow all rules at all will result in pool privileges being revoked for the remainder of camp.

Swimsuit/ Swimwear policy:

            Swimsuits should be comfortable, functional and modest. For males, swim trunks or board shorts are appropriate. Modest tankinis or one-piece swimsuits for females. Inappropriate swimwear includes swim briefs or swim bottoms short enough to allow exposure and bikinis. If we feel a suit is inappropriate, we will ask the child to wear a t-shirt over the suit.

Daycare policy:

            NALZS Camps are not registered and do not qualify as daycare. NALZS does not issue daycare receipts or vouchers. 


Camp Property: 2024 Varying locations- see specific weeks for details.

The 2024 Be a Little Wild camps are held at Camp Helen Baptist Camp or Hays Nature preserve.   We do our best to preserve and conserve this land. This means your child may encounter Alabama's biodiversity: including, but not limited to poison ivy, ticks, stinging insects, indigenous snakes, thorns, and other nature at it's best. We do our best to educate and mitigate anything of concern. 


Dress Code Policy:

NALZS Nature camps are held in wilderness locations, thus exposing your child to potential poison ivy, biting insects: including ticks, native species of snakes, and other wildlife, etc. As such, we strongly recommend that each day your child come dressed in pants, shirts with sleeves, and closed-toed shoes.

The following clothes is not allowed: short/booty shorts, halter tops, crop tops, tank tops, flip flops or any other clothing deemed unsafe by camp leadership. 

If your child shows up to camp dressed inappropriately, they will be asked to change. Failure to do so by parent, guardian or child will result in immediate cancellation of camp registration and the child will not be allowed to return to camp. There will be no prorations or refunds if your child is asked to leave camp for failure to follow the dress code policies. See Swimsuit policy above.



What can my child expect throughout the day?

Each day is different, but your child will participate in creek and stream ecosystem activities, daily walking and hiking, hands-on experiments, personal and group projects, team building skills, conservation projects and educational lessons. All children attending the camp should have the ability to walk 2 miles, daily, while carrying their backpack. 


My child needs certain accommodations, will the staff be able to handle that?

NALZS staff members can help to accommodate many types of physical, emotional or developmental concerns. However it is up to the parents to fully disclose those during the registration process to NALZS camp leadership. Failure to do so can lead to unsafe situation for the camper, other campers, and staff.  Please email regarding specific accommodations.  An interview with both the child and the parent may be part of the registration process.

NALZS reserves the right to withdraw registration without refund if a child is deemed to be unsafe to themselves, others or to the camp in general.


My child needs medication during the camp day. Can I send it with them?    

NALZS staff members do NOT administer medication. You should give your child all needed medications BEFORE checking them in for camp. NALZS will only receive life-saving medications such as epi-pens, insulin, and inhalers. Your child should know how to tell when he/she needs these medications and should know how to administer them. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that life-saving medications are checked-in with a NALZS educator. Please let us know if you will be leaving it for the week or checking it in and out each day. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ask for the return of all medications that have been checked in.

What are camp hours?

Camp runs from either 8:00am to 3:00pm or 9:00am to 4:00pm. (See specific camp info for times.)

What if I am late picking up my child from camp?

Plan to pick up your child at 3:00pm (or 4:00pm) when the camp day ends. If you are more than fifteen minutes late picking up your child, you will be charged for extended day. If you incur an extended day charge due to picking your child up late, the fee ($10) must be paid before your child is accepted for camp the next day. We accept cash, Paypal, or credit card.

Camp Staff and Leadership: 

We have an energetic, talented, and passionate staff that understands the importance of helping children learn and grow while building memories, learning new skills and enjoying the outdoors. Our camp staff and leadership work hard to make sure each camper has a great experience and is kept safe. Our youth volunteers are carefully screened through interviews, background checks, orientations, and safety training prior to nature camps.  Before camp starts, our staff and leadership meet for intensive orientation, training, and brainstorming sessions. We maintain a low staff-to-camper ratio to ensure that every camper can maximize their camping experience. Our camp leadership is American Red Cross: Adult and Pediatric

First Aid/CPR/AED trained.

Is there a deadline to register my child for camp?

Yes, see camp information for the deadline.

What if I need to cancel?

If a camper withdraws from camp after enrolling, but more than 30 days prior to camp,  a 30% administration fee will be held and the rest of the camp fee will be returned. An additional 30% fee for supplies will be charged if a camper withdraws thirteen days or less before the camp. No refund will be given if cancellation is within one week of the camp. Registrations are not transferable to other children.

My child is attending camp with a friend/family member. Can they be in the same group?

If your child plans to attend camp with a friend or family member, please let us know when you register if they should be in the same group. We will do our best to accommodate such requests when they are made in advance of camp. We reserve the right to adjust, as needed, if a problem arises.

Camper Guidelines:

  • Talk in a pleasant manner. Foul language, put downs and bullying will not be accepted.

  • Be safe! Always obey camp and water rules, and follow all staff instructions.

  • Treat all equipment and supplies with proper care and respect.

  • Show respect for the NALZS Education staff, NALZS visitors, and fellow campers.

  • Excessive shouting is not allowed unless there is an emergency

  • Aggressive behavior that is threatening to the child, staff or others will not be permitted at camp.

  • Have a positive attitude and have fun!

Campers will be taught that "You are responsible for your actions, attitude, and participation" and held to that standard.

Discipline Policy:

Camp participants are expected to exhibit appropriate behavior at all times while at camp. In

order to provide all campers and staff with a camp experience that is safe and enjoyable, the

following guidelines have been developed. A caring and positive approach will be taken

regarding discipline. Camp staff will encourage appropriate behavior through positive

reinforcement, firm statements, and redirection of activity. All campers must understand and

follow the guidelines (above) set forth.

Listed below are the discipline procedures for campers who are exhibiting unacceptable behavior. Depending on the severity of the behavior, we may skip a particular step. (I.e. aggressive behavior will not be tolerated.)

      Step 1: - Verbal Warning

      Step 2: - Time Out or time away from the group and written warning. During a time out a camper may have to sit out from activities including games, crafts, water activities or another event. Parents will be notified of their child’s time out and a written warning will be given to the parent if a child persists in unacceptable behavior. The Education Director, the child and their parent/guardian will meet together to discuss unacceptable behavior. The parent/guardian will be required to sign the written warning and will be required to pick the child up from camp.

*After receiving two written warnings the child will be dropped from Nature Camp and will not be permitted to sign up for Nature Camp in the future. No refunds will be given. Please review these rules with your child prior to the first day of camp and return to your counselor. The staff will review these rules with your child at the beginning of each week as well.

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