FAQ

Nature Adventures™ camps are designed to provide children with opportunities to experiment, experience, and observe the natural world around them, while engaging in the scientific process.

Masks are optional for camps. If your child is not feeling well, please consider that impact on the camp and all participants.

Discover answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • Hands-on, Minds-on and Hearts-on: No matter what the topic, by weaving together science, art and literature in fun learning activities, Nature Adventures™ ensures that our camps are Hands-on, Minds-on and Hearts-on. Your child will learn while having fun, and even better, they will discover that learning is fun.
  • Science: All camps are science-focused and designed in collaboration with multiple on-site experts. Campers will use their senses and other science tools to make discoveries about the natural world.
  • Time Outside: No matter what the camp topic, we want to spend as much time as possible outside. As a general rule, if the activity can be done outside, it will take place outside. Games, nature exploration, experiments and free time mean that campers spend a minimum of 3 hours outside each day.
  • Rest for 4–6 year old campers: To make certain this camp day is the perfect length for our youngest campers, we have a quiet rest time after lunch. This is the campers' chance to relax and recharge while they listen to stories.

All campers must be signed in and out every day of camp by either a parent, guardian, or any other authorized adult. Information for authorized adults can be input in Ultracamp. Any adult picking up a camper must provide identification before Museum staff release the camper.

We know that your child will have the most fun and learn most easily when they are in a safe and caring environment. That is why it is important to us to keep our child to adult ratios low. We provide ratios that are among the lowest of any camp in Santa Barbara because we know that lower ratios ensure more frequent, quality interactions between teachers and individual children. We will have two counselors for every session (8 children:1 adult), plus Counselors in Training and VolunTEENS will lower the ratio.

No, parents are not allowed to remain in the classroom during class or camp hours. Nature Adventures™ programs are designed as youth rather than family programs, supervised by education professionals, which aim to promote independent learning and socialization.

It is important to realize that most children quickly adjust and do just fine without a parent present. If you feel that your child is unable to remain in camp without you, it may be best to wait a year before you send them to camp. Limiting a parent’s involvement with camp allows the child to focus on their own growth, limits distractions, encourages group interaction, and supports effective instruction to ensure a high-quality experience. Please keep in mind that all the camp staff have experience and interest in working with children and will strive to make camp the best experience possible for your child. If an issue or concern should arise with your child, the Lead Instructor, Camp Manager, or Education Director will contact you as soon as possible.

Camps at the Sea Center

Your child should bring the following items to camps at the Sea Center:

  • Comfortable clothes that they can move around in and get dirty, tear, stain, etc. Good sturdy, closed-toed shoes they can play in without hurting their feet are recommended. Shoes with extra traction are highly recommended. Crocs are highly discouraged. Pack an extra pair of socks, underwear, shorts, and a t-shirt in case clothes become too wet during beach explorations. 
  • A shorts and camp shirt combo works best for all camp activities, including beach explorations. No bikini or bathing suits are needed for activities at the Sea Center. 
  • Towel 
  • Healthy lunch, drink, and snack 
  • A backpack to carry belongings 
  • Full water bottle 
  • Hat and waterproof sunblock (pre-applied) 

Camps at the SB Museum of Natural History

Your child should bring the following items to camps at the SB Museum of Natural History:

  • Comfortable clothes that they can move around in and get dirty, tear, stain, etc. Good sturdy, closed-toed shoes they can play in without hurting their feet are recommended. Shoes with extra traction are highly recommended. Crocs are highly discouraged. Pack an extra pair of socks, underwear, shorts, and a t-shirt in case clothes become too wet during creek explorations. 
  • Healthy lunch, drink, and snack 
  • A backpack to carry belongings 
  • Full water bottle 
  • Hat and waterproof sunblock (pre-applied) 

Anything valuable! Electronics, trading cards, money, or anything else of value should be left at home in order to ensure the safety of your child's belongings, as well as their safety and participation in group activities. No Heelies/Heelys, roller blades, Crocs, or flip-flops are allowed at camp.

We encourage you to write your child’s name on clothing, water bottles, and any items they might bring to one of our programs. If you believe that one of your child’s belongings may be in the lost-and-found, please notify our office staff promptly. Nature Adventures™ will keep items in the lost-and-found for two weeks; after two weeks the lost item will be donated to charity.

