NHMU Summer Camp FAQ's

Summer Camp Frequently Asked Questions

Registration deadline

Camp registration closes one week prior to each session so that we can prepare supplies and other important camp information.

Where are you located?

The Natural History Museum of Utah is located at 301 Wakara Way, in Research Park, south of Red Butte Garden. Click here for map and directions to the Museum. Information on partner locations is listed at the bottom of this document.

Camper Information Form and Camp Waiver Form

The safety and well-being of your child is our number one priority. We therefor require you to fill out all camp waiver forms PRIOR to your child being allowed to participate in our camp program. You will receive a link to these waiver forms once you have completed your camp registration. There is also a link to both forms on all of our camp pages. You may lose your child's camp spot if forms are not filled out at least one week prior to the session startin

Why we ask the medical questions we do

Some parents wonder why we ask for certain personal/medical information about your child. After all, in some ways, it is none of our business! What IS our business is your child's success at our camp. The more we know about your child before they come to camp, the better we can prepare our staff, and the more we can work together to make your child's camp experience as positive and rewarding as possible. When you send your child to camp, you entrust us with their care. We want you to think of us as your partner in your child's well-being. We can only keep our end of the partnership if we have the information to prepare our team and ensure your child is well cared for and free to have the best time ever. There have been times when, because we didn't know about a particular child's needs, we could not respond to their behavior properly and they were unable to remain at camp. The better prepared we are before camp, the better we can help your child be successful once they are here.

Arrival and camp check-in for camps that begin at NHMU

For your child’s safety, all campers MUST be checked in each day. Check-in for all camps—both morning, afternoon, and full-day that start both at the Museum and at our partner locations—opens 30 minutes before the camp's start time on the first day of camp, and 15 minutes prior to start time for the rest of the week. On your child’s very first day of each camp they attend, park and escort your camper to the Group Entrance on the north side of the building where staff will review your waiver forms, get your child checked in, and give you the week’s agenda and a placard to place on your dashboard for pick up.

For all following days of the week, you can drop your child off with Museum staff curbside in the Museum's turnaround/drop-off zone. Please pull forward as far as you can and have your child exit the vehicle curbside. Children and vehicles may not be left unattended. Please do not double park. If you wish to park and walk with your child each day, you are welcome to do so. 

Departure and camp check-out for camps that end at NHMU

Parents must check out their campers each afternoon. The Museum offers curbside pick-up in the turnaround for your convenience. For quicker pick up, remember to have your child's placard placed on your dashboard. You are also welcome to park in the lot and walk to the Group Entrance to check out your child. This is a great option if you'd like to connect with camp staff at the end of the day.

If campers are not picked up within 15 minutes of their camp session ending and have not made prior arrangements with camp staff, parents may be charged a late fee of up to $10. If your camper has not been picked up 30 minutes after camp ends, and we cannot reach you or any of your emergency contacts, campus police will be called.

What if I need a late drop off or need to pick up my camper early?

We have many fun and exciting activities for your child to enjoy during camp and encourage you to be on time and to allow them to stay for their entire camp experience each day. Late drop-offs and early pick-ups impact the camp experience for the entire class as we get kids caught up with activities or need to get them ready to leave early.

If you know that you will be late for drop-off or need to pick your child up early, be certain to let camp staff know either the day before at pick up or at drop off in the morning so that we can best accommodate you. If you are running late for drop-off or pick-up, call the Museum at 801-581-6927. A message will be sent to camp staff immediately so that we are not kept waiting. When you arrive for a late drop-off, park in the Museum lot and walk with your child to the Museum’s Main Entrance and check in with Guest Services staff. They will direct you to where to meet a camp staff person. Children may not be left unattended.

How long is the camp experience?

Our regular camp sessions are five days long. Due to two July holidays, we have one three-day week, July 5-7 (W-F), and one four-day week, July 25-28 (T-F). Prices for camp sessions during these weeks are prorated. 

