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Online 101

Everything you need to know about Online Smithsonian Summer Camps

Have a specific question? Send us an email.

Purchase an Online Camp as a Gift

Looking for a great gift for a child in your life? A Smithsonian Associates gift certificate can open adventures in learning all year long.

Here's how to do it

Purchase a gift certificate for the child's parent or legal guardian, who can then use it when they register online for the Online Summer Camp of their choice (gift certificates are applied at checkout). 

This keeps the registration under the adult’s account, which will ensure they receive the receipt for tax purposes, welcome letter, Zoom links, and other relevant information. The adult will also be able to log into their online portal and access their child’s online sessions and daily handouts. Please note: Smithsonian Associates memberships are not transferable. If the gift certificate recipient is not a member, they will not have access to the member prices or early registration.

Consider adding the Associates’ $50 basic membership to the gift certificate to allow access to the member prices and early registration.

2022 Online Smithsonian Summer Camps

Online Camp Dates

Online Smithsonian Summer Camps will be offered between July 5 and August 12, 2022.
Online camps are scheduled in Eastern Standard time (ET) and are presented in English only.

Use this handy organizer to plan a Smithsonian summer and get ready for registration:
Camp Registration Organizer


Online camps are designed for children who will be entering Kindergarten through 11th grade in Fall 2022. Children should be registered based on their grade level in the 2022-23 school year and can only participate in camps designated for that grade range.

Online Camps and Prices

Kindergarten and Grade 1

Educators lead interactive experiences that explore objects and artworks in the Smithsonian’s collections through play, artmaking, and experimentation. Programs are not designed for children under five.

Days & Times

Monday–Friday (Tuesday–Friday the week of July 5–8)
1–2 p.m. ET


$95 per session for Smithsonian Associates members (except the week of July 5–8: $80)
$110 per session for non-members (except the week of July 5-8: $95)


Sessions are conducted mainly in individual breakout groups of no more than 16 participants.

Grades 2 through 5

Each week, participants take a deep dive into the Smithsonian's collections through virtual visits to museums, hands-on projects, games, collaborative challenges, and conversations with experts during two hours of live online interaction with a team of experienced instructors.

Days & Times

Monday–Friday (Tuesday–Friday the week of July 5–8) 1–3 p.m. ET


$150 per session for Smithsonian Associates members (except the week of July 5–8: $120)
$170 per session for non-members (except the week of July 5-8: $135)


Sessions are conducted mainly in individual breakout groups of no more than 18 participants.

Soldiers and Dioramas for Grades 6 through 11

Three-day sessions, each day including four hours of live online instruction: two focused on history, and two of facilitated diorama construction. A diorama kit is included in the cost of the program and will be mailed to participants. Other materials to be provided by participants are listed on each individual program page, uploaded to the online portal, and will be emailed in the Welcome Email.

Days & Times

10 a.m.–3 p.m. ET, with a one hour break from 12–1 p.m. ET


$165 per session for Smithsonian Associates members
$195 per session for non-members

Join or renew your membership now


Smithsonian Summer Camp registration will open February 15-17, 2022. Registration is online only.

Smithsonian Associates Donors (Contributor level and above)
February 15, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Smithsonian Associates Members (any level)
February 16, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET
General Public
February 17, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Preparing for Online Camps

Digital Platform

Live online sessions are hosted through Zoom with official Smithsonian accounts. These sessions are structured as “Meetings,” allowing for increased interaction among the participants and instructors and a more engaging adventure for all.

Getting Started with Zoom

Online Safety

In order for a minor to participate in Online Smithsonian Summer Camps, a parent or legal guardian must complete and sign a waiver prior to the first day of the first session. If a parent or legal guardian is making the purchase, they will be able to sign this waiver at checkout. For those who purchase an Online Camp as a gift, instructions on how to complete the waiver will be sent to the parents or legal guardians of your gift recipient via email.

Zoom's Privacy Policy is designed to reflect Zoom's compliance with the requirements of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and other applicable laws.

The Smithsonian has licensed the education version of Zoom which has had many default settings updated to make meetings more secure. Additionally, the Smithsonian's Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has reviewed and updated additional default settings based on best practices developed by Zoom and others.

For the Online Smithsonian Summer Camps, and per best practices guidance from OCIO, unique meeting links and passwords will be generated for each week-long adventure. A waiting room will be enabled with every daily session. Names of those in the waiting room will be compared to a list of the names of children registered for the program, and only those who are on the roster will be admitted into the live session. Private chat activity will be disabled within the meeting and participant screen sharing, annotation, and recording will be disabled by default. If the “breakout room” function is used, each breakout room will have an adult in attendance.

