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Summer Camps

Ignite your childs’ natural curiosity through the power of PLAY in an awe-inspiring environment!

Camp Overview

Join us for an awe-inspiring summer filled with opportunities for children to use their curiosity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity! Choose one day or all of the days of our interactive day camps or secure our 3-day camps. They will all be a summer highlight!

The details

Each camp will have the opportunity to engage in specific programming topics for the group.  Opportunities for exploration of the Museum environment and programs will be a part of each experience.  The CMSM Community Room will be “Camp Central” and campers will be able to engage together as a group in that space for directly supervised experiences created for each camp.    

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota education team consists of highly qualified and trained program educators. The team is lead by Minnesota Licensed Educators. These educators work closely to imagine and facilitate experiences that are engaging, unique, developmentally appropriate and fun for the campers.

Age Group

The child has or will be finishing Kindergarten - 4th grade in the 23-24 school year.

Cost

$70 per day camp
$210 per 3-day camp in August

Times

8:50 - 9:00 AM Camper Drop Off
9:00 AM - 3:50 PM: Camp Time
3:50 - 4:00 PM: Camper Pick Up

Camp DAtes

July 9

Tech Tinkerers Camp - Do you have a “tinkerer” who is always wondering how things work or what is inside simple electronics? In this camp, kids will be able to create and innovate, take things apart and collaborate. Campers will work with simple tools to create projects. Campers will get a special inside look at how we create exhibits at CMSM. Kids will explore robot, circuits, and coding to round out the day. This Camp experience includes activities focused around S.T.E.A.M., active play indoors and outdoors, games, literacy, and our awe-inspiring Museum environment!

July 10

Sew Much Fun - Come and sew with us! This camp is for all skill levels! Have a child that likes to sew, needlepoint, weave, crochet, or just be creative? Kids with little or no sewing experience will learn some basic sewing skills. This camp experience will offer the opportunity to explore a number of different sewing and needle techniques. Join us to meet and learn about the "Okies" sewing team who create all of our sewn materials at CMSM. Different presenters that will share their talents. Students will create projects such as pillow cases, fleece blankets, felted activities and much more! Each day includes activities focused around S.T.E.A.M., active play indoors and outdoors, games, literacy, all in our awe-inspiring Museum environment!

July 11

Whirlwind Explorations Camp - Campers will be "blown away" with the opportunity to explore all things "up in the air"! Join special guests from 3M to explore how things fly, rocket building, pop bottle launches, chemical reactions, sail boat races, parachutes, wind chimes and so much more! Children will use loose parts to direct wind, create wind tunnels, and to experiment with which materials fly better than others. This camp is very hands on and campers will participate in S.T.E.A.M. based inquires and creative creations. This Camp experience includes activities focused around active play, games, literacy, in our awe-inspiring Museum environment.

July 23

Pollinator Camp - Monarchs, larva, pupas and frass (if you don't know what these are, the campers sure will learn!) If you have a camper that would love to be hands-on with all things in our Butterfly House and Pollinator gardens they will want to be a part of this experience! Campers will become citizen scientists as they learn about ways to conserve and support pollinators in our local community. The goals is to foster an early awareness of environmental issues and the interdependence of living organisms. Each group will take part in the Monarch Larvae Monitoring Program. Campers will help to collect and record data used by Monarch Joint Venture and the University of Wisconsin- Madison to determine patterns, trends, and success rates of our the Monarchs on our Museum campus. Each Camp day includes activities focused around S.T.E.A.M., active play indoors and outdoors, games, literacy, and our awe-inspiring Museum environment!

