Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Special thanks to the SunTrust Foundation for their generous support.

Summer Safari Day Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association.
Summer Safari Day Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association

2009 Parents' Pick Nominee

Smithsonian Campaign Goals

FONZ Nature Camp

A premier, accredited residential camp instilling a sense of respect and appreciation for the natural world to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.

Founded on the concept that what we do has an impact and makes a difference, FONZ Nature Camp reunites its residents with nature through exploration of the outdoors. Our campers are provided a secure, non-competitive environment where they are able to expand upon their skills and knowledge related to science, nature, and the environment. In the morning they partake in daily hikes through areas of the Shenandoah Valley honing their field identification skills while engaging in ecological studies of native wildlife. Then in the afternoon they have the opportunity to see conservation science in action through behind-the-scenes tours of our animal breeding centers and lectures with Smithsonian scientists.

And don't worry, if that isn't enough there is plenty more fun to be had as well with weekly swimming trips to the local pool and a camp-out under the stars on the top of Race Track Hill! Plus, this year campers will be encouraged to come back and show their families the wonders of SCBI with complimentary tickets to the Autumn Conservation Festival held in October!

Read our camper testimonials!


    Nature Camp has concluded for 2013. Please check back in January for the 2014 schedule.


    The maximum is 52 campers per week with a ratio of one staff member per six campers.


    Camp counselors have a background in the biological sciences and experience in outdoor or informal education. All camp staff is certified in CPR and First Aid, and at least one staff member is a certified lifeguard.


    The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) is in Front Royal, Virginia, about 70 miles from Washington, D.C.


    Campers will be staying in the new dormitories of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC). Each room has a private bath and can accommodate up to 3 individuals. Boys and girls will be separated via 1st and 2nd floor.


    Meals will be served in the new SMSC dining hall. Vegetarian options will be available for each meal.


    Parents are responsible for transportation to and from camp. Directions will be emailed with the confirmation package.

    Confirmation Package

    Once your registration is complete we will send you a confirmation email containing orientation information, as well as, a series of participant forms. Please be aware that medical forms require a physician's signature and all forms must be returned to FONZ by May 1, 2014.


    One-week session:

    • FONZ Member: $895
    • Non-member: $995

    Two-week session:

    • FONZ Member: $1,795
    • Non-member: $1,995

    Cancellation Policy

    Cancellation requests received at least four weeks prior to the start of the session will receive a 75-percent refund. Transfer requests received at least four weeks prior to the start of the session will be charged a 10-percent administration fee. Requests must be received via email. No refunds or changes will be made with less than four weeks notice.