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. 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.
  • Experiments: Campers will take part in four or more Science Explorations every day.
  • 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 or the adult responsible for drop-off and pick-up. Please inform your child’s instructor of your pick-up plans for the afternoon. If you cannot pick up your child yourself, please provide the instructor with a list of the names of each person allowed to sign your child out from camp. Those individuals will need to bring identification with them each day they come to camp.

In addition, please inform your child's instructor of any special concerns that will be valuable for the instructor to know.

We know that your child will have the most fun and learn most easily when he or she is in a safe and caring environment. That is why it is so important to us to keep our child:adult ratios so 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.

  • During most camp activities our child:adult ratio is 6:1. Ratios are often even lower, depending on the activity.
  • Classes for children ages 6+ have a child:adult ratio of 8:1 or lower. Classes for children under the age of six have ratios of 6:1 or lower.

In addition, we also have extra help from our wonderful Quasar staff. (Quasars are high school students competitively selected for an intensive, three-year science immersion program at the Museum.)

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 him/her 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 summer camp the best experience possible for your child. If an issue or concern should arise with your child, the Lead Instructor or Camp 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 reccommended; Crocs are highly discouraged. Pack an extra pair of socks, underwear, shorts and 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 nor bathing suits are needed for activities at the Sea Center.
  • Towel
  • Healthy lunch & drink
  • Healthy snack
  • A backpack to carry belongings
  • Full water bottle
  • Hat and waterproof sun block (pre-applied)

Camps at the Natural History Museum

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

  • 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 t-shirt in case clothes become too wet during creek explorations.
  • Healthy lunch & drink
  • Healthy snack
  • A backpack to carry belongings
  • Full water bottle
  • Hat and waterproof sun block (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 he/she 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.

Camps: full refunds are available if you cancel your child’s place in a camp a minimum of three weeks prior to that camp’s start date. Due to registration and programming challenges, no refunds are available after that time. Due to processing charges all cancellations will incur a 10% fee regardless of cancellation date.

Classes: full refunds are available if you cancel your child’s place in a class a minimum of two weeks prior to that class’s start date. Due to processing charges all cancellations will incur a 10% fee regardless of cancellation date.

For their safety all campers MUST be escorted to and from their camp room by a parent or guardian and signed in and out EVERY DAY. While we realize that leaving your contact information each day may not always be convenient, in the event of an emergency we wish to have the most accurate contact information available. Please bring your ID at check out and present it to the instructor. Please ask your authorized pick up person to present his/her ID to the instructor at check out.

All medications (both over-the-counter and prescribed) must be cleared by the camper’s guardian by filling out the Over-the-Counter Medication Permission Form and/or Prescription Medication Form. Additionally, all prescription medications must be cleared by a physician. Download medication permission forms and releases.

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 come and collect the child.

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 him/her to camp. If a camper becomes ill at camp, we will call parents to come and pick him/her 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. Staff members take a basic first aid kit (e.g. band-aids, antiseptic) on field trips. For serious injury or other conditions that require immediate medical attention, the instructor will call 911 and/or take the child to Cottage Hospital and contact the participant's parent or guardian. Medical personnel will be provided with relevant information, such as allergies and physician contact information, as provided on the health and permission form.

Please call the Museum’s Education Office at 805-682-4711 ext. 171 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 an Nature Adventures™ option that provides flexibility for parents and kids during camps at the Museum. Extended day campers may be dropped off at the Museum from 8:30–9:00 AM and picked up between 3:00–5:00 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. Prices for extended day can be found under the camp description. Unfortunately, we cannot pro-rate for late drop-offs or early pick-ups. Camps with off-campus meetings will not have extended day available on those dates. If you would like to have extended day for the days of camps that meet on campus, please add the week of extended day and email us. We will then prorate the extended day accordingly.

Please feel free to call 805-682-4711 ext. 171 or e-mail tchin@sbnature2.org for more information.

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. You will receive a parking voucher upon entry to Stearns Wharf.  Without validation, you have 90 minutes free. 
  • 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 loading zone adjacent to the Sea Center. Our camp staff will assist in loading campers and their gear directly into your car. You will receive a parking voucher upon entry to Stearns Wharf.  Without validation, you have 90 minutes free. 
  • Extended day campers may check in between 8:30 and 9:00 AM and check out between 3:00 and 5:00 PM.  Please plan on coming inside the Sea Center to check out your extended day camper.