July 24

Pollinator Camp - Monarchs, larva, pupas and frass (if you don't know what these are, the campers sure will learn!) If you have a camper that would love to be hands-on with all things in our Butterfly House and Pollinator gardens they will want to be a part of this experience! Campers will become citizen scientists as they learn about ways to conserve and support pollinators in our local community. The goals is to foster an early awareness of environmental issues and the interdependence of living organisms. Each group will take part in the Monarch Larvae Monitoring Program. Campers will help to collect and record data used by Monarch Joint Venture and the University of Wisconsin- Madison to determine patterns, trends, and success rates of our the Monarchs on our Museum campus. Each Camp day includes activities focused around S.T.E.A.M., active play indoors and outdoors, games, literacy, and our awe-inspiring Museum environment!

July 25

Pollinator Camp - Monarchs, larva, pupas and frass (if you don't know what these are, the campers sure will learn!) If you have a camper that would love to be hands-on with all things in our Butterfly House and Pollinator gardens they will want to be a part of this experience! Campers will become citizen scientists as they learn about ways to conserve and support pollinators in our local community. The goals is to foster an early awareness of environmental issues and the interdependence of living organisms. Each group will take part in the Monarch Larvae Monitoring Program. Campers will help to collect and record data used by Monarch Joint Venture and the University of Wisconsin- Madison to determine patterns, trends, and success rates of our the Monarchs on our Museum campus. Each Camp day includes activities focused around S.T.E.A.M., active play indoors and outdoors, games, literacy, and our awe-inspiring Museum environment!

August 20, 21, 22

Innovators In Action- Robotics - Robots, machines, coding and more! This camp explores how different robots work and what it takes to make them follow commands. Opportunities abound to explore loose parts and create, collaborate, and decorate. This hands-on experience gives your child an opportunity to be innovative in their thinking! This three day Camp experience includes many different activities focused around S.T.E.A.M., active play indoors and outdoors, games, literacy, and our awe-inspiring Museum environment!

August 27, 28, 29

Sproutin' Up Camp - This camp offers a full garden to table experience teaching campers how food is grown, harvested, and ready for the table. Campers will prepare nutritious and fun recipes with produce from the CMSM gardens. We will also explore the Prairie Gardens around our campus. In the culminating event, Campers prepare their own Farm To Table Meal Event! This three day experience includes activities focused around S.T.E.A.M., active play indoors and outdoors, games, literacy, and our awe-inspiring Museum environment!

A Day at Summer Camp

Drop-off and pick up Information:

DROP-OFF occurs at our Kato Engineering School Group Entrance at 224 Lamm St.  A Museum Staff will be at the door starting at 8:50 a.m. You may not drop off a child and leave them at the door if no staff member is present. You can pull up outside at the bus drop off and wait until you see a staff member present. Camp staff will escort your camper inside. Staff will wait there for drop off until 9:05. 

If you arrive past the time a staff member is able to wait at the drop off door you will have to bring your child into the Museum and check-in at the front desk so they can contact staff to come get your camper. 

PICK-UP will be at the Kato Engineering School Group Entrance at 224 Lamm St. All campers and staff will be gathered by that door for pick up for 10 minutes before the scheduled end of the camp.  Please do not come into CMSM through the front doors for pick up unless prior arrangements have been made. 

What should my child bring to camp?

Please have all personal items labeled with the child’s name. Although we do our best to encourage each camper to keep their belongings together, The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please make sure you bring ONLY what your child needs each day.

In a labeled bag/backpack please provide:
  • Change of clothes
  • Reusable water bottle with first and last name
  • Lunch
  • Light jacket or sweatshirt, expect that we will be going outside every day at camp
The following items will not be permitted:
  • Personal electronics and/or valuable, cherished items
  • Mobile phones –  use during camp is NOT permitted – if you need to reach your child during camp for an emergency, please call front desk at 507.344.9109 
  • Toys (unless requested for a specific camp experience)
What should my child wear to camp?

Each camper will receive a CMSM Curiosity Camp T-shirt to wear while they are at camp.  This shirt will go over the clothes they are wearing.  Every camper must have the t-shirt on while they are attending shirt for identification purposes.  Campers will receive a clean t-shirt when they arrive each day and we will take them to wash at the end of each camp day. 

