Monday Morning Check-In
On the Monday of your camper’s first week with us this summer, parents and campers must check-in at the Camp Staff table.
Here Camp Staff will welcome you to Smithsonian Summer Camp, double-check that we have received all required forms, and
give you your camper’s T-Shirt. This is also where you drop off your camper’s
medication, if they have any, and complete a Self-Release form for your 13+
years old camper if you would like.
On the Monday of any of your camper’s subsequent weeks with us, you can drop your camper off with their YTAs following
our usual Drop-off procedures.
Please Note: During the first week of Smithsonian Summer Camp (June 22-26, 2020), as anyone who is coming to camp is
joining us for their first week of the summer, expect the line at the Monday Morning Check-In table to be long. On Mondays
of subsequent weeks, the Check-In line may be shorter, but this is not guaranteed. We appreciate your patience.
Please accommodate your schedule for this Monday Check-In process.
Lunch & Snacks
Lunch takes place from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on the National Mall across from the Ripley Center. When camps take all-day field trips, campers will
eat at the location of their field trip. In case of inclement weather, lunch will take place inside the Ripley Center.
Campers should bring their own brown bag lunch—we do not provide food for campers.
Campers do not have access to vending machines, refrigerators, or microwaves, and campers are not permitted to purchase food from street vendors.
Many camps take a morning and/or afternoon snack break, so please pack extra snacks.
Please also ensure campers comes to camp with a water bottle every day.
Please note that Smithsonian Summer Camp is NOT a nut-free camp.
Camp Staff does their best to accommodate allergies, but we do not restrict any foods from camp. Please be sure to list any allergies in your registration materials. Staff will make sure your camper’s instructor and YTAs are informed.
- If your camper needs medication throughout the week, please give it to one of the Camp Staff at the check-in table on Monday morning.
- Camp Staff is not allowed to administer any medication; all medication must be self-administered (with the exception of epi-pens).
- Please make camp staff aware of any medical concerns you may have.
- Sick campers should stay home if they have symptoms such as fever, throwing up, and lice. If your camper is having symptoms the night before, please keep them at home the next day.
Please note that Smithsonian Summer Camp is NOT a nut-free camp. Camp Staff does their best to accommodate allergies, but we do not
restrict any foods from camp. Please be sure to list any allergies in your registration materials. Staff will make sure your camper’s
instructor and YTAs are informed.
- Camp Staff is First Aid/CPR certified.
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 camper is too ill to continue with the activities.
- When a camper has lice.
- When a camper is being overly disruptive to the camp and campers.
- When a camper exhibits unsafe behaviors in the classroom or in the museums.
- When a camper is physically or verbally hurtful to instructors, staff, or fellow campers.
- When a camper cannot adhere to Museum Manners or camp expectations after repeated verbal warnings and conversation with Camp Staff.
- When you are late picking up your camper from camp or from After-Camp activities.
Camps take field trips almost every day to visit various museums, historic sites, monuments, and the
National Zoo. Campers will either walk or take a Smithsonian bus to these locations. Older campers
may also take the metro.
Trip costs are included in camp registration. If camp instructors have planned for a field trip outside
of the DMV area, more detailed information will be given in the instructors’ letter received in the
If it gets too hot during the day (Code Orange/Red) or if there is other inclement weather, campers
stay inside for lunch and may not take the planned museum trips. Camp Staff reserves the right to
postpone or cancel any field trips due to extreme heat or excessive weather.
Two weeks prior to your camp, a parent pack will be emailed to you at the email address provided at registration.
This parent pack will include:
- Camp 101 reminders.
- Letter from the camp instructors outlining the camp details for the week.
- Pick-up card for each camper. This is required to be presented by anyone who picks up your camper each day.
- Loading/unloading parking pass for your car. Please note this is not guaranteed to stop parking tickets.
- Smithsonian Stars System for K-3 camps, describing Summer Camp's positive behavior management.
If you do not receive this pack two weeks before your camp, please call 202-633-2267 or email TSAcamp@si.edu.
Friday Show and Share
Families and friends are invited to attend the Friday Show and Shares to view your
child's art work, projects, or performance. These generally occur inside the camp
classrooms between 3:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. You will receive more details from Camp
Staff during the week of camp.
A Smithsonian Summer Camp T-shirt is included in the registration fee. Campers can sport
their shirts proudly and stand out from the crowd on their field trips around the National
Mall. Campers receive one shirt at check-in on their first day of camp, regardless of the
number of sessions or weeks enrolled. Available sizes range from Youth S to Adult XL. Be
sure to include the correct T-shirt size when you register your camper as campers will only be
given the recorded size.
Summer Camp Office Location
The Smithsonian Summer Camp office is located in the S. Dillon Ripley Center Associates’ office, Suite 3077. Camp Staff is
composed of full time Associates staff and interns who are here to ensure that campers have a safe, enjoyable and informative
camp sessions. Staff is with campers throughout the day and oversee Before- and After-Camp as well as the lunch break. Our
mission is to ensure a smooth operation and clear communication during camp. Please call us at 202-633-CAMP or email us at
TSACamp@si.edu with any questions or concerns.
Two experienced adult instructors lead each camp session and are assisted by at least two
high school volunteers (Youth Teaching Assistants). A letter from your campers’ instructors
will be included in your Parent Pack.
View Instructor Bios
Camp Youth Teaching Assistants (YTAs)
High school students 15+ years of age are welcome to apply to be a YTA for Summer Camp. YTA responsibilities include
assisting with the safety of the campers, with any camp needs, and with a smooth execution of the week at camp. YTAs earn service-learning
hours that can often be applied towards school district service hour requirements.
High school students 14 years of age who wish to be YTAs in future summers are welcome to register for the week-long YTA Boot Camp. This is
a week-long intensive training program guided by Smithsonian instructors and the program manager to develop strong, experienced future
classes of YTAs. Completion of the Boot Camp offers applicants a priority for YTA selection the following summer. Registration for YTA
Boot Camp functions the same as registration for any other Smithsonian Summer Camp session.