Frequently Asked Questions for 2022 Camps

 Find out all the details for camp registration here!

What age range should I register for? Where do I pick up my child? Is there a cancellation policy? Answer these important camp questions and more by reviewing the below information.

Summer Camp at the Museum

Camp Curiosity (Chapel Hill)

Registration

Health and Covid Safety

PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF

LUNCH AND T-SHIRTS

What will a regular day look like for my camper?

  • Our camp days are filled with a variety of hands-on activities based around each camp’s theme. These activities are designed to be fun and exciting while helping campers to develop skills and positive habits in scientific and critical thinking.
  • Actual schedules may vary, based on weather, preferences of camp groups, and other factors.
  • We design our curricula to include structured activities, and unstructured free-play, taking advantage of both indoor and outdoor spaces to accommodate different learning styles and energy levels.

What sort of activities will my camper participate in?

  • Our camp days feature a variety of hands-on activities based around its theme. We design activities to be fun and exciting while helping campers to develop skills and positive habits in scientific and critical thinking.

Is there a way for me to know what my child will do in their camp?

  • The week before camp, you will receive an email with your camp name, location, and other information about the week. You will also receive updates through email throughout the week with prompts to ask you children about their day and a link to a photo gallery of your camper’s group.

How many campers are in a group?

  • For our Prek – K groups our camps will be capped at 14 campers per class. For all other age groups our classes are capped at 18 campers.
  • Each group has two adult staff and usually a high school volunteer helper.
  • During the day, campers may participate in paired and small group activities, as well as whole group activities.
  • All of our technology camps are structured to work in pair or small group environments. For more information, check out our Tech Camp FAQ.

Who are your educators?

  • Our Summer Camp staff come from a variety of backgrounds, but all are experienced in working with kids in science and nature exploration. We select our camp staff based on their educational experience and scientific background. Many of our camp educators are full-time teachers during the year.
  • Both our educators and assistants undergo training ahead of each summer camp season on topics including basic first aid, positive behavior management techniques, community building, and critical and scientific thinking.

What is Camp Curiosity?

  • We are so excited to announce Camp Curiosity at the beautiful Montessori Community School (MCS) campus located at:
    4512 Pope Road,
    Durham, NC 27707
  • We developed Camp Curiosity to capitalize on the amazing space at Montessori Community School Campus. We’ve taken the best parts of our curriculum you would expect from our Museum Educators and mashed them together with a more traditional camp with Morning Meetings, Camp Songs, and all-camp games you might expect from a more traditional camp!
  • Campers can still expect to experience awesome programming, including animal programs and chemistry demonstrations that they would at the Museum.

Where is Camp Curiosity?

  • We are so excited to announce Camp Curiosity at the beautiful Montessori Community School (MCS) campus located at:
    4512 Pope Road,
    Durham, NC 27707
  • MCS’s indoor and outdoor learning spaces are set on 13 acres of natural landscape where campers can play, discover, and learn.
  • Throughout the MCS campus, there are outdoor gardens, wetland habitats, and a wooded forest trail where campers can explore botany, agriculture, ecology, biology, orienteering, navigation and much more.
  • MCS classrooms are bright, spacious, and open. Each camp group has exclusive use of their own indoor and outdoor learning spaces and various shared natural learning areas, playgrounds to get out energy, and an athletics track and field for good old fashioned “Camp Games.”

Why go to Museum camp at a place that isn’t the Museum?

  • Well, Camp Curiosity is not just a Museum Camp in a different place. Camp Curiosity does include the great curriculum you’ve come to expect from Museum Camps, but with a greater emphasis on community and play. Camp Curiosity is ideal for campers who are excited about science and love to play in community with others. Camp here is generally a little more relaxed owing to the lack of additional guests, and the prevelance of large open areas. Because of these open areas, Camp Curiosity offers more opportunities for more “camp-like” activities such as hide and seek, capture the flag, and relay races.

