Summer camps dealing with this week’s heat

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)--  The St. Louis Zoo has an ingenious way to keep kids hydrated during their camp Kangazoo.

"We toast the animals with our water bottles and then have the kids all take a drink at certain times," says Eve Cooney, a youth programs coordinator at the zoo.

A sip of some H2O is necessary with this week's summer heat. But these campers are getting a respite and a hands-on experience with a bearded dragon.

"We have 180 different kids each week for eight to nine weeks of the summer so it's kind of an interesting lesson in child psychology," says Cooney.

For 23 years the zoo has been holding their Camp Kangazoo, and in that time they've learned how to tell the difference between an overheated kid and one who has let the sun's rays put them in a daze.

"We consider ourselves an outdoor camp even though we do have breaks during everyday where we're inside different places," says Cooney.  "But the overnights we really love to sleep outside.  We want to give kids that experience of sleeping under the stars."

That means Thursday night's overnight camp out will be without tents.

"We'll sleep inside if we think it's going to be so hot it's a safety concern," says Cooney.  "If it's overnight it's not going to be below 85 degrees, that's just going to be miserable for everybody and we want their outdoor experiences to be good ones so they want to spend more time outside."

That means misters for misters and cool classrooms for Contessas.

And if it's not too hot, an outdoor slumber party with Mother Nature, and 19,000 animals surrounding you.

"You hear the peacocks, you hear the lions you hear the sea lions," says Cooney.  "It's a great experience."

We'll raise a glass of good cheer, and ice cold water to that.