Frequently Asked Questions

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.

 

Changes to Camp for 2021

Summer Camp at the Museum

Chapel Hill Camp

Registration

Health and Covid Safety

Virtual Camps

Why have the hours changed?

To accommodate necessary changes to Camp programming due to the Pandemic, we are not offering Extended Care this Summer.

We have extended hours this year to 9:00am – 4:30 pm! We’ve made this change to provide additional childcare for parents who depend on our camps for childcare while they work.

We have also created extended drop-off and pick-up windows. Morning drop-off will last from 8:30 -9:00am. Afternoon pick-up will last from 4:30 – 5:00pm. This allows some flexibility for working parents and will reduce wait times in pick-up and drop-off lines.

Can I pick my child up early?

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 4:00pm and 4:30pm

Please contact Camp Site Directors to arrange alternate pick-up or drop-off times.

Why aren’t there options for Before or After Care?

Our Before and After Care options in the past have been optional. As a result, some of our camp classes would have 1 or 2 students take advantage of extended care, while other classes would have 10-15. This variation between groups meant combining class groups and Educators to maintain appropriate ratios.

This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, we are making every effort to keep our Summer Camp groups in pods, away from other groups, to prevent any potential spread of COVID should a case arise within a Camp group.

Our new hours mean that each camper will stay with their specific Educators – the ones that are most familiar with their particular personalities and needs – for the entire day, creating a better camp experience for everyone!

To compensate for the loss of extended care, we have extended the camp day by 1.5 hours and increased pick-up and drop-off windows. A full camp day could conceivably last from 8:30am – 5:00pm.

Why the increase in price?

With the increased hours come more activities, more play time, and more discovery! With the increased programming, we have increased prices by $35 for both Members and the General Public.

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 your children about their day and a link to a photo gallery of your camper’s group.

How many campers are in a group?

  • All age groups are capped at 14 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 and 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, critical and scientific thinking, and the Museum’s pedagogical philosophy.

Where is the Chapel Hill camp happening in 2021??

  • Montessori Community School (MCS) campus located at: 4512 Pope Road, Durham, NC 27707
  • We develop camps for Montessori Community School (MCS) with the same focus on fostering community, critical and scientific thinking, and confidence that we do at the Museum.
  • Campers can still expect to experience awesome programming, including animal programs and chemistry demonstrations that they would at the Museum.
  • 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.
  • Last summer we were lucky enough to have a family of five deer including three fawns that would walk through campus most mornings making for amazing opportunities to observe wild animals in their habitat.

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

  • MCS is ideal for campers who want a space to themselves. Camp here is generally a little more relaxed owing to the lack of additional guests, and the large open areas. Camps at MCS offer more opportunities for more “camp-like” activities such as hide and seek, capture the flag, and relay races.
  • The large spaces also offer greater opportunities for more large-scale activities like Stomp Rocket launches, nature exploration (MCS boasts a beautiful forest trail and wetland area), and field games.
  • While science is always the focus, our camps at MCS tend to lean more on the camp side of the spectrum than our Museum-based camps.

Tell me about the Museum Member presale

Members are first in line for Summer Camp plus enjoy a member discount. Active members receive an advance email with presale dates. It will include their code for access to the presale sale and exclusive member pricing. Add membership@lifeandscience.org to your list of approved senders to avoid missing this email.

When can I register for summer camp?

  • January 19, 2021, 9:00am- Supporting Member Presale
  • January 21, 2021, 9:00am- Explorer Member Presale
  • January 28, 2021, 9:00am- Open Registration to the General Public

Which age group should I register my child for?

  • Register for the camp appropriate to the grade your camper will enter in Summer/Fall 2020.
  • The minimum age for our Pre-K campers is four. Four-year-olds must reach their 4th birthday by the first day of registered program. No exceptions. Proof of age may be required.
  • All campers must be potty-trained prior to starting 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! New this year, 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 21 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 21. You can make payments in the amount of your choice in the months between registration and May 21.
  • 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 21, or have the full $520 auto-drafted on May 21.

With either plan, your account balance can be paid in full at any time before May 21.

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 21st will require full payment of tuition at the time of registration.

Is there a cancellation policy?