What will a regular day look like for my camper?

  • Each day, campers will meet up with their small camp group to touch base about the day, get to know each other better, and prepare themselves for the day
  • Campers will then make their way to the morning Wonder Circle, where campers will meet camp staff, hear what other groups are up to, and have the opportunity to play with campers from other groups.
  • After Wonder Circle, campers will return to their home base to explore their camp topic with their camp group.
  • Campers will gather outdoors (Weather Permitting) for All Camp lunch and free play.
  • The afternoon will be entirely devoted to camp topics at home base.
  • On Fridays, campers will play All Camp games making use of the entire campus before wrapping up their topics in the afternoons

What sort of activities will my camper participate in?

In Wonder Circle

  • Wonder Circle is a time for active play. This time allows campers to warm up their bodies while the air is still (relatively) cool. Campers will choose from a number of energetic games, sports and activities. This is a time for campers to follow their interests outside of their theme of the week, meet new people, and explore different group dynamics.

In Themed Sessions

  • The rest of our day will include hands on science experiences focused around the week’s themes. This may take the form of short activities, outdoor exploration, or longer form projects. The goal is to create memorable and meaningful connections to science as a way of understanding the world.

When can I register for summer camp?

  • January 18, 9:00am- Supporting Member Presale
  • January 20, 9:00am- Explorer Member Presale
  • January 27, 9:00am- Open Registration to the General Public

How do I register for these programs?

Which age group should I register my child for?

  • Register for the camp appropriate to the grade your camper will enter in Summer/Fall 2022.
  • Four-year-olds must have completed a minimum of six months in a group childcare setting and reach their 4th birthday by April 30, 2022 to attend camp. No exceptions. Proof of age may be required.
  • All campers must be capable of toileting without assistance before attending camp.
  • We understand that many of our campers have extensive knowledge of particular subjects and we write our camp curricula with a wide range of abilities in mind for each developmental stage. We design our camps so that educators can vary their lesson plans based on the interests and levels of campers and camp groups.

What do I need to make a reservation?

  • To register for camp, you need an UltraCamp account. Please visit Create An Account to set up your profile.
  • We recommend setting up your profile ahead of the registration date so you can sign up for camp as quickly and easily as possible.
  • Once your registration is complete, add details for every camper in your household. Just choose “Add a person…” It’s that easy!
  • On the day of the pre-sale, click the Purchase button on the bottom of this page and start a reservation to purchase camps for each of your campers.
  • If you are experiencing trouble with registering or do not have access to a computer, please call our Reservations Staff at 919.220.5429 ext. 313.

I am having trouble logging in to UltraCamp? What do I do?

  • It is not uncommon for camps other than Museum camps to also use UltraCamp as their registration software. Unfortunately, your accounts used to register for those camps require different log in credentials than your account for Museum Camps. If you use a password manager that stores your password, it’s possible that it will autofill the incorrect credentials. If you are having issues logging in, check to make sure that you are using the correct credentials used to register for our camps.
  • If you need to update your UltraCamp account information, you can use the “Forgot your login information?” prompt or contact our reservations team for assistance at reservations@lifeandscience.org or by phone at 919.220.5429 ext. 313.

Are there options to set up a payment plan for my tuition?

Yes! We have two options for payment plans for Museum Summer Camps.

  • Option 1: Monthly payment. Pay $100 at registration, with the remaining balance divided equally between the months remaining until May 20 and auto drafted the morning of the 4th of each month.
    • Example: You register for 2 sessions at the member price of $330 on January 21. You would owe $200 at registration. On the morning of the 4th of February, March, April and May, $115 will be auto drafted from your card.
  • Option 2: You choose – $100 due at registration, with the remaining balance automatically drafted May 20. You can make payments in the amount of your choice in the months between registration and May 20.
    • You register for 2 sessions at the non-member price of $360 on February 19. You would owe $200 at registration. You can pay the remaining $520 in multiple installments of your choosing before May 20, or have the full $520 auto drafted on May 20.