Summer camps

Cancellations received before May 15 of the current year by 5:00 PM PST will receive a 75% refund. Cancellations after this date are not eligible for a refund.

For their safety all campers MUST be signed in/out by a parent, guardian, or authorized adult every day. Please bring your ID at check out and present it to the instructor. Please ask your authorized pick-up person to present their ID to the instructor at check out. Campers will be escorted by a camp staff member and at least one other camper anytime they leave their classroom.

Yes! All medications (both over-the-counter and prescribed) must be cleared by the camper’s guardian by filling out the medical information section when registering.

We rarely experience serious disciplinary issues, and participants are kept thoroughly engaged with fun and challenging science activities. However, if a discipline issue arises, we handle it on a case-by-case basis. At first, a staff member will talk with the child to try and resolve the issue. If this does not resolve the issue, the instructor will contact the parent. As a last resort, the child will be removed from the camp and the parent will be asked to pick up their child.

It is important that all campers have a positive and rewarding experience while at camp. In order to ensure the safety and fun for all campers, participants are expected to behave in an acceptable manner and use appropriate language. ANY behavior deemed to be detrimental to or in violation of Nature Adventures™ expectations will be dealt with by the camp staff and/or Director of Education. Unacceptable behavior may include, but is not limited to, any form of intended harm to another camper or staff member, bullying, or any form of aggression.

Any situation that involves distracting other participants or disrupting camp activities (including cell phone usage/game playing) will not be tolerated. It is important to remember that there are NO REFUNDS if a child is asked to leave Nature Adventures™ due to unacceptable behavior. By paying your registration fee in full, you signify that you understand and agree to the Acceptable Behavior Policy.

Nature Adventures™ strives to maintain a healthy environment for our campers and staff. If your child is sick and there is any chance that he or she is contagious, please do not send them to camp. If a camper becomes ill at camp, we will call parents to pick them up.

If a child becomes injured, the instructor will contact the Nature Adventures™ Education office and a member of the staff will contact the parent or guardian. We have first-aid materials on site in various locations around the campus. Additionally, all camp staff are CPR-certified. For serious injury or other conditions that require immediate medical attention, the instructor will call 911 and contact the participant's parent or guardian. Medical personnel will be provided with relevant information, such as allergies, as provided on the health and permission form.

Please call the Museum’s Education Office at 805-682-4711 ext. 136 or the Sea Center’s Education Office at 962-2526 ext. 110, and a staff member will deliver your message to the appropriate person.

This is a Nature Adventures™ option that provides flexibility for parents and kids during camps at the Museum. Extended day campers may be picked up between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Children will be engaged in guided activities with instructors. Activities may not link directly to the camp topic, but they will still be educational and fun. Summer camp extended day is a flat rate of $100 for five-day camps and $75 for four-day camps. We cannot pro-rate for late drop-offs or early pick-ups.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Tax ID number: 95-1643378

  • Morning Camp Check-In: Please plan on driving onto Stearns Wharf, parking on the wharf, and escorting your child inside the Sea Center for camp check-in. Check-in is at 9:00 AM. There is 90 minutes of free parking on Stearns Wharf.  
  • Afternoon Camp Check-Out: Camp pickup will occur between 2:45 and 3:00 PM directly outside the Sea Center. Please plan on driving onto Stearns Wharf and pulling your car into the loading zone adjacent to the Sea Center. Our camp staff will assist in loading campers and their gear directly into your car. There is 90 minutes of free parking on Stearns Wharf.  
  • Extended day campers may check out between 3:00 and 5:00 PM. Please plan on coming inside the Sea Center to check out your extended day camper. 

Nature Adventure camps end promptly at 3:00 PM or 5:00 PM for extended day. Late fees will be assessed as follows:

  • $15 for arrival between 3:01 and 3:05 and an additional $30 for arrival between 3:06 and 3:15. After 3:16, you will be charged $100, which is the weekly, one-time fee for extended day. 
  • If you opted in for extended day, you will be charged a $15 late fee for pick up between 5:01 and 5:05 and an additional $30 for every 15 minutes after this (rounded up). For example, if you pick up your camper at 5:30, you will be charged $60. This