Summer Camps: Little girl looking through magnifying glass; child holding monarch butterfly caterpillar; boy holding cicada

Camp Update

Summer Camps will follow current state and federal health guidelines and apply a range of safety measures to mitigate health risks, include smaller camp sizes, mask requirements, utilizing larger rooms, minimal interaction between camp sessions and staff, and increasing sanitation efforts. Guardians will be updated on our current guidelines when camp packets are emailed in June.

Please note that all summer camps are subject to change or cancellation depending on COVID-19 restrictions. A full refund would be provided in event of a cancellation by the Museum.

Q: What grade level camp should I sign my child up for?

A: Grade levels stated in camp descriptions are for the upcoming school year (2021–2022). Please double-check to make sure that child(ren) are signed up for the appropriate grade level. We cannot make exceptions. Falsified registrations will be cancelled and the registration fee will be refunded minus the $30.00 processing fee.

Following Wake County kindergarten eligibility requirements, campers must be five years old on or by August 31, 2021, to be eligible for kindergarten camps. A copy of the birth certificate or its equivalent must be emailed to summercamps@naturalsciences.org upon registration.

Q: Accessibility and inclusion:

A: The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS) aims to provide a friendly, accessible environment for all campers by providing the widest possible access to our building, exhibitions, events and programs. If your child can benefit from any modification and/or support in order to fully enjoy their time at camp, please contact summercamps@naturalsciences.org.

Q: Camper conduct:

A: If a camper’s conduct poses physical harm or risk to self or others we may ask to meet with guardians or other caretakers to develop and implement strategies to help with success. After a reasonable amount of time and effort has been made, in the absence of improvement, the individual may be asked to forego the summer camp experience until alternative behaviors are learned.

Q: Camp ratio:

A: Camp registration will open with 8 campers per session. If state guidelines allow, registration for camp may increase to 12 campers. Each session is lead by a minimum of an instructor and assistant; other staff may join a session for specific activities or programs.

Q: What are our COVID-19 safety protocols?

A: All campers and their families must comply with the protocols listed below to create a safe camp environment this summer. These protocols are subject to change as local, state and CDC guidelines are revised. Please understand that situations can change quickly. We appreciate your patience and flexibility.

  • Limited camp size – Our camps will operate at reduced capacities to allow for proper social distancing. All camps will have a maximum registration of 8 campers per session.
  • Masks or cloth face coverings are required indoors and outdoors – Campers five years old and above are required to wear a cloth face covering indoors and outdoors, that covers the nose and mouth, except when social distancing outdoors. Cloth face coverings are strongly recommended for campers who are four years old.
  • Health screening checklist – Before exiting the vehicle each morning, guardians or caretakers will verbally attest that they have completed the Summer Camps Daily Symptoms Screening Checklist, and the camper meets the criteria for attending the camp. If the answers from the screening checklist preclude the child from attending camps, the camper cannot be admitted that day.
  • Drop-off and pick-up – Adults will be asked to remain in their cars during curbside drop-off and pick-up. After attesting to the completion of the health screening checklist, each camper’s temperature will be taken with an infrared/no-touch thermometer. A camper’s temperature must  be 100.3 degrees or below. Temperatures of 100.4 or higher will result in the camper not being able to attend camp that day.
  • Hand washing and hand sanitizer – Hand washing and use of hand sanitizer will be required throughout the day including arrival and departure, before and after all activities, meals and use of the restroom.
  • Social distancing – Camps will practice social distancing as much as possible throughout the day. Only one day camp, per location, per week will be offered with minimal interaction between camp sessions and staff.
  • Increased sanitizing and cleaning – Increased cleaning and sanitizing efforts will take place multiple times throughout the day.
  • Symptoms of illness – Guardians will be notified immediately to pick up their child without delay if they exhibit symptoms of illness listed on the Summer Camps Daily Symptoms Screening Checklist.
  • Symptoms of illness – Guardians will be notified immediately to pick up their child without delay if they exhibit symptoms of illness listed on the Summer Camps Daily Symptoms Screening Checklist.
  • Notification of a positive test – If a camper or Summer Camps staff tests positive for COVID-19, the Summer Camps Coordinator will notify the guardians by email that a positive test was confirmed as soon as the information becomes available to us.