How long is each day?

Most, but not all, of our full-day camps begin at 8:30am and end at 4:30pm. We offer a supervised lunch hour from noon to 1pm where kids can enjoy lunch brought from home and then participate in outdoor activities and games. Our half-day camps begin and end at varying times, check individual listings. If enrolling in two half-day camps, children will stay at the Museum and eat a lunch brought from home.

May I enroll my gifted child for an older age group?

We create developmentally appropriate camp curriculum and our instructors are comfortable working with a wide range of learning styles and levels within that curriculum. We have found that children have the best experiences at camp when they participate in camps at their grade level.  While some children may have the intellectual capacity to understand the concepts presented in camps for higher-grade levels, they usually have the best social interactions with children who are the same age.

Since camp involves many group activities as well as time to socialize and make new friends, being comfortable with his/her peers is very important to a child’s enjoyment of camp. Therefore, we adhere to our grade-level groupings and work hard to make each camp an outstanding experience for all participants.

Do you provide lunch? 

No. Campers who are enrolled in full-day sessions, or two half-day sessions within the same week, are responsible for bringing their own non-refrigerated lunch from home along with a drink. Please be sure that campers’ names are clearly marked on their lunch bag or box. We offer a supervised lunch hour from noon to 1 p.m. that includes time to explore outside.

Who makes up the staff for camp?

Most of our teaching staff are elementary or secondary school teachers. Several also work here at the Museum in our School or Public Programming departments. We also have assistants helping with each camp session and strive to keep a high staff to camper ratio. Camp assistants are teen volunteers and/or teens working in our Youth Teaching Youth Program. All staff are selected for their energy, enthusiasm and aptitude for science and all are trained to work with students in informal settings and have successfully completed a required background check. 

How should my child dress for camp?

Campers should dress in comfortable clothing that may get messy. For safety, we highly recommend closed-toe shoes (for some sessions, closed-toe shoes are required). Please dress your camper for the weather. We plan to go outside each and every day, rain, or shine!  

What will campers need for outdoor experiences?

Many summer camps include outdoor activities. Please remember to prepare campers with a hat, rain gear, and other weather-appropriate clothing along with applied sunscreen. A reusable water bottle will be provided to each camper. 

Who can I contact during the day if I need to leave an emergency message?

Contact our Guest Services staff at 801-581-6927. Messages will be relayed to camp staff immediately.

How are campers supervised? 

Campers are supervised at all times and are escorted on restroom and snack breaks. We limit our camp size depending on the age of the children; ten for kindergarten sessions, 16 for first grade sessions, and between 12-18 children for most other sessions. For most sessions we assign a teacher and two assistants to each class. If your child needs a higher level of supervision, prior approval must be given by the Camp Director, and every effort will be made to accommodate him/her. For your child’s security, all campers must be escorted to and from their camp room by Museum staff. All campers must be checked in and out by a person on your authorized pick-up list each day.

May parents stay in the classroom?

Our camps are supervised by education professionals and aim to promote independent learning and socialization opportunities for your children. Parents are not allowed to remain in the classrooms during camp hours. If you feel that your child is unable to remain in camp without you, it may be best to wait a year before you send him/her to camp.

What are the behavior expectations for campers?


Camp instructors review camper expectations on the first day of each camp session. Our expectations are as follows:

  • Listen and follow instructions
  • Participate in camp activities to the best of your abilities
  • Respect others and Museum property
  • Have fun learning and making new friends!

The Museum reserves the right to send a camper home, without a refund, due to inappropriate behavior or behavior that negatively impacts the experience of other campers. A child may be allowed to return to camp the following day at the Camp Director's discretion.

Equal Opportunity and Accommodations for a Disability

The University of Utah's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action provides a process for all participants of University programs to seek reasonable accommodations for a disability. If you believe your child would benefit from the services offered through OEO, please contact them directly at or 801-581-8365.