Campers should wear clothes that they can be comfortable in and explore in all of our environments.  Closed shoes are best for playing in the Museum. Sandals or flip flops are not recommended.  We will be climbing, going outside for each camp and we will be interacting with water and elements of nature. 

We also recommend sunscreen; if you would like your child to wear sunscreen/bug spray, please apply before dropping off your camper in the morning.  Staff will not be able to apply sunscreen/bug spray for campers.

Curiostiy Camp Policies and FAQ

We do NOT provide lunch for campers; please send a packed lunch with your camper(s). Lunches must be packed and stored in a lunch box that will keep the lunch cool or warm as needed. No refrigerator or microwave will be available. We will provide an afternoon snack. You are more than welcome to provide your own daily snack if you’d like. Camp snacks will consist of items in individually pre-packaged boxes or bags for each camp attendee.

In order to protect the health of all campers and staff, The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota has implemented a Communicable Management policy, which incorporates guidelines and recommendations provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Alliance of Camp Health.  Children must be kept at home when showing signs of the beginning of an illness or contagious disease, or when feeling too ill to participate in an educational setting. We expect caregivers to communicate with us regarding any communicable illness or infection so that we may notify all caregivers of our campers. These conditions include but are not limited to: pink eye; chicken pox; measles; mumps; strep throat; or lice. If a child develops a fever of 100.0°F or higher, vomits, or has two loose stools while at camp, the caregiver will be called to pick them up.

If my camper becomes ill or is sent home sick for the week, will there be a refund?

No. It is the policy of The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota to not issue full or partial refunds based on the health of a child. By visiting CMSM you voluntarily assume all risks related to any potential infectious or contagious disease, including but not limited to COVID-19.

What are your policies about distributing medicine?

We cannot administer or store any prescription or over-the-counter medication. If a child takes a daily medication, the caregiver is expected to administer it before or after camp. Epi pens can be stored in the camp instructor’s backpack and will be given only if necessary. A certified doctor’s order must accompany the Epi Pen. 

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota education team consists of highly qualified and trained program educators. The team is led by Licensed Educators. These Educators work closely to imagine and facilitate experiences that are engaging, unique, developmentally appropriate and fun for the campers. At least two-three team members (depending on which camp) will always be actively present with the children.  Our typical instructor-to-camper ratios are 1:8 for kids 5-11 years and 1:6 for kids 4-5 years.

Camp fees include a $50 non-refundable fee per camp. If the camp you are registered for is canceled by CMSM, you will be refunded your tuition in full. Please Note: Registration funds may not serve as credit for another CMSM camp or program, and camp sessions are not transferable to other campers.

Most direct communication for camp will be through email or phone. Please make sure that when you register your child, you include the email and phone number for the person who will be the main contact for the camper during their time at CMSM. Please expect a confirmation email after you register that will share details needed for the day. Please always check your junk email to make sure that communication from CMSM hasn’t been sent there. 

Additional communication will be shared at pickup, or via email. Please feel free to reach out to our camp staff with other questions via email or phone.

Cell phones, video games, and other personal electronic devices can easily become distractions at camp, so we ask that you please keep these items at home. If your child does bring a cell phone to camp, they will not be permitted to use it during the camp day. If there is an emergency and you need to reach your child, please contact the camp staff.

Our first priority is the safety of our Guests and Staff. Behavior and Discipline procedures in place are to ensure camper safety and allow for healthy learning environments, providing

The following unwanted behaviors may result in the temporary or permanent removal of a camper from a Curiosity Camp:

  • Endangering the health (mental and physical) and safety of children and/or staff
  • Use of profanity, vulgarity, or obscenity (hostile or offensive language)
  • Refusing to follow behavior guidelines or camp rules; disrupting a program
  • Destruction or theft of Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota or personal property belonging to others

CMSM staff will contact the registered caregiver as needed to work through a plan that can support all involved parties if needed

Curiosity Camps are proudly presented by the Xcel Energy Foundation.