With either plan, your account balance can be paid in full at any time before May 20.

You must use a credit or debit card to enroll in a payment plan.

Payment plans do not incur a use fee.

Any registrations made after May 20 will require full payment of tuition at the time of registration.

Is there a cancellation policy?

  • The Museum can grant refunds for cancelled camp sessions only up to and including May 20, 2022. No refunds will be issued after this date. Changes to individual camp sessions may be made up to two weeks before a session start as available. Refunds and changes will incur a $30.00 fee per camp session.
  • If your camper cannot attend your week of camp due to a confirmed case or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please contact our Reservations team to discuss options.

Are you able to accommodate my child with medical allergies and/or special needs?

ALLERGIES

  • We are happy to work with you to adjust our boxed lunch menu for food allergies/intolerances. See the section below “What is included in the boxed lunch?” for more information on camp lunches (available for purchase).
  • In the case of severe food allergies, please be aware that it is not possible for us to monitor the food other children bring into camp.
  • Our staff is trained to use EpiPens in the event of an anaphylactic event. An EpiPen authorization and waiver of liability form is available here. Once complete, please hand this form to the Site Director along with your EpiPen when you check-in on your first day of camp. If you do not have a form, they will be available for you to fill out at check-in.
  • Other than EpiPens, the Museum will not be responsible for administering medication to children.

SPECIAL NEEDS

  • The Museum is committed to full and equal opportunity for children to enjoy the camp experience, and reasonable modifications will be considered.
  • While we hope to offer our camps to as wide a range of children as possible, it is not possible for us to offer one-on-one care.
  • If your child has a personal assistant that you would like to attend with your camper, please contact summercamp@lifeandscience.org to discuss steps to bring them on site.
  • Please fill out this Getting to Know Your Camper online form as early as possible to let us know more about your camper’s specific needs and strategies to create an enjoyable and successful camp experience.
  • You may also contact Davis Tate, our Camp Manager at summercamp@lifeandscience.org to discuss your family’s specific needs.

What precautions are you taking this summer for COVID-19 safety*?

  • All COVID Policies are subject to change based on Government and health professional’s recommendations. We will be monitoring local vaccination rates and will update this page and email registered families should changes in policy occur.
  • Camp Groups will visit outdoor exhibits with other Museum guests under Camp staff supervision. Exhibits will be divided into zones that campers will rotate through. Campers will not spend more than 15 minutes in any particular zone to avoid close contact with Museum Guests.
  • High traffic and shared areas will be sanitized daily.
  • Daily health screenings (see How will daily screening work? below)
  • Masks will be worn indoors except when actively eating or drinking. Weather permitting, meals will be taken outside.
  • Whenever possible, learning and activities will take place outdoors.

*All precautions are subject to change based on government and health professional’s recommendations

Who will be required to wear masks?*

  • We acknowledge that there will likely be a good deal of change regarding mask and COVID safety between now and June. As of now our current mask policy is below:
  • All Museum Summer Camp staff will wear masks while indoors except when actively eating or drinking.
  • All campers will also wear masks while indoors. Younger campers and campers with documented sensory sensitivities will be permitted indoor mask breaks when physically distanced from other campers.

*Mask use guidelines may differ from other current Museum programs and are subject to change based on government and health professional’s recommendations. We will update this page and email registered families should changes in policy occur

How will daily screening work?*

  • Prior to drop-off each morning, we ask that caretakers monitor their camper for symptoms of illness, including a daily temperature check.
  • Each morning at drop-off, we will ask the person dropping off the camper screening questions provided by the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
  • These questions are:

1. Do you or do any of the children you are dropping off have a temperature greater than 100.4 °F, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, new loss of taste or smell (vomiting or diarrhea, children only)?
2. Have you or any of the children you are dropping off:

a. Had any of these symptoms since last time you were last here?
b. Been in contact with the above symptoms since the last time you were here?
c. Has anyone in your household or anyone you’ve had close contact with presented any of these symptoms in the last 14 days?

