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University of Michigan Museum of Natural History opens registration for online summer camp

Four differently themed sessions available through July and August

Visit the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History through its Museum@Home website.
Visit the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History through its Museum@Home website. (Sarah M. Parlette)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History will not be able to hold its usual in-person summer camp program this year. Instead, staff is working to bring the museum to its campers.

The “Home Explorers” summer camp has four one week long sessions beginning in early July, and is open to students grades 1-6 for $125 per session.

“It’s a whole new adventure for us,” says Camp Director Brittany Burgess about the switch to a digital platform.

The new online program includes virtual meetings with camp counselors and other campers, live educational activities, and activities for the family to participate in together. Each session has a different theme, from a “solar system safari” to a week dedicated to fossils.

One of the major goals of the program is to recreate the experience of a traditional science camp at home.

“There’s been a lot of prep work going into this,” Burgess said. “We’re thinking a lot about what activities kids can do without parental help.”

Even though campers won’t be meeting in person, they’ll still each get a camp shirt and crafts to complete the activities from home. The new program will take advantage of both pre-recorded videos and live broadcasts of councilors in the museum’s galleries. Burgess said: “They’ll still get to see and experience the gallery, even when they’re not here.”

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The majority of crafting materials are included with registration, and the museum is providing contactless pick-up for parents the week before sessions begin.

The shift to online has had a few benefits. “We have had interest from families out of state,” Burgess said, “this is allowing more kids in different locations to participate.”

Families interested in registering can find more information on the museum’s website here.

Contact the camp office for questions about long-distance sign up.