Each session's landing page within the online portal is self-contained, only accessible to registered participants behind your unique Smithsonian Associates login, and contains only pre-approved content.

Prior to registering your campers, please review the Terms of Service, Privacy Statement, and the Smithsonian Kids Online Privacy Statement.

Preparing for an Online Session

  • Download or update your Zoom client. You will not need to be an authenticated user of Zoom in order to participate in the sessions. You may also be required to update your Zoom client before you can join your session.
  • Be prepared with a fully charged device (ideally a computer) with a webcam and secure internet access.
  • Collect materials as specified in the Welcome Letter.

The waiting room for the Zoom meeting will be open 5 minutes prior to the start of the scheduled session. Before joining, set your Zoom name to the first name and last initial of the child (ex. John S.). This must match the name used to register the child, as only those who are on the official roster for the session will be admitted from the waiting room into the live session.

Welcome Letter

About a week prior to your session beginning, a welcome letter will be emailed to you at the email address provided at registration. This letter will include:

  1. Notes about your upcoming Online Camp, including more details about the live sessions and a suggested materials list
  2. Smithsonian Online Camp Digital Decorum document
  3. The direct Zoom link, Meeting ID and Passcode

If you do not receive this email before your session, please email


All online camps will have specific Materials Lists, accessible prior to the start of each camp on its event page, in the Welcome Email sent 1 week prior to the camp or through the Portal. On- and off-line activities will focus on using recycled materials, low-cost craft and kitchen supplies, and household items - except for Soldier and Dioramas programs. Please have all requested materials available by the start of the first day of the session.

Expectations of Online Campers

We expect all children to demonstrate Digital Decorum throughout their time with us. Digital Decorum includes acting with respect towards others, following instructions from instructors and staff, and other appropriate behaviors.

Please review these expectations with your child prior to their session. If you have any questions or need clarification about these guidelines, please email

When do we call you?

There are times when it is necessary to call you or your alternate emergency contact. These include, but are not limited to:

  • When a child is being overly disruptive to the session.
  • When a child exhibits unsafe behaviors.
  • When a child is verbally hurtful to instructors, staff, or fellow attendees.
  • When a child cannot adhere to Digital Decorum or expectations after repeated verbal warnings and conversation with staff.

Other Information

Inclusion and Accessibility Policy

At Smithsonian Summer Camp, we welcome children, families and staff of all cultures, religions, sexual orientation and gender identification, family constructs and abilities. We do not tolerate aggression, violence or bullying against one another. We strive to create a fun and educational environment that is respectful, engaging, and safe for all of our children. In order to best serve each child, we encourage you to list any cognitive, emotional, or learning needs or anything else you would like us to know in your registration materials.

Closed captioning can be provided upon request. If your child requires closed captioning to participate, please submit an email request at least two weeks prior to the session. We will make every effort to fill your request.

To discuss any information or concerns about your child with the Program Manager, please send us an email.


Experienced adult instructors lead each session with staff assistance.

View Instructor Bios


Staff is composed of full time Associates staff and interns who are here to ensure that children have safe, enjoyable and informative sessions. Staff will be behind-the-scenes participants in every session throughout the day. Our mission is to ensure a smooth operation and clear communication during Smithsonian Summer Camp. Please email us at with any questions or concerns.

The Waitlist

If the program you would like to purchase is already sold out, you can add yourself to the waitlist online. Additional sessions may be created to accommodate large waitlists depending on teacher, staff, and resource availability. Families on the waitlist will be contacted directly if new sessions are created. We may also call you if space becomes available during the 6 weeks. If the session has already started, you will be offered a pro-rated amount if you still wish to register your camper.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be given on a case-by-case basis, and only up until four weeks prior to the first date of the Adventure/Online Camp. Once it has begun, there are no partial refunds for registrants who do not complete or partially participate in the session. Credits to your account may also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you are unable to use a registration purchased, you have two options:

  1. You may donate the cost of registration to Smithsonian Associates. Request a letter to use for tax purposes. Ticketing and service fees paid may not be considered as part of the donation.
  2. You may offer your tickets to another appropriately aged child of your choice. Email us before the session begins and provide us with their full name and the name and email address of their parent or legal guardian. Please note that the original order will remain under your account.

Dependent Care Tax Credit & FSA Expense

Please check with current IRS guidelines regarding tax credit for virtual care. Tuition for Online Smithsonian Summer Camp may be an eligible expense under Dependent Care FSA as long as the child is under the age of 13 and a proper receipt is provided. Please check with your FSA provider to confirm. For those who qualify, a receipt can be issued in the name of the person who paid for the Adventure.