3. Fever is determined by a thermometer reading 100.4 or higher or by subjective signs such as flushed cheeks, fatigue, extreme fussiness, chills, shivering, sweating, achiness, headache, not eating or drinking.
4. Exposure is sharing a household or having close contact with anyone with COVID 19 or has symptoms of COVID 19.

  • We will also ask all staff daily screening questions provided by the NC Department of Health and Human Services about health symptoms and social distancing.
  • Anyone exhibiting any COVID-like symptoms, OR who have been in contact with someone exhibiting COVID-like symptoms without vaccination, will not be admitted to camp.

*Daily screening procedures subject to change based on government and health professional’s recommendations. We will update this page and email registered families should changes in policy occur.

Are you requiring campers who are eligible to be vaccinated?*

  • We encourage all people who are eligible to be vaccinated to do so. This is the best way to protect yourself and the community from the most severe symptoms of COVID-19. While we will be requiring all camp staff to be vaccinated, we are not at this time requiring campers to be.

*subject to change based on government and health professional’s recommendations. We will update this page and email registered families should changes in policy occur

What will cleaning procedures entail?

  • Each day after snacks and meals, staff will wipe down surfaces with DHHS approved sanitizing sprays while campers thoroughly wash hands.
  • At the end of each day, all surfaces, high traffic, and high touch areas are sanitized by DHHS approved sanitizers.
  • Classrooms are vacuumed and cleaned by professional cleaners each evening
  • Each classroom is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized at the end of each week.

What happens if someone at camp displays symptoms of COVID-19?*

  • If a camper demonstrates COVID-like symptoms at camp, they will be moved to an isolated, outdoor location under supervision and caregivers will be notified for immediate pick-up.
  • Any camper who is sent home with COVID-like symptoms will be asked to stay home until receiving a negative COVID test and approval to return from a health professional, OR until they have been fever and fever medication-free for 72 hours, have improved symptoms, AND at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • If someone is sent home from camp for COVID-like symptoms, we will follow the Health Department’s guidance for contact tracing and inform families from all groups who may have been exposed.
  • If there are indications that a staff member or camper with COVID-19 (symptomatic or asymptomatic) has attended camp, we will notify families immediately. If applicable, we will cancel the remainder of that camp and provide pro-rated refunds for families.
  • We request that families remain in contact with us post-camp and let us know if they find that their child may have been COVID-19 positive during the camp week. If this is the case, we will notify all campers and staff who may have been in contact with the camper.
  • Fully vaccinated staff or campers who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID with no COVID-like symptoms will quarantine for 3 days before being tested. They are welcome to return to camp once this period has ended AND they have received a negative test.
  • Fully vaccinated staff or campers who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms will be asked to test immediately. With two negative test results 24 hours apart, they will be able to return once they are symptom free for 24 hours.
  • As medical information is updated, this policy is subject to change.

*subject to change based on government and health professional’s recommendations. We will update this page and email registered families should changes in policy occur

What should I do if I have symptoms or test positive after attending camp?

  • Please let us know if you have a fever or if anyone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks after attending camp.

How will my children interact with other Museum guests?*

  • Campers will be visiting exhibits both indoors and out throughout the week. Our educators will encourage campers to respect guests’ space and maintain safe physical distancing.
  • Camp groups will visit exhibits with Museum guests during lower traffic times of the day and with conversation with our Museum Rangers and Guest Relations staff to avoid high traffic areas.

*subject to change based on government and health professional’s recommendations. We will update this page and email registered families should changes in policy occur

How does drop-off, pick-up, and parking work?

