Discover Your Child’s Summer Adventure
Camps at the Virginia Discovery Museum embody all that summer should be: exploration and fun! After hosting virtual camps in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VDM is transitioning back to in-person camps for children 4 and older for 2021. The Museum will remain closed for general admission visits during camp days, and campers will have the opportunity to explore a range of STEAM-focused topics; gain confidence through engaging, hands-on projects; and interact with other kids in a small, safe, and socially-distanced setting with our fully vaccinated staff. 2021 Summer Camp registration opens at 9:00 a.m. on March 22.
Details | 2021 Camps | COVID Procedures | FAQs | Contact
Chess Mates Mini Camp (Virtual)
June 21-23 | 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | Ages 6-10
Learn the timeless game of chess with guest coach Aaron Osborne, the current No. 1 Class C player in Virginia! Chess Mates is open to players 6 and older of all skill levels, and students will be divided into one of three 1-hour Zoom sessions (9:00-10:00 a.m., 10:00-11:00 a.m., or 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) based on age and experience. Beginners will have the opportunity to work on basic mechanics and gameplay while more experienced players work on skills development. Students will have the opportunity to play against others participating in their same time slot using the free Lichess platform. The instructor will follow up with all registrants ahead of the first class with session times and rosters.
Camp: $85/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Space: 16 Kids. Camp Requires Internet Access & Webcam. Register By: June 6.
Fossil Hunters (In-Person) - CAMP FULL
June 28-July 2 | 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. | Ages 4-8
Travel back in time to explore the history of life on Earth through fossils! Dig, construct, experiment, and create as we learn about our planet’s past.
Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Register By: June 13.
Upcycle Adventures (In-Person) - CAMP FULL
July 12-16 | 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. | Ages 4-8
Reduce, reuse, and recycle! Join us on an upcycle adventure filled with crafty creations, earth-friendly art, and science challenges as we discover how to give new life to old materials and transform them into something new.
Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Register By: June 27.
Mystery & Magic (In-Person) - CAMP FULL
July 26-30 | 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. | Ages 4-8
Calling all super-sleuths and mini magicians: Solve mysteries and create magic through science! From invisible ink to magic milk and fingerprint forensics to wizarding wands, join us as we explore STEAM concepts with a sprinkle of “sorcery”.
Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Register By: July 11.
Color Quest (In-Person)
August 9-13 | 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. | Ages 4-8
Join the VDM staff over the rainbow! Embark on a colorful quest through radiant reds, gentle greens, vivid violets, and every hue in between as we explore the color spectrum through STEAM.
Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Register By: July 25.
- All campers must participate in a temperature check, and parents/guardians must answer a short verbal questionnaire (see below) during Check-In (see below).
- All campers must wear a mask. If a camper does not have a mask, one will be provided for them.
- All campers are encouraged to social distance while in the Museum, but this will not be enforced.
- No food or drink is allowed in the Museum, except water.
- Lunches must be packed and placed in designated cubbies in the Museum’s coat room.
Prior to your child’s camp, please review the following questionnaire, which families will be asked at Check-In. In the past 14 days, have you:
- Been directed to quarantine, isolate, or self-monitor?
- Been diagnosed with or have had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Experienced a fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
- Resided with or been in close contact with any person in the above-mentioned categories?
If you or anyone in your family answered “yes” to any of these questions, your child will not be permitted entry into the Museum. If you have any questions about any of VDM’s policies and procedures, please feel free to contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 977-1025 x102.
Check-In & Check-Out Procedure
- 9:00-9:30 a.m.: Arrival & Check-In. (This will take place in the Museum’s front lobby area.)
- All campers must check in and submit to a temperature check.
- All campers must wear a mask for the duration of camp.
- Parents/Guardians will not be permitted beyond the lobby area.
- Parents/Guardians will initial COVID questionnaire grid.
- 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Camp Activities
- 12:00-12:45 p.m.: Lunch. (This will take place outside at a designated spot near the Museum.)
- 12:45-1:00 p.m.: Pick-Up & Check-Out. (Parents/Guardians will wait in the lobby area or outside the Museum, and the camper will be walked up by a staff member or volunteer.)
- All visitors must exit the Museum by 1:00 p.m. to allow for the arrival of the daily cleaning crew.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will VDM be open for general admission during camps?
No, VDM will remain closed for general admission visits during camp days.
Who else will be in the Museum during camps?
At least two VDM staff members will be present during every camp. All staff members and any volunteers who will be in the building have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will be wearing masks.
How often will the Museum be cleaned during the camp season?
A crew will be on site daily following camp to clean and sanitize. All visitors must exit the Museum by 1:00 p.m. before the cleaners arrive.
Registration & Waitlists
What is required to be eligible for camp?
Children must be at least 4 years old and independent in the bathroom by the start of camp.
What if the camp I want to participate in has filled?
All 2021 Summer Camps have a maximum capacity of 12 children. If you have an interest in a camp that is full, please contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at email@example.com or (434) 977-1025 x102 to have your child’s name added to a camp waitlist. In the event of a cancellation, those on the waitlist will be contacted in the order their requests were received.
Does the Museum offer financial assistance for camps?
In accordance with the Museum’s mission, VDM does offer scholarships for select educational programs, including Summer Camps, on a limited basis. For information about applying for a scholarship, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 977-1025 x102.
How do I apply my 10% annual member discount?
To apply this discount to camp registrations made online, you will need to create a Website User Account and link it to your membership record by following these instructions. If you have already created a Website User Account, click the registration link for the camp you wish to register for and sign in using the link at the top of the registration page. If you need help applying your 10% discount when using our online registration forms, please contact Marketing Manager Matt Berman at email@example.com.
How do I set up my Website User Account?
Did I successfully link my Website User Account and membership?
Contact Marketing Manager Matt Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll make sure everything is all set.
Cancellations & Refunds
What is VDM's cancellation and refund policy for camps?
A minimum of 6 campers is required for a Summer Camp to run. If a camp is canceled by the Museum due to insufficient enrollment or other extenuating circumstances, the registration fee will be refunded to all registrants.
Individual cancellations must be made at least 2 weeks before the start of the corresponding camp to be eligible for a refund. Individual cancellations must be received by email to email@example.com. If an individual cancellation causes the camp roster to fall below the required minimum, the refund will be contingent upon the vacancy being filled. If an individual cancellation is made within two weeks of the start of the corresponding camp or a camper fails to pass Check-In health procedures, a deposit of $50 will be forfeited. No refunds will be issued after a camp begins.
Does VDM provide food or should I pack something for my child?
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum does not provide any food. Families are asked to pack nut-free lunches each day to help us maintain a nut-free environment for our friends with food allergies.
Where can I park to drop off and pick up my child?
VDM validates parking for Museum visitors at the Market Street Garage and Water Street Garage. Both locations provide the first hour of parking for free, and Museum guests receive an additional hour of free parking – for a total of two hours – when they request a validation ticket at VDM’s front desk.
To learn more about Summer Camps, visit Camps FAQs or contact Education Manager Frankie Szynskie at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about applying for a camp scholarship, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at email@example.com.