The Museum can grant refunds for canceled camp sessions only up to and including May 21, 2021. No refunds will be issued after this date. Changes to individual camp sessions may be made up to two weeks before a session starts 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 a 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.
  • If your child has an IEP or 504 Plan, please submit a copy during the registration process. While the Museum cannot necessarily make all accommodations made by schools, sharing your child’s IEP or 504 Plan allows our staff to be aware of your camper’s needs and provide them with the best possible experience.
  • Please fill out this Getting to Know Your Camper online form to let us know more about your camper’s specific needs and strategies to create an enjoyable and successful camp experience.
  • 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.
  • 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*?

  • Capacities continue to be reduced, this year to 14 students per class.
  • Groups will be put into pods which will have minimal interaction with other pods. When pods participate in special programming, they will participate with another group at distances greater than 15 feet and will remain masked and physically distant throughout.
  • 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 including temperature checks.
  • Masks will be worn indoors and outdoors 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?*

  • All Museum Summer Camp staff will wear masks at all times, both indoors and outdoors except when actively eating or drinking.
  • All campers will also wear masks at all times. Younger campers and campers with documented sensory sensitivities will be permitted breaks in mask use when outdoors and physically distanced from other campers.

* Mask use guidelines are subject to change based on government and health professional’s recommendations

 

How will daily screening work?*

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:

  • 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)?
  • Have you or any of the children you are dropping off:
    1- Had any of these symptoms since last time you were last here?
    2- Been in contact with the above symptoms since the last time you were here?
    3- Has anyone in your household or anyone you’ve had close contact with presented any of these symptoms in the last 14 days?

1 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.

 

2 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.
  • Staff and campers will all have their temperatures taken daily. Our staff will perform a daily temperature check with touchless thermometers each morning at check-in. In the event that a camper reads above 99 degrees Fahrenheit on the touchless thermometer, a follow-up temperature read will be taken with a sanitized oral thermometer. Anyone with a temperature over 100.4 will not be admitted to camp.
  • Anyone exhibiting any COVID-like symptoms, OR who have been in contact with someone exhibiting COVID-like symptoms, will not be admitted to camp.

* Daily screening procedures subject to change based on government and health professional’s recommendations

 

What will cleaning procedures entail? What products do you use?

  • 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.
  • The specific cleaning agents used at the Museum change with availability and updates in the science. For a list of currently used products, feel free to reach out to summercamp@lifeandscience.org

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 a camper or staff member develops COVID-like symptoms, we will inform the families of the other participants of that camp group that a child showed symptoms, and give them the choice to continue to attend, or cancel the remainder of their week and receive a pro-rated refund.
  • 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.
  • As medical information is updated, this policy is subject to change.

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.

Will my child be able to go to the exhibits?

Absolutely! We have learned a great deal in the last year about how to safely provide positive experiences at the Museum during a pandemic. After extensive observations, and conversations across departments at the Museum, we have come up with a plan to organize trips for each group to various outdoor exhibits throughout the week.

Camp groups will visit outdoor 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.

Each exhibit will be divided into zones, which camp groups will rotate through, spending less than 15 minutes in each zone to avoid close contact with any Museum guests.

 

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


At the Museum

  • Camper drop-off in the morning will be on our Southside parking lot, across the street from the main Museum, and will run 8:30-9:00 am. Due to Coronavirus precautions, we will be requiring families to stay in the car during drop off. 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 4:30-5:00 pm, follow the signs on Murray Avenue to queue up along the curb in our Southside parking lot. 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 to sign out their camper every day of camp. Please have your ID 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

In Chapel Hill

  • Due to Coronavirus precautions, we will be requiring families to stay in the car during drop off. You can follow the line for drop off between 8:30-9:00 am, 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 (4:30-5:00pm), you can drive up to the very front of the school and queue up for curbside pickup.
  • All adults are required to show an ID to sign out their camper every day of camp. Please have your ID ready to show a camp staff member when you pull up to the loading zone.
  • For a map of drop-off and pickup please click here.

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

  • 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*
  • Camp administrators will locate your camp and have your camper brought to the pick-up area.

Museum Site Director: (919) 391-9279

Montessori School Site Director: (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

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.

Regular Lunch Option:
Monday- Cheeseburger
Tuesday- Mac & Cheese
Wednesday- Cheese Quesadilla
Thursday- Hot Dog
Friday- Chicken Tenders

Vegetarian Lunch Option:
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, a side, and a bottle of water

Can I still 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 first week of camp! 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 ask the Camp Site Director and they will be happy to give you a different size.

What should my child bring to camp?

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