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Drop-off/Pick-up Procedures

Drop-off will be held outside of:
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC, 20560.

Pick-up will be inside the S. Dillon Ripley Center from each camp room.

Drop-off/Pick-up Procedures

Construction Warning
Due to the Castle revitalization project, ever shifting construction vehicles and areas may prevent you from parking directly in front the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Please be prepared.
Inclement Weather
In case of severe inclement weather Monday morning check-in, drop-off and pick-up will be held on the 3rd subfloor of the Ripley Center. You must bring your child downstairs and sign them in and out.

Summer camp hours

Before-Camp Program:
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. ET (Pre-registration required)
Camp Sessions:
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET
After-Camp Program:
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET (Pre-registration required)

Your Camper’s First Day of Camp

Camp staff and Youth Teaching Assistant (YTAs) can be identified by their Summer Camp T-shirts and nametags.

  1. On Monday, go through the check-in process at the staff desks outside of the S. Dillon Ripley Center. View map of the location of the S. Dillon Ripley Center During the check-in process you'll:
    1. Confirm we have all the proper paperwork and information for you and your camper(s).
    2. Pick up your camp t-shirt(s). Each camper will receive one shirt, regardless of the number of weeks he/she is enrolled in camp and will only be given the size shirt indicated at registration.
    3. Drop off any medicine.
    You can also get a car sign to place on your windshield while you are parked. However, this does not mean that you will not get a ticket.
  2. Once you have checked-in, look for a sign with the name of your camper’s camp. Take your child to meet his/her campmates and sign in with the volunteer Youth Teaching Assistants (YTAs). Your child will receive a name badge that they must wear while at camp.
  3. Campers should wear clothes appropriate for camp activities, heat index and weather. No weapons are allowed. Please apply sunscreen prior to coming to camp each day.
  4. If your child is attending camp for more than one week, you may sign-in directly with their YTAs on subsequent Mondays without needing to stand in line at check-in with staff.

After the First Day of Camp

  1. Cars should pull up to the loading area in front of the S. Dillon Ripley Center on Jefferson Drive no more than ten minutes prior to the scheduled times. We are not responsible for any tickets received.
  2. Bring your camper directly to the YTA associated with your child’s camp. YTAs will be upstairs in front of the Ripley Center kiosk no earlier than 9:00 a.m. ET. It may be a bit later depending on how many children they need to pick up from Before-Camp. You must sign your camper in each day.
  3. The YTAs will escort campers to their individual camp classrooms starting at 9:30 a.m. ET or after all of the campers have signed in.
  4. Please note that camps begin promptly at 9:30 a.m., so please try to arrive on time. If campers arrive after 9:30 a.m., it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to escort the child to the camp classroom in the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Please sign in your camper with their YTA so that we may ensure that your child arrived.

Pick-Up Procedures

  1. You will be emailed a camper pick-up card one week prior to the camp, to be used for the pick-up process. T his card ensures that the child leaves camp with the appropriate authorized person. You must have the pick-up card in-hand or pulled up on your phone when you arrive to pick-up your child.

    If you will be picking up more than one camper, please bring the camper pick-up card for each child. You may make photocopies to distribute to other family member or responsible parties charged with picking up your child. These people must be listed in the camper’s registration information online. Staff will not forward the pick-up cards to anyone.

  2. At the end of the day you will pick up your camper from their camproom. To find the camp room, enter the kiosk where you dropped off your camper and down to the 3rd floor sublevel where a list of camp rooms will be posted. Please sign out your child from the YTA in the camp room. Pick-up can be anytime between 4:20 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. ET.
  3. Campers must remain with their group until they are signed out by their parent/guardian, and only at that time will they be released.
  4. If someone other than the parents will be picking up a child on a particular day, they must be listed as an authorized person on the camper's registration information. If this changes, you must send the child to camp with a note, signed and dated, indicating the change in arrangements. Please also include all appropriate domestic (US) phone numbers so that Summer Camp Managers can call to confirm this change. Failure to follow this procedure will mean that your child will not be released to another person. Verify your camper's registration information

Before- and After- Camp Procedures

  1. If your child is in Before-Camp, you must come down to the 3rd subfloor to sign in your child every day. You and your child's name will be on a check list at the Kiosk entrance. Check in and come downstairs. You will meet camp staff who will check you in: receive medication as necessary, give you the camp T-shirt, and ensure we have all forms necessary. Your child will be brought to their camp after drop-off.
  2. If your child is in After-Camp, you must come down to the 3rd subfloor to sign your child out of camp. You and your child's name will be on a check list at the Kiosk entrance. Check in and come downstairs. Security may check your bags.
  3. You must show your pick-up card and sign them out every day. Some days After-Camp may be outside across from the Ripley Center. Check the Kiosk Door.


All parents/guardians are encouraged to return immediately to their cars following drop-off and pick-up because these areas are not parking spaces but loading and unloading zones for the Smithsonian Institution. The drop-off area in front of the museums is under the domain of the U.S. Park Police, therefore Smithsonian Associates is not responsible for any tickets issued for cars left in the loading area unattended. If you arrive and the curbside area is full, we recommend that you circle the block until some of those individuals pull away.

Late Arrival or Early Pick-up

Adhering to the scheduled times for arrival and dismissal is critical. In the event of a late arrival, parents are responsible for accompanying their child to the appropriate room/location.

During drop-off, a Summer Camp representative will remain outside the Ripley Center to check-in any latecomers until fifteen minutes after the campers have reported to their individual camps. After this time the child must be accompanied to the appropriate classroom by their parent and sign in with camp staff.

If you need to pick up your camper early on a particular day, please call the Smithsonian Summer Camp Hotline or email Please also let your camp’s YTA know during drop-off.

Late Pick-up and Fees

Arriving late to pick up your child presents a significant challenge to the staff.

Fees for Late Pick-up

In the event that you arrive after 5:00 p.m. ET, your child will put into the After-Camp program while they wait and you will be charged a late fee as follows:

  • $25 for After-Camp registration for that day
  • In addition to the After-Camp registration fee, you will be charged $15 for every block of 15 minutes you are late. If you pick up between: Your late fee is: 5:00 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. ET $45.00 5:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET $60.00 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. ET $75.00 5:45 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET $90.00

Payment for late fees must be made at time of pick-up.

If you expect in advance to be late picking up your camper, and they are not in After-Camp, please contact the Summer Camp Staff before 4:00 p.m. ET at (202) 633-2267.

You must come down to the After-Camp room and sign your child out.

While we understand that emergencies arise from time to time, repeated tardiness is difficult to accommodate and unfair to the child. If tardiness is not remedied, you may be asked to discontinue with the program.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at