Working with Cosley Zoo is a great way to earn scout badge requirements.

Scout Programs

Cosley Zoo offers one-of-a-kind live animal programs that help scouts of all ages meet their badge requirements.

Program Topics

Daisy Scouts

Build courage as we talk about things we think are scary. What are you afraid of? Here’s the chance to break barriers and touch a (gulp!) cockroach, or maybe a snake. Be strong—you can do it!

Critter Care
What does an animal need to live a healthy life? Are animals needs the same as people’s needs? Zookeepers need to know a lot about the animals they are tending. Join us as we explore the ins and outs of animal care. This program helps meet the requirements for Zinni and 3 Cheers for Animals.

Brownie Scouts

Bugs (In-person programs are 90 minutes long)
This activity-filled program will help your troop gain a greater appreciation for the world of bugs. Although they are tiny, insects have many amazing characteristics for us to explore.

Pets (In-person programs are 75 minutes long)
There are so many different types of pets available—how do you know which, if any, is right for you? In our Pets program, we’ll learn all about how zookeepers take care of Cosley Zoo’s horses, rabbits, chickens, and other domestic animals and investigate what it means to be a responsible pet owner.

Senses (In-person programs are 75 minutes long)
Explore your five senses with a zoo-themed twist! We’ll be comparing and contrasting our senses to those of the animals living around us. How does your vision compare to an owl’s or your hearing to a rabbit’s? Come join us and find out!

Junior Scouts

Animal Habitats (In-person programs are 90 minutes long)
Discover and investigate the many different animal habitats that we have right here in Illinois! Every animal has its own needs and each habitat presents different challenges for the animals that live there. Learn what these challenges are and then create your very own animal habitat! We’ll also discuss endangered habitats, meet a live animal, and learn what you can do to help protect animal homes.

Tiger Scouts

Tiger Cub Adventure (In-person programs take place entirely outdoors; offered April-October)
Learn about discovering animals nearby as we focus on using some of our senses in this fun and hands-on program. This program helps meet the requirements for Backyard Jungle #1, #2, #5 and Tigers in the Wild #7.

Wolf Scouts

Wolf Scout Adventure
Get out your field guides! In this program we’ll explore some of the different ways we can identify Illinois native animals. We will also learn all about the three R’s of recycling and what you can do at home to keep our Earth clean and healthy. This program helps meet the requirements for Call of the Wild #3, Council Fire #6a, Paws on the Path #7, and Spirit of Water #1 and #2. To earn Council Fire #6b, groups can choose to pre-collect recyclables to donate to one of the zoo’s recycling projects.

Bear Scouts

Bear Scout Adventure (In-person programs are 75 minutes long and take place entirely outdoors; offered April-October)
What does it mean when we describe an animal as endangered, threatened, or extinct? Find out as we learn about some of these species and how scientists can use field observations to learn how to protect Earth’s plant and animal species. This program helps meet the requirements for Fur, Feathers, and Ferns #2, #3, #4, and #5.

Webelos Scouts

Webelos & Arrow of Light Adventure (In-person programs are 90 minutes long)
Hear about animal roles and how every species has a place as we take a close look at wetland habitats and their importance. We’ll also learn how to identify some local plants and animals that can be harmful to people and how to treat yourself if you happen to come in contact with them. This program helps meet requirements for First Responder #5 e.-g., Webelos Walkabout #3, and Into the Wild #7, #8, and #9.

Looking to meet requirements for something not listed? Let us know. We can customize a program for you!


A minimum two-week advance notice is required for scheduling a program. Earlier registration is strongly recommended. Scheduling is on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs may be scheduled seven days a week.

When making your group reservation, please have the following information available:

  • Group contact information
  • Type of program you would like to reserve
  • Date(s) of program. Please have an alternate date in case your first choice is not available.
  • Time(s) of program
  • Number of individuals (children and adults)
  • Age/grade of participants
  • Any special needs or accommodations
  • The program topic you would like for your group

For more information or to make reservations, please call 630.665.5534 or e-mail [email protected]. Once you have made your reservation, confirmation material will be sent to you. Review it carefully and verify that all the information is correct. Call us as soon as possible with any corrections or changes to your reservation.

Payment & Cancellation

Payment is due two weeks prior to your program date. To pay by credit card (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard) please call 630.665.5534. Please make checks payable to Cosley Zoo and mail to Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187, Attn: Education.

Final headcount (children and adults) must be provided two weeks prior to your program. Refunds for on-site programs will not be given for a decrease in group size made less than two weeks before your scheduled program. Due to capacity limits, an increase in the number of participants may not be able to be accommodated. It is not recommended that siblings attend the program. Any siblings ages three and over need to be included in the final participant count and will be charged the program fee.

Cancellations made with at least a two-week notice will receive a full refund less a $20 processing fee. Cancellations made between two weeks and 24 hours prior to the program will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will not receive a refund.

In-person programs are held rain or shine. Refunds will not be given for weather-related cancellations. In the case of extreme weather, where participant safety is a concern, staff will work with you to schedule another date. If your group is unable to reschedule, the normal cancellation policy applies.


Donate Online

Secure donation portal at kindful.com is best viewed using Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari web browsers.


Receive upcoming event details, animal profiles, conservation information and more in your inbox!