Q: When does registration begin?

A: 2021 Summer Camps registration dates are as follows:

February 3-4: Registration opens at 9:00am for Friends of the Museum Brimley, Explorers, Naturalist  Society levels and Family+1 level members. Registration temporary closes at 5:00pm on February 4th and reopens at 9:00am on February 6th. The registration link will be emailed the evening before your priority registration date.
February 5-12: Registration expands to include Friends of the Museum Family level members at 9:00am. Registration temporary closes on February 12th at 5:00pm and reopens at 9:00am on February 16th. The registration link will be emailed the evening before your advanced registration date.
February 16: Registration opens to the public at 9:00am. A link to register will be added to the Summer Camps website.

Registration is completed with our online system, Active Network. Registration is first come, first served. Camps traditionally fill quickly.

Each child can enroll in up to 2 weeks of day camp. The Museum will cancel any excess registration. A $30.00 processing fee per camp is required if the Museum cancels excess registration.

Q: Why is there a processing fee?

A: Due to our online registration system, Active Network, there are costs involved in which we cannot offer a full refund. All cancellations, registration for more than two camps per child, or incorrect grade level registrations incur a $30.00 processing fee per camp.

Q: What information will I need to register?

A: Please have the following ready:

  • Friends of the Museum membership number and expiration date. Required only if you are a Friends of the Museum member.
    *Note – If your membership expires prior to August 6, 2021, we require that you renew your membership. Membership can be renewed on Friends of the Museum’s website.
  • Registration must be completed by a legal guardian. A guardian may reference the membership number of the grandparent’s Family level (or higher) membership.
  • 2021 Summer Camps camp title and date of camp.
  • Each child can enroll in up to 2 weeks of camp. The Museum will cancel any excess registration. A $30.00 processing fee per camp is required if the Museum cancels excess registration.
  • The email address in which you would like to receive camp information.
  • Child’s medical information.
  • Street address, phone number and email address for guardian(s).
  • Contact information for emergency contact and individuals who are authorize to pick-up the camper in case the guardian(s) is not available.
  • MasterCard or VISA. To complete the registration process, your payment is due in full.

Q: Can I register more than one child at a time?

A: Camp participants are registered for camp individually. Respective camp participants can register before finalization of payment is made on the Review cart & check out page.

  1. On the Review cart & check out page, click on the blue hyperlink “Add Another Registration,” located to the right of Order Details.
  2.  You will be redirected to the Session Selection page, to select a camp session(s) for the next camp participant.
  3. After Step 3 Registration Form page has been completed, additional camp participants can be added by click on the “Add Another Registration” on the Review cart & check out page.
  4. Completion of the Review cart & check out page will finalize your payment and complete the registration process.**

**Note: Completing the entire registration process, including payment, will set up your Active Network account. If you decide to add additional camp participants, some of the information will be populated into your new registration form.

Q: When will my payment be due and what forms of payment do we accept?

A: Payment in full is due to complete the registration process. Online registration will accept MasterCard and VISA. Please do not drop off checks or cash at the Museum.

Q: Is there a wait list for camps that have filled? How do I add my child’s name to the waiting list?

A: Yes! We have wait lists for all of our day camps once they have filled.

Register for the wait list: Submit the registration information even if the camp has filled. A payment will not be requested.

When a spot becomes available in a camp, families will be contacted in sequential order from the wait list. The open camp spot will be held for 48 hours. The spot may be accepted or turned down. Once an open spot has been accepted, the payment will be due to finalize registration for the camp.

Q: When will I receive confirmation?

A: Your confirmation and receipt will be emailed to you upon completion of the online registration.

Q: Will I receive any additional information after completing registration?

A: Yes. Additional information about the summer camp, arrival, departure and forms that may require your signature can be found in your Active Network account and will be included in the guardian packet emailed in June. Supplemental forms(s) will be due 2 weeks before the beginning of the camp.

