Summer Camp FAQ

What do children do in the camps?
Why one day camps?
What are the dates and times of the camps?
What do the camps cost?
Are there scholarships available?
How many children are in the camps?
How do I register for camps?
What is the cancellation policy?
My child is not quite 8 yet, can they register for camps?
What does my child have to bring with them?
Who teaches the camps?
Can I see the classroom where summer camps are held?
Can I stay with my child during the program?
Where do I drop off and pick up my child?
Do you offer early or after-care?
What if it rains?
How do you deal with allergies and other related medical issues?
What do you do in the case of illness or injury?
What happens if there are disciplinary issues?


What do children do in the camps?
Our camps are designed to be intensive and content-rich science learning experiences. Each camp explores a different science topic and so each program is structured in a format that best supports that particular topic. For example: Dinosaur Detectives focuses primarily on excavating and investigating fossils in a dig pit; Forensic Fun examines key techniques and then applies them to a mock crime scene; and participants in Geology Explorations learn how to identify rocks and fossils and then apply these skills at two different field sites.

Why one day camps?
Our day camps are designed to provide high quality, engaging and science focused learning opportunities for youth aged 8 to 11. The one-day format allows us to emphasize and extensively prepare for meaningful activities and experiences for our camp participants. This format also makes our camps accessible to young people in both the local and surrounding rural and urban communities.

What are the dates and times of the camps?
Each camp is one-day and runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please see this year's schedule for more information.

What do camps cost?
Camps are one-day and each camp is $80. These programs are designed to be engaging, high quality educational opportunities, rather than as an alternative childcare option. These programs have been developed by informal science education professionals to create fast-paced, fun-filled, and content-rich science experiences.

Are there scholarships available for camps?
Scholarships are available for summer camps. The scholarship form, as well as the registration form, can be found at the summer camps main page. Both forms can be mailed or faxed to us together. If you would like a copy of the form mailed to you, please call 785.864.4173.

How many children are in a camp?
Camps have a maximum enrollment of 20 participants, except Dinosaur Detectives, which has a maximum of 12.

How do I register and pay for camps?
Registration forms can be found at the summer camps main page and can be mailed to the address on the form or dropped off at the Visitor Services information desk at the main entrance of the museum. Camp fees can be paid by check, credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or cash.  Checks should be made out to the KU Natural History Museum. If paying by credit card (Visa or Mastercard), registrations can also be taken over the phone by calling 785.864.4173 or by faxing the form to 785.864.5335.

What is the cancellation policy?
If we have to cancel a camp, you will be notified two weeks before the program and receive a full refund. If you cancel, we require two weeks' notice for a full refund. Cancellations after that time will receive a refund, less a $20 administration fee. If you cancel within two business days of a camp, or do not show the day of the camp, you will not receive a refund. For primarily field-based camps, we schedule rain dates.

My child is not quite 8 years old. Can they register for camps?
Our camps are designed for the specified age range. Since we cannot assess each child on an individual case-by-case basis, we limit the lower age range to a child that will be 8 years old within a few months of the camp date. Please contact Public Education at 785. 864.4173 if you would like to discuss the format and expectations of the different camps.

What does my child have to bring with them?
Just a bag lunch and appropriate attire for field-based camps. We supply snacks and all necessary supplies. If your child is registered in a field-based camp, you will receive a field trip information sheet with your confirmation letter. It is important to review this sheet as it contains more detailed information on the field trips and on appropriate attire, footwear, and rain dates.

Who teaches your camps?
Our summer camps are developed and taught by museum education professionals with science backgrounds and years of experience teaching in informal learning environments. Assistants for the camps include undergraduate and graduate student employees at the museum. There is one instructor and at least one assistant in each camp, and additional adults accompany any off-campus field trips. Occasionally we have volunteers assist with camps, and these volunteers receive training.

Can I see the classroom where summer camps are held?
Yes. If you would like to visit the Public Education classroom, where camps are held, please call 785.864.4173 to arrange this before the day of the program.

Can I stay with my child during the program?
Our camps are designed as youth rather than family programs. We discourage parents from attending camps to limit distractions, encourage group interaction, and support effective instruction to ensure a high quality learning experience. If it is medically necessary for a parent or other adult to be present during the program, please contact Public Education at 785.864.4173 so we can discuss this need with you and the camp instructor to determine appropriate arrangements to accommodate this need.

Where do I drop off and pick up my child?
Drop off and pick up is directly outside the museum’s north entrance. There is a 10-minute loading zone in front of the museum and parking is available at meters in front of the student union or at the Mississippi Street parking garage. A member of staff will be there to greet you and your child 15 minutes before the start of the program, take attendance and collect any outstanding health & permission forms. If you will be late, please call Public Education at 785.864.4173. Occasionally, our field-based camps run a little late due to traffic problems – so if you have a tight pick up schedule please let the instructor know on the day of the camp.

Do you offer early or after-care?
We do not offer early or after-care. Drop off is shortly before 10:00 a.m. and pick up is at 3:00 p.m. at the north museum entrance. If you will be late, please call Public Education at 785.864.4173. If someone, other than the parent listed on the health and permission form will be collecting your child, please inform the instructor when you drop off your child. Occasionally, our field-based camps run a little late due to traffic problems – so if you have a tight pick up schedule please let the instructor know on the day of the camp.

What happens if it rains?
Aquatic Biology and Geology Explorations are primarily field-based. These camps will not be canceled in the event of light rain (unless lightning or flooding makes the trip unsafe). You will receive details about scheduled rain dates, and more information about these camps in the field trip information sheet you will receive after registering.

How do you deal with allergies and other related medical issues?
It is important to let us know about any physical or behavioral issues BEFORE the day of the program – this should be included on the health and permission form you receive with your confirmation letter, so that we can go over strategies for any issues with you and the instructor prior to the camp. With allergies, please let us know the details and severity. We can provide you with information about the ingredients in our snacks if needed.

What do you do in the case of illness or injury?
If a child becomes ill, the instructor will contact the Public Education office and a member of staff will contact the parent or guardian. Instructors bring a basic first aid kit (e.g. band-aids, antiseptic) on field trips. For serious injury or other conditions that require immediate medical attention, the instructor will call 911 and/or take your child to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and then contact the participants’ parent or guardian. Medical personnel will be provided with relevant information, such as allergies and physician contact information, as provided on the health and permission form.

What happens if there are disciplinary issues?
We rarely experience serious disciplinary issues, and participants are kept thoroughly engaged with fun and challenging science activities. However, if a discipline issue arises we handle it on a case-by-case basis. At first a staff member will talk with the child to try and resolve the issue. If this dos not resolve the issue, the instructor will contact the parent or guardian. As a last resort, the child will be removed from the camp and the parent or guardian will be asked to come and collect their child.

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