Smithsonian Summer Camp Returns to National Mall in 2022


Smithsonian Associates offers unique learning experiences that spark the imagination and provide great fun during Smithsonian Summer Camp, now offered in-person and online. A wide variety of in-person camps for kids will be held Tuesday, June 21 through Friday, August 19 at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center at 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW COVID-19 Protocols will be monitored and continuously updated in preparation for the summer. The virtual camps will be broadcast via Zoom from Tuesday, July 5 through Friday, August 12. Morning and afternoon online sessions are available. Whether campers join in person or online, museum tours, games, hands-on projects and conversations with experts bring the Smithsonian to life.

In-person camp

Immersive and engaging opportunities to connect with Smithsonian museums and research will be offered to children entering grades one through nine in the fall. The rich and exciting world of the Smithsonian is waiting to be discovered. A diverse, creative, and experienced team of instructors designs age-appropriate content that drives the Smithsonian, its history, and its collections. Nearly 80 camps are offered this year; camps are held Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pre-camp (8 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and post-camp (5 p.m. to 6 p.m.) activities are also available.

For younger campers, museum visits, storytelling, art, science and music are all important parts of fun and learning. Camps such as “Smithsonian Quest”, “Mammal Mania”, “Powerful Pollinators”, “The Age of Dinosaurs”, “Galactic Adventures”, “Paint Potpourri” and “Slimy Science” are specially designed to introduce the world of the Smithsonian to children entering first and second grade.

Back by popular demand, camps are designed for students interested in art, 3D technologies and digital arts. A new “Big Art” camp allows campers (grades 5-7) to exercise colossal creativity by creating collaborative works of art and large-scale sculptures. Visits to museums around the National Mall as well as local art installations on the streets of Washington, DC and at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival are inspiring. Campers can also spend an entire week learning video game design, digital photography, portraiture, architecture, comics, and building 3D environments.

Science adventures are available for all ages. From the deepest oceans to the most distant stars, from the vast Amazonian forest to the smallest garden insect, campers have a scientific universe to discover this summer. The Smithsonian Museums on the Mall, the National Zoo, the Udvar-Hazy Center, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the US Botanic Gardens provide exciting backdrops for all their explorations.

New this year is the two-week camp, “The Room Where It Happened,” which allows campers (grades 7-9) to relive memorable moments by visiting Smithsonian museums to explore events and characters famous in history. Campers create timelines, write and perform skits inspired by historical events, engage in fun research and team-building exercises, as well as drama games and improvisation, to come up with their own versions animated by the best moments in history.

Other camp themes include the solar system, ancient civilizations, geology, ocean life, the Smithsonian “Shark Tank”, “President for a Week”, “Monsters vs. Giant Robots”, and “Hit a Home Run”.

camp online

Live interactive adventures allow children entering K-11 in the fall to explore Smithsonian collections and themes during these specially designed sessions. For younger campers (kindergarten through first grade), educators organize hands-on experiences that explore artifacts and artwork from the Smithsonian’s collections through play, art-making, and experimentation. Camps include ‘Smithsonian Safari’, ‘Design: Pattern Hunters’, ‘Space and Beyond’, ‘Dive Deep’, ‘Zoology’ and ‘Dino Discovery’.

Campers (Grades 2-5) dive deep into the Smithsonian’s collections through virtual museum tours, hands-on projects, games, collaborative challenges, and conversations with experts during two hours of online interaction live with a team of experienced instructors. Camps include “Ecosystem Explorations”, “Design: Everyday Extraordinary”, “Take to the Skies”, “Smithsonian Space Station”, “Deep Blue Discovery”, “ExploreOlogy”, and “Decade Detectives”.

History comes to life in the three-day “Soldiers and Dioramas” camps (Grades 6-11) where campers experience a new dimension, a miniature dimension, to learn about some of the most important battles in the world. ‘story. Six camps are offered, each covering a specific battle, and campers create their own terrain boards and lead troops of 1/72 scale soldiers in war games that give them a gripping insight into military strategies and conflict who shaped the world.

Prices for one-week in-person summer camps are $480 for nonmembers and $415 for Smithsonian Associates members. There will be no camp on Monday June 20 or Monday July 4. Prices for in-person summer camp the weeks of June 21-24 and July 5-8 are $384 for nonmembers and $335 for Smithsonian Associates members. Intensive two-week in-person camps range from $864 to $960 for nonmembers and $745 to $830 for Smithsonian Associates members. Prices for virtual camps range from $95 to $195 for non-members and $80 to $165 for Smithsonian Associates members. Online registration for the general public begins Thursday, February 17 at 10 a.m. ET. Smithsonian Associates contributors at the Contributor level ($300 or more) are eligible for priority registration on Tuesday, February 15 at 10 a.m. ET and Smithsonian Associates members of all levels can register on Wednesday, February 16 at 1 p.m. ET. All participants are encouraged to pre-register online. For more information, the public can visit or call (202) 633-3030.

For more than 55 years, Smithsonian Associates, the world’s largest museum education program, has produced dynamic educational and cultural programming that brings the Smithsonian to life. Inspired by Smithsonian research, collections and exhibits, nearly 1,000 public programs ignite creativity and stimulate learning in people of all ages each year.


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