Q: Camp locations:

A: Directions to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science  and Prairie Ridge Ecostation.

Q: Arrival and departures:

A: For the safety of all children, if you would like to discuss a topic with Laura Dameron, Summer Camps Coordinator, please make arrangements to chat outside of  drop-off and pick-up times.

For safety, we ask that you do not get out of your car in the Loading Area.

Camps at NC Museum of Natural Sciences – campers should be dropped off or picked up at the Nature Research Center (NRC) Brick Alley Way behind the NRC between the Green Square Parking Deck and the Education Building. A map can be found in your Active Network account and will be emailed to you before the beginning of camp. For safety, we ask that you do not get out of your car.

  • Staff members will be waiting at the Loading Area during the following times: 8:30–8:45am and 4:45–5:10pm.
  • If you arrive late to drop-off, contact 919.418.7602 for the Camp Coordinator. Guardians are responsible for accompanying their child(ren) to their classroom.

If you would like to park and walk your child to drop-off/pick-up, know that finding parking can be difficult. Limited metered parking and two-hour parking may be found on Jones and Edenton Streets. Visitor Lot #1, 198 E. Jones Street ($2.00/hour) is one block east of the Bicentennial Plaza. Green Square Parking Deck, 120 W. Edenton Street, is at the corner of Edenton and McDowell Streets, behind the Nature Research Center.

Camps at Prairie Ridge Ecostation — campers should be dropped off or picked up at the Loading Area near the kiosk. A map can be found in your Active Network account and will be emailed to you before the beginning of camp. For safety, we ask that you do not get out of your car.

  • Staff members will be waiting at the kiosk during the following times: 8:15–8:30am, 12:45-1:10pm, or 3:15–3:40pm.
  • If you arrive late to drop-off, contact 919.418.7602 for the Camp Coordinator. Guardians are responsible for accompanying their child(ren) to their classroom.

If you would like to park and walk your child to drop-off/pick-up, park in the parking lot away from the drop-off/pick-up line.

***Note – You will be emailed a Pick-Up Pass for your dashboard. Campers will be release to their guardian or previously authorized individual with accompanying photo ID. If you do not see camp staff waiting at the curb, please circle the block or traffic circle to keep traffic flowing smoothly. You may receive a ticket from Capital Police if you remain in areas not designated for parking.

Q: Early departures:

A: Early departures must be scheduled prior to the pickup date. Contact Laura Dameron at 919.707.9889 (W) or 919.418.7602 (C). You can schedule an early pick-up up to 1 hour before camp ends. Guardians or authorized persons will meet at a prearranged meeting place, such as the classroom or another location on the grounds. Please have your photo ID available to show staff.

Q: Late fees:

A: NCMNS employs the very best staff possible in our programs. After camp hours, staff have other personal and professional obligations. In order to accommodate any overtime that occur for late pick-up, a late fee of $30.00 per day will be implemented if you are more than 10 minutes late picking up your child. The late fee must be paid in full before the beginning of the next day of camp for your child to attend.

Q: Lunch:

A: Campers will need to bring a bag lunch with them daily. Please package the lunch items together with the child’s name. Campers will not have access to a refrigerator,  microwave or have time to purchase lunch from a café.

Q: Snacks:

A: Please provide a small snack for each half day of camp in which your child is enrolled. If they are registered for a morning camp, then you will only need to send one snack. If they are enrolled in a full-day camp, please send two snacks — one for the morning, and one for the afternoon.

Q: Why are NCMNS Summer Camps nut-free?

A: In response to the growing number of severe nut allergies, and for the safety of all children who attend our camps, NCMNS adopted this policy in 2010. Please read all ingredients carefully when providing lunch and snacks for camp; this includes foods that have peanuts, peanut flour, peanut oil, almonds, filberts, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nut, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. For more information, please review our Nut-free Policy & Alternative Snack Suggestion pdf at the bottom of the webpage.  Thank you for your consideration and support in keeping children with food allergies safe.

Q: Can I receive a copy of the four forms that were listed and agreed to during the registration process?

A: Yes, you can download them here: