A Day At Camp


So what is a day of Camp like at Discover Science Center?

As our campers arrive, activities are out for them to explore independently or in small groups while we wait for everyone to get here. Some kids will investigate our saltwater tanks or feed the turtles, others will color or draw and some will play LEGO or start a game of Spot It.

Depending on the size of camp, we may split into two age groups. The older campers are led up the sidewalk to our STEM Lab, and the younger campers hang out in the Science Center. If it is a small group, we all work together in the Science Center.

We always start with introductions and a name game where Camp Leaders and each kid gets to tell everyone a little bit about themselves. We go over rules and expectations for camp, and create  lab notebooks. Lab notebooks are camp scrapbooks the kids use to write notes and draw pictures about what we did in camp. Without them realizing it, we try to get them to practice their handwriting skills, and for the young ones, it is a good way to work on their fine motor skills.

We start our first of four Science Activities of the day. We specialize in hands-on science, so the kids are actually doing the experiments, not just watching someone do them. All of our Science Activities are developed by scientists and educators to engage the kids and encourage them to experiment and ask questions as they learn. It often results in a big, fun mess (we are always making messes).

During our morning snack break, the kids have time for free play. We recognize play is critically important for children’s development, learning and socialization skills, plus camp is about having fun, so we spend time making sure the kids get time to play and get their energy out. They often work together to design and build forts, make tops out of LEGO and challenge each other to a spin off, pull out the Snap Circuits kits, or see who can build the highest tower of cups.

Once our snack break is over, the kids get out their lab notebooks so we can start our second Science Activity. We invite the kids to draw pictures or write notes in their notebooks so they can remember what we did when they show their parents at the end of camp.

Around noon we clean up and have lunch. Again, they have free time to play or continue to work on a project they started earlier. Some kids read books from our library, others play games. If kids happen to bring a device to play with, this is one of two times during the day they can use them.

After lunch, we usually go outside if the weather permits. Both age groups meet at the grassy area across our parking lot, and we set up our boundaries and let the kids play tag, or sharks and minnows or what ever other game they come up with. Depending on our day, we try to keep them playing outside for about 60 minutes. On rainy days we will extend the free time inside to let them get some extra energy out.

In the afternoon, we complete two additional Science Activities with an afternoon snack break in between. About 4:00pm we do a group clean up. The kids help put all projects away, sweep the floor, wipe the tables, and get organized. Once that is done, the kids can play games, use their devices, draw or color until their parents pick them up. At the end of camp, the kids make sure they have all of their projects and lab notebooks to bring home and share with you.​

camp schedule

Times are approximate.

8:00    Extended-day camper early arrival

8:30    Camper arrival and free play

9:00    Age groups separate, if necessary

9:15     Introductions and Lab Notebooks

9:30    Science Activity 1  

10:30   Morning snack and free play 

11:00    Science Activity 2

12:00   Lunch and free play

12:30   Outside play

1:30     Science Activity 3 

2:30    Afternoon snack and free play 

3:00    Science Activity 4

4:00    Clean up

4:30    Camper pick up

5:30    Extended-day camper pick up