Camps are back for a Summer of fun and learning
The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia is excited to offer a fun and engaging summer of camps for ages 6 – 11 sponsored by AFLAC! These week-long camps focus on a different subject each day including natural history, astronomy, art, S.T.E.A.M and more. Camps are available all summer long in June, July and August.
Registration Now Open
|6-8 Year Old Members||9-11 Year Old Members|
Not a member? Join Today!
Choose Your Camps
Camps are listed below by age group, click the corresponding tab to see a full list of camp descriptions and dates.
June 5-9 or July 17-21
Fun awaits in cosmic proportions as we explore all things space! This week we’ll learn about our solar system, the twinkling stars, and distant galaxies through engaging activities that put the universe in your hands. Along the way we’ll create our own constellations, build our own Milky Way, and construct our own comets.
June 12-16 or July 24-28
Whatever would we do without telephones, wheels, and zippers? During this week of tinkering and problem-solving, campers will not only learn about revolutionary inventions that changed our everyday lives but will also try their hand at creating their own! And after a week of world-changing new inventions, students will show off their creations at a mini-museum “World’s Fair.” Who knows? Maybe your camper will create the next light bulb!
June 19-23 or July 31 – Aug. 4
Between Baymax, Mars rovers, and even automatic doors, robots are everywhere! Three days of screen-free activities will teach campers the difference between robots and mechanical creations, allow them to try out coding and binary, and help them tackle the linear processes robots must follow. The last two days of camp we will be diving into some screen time as they learn about block coding! Your camper will work with HexBugs, Ozobots, Dash, Dot, and more!
I’m All Booked Up!
June 26-30 or August 7-11
Nestled within the pages of beloved picture books is a summer camp focused on literacy and fostering a love of reading. Campers will experience ten unique and exciting children’s books as we let their imaginations shine in a series of creative activities. From designing wearable mermaid and dragon tails to creating collages that highlight the biggest dreams of our littlest campers – we’re all booked up for a week of awesome fun!
Can YOU Believe it?!
Can we take pictures without a camera? Can we keep an egg from cracking? Can water be moved without being touched? These questions and more will be answered in this fact or fiction camp where students will put their investigative skills to use. Experiments and creative projects abound as campers learn to harness their curiosity and try new things that will have them saying, “can YOU believe it?”
June 5-9 or July 17-21 The sun is warm, and the sound of waves comes to your ears. You blink sand from your eyes only to find…you’re alone, and you don’t recognize the beach you’ve washed up on. You’re stranded! This week, you’ll learn how to survive being lost in the wilderness by building shelter, figuring out what’s safe to eat, and maybe even designing a life raft to sail you home! Are you up for the challenge?
To the Planetarium…and Beyond
June 12-16 or July 24-28
Have you ever dreamed of flying through space, exploring our own solar system and the stars beyond? This week, you’ll learn about the universe by journeying through it in our digital state-of-the-art planetarium. You’ll create a model of the solar system, construct a folding version of the James Webb Space Telescope, and design your own planetarium presentation for your friends and family!
Pirates of the Carolinas
June 19-23 or July 31 – Aug. 4
Set sail on the high seas and keep a weather eye out for hidden treasure! Campers will follow in the footsteps of Captain Finn Smith, aka “The Shark” to learn the truth about pirates and acquire the skills necessary to survive a pirate’s life. Making and decoding treasure maps, designing pirate attire, and building sea-worthy ships will prepare campers to seek out the booty that Captain Finn hid somewhere in this very museum.
All Powered Up
June 26-30 or August 7-11
Are you powered up? Campers will learn how robots talk, how they move, and most importantly, how they think. Two days of screen-free activities will give campers time to learn the nuances of robotics and coding. Handling LittleBits, Ozobots, Sphero, Dash, and more will get your campers charged up for a week of fun!
Get ready to shake up family game night! Campers will show off their ingenuity in this exciting week of imaginative design! Creating puzzles, coding adventures, and building new worlds, students will plan, develop, and imagine their own games that they can take home to play with friends and family!
Hours & Pricing
$225 per camper per week
$275 with Extended Day
Not a member? Join Today!
$180 per camper per week
$220 with Extended Day
Not a member? Join Today!
Drop Off: 8 – 8:30 a.m.
Camp: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Pick-up: 3 – 3:30 p.m.
Extended Day: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Ext. Day Pick-up: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Please make sure to read our camp policies and procedures.
- Morning Drop-off and Afternoon Pick-up are located at the SIDE of the building, where the planetarium is located. Doors will be open at 8 a.m.
- Special Camp Phone Number! The museum is closed on Mondays and before 10am Tues-Fri. If you need to contact the SCSM Camp Team please text or call (803) 528-2706. For all inquiries regarding membership, payments, adding extended day or day-of camp, please call Group Visits at (803)898-4999.
- Mondays: On Mondays we will ask you to verify your camper’s security information for the week. Please give yourself a little extra time on Mondays so that we can make sure your camper is totally safe and secure with us here at the South Carolina State Museum.
- Late drop-off may cause your camper to miss activities. We’ll do our best to get them caught up but we may not be able to adjust our schedule every time. We are also unable to repeat activities missed due to absenteeism. At 3:31pm campers will be considered part of the Extended Day Camp and charged for the entire week (summer camp does not have a single day charge option).
- Please avoid picking up campers between 2:30-3pm as we are in the middle of activities at that time. If you arrive between 2:30-3pm you will be asked if pick-up is immediate or if the camper can finish their current activity.
SCSM knows caregivers are very busy and sometimes picking up your camper right at 3pm can be difficult. We are happy to offer a fun and entertaining Extended Day Camp where students can continue to explore the museum and participate in activities until 5:30pm. Extended Day is an additional weekly cost.
Each camper is expected to bring their own non-perishable, non-microwavable lunch and at least one snack (two if they are staying for Extended Day).
- The museum is not be able to refrigerate or microwave any meals.
- The museum will not provide snacks.
- The museum is not able to take campers to the café for lunch.
- Campers are not supposed to share food unless related and one lunch is packed for both of them.
- If you are dropping lunches off late in the day you can take them to admissions. They’ll get in touch with camp and we will take the lunch to the appropriate student.
- All campers MUST have a lunch every time they come to camp. Even if your camper is “not a big eater” they must have food and will be provided the opportunity to eat.
- Please make sure lunch boxes are easily identifiable. The museum is not responsible for mixed-up lunch boxes.
- Please make sure your camper can distinguish between their lunch and snack. If they eat their lunch during snack and are hungry again during our actual lunch time, we will have to call you to bring additional food.
- Campers should all wear close-toed shoes.
- We recommend a light jacket because some of the exhibits can be cold.
- A free camp t-shirt will be provided every Monday. All campers must wear their camp shirts every single day for security reasons. Additional shirts may be purchased at the Front Desk for $10.
Lunch, a separate snack (two if staying for Extended Day), and an eagerness to learn! SCSM will provide all learning materials. Please keep all electronics (including cell phones), personal toys, stuffed animals, and blankets at home. Please keep large backpacks at home unless absolutely necessary.
Electronics and Cell Phones:
It is our policy that electronics should stay home unless medically necessary. Schools and camps across the country are always struggling with this issue and we know different camps have different policies. At SCSM, we are committed to each and every student and making sure they are valued and known. We believe in the importance of our shared community and engaging together socially and academically. In order to get the most out of camp, they need to engage with us and their peers. Access to cell phones, texts, and social media magnifies behaviors and attitudes that harm inclusion and acceptance which are key tenets of a healthy and joyful camp experience.
If you’d like to see your child face-to-face:
- Present your photo ID and it will be checked against the Authorized Pick-up list.
- Camper will be brought out to you
- For the safety and security of other campers, adults who are not camp staff are not permitted to visit the classrooms.
