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Camp FAQs

Since the Museum of Natural History is closed this summer, when and where are camps taking place?

The Museum is offering a limited selection of summer camps this year (June 18-August 3).  Camp sessions take place at the Ruthven Museums Building (1109 Geddes Ave) with walking field trips to other campus and off site locations.

How do I register for Camp Explorations?

Download and fill out the registration form and other required documents. One set of forms is required for each child.

Sign the forms using either of these methods:

Email completed registration forms to: ummnh.camp@umich.edu

Call the Camp office with payment information:  (734) 647-6421

Mailing registrations is discouraged. The Museum staff is in the middle of moving to our new home in the Biological Sciences Building, and mail delivery cannot be guaranteed during this time.

If you would like to deliver forms in person, you may do so at the Ruthven Museum Building, Room 1011.  Please call (734) 647-6421 or email ummnh.camp@umich.edu before arriving to make sure someone will be in the office to take your forms.

Scholarships

For completed Grades K-5 sessions: 

To qualify for a scholarship, a student must qualify for free or reduced lunch at their school and provide a letter showing that. The scholarship covers $100 of the session and is limited to 1 session per child.

Limited scholarships available. Scholarships will be given out on a first come, first served basis.

For Neuroscience camp for completed Grades 6-7:

Scholarships available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch at their school or are part of a district that has community eligibility for free lunch. The scholarship covers $350 of the camp fee and the fee for before and aftercare is waived. To apply for a scholarship, please provide a letter from the school showing your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch at their school.

What does my child need to bring to Camp Explorations?

  • Water Bottle
  • *Snack (non-refrigerated, non-microwavable, nut-free)
  • **Lunch (non-refrigerated, non-microwavable, nut-free)
  • Weather-appropriate clothes and footwear
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen/Bug Spray
  • A bag or backpack to hold it all

It is a camper’s responsibility to keep track of all of their belongings while at camp. To support campers’ success in this area, we encourage families to label all belongings with a camper’s first and last name and send all items in a bag or backpack.

* For the safety of our campers and staff, we are a peanut and tree nut free camp.

**Your child only needs a lunch if he/she is enrolled all day.

What should my child NOT bring?

We ask that all electronics, toys, food products containing nuts etc. be left at home. Children staying for aftercare are allowed to read, but these items need to be kept in the coatroom during camp activities. Camp Explorations is not responsible for lost or broken toys, especially handheld video game systems or valuable trading cards! PLEASE leave these things at home.

How large are group sizes for Camp Explorations?

Campers are placed in small groups by age and our counselor to camper ratio is 1:9 or fewer. If you want your child to be placed in a group with a friend, please note that on the registration form. We will try our best to accommodate these requests, but cannot guarantee them.

My child is enrolled in sessions all day, what do they do for lunch?

Your child should bring a non-refrigerated, non-microwavable, nut-free packed meal. Lunch will take place between 12:00-1:00 p.m. at the Museum. Your child will be supervised during the lunchtime.

What should I do if my camper has allergies, medications or special needs?

Please make sure you put this information on the registration forms. Campers that have serious allergies that require emergency medication (epi-pen, asthma inhalers) should carry it with them. Other medication must be given to Camp Staff and stored in the Camp Director’s Office.

You will also need to complete an Over the Counter Medication Authorization Form. Please contact the Camp Office for this additional form.

Note: Unless we have parental authorization, we will not administer ANY medications or make OTC medications available to participants unless necessary as part of general first-aid treatment.

What does my camper need to do to participate successfully in camp?

We strive to create an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and inspires curiosity for all campers. For this reason, campers must be able to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

  • Maintain appropriate language and actions
  • Hands to themselves
  • Respectful language to fellow campers and camp staff
  • Stay with their group
  • Listen to camp staff and follow directions

If your camper is struggling, we will have a quiet, friendly space that campers can take a break and calm down or recharge before returning to their group. We do reserve the right to remove any camper that repeatedly cannot meet these expectations.

Can I talk to my child’s counselor or the camp director about my child’s needs before camp begins?

