“We saw some tigers, some jaguars, some lions, and some more lions!”
That’s a typical response from kids having their first camp experience at a zoo.
A series of weeklong summer camps in Milwaukee bring kids from economically challenged families to the zoo through scholarships provided by Wells Fargo. The camp hosts more than 8,900 kids for days of fun and learning at the Milwaukee County Zoo, where they learn about animals, ecosystems, and conservation.
“We started our zoo camp several years ago to fill a void of summer programming for the community,” says Zoo Director Chuck Wikenhauser. “It’s been a way to teach the youngest members of our community about the importance of conservation and animal welfare.”
Gina Peter of Wells Fargo’s Commercial Banking team (and board chair of the local Zoological Society), says, “Many kids in Milwaukee don’t have the ability to come to the zoo. So Wells Fargo has helped bring them here for an incredible summer experience.”
The zoo, established in 1892, is home to more than 2,000 mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.
“We hope our visitors become ambassadors for conservation efforts and for the welfare of these incredible creatures,” says Robert Davis, president and CEO of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee.
Gina helps raise money for conservation, education, exhibits, and the care and feeding of the animals. The Zoological Society is the fundraising arm of the Milwaukee County Zoo.
“I’ve enjoyed the zoo since my kids were little. Now they’re all grown and I’m still involved, and they still love the zoo,” says Gina.
And as for the kids?
One says, “I had fun! I saw animals, I learned about jaguars, I made a mask, and we had some fun games.”