NHMU Bullying Prevention Policy

We are committed to fostering a safe, positive, and responsive environment that is free of discrimination, violence, and bullying. With this in mind, NHMU has instituted a Bullying Prevention Policy. If camp staff becomes aware of a situation where camp expectations are not being met, affected parties will be spoken with to resolve difficulties. If tensions still persist, parents will be brought in and steps will be taken to ensure a quality experience is upheld. If things do not improve, the Camp Director has the authority to remove a child from camp, without a refund. Before returning for another camp, parents and their camper are required to meet with the Camp Director to review behavior expectations.

Wondering if your Museum membership is current?

Check the expiration date on your Museum Membership card. You can also contact our Grants and Membership Coordinator, Maren Fisher, at 801-585-9054. 

What is your tax ID number?

In many cases, camp tuition can be used as a childcare tax credit. For your reference, the Museum’s tax ID number is 87-6000525.

What if I want to transfer my child into a different camp?

If you need to transfer your child out of one camp session and into a different camp session, you may do so until three weeks before the original camp date/time. Please register your child for the desired camp and then email the Camp Coordinator at programs@nhmu.utah.edu. Let us know what camp you need to withdraw your child from. A refund, less a $25 transfer fee, will be credited to your credit card for the original camp.

Due to supply and staffing commitments, no transfers can be made—and no refunds or credits will be given for cancellations made—less than three weeks prior to the original camp date/time. If a class does not reach its minimum enrollment, you will be notified at least two weeks before the starting date and your tuition will be fully refunded. Allow up to two weeks for refund.

Wait Lists

When a camp becomes full, registration will automatically close down. Museum staff will then manually open up a wait list for the filled camp session. Because of the manual process involved, we request your patience as we get these lists open. Parents can put their child on one or multiple wait lists. If a spot becomes available, camp staff will begin the process of contacting each person on the wait list, first come first served, until the spot is filled. Please note however, that if your child gets into a wait listed session and is currently in a camp session (a second choice session), there will be a transfer fee to be transferred from the current session and into the wait listed session.

What is the cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel your camp registration, email the Camp Coordinator at programs@nhmu.utah.edu no later than three weeks prior to the camp start date/time. Let us know your child's name and the camp name and date. A refund, less a cancellation fee, will be issued only if your cancellation request is made at least three weeks prior to the camp date/time. No refunds or transfers will be given after that time. Full-day camp session cancellation fee is $50; half day camp session cancelation fee is $35. Short weeks are prorated.

Partner Organization Information

Bad Dog Arts: 824 South 400 West, B129; Camp questions: Narnia at 801-322-3816 or
Camp Kostopulos: 4180 Emigration Canyon Road; Camp question: Jamie at 801-582-0700 or
Clark Planetarium: 110 South 400 West; Camp questions: Thomas at 385-468-1243 or
Clever Octopus: Camp questions: Jen at 919-604-1203 or
FRIENDS of GSL: Camp questions: Janessa at
Play-Well TEKnologies: Camp questions: Brie at
Red Butte Garden: 300 Wakara Way; Camp questions: Jason at 801-581-8109 or
Spy Hop: 669 South West Temple, Suite 202; Camp questions: Jana at 801-532-7500 or
Tanner Dance:1720 Campus Center Drive; Camp questions: Diana at 801-581-7374 or
This is the Place: 2601 Sunnyside Ave; Camp questions: Kim at 801-924-7534 or
Tracy Aviary: 589 East 1300 South; Camp questions: Anne at 801-596-8500 # 116 or
Utah's Hogle Zoo: 2600 Sunnyside Ave; Camp questions: Kelly at 801-584-4562 or
Wasatch Community Gardens: 600 E 800 S; Camp questions: Maria at 801-837-6482 or
Zaniac: 1045 East 2100 South; Camp questions: Dash at 801-997-8580 or
 

Further questions?

Call 801-581-6927 or contact Shelli Campbell, Camp Director, at programs@nhmu.utah.edu.