We greatly appreciate any information, suggestions or tips you would like to share with us. Filling out the registration form with as much detail as possible will give us the opportunity to prepare any special accommodations and give your camper the best experience possible. Camp leaders are not always available to speak to, but you are welcome to email our summer camp team at ummnh.camp@umich.edu or call the Camp Office at (734) 674-6421. Anything you wish to be communicated with your campers counselor will be communicated prior to the start of the camp week.

What about Aftercare?

For completed Grades K-5 sessions:

The cost for after care is $50 a week and is available between 4-6pm. If your child is not picked up by 6pm, a late fee of $10 per child for 15 minutes or portion thereof that you are late will be charged.

For Neuroscience camp for completed Grades 6-7:

Before Camp Care and After Camp Care is also available for a nominal fee.

  • Before Camp Care: 8:00-9:00 a.m., $20/week
  • After Camp Care: 4:00-6:00 p.m., $40/week
  • Register for both Before and After Camp Care, $50/week

What if I need to drop my child off late?

Please let us know ahead of time if you will be dropping off your child late.  There is no onsite parking and you will need to park in a nearby structure or metered parking spot and bring your child into the Ruthven Museums Building, Summer Camp Office Room 1011.  Since the Museum is closed this year, the camps will often move around campus and there might not be someone in the camp office. It is very important you let us know in advance so we can make sure there is someone to sign your child in.

What if I need to pick up my child early?

Please let us know ahead of time if you will be picking up your child early.  There is no onsite parking and you will need to park in a nearby structure or metered parking spot and sign your child out from the Ruthven Museums Building, Summer Camp Office Room 1011. Since the Museum is closed this year, the camps will often move around campus and there might not be someone in the camp office.  It is very important you let us know in advance so we can make sure there is someone to sign your child out.

What if there’s inclement weather?

Camp will go on!  We will change our programs to stay indoors when necessary.

Can I have someone else drop off or pick up my child?

Yes, as long as his/her name is listed on your registration sheet. If the individual is not named on the sheet, we will have to call the adult listed for pickup permission. This includes parents if they are not listed on the registration sheet.  If you need to add a name to the authorized persons pickup list, please call Camp Explorations at (734) 647-6421 or send an email to ummnh.camp@umich.edu.

My child does not speak English well. Can they still come to camp?

Of course!  We will try our best to keep your child engaged and learning while at Camp Explorations.  However, we are not able to provide interpreters for your child at camp.

Will the group be going on any field trips?

We occasionally bring our group on walking field trips, but you will always be told well in advance.  On days that we are going on walking field trips, we ask that your child wear comfortable shoes, weather appropriate clothing, and the Camp Explorations T-shirt.  We also suggest that your child bring a water bottle, backpack, bug spray, and sunscreen.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?

A $15 cancellation fee is applied to all refunds.  Refunds will be given if requested at least 14 days before your camp start date.  No refunds will be given if requested after 14 days of your camp start date. Please notify the camp office in writing for any cancellation requests.

What if I want to switch to a different week of camp after I have registered?

A $15 processing fee will be assessed for any requested registration changes.  Please double-check your schedule and application before submitting your registration.

What if I want my child to placed in the same group with a friend?

Campers are placed in age appropriate groups for each session. We make every effort to accommodate requests for campers to be in the same group as a friend, though requests are not guaranteed.

If you would like your camper to be placed in the same group as a friend and you did not indicate it on your registration form, the request can be made in writing to the Camp Director at ummnh.camp@umich.edu.

What is the typical daily schedule for camp?

Morning Session  
8:00-8:30 a.m. Camper Drop Off
8:30-11:30 a.m. Camp Activities & Snack
11:30-11:45 a.m. End of Day/Wrap Up
11:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Gather belongings and head outside for Pick Up OR Get ready for Lunch
Afternoon Session  
12:45-1:15 p.m. Camper Drop Off
1:15-3:30 p.m. Camp Activities & Snack
3:30-3:45 p.m. End of Day/Wrap Up
3:45- 4:00 p.m. Gather belongings and head outside for Pick Up OR Aftercare