  • Camper drop-off in the morning will be on our Southside parking lot, across the street from the main Museum and will run 9:00 – 9:30 am. To speed up the process, we ask that parents remain in their car while in the car line. You can follow the line for drop off, and one of our staff will direct you to the drop off area. While waiting in line, our staff will run through our Health Screening questions. Once at the drop off area, one of our camp administrators will sign your child in and walk them over to join their camp group.
  • For afternoon pickup, we offer Curbside Camper Pickup! Between 3:00 and 3:30 pm, follow the signs on Murray Avenue to queue up in our Southside parking deck. Camp Educators will help load your camper into your vehicle so you never need to leave your car!
  • All adults are required to show an ID or the camp approved Pickup Pass to sign out their camper every day of camp. Please have your ID or Pickup Pass ready to show a camp staff member when you pull up to the loading zone.
  • For a map of pickup and drop off, please click here

What do I do if I need to pick up my child early from camp?

  • We plan our days to make full use of our time. As such, pickup and drop-off outside of normal hours may lead to missed activities and project time for your camper.
  • We will do our best to accommodate pick-up and drop-off outside of normal hours.
  • We cannot accommodate early pick-up between 2:15 pm and 3:00pm
  • Please let the Site Director, and if possible, your camper’s educator, know ahead of time so they can have your camper ready to go.
  • We understand that plans sometimes change. You can email camp administrators at summercamp@lifeandscience.org at any time or call our Site Director during camp hours*
  • Museum Site (Durham) Administration: (919) 391-9279
  • Camp Curiosity (Chapel Hill) Administration: (919) 886-4574
  • *These numbers are only active during Camp Sessions. For camp questions prior to the summer, please call 919 220 5429 x 405
  • Camp administrators will locate your camp and have your camper brought to the pick-up area.

What do I do if I need someone else to pick up my child from camp?

  • Authorized pickups are entered through your UltraCamp account and can be adjusted at any time.
  • The week before camp, check your email for the names of individuals authorized for pick up and add anyone else through UltraCamp.
  • You can also speak with or contact camp staff with changes during the week.

What is included in a boxed lunch?

  • All options are subject to change based on product availability.
  • Any substitutions will be made with comparable products.
  • We are happy to work with you to adjust our menu to accommodate for food allergies/intolerances.
  • All boxed lunches are peanut free.
  • We can only sell camp lunches on a week-long basis.
  • As part of our sustainability initiative, we are no longer providing water bottles in camp lunches. Please send your camper with a reusable water bottle. We will have extra disposable water bottles for emergency situations.

Regular Lunch Option:
Sample Menu

Monday- Cheeseburger
Tuesday- Mac & Cheese
Wednesday- Cheese Quesadilla
Thursday- Hot Dog
Friday- Chicken Tenders

Vegetarian Lunch Option:
Sample Menu

Monday- Black Bean Burger
Tuesday- Mac & Cheese
Wednesday- (Meatless) Cheese Quesadilla
Thursday- Veggie Dog
Friday- PB&J (soy nut butter)

* All lunches come with fresh fruit, and a side

Can I order a t-shirt?

  • Yes! New this year, t-shirts will be automatically included for all campers. Simply select your preferred t-shirt size during registration and we will make sure your camper gets it during their week of camp!
  • If you are registering for multiple sessions, a t-shirt will be included for each individual registration. If you sign up for six sessions, your camper will receive six t-shirts unless you indicate you would not like one.
  • If you prefer not to receive a t-shirt, you may opt out during the registration process.

Can I exchange sizes for my camp t-shirt?

When available, yes! Just email us at summercamp@lifeandscience.org and will be happy to give you a different size.

What should my child bring to camp?

  • Please label all items
  • Please send your child with a morning snack, lunch, water bottle and an extra change of clothes. Those purchasing boxed lunches will still need to send a snack.
  • Campers enrolled in our Aftercare program should bring an additional afternoon snack.
  • Campers should dress in comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes for indoor and outdoor Museum exploration.