If you’d like to speak with your child during the day:
- Call or text the camp cell phone: (803)239-9380
- We’ll get to your camper as quickly as possible and give them the phone
If you’d simply like a midday update, please let us know and we will do our absolute best to do that when we have a moment.
If your camper is sick or you need to reschedule, the following applies:
- A written cancellation request must be sent and received by firstname.lastname@example.org two weeks or more before the scheduled camp in order to receive a refund.
- No refunds will be issued for cancellations made with less than two weeks’ notice.
- If rescheduling is preferred, it is subject to space availability.
- The South Carolina State Museum reserves the right to reschedule or cancel any activity. A refund will be given if the museum cancels a camp.
- Any camper who becomes physically ill during camp will immediately be sent home.
- Campers who test positive for Covid-19, strep, or any other communicable disease will be given the opportunity to reschedule. If there is no availability, a refund will be given.
- The South Carolina State Museum is not able to issue a refund or reschedule partial weeks or single days of camp.
For the safety of all campers, adults are not permitted to participate in SCSM camp activities. We recommend a quick hug at drop-off, an excited hug at pick-up, and avoiding “visiting” during the day, especially for new campers. Adults will not be permitted to visit classrooms during the day. Campers will be brought out to you once ID and authorization have been verified. Please see below for information on Educational Aids.
This does not only have to be disabilities. If a family member is away on a work trip it may cause a camper to be more emotional. If grandma is in town they may be staying up really late and eating tons of junk food, which might make them super sleepy at camp. Whatever it may be – there are times when campers are just in situations that make life different. We love to know what might be going on so we can best serve every child. We all handle things differently as well, so any tips you want to give us on how to work with your child are also welcomed.
The museum and its classrooms are equipped with many things to make sure everyone can explore and have a great time! Please let us know if your camper will have any special requirements prior to your visit. Some of the tools we have include wheelchairs, noise canceling headphones, sensory/fidget bags, sensory seat pads, family restrooms, first aid, and assistive listening devices for shows. All camp staff are CPR/First Aid certified and have first aid kits on them at all times.
Educational Aids are welcome! The State Museum is not setup for 1:1 care and we do encourage educational aids to attend camp for anyone who may need it. All educational aids and assistants must be approved at least 2 weeks prior to camp.
If you have a camper with an educational aid, the following must happen prior to attending camp:
- They must be able to show proof of certification in the state of South Carolina.
- They must also be able to show proof of having passed a background check in their organization and provide their certifying organization’s contact information.
- Must pass a state background check through the SC State Museum (this can sometimes take a few weeks).
- If they are also allowed to take the child home they must be listed on the Authorized Pickup List.
Individuals who count as an educational aide include:
- Personal care attendants
- Registered behavior technicians
- Behavior therapists
- Special Education Teachers
- Special Education Teaching Assistants
- Respite care attendants
- ASL interpretive guides
- Visual impairment guides
- Each camp age group (6-8yrs and 9-11yrs) will have a room dedicated to them.
- This year the museum we will be back in our regular classrooms.
- Both groups of students will be brought together as one large group at times. This includes: Lunch, Planetarium Shows, 4D Shows, and during our Extended Day Camp program.
- Rooms will be sanitized at the end of each day.
- Campers will be attending 4D and planetarium shows at the same time as general visitors this year. Campers will be separated on their own rows, but general visitors will most likely be in the same room.
- Campers will be exploring the museum while general admission guests are here. We will have signs letting people know campers are in the exhibitions and we will encourage them to visit the exhibition after we have left. However, we cannot control every area and campers may at times be in the same areas as general visitors.
SCSM Educators take professional development and training classes in the following areas:
- CPR/First Aid certification with the American Heart Association
- Autism 101 with SC Autism
- Accessibility Training with a focus on autism, ADHD, and anxiety with the Behavior Co. ABA Behavior Therapy
- Security and emergency safety protocols
- Exhibition Interpretation/Tours
- DSS/Mandated Reporter Training
- Maintaining a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive classroom environment
- Classroom management with a focus on Montessori, Reggio, Maker, and Curiosity Approach learning styles