B.A.D.G.E.S. Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum age to attend a B.A.D.G.E.S. program?

The minimum age to attend a B.A.D.G.E.S. program based upon the theme and activities for the badge requirements. All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult (either their parent/guardian or chaperone). We are unable accommodate any guests not registered for the program, including infants.

Is a snack or meal provided?

No. Food will not be served during the B.A.D.G.E.S. program. However, you are welcome to bring a snack if you would like. If you are planning to spend the day here, Brookfield Zoo allows packed lunches and coolers. We ask that you do not bring glass bottles or straws as they are not safe for the animals. Grills and outside alcohol are not permitted.

How many people can participate in a B.A.D.G.E.S. program?

The B.A.D.G.E.S. program can accommodate up to 150 guests. The program must have a minimum of 50 participants to run.

Is there a minimum or maximum group size?

We welcome groups and families of all sizes to our B.A.D.G.E.S. programs! We can accommodate a maximum capacity of 150 participants. The program must have a minimum of 50 participants to run.

Is admission and parking included?

Yes, parking and admission fees are included in the price of the program. Simply present your registration confirmation and/or receipt at the admissions booth and let them know you are attending a program.

What is your cancellation policy?

You can check out our cancellation and refund policy by clicking here. (Opens in new window)
For questions regarding our policies or to request a refund, please call the Conservation, Education, and Training Department Hotline at 708-688-8342.

I'm a Brookfield Zoo member. What is the member discount?

We realize that many scout groups consist of a mix of zoo members and non-members. In order to provide the opportunity for everyone to participate, we have chosen instead to discount the adult price to $5 to help offset any financial barriers. With this in mind, there is no additional member-only discount.

I require a special accommodation – who can I speak to?

We will gladly do our best to fulfill any special accommodations to make your B.A.D.G.E.S. program as pleasant and fun as possible. Please contact the Conservation, Education, and Training Department Hotline at (708) 688-8342 to speak with a representative. You may also wish to speak with our Accessibility Representative at (708) 688-8338.

Will my scouts get a badge?

No. A badge or patch is not provided during the program unless otherwise stated in the program description. We will take you through most of the requirements of the described badge program, but it will be up to your group leader to obtain the badge from your council.

I belong to a different youth group. Do I have to be associated with Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts?

Nope! We welcome all varieties of youth groups to participate. While our curriculum is centralized around Boy Scout and Girl Scout badge requirements, we believe our activities can apply to many different youth programs. If you have questions about whether any of our B.A.D.G.E.S. programs will fit your organization’s needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 708-688-8342 or by e-mail at adventuresinlearning@czs.org.

My child is not associated with any scouting or youth organization. Can we still participate?

Absolutely! No group or family is too small to participate. As long as your child meets the stated age requirements for the program and has an adult chaperone, they are most welcome to join in the fun and games!

Where can I find lost articles?

Lost articles will be taken to the main Security Office at the south end of the zoo. Call 708-688-8811 and ask for Lost and Found.

How do I make a reservation?

Registrations can be made at www.CZS.org/BADGES. Your online registration fee is only a deposit. You will be responsible to pay the balance ($20 per child) no later than 30 days prior to your program. We will send you a reminder e-mail about a week before the 30-day deadline. Watch for this e-mail from adventuresinlearning@czs.org.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover.

Do parents need to accompany their child?

No, parents do not need to accompany their child, but we do require a minimum ratio of one (1) adult chaperone per five (5) children. Approximately five (5) weeks prior to your Sleepover, your leader will receive an e-mail including a Parental Consent Form and Medical Waiver to be filled out for children attending without their parents or guardians.

Are there any activities that need to be completed on our own?

Yes, all corresponding self-guided activities will be sent to the e-mail address provided at registration once your balance has been paid in full.

What other information should I know before registering my group?

You should know:
- Type of group and troop/pack number if applicable.
- Your general group size. Be aware when doing a head count that we require a minimum ratio of one (1) adult per five (5) children. (Example: You may have 20 scouts in your group, but you will need a total head count of at least 24: 20 scouts + 4 chaperones) We understand that it can be hard to get solid commitments many months in advance, so we are able to make minor adjustments in head count up until the 30 day mark.


We are proudly accredited by the American Camp Association, the only accreditation organization for camps in North America. The Association is recognized for its standards for camp health, safety, and programming. The organization partners with the American Red Cross and the American Academy of Pediatrics to ensure that camp practices are current and high quality. We believe in inclusion and welcome campers of all abilities. Only 7% of ACA-accredited camps provide an inclusive setting that allows participants with and without disabilities to enjoy the experience together. We are proud to be one of them.