Frequently Asked Questions
Which age group should we request for a child with a summer birthday?
Campers must be the appropriate age on the date the selected camp begins.
- A child who turns 6 before June 5, 2023 may register for any age 6-7 camp.
- A child who turns 6 in July may register for any age 6-7 camp after their birthday in July.
- A child who turns 6 after August 21, 2023 is not eligible to register for any age 6-7 camps.
Why do you use ages, rather than grade levels, to determine eligibility for camp?
As a non-school institution with year-round programs, age is the most appropriate way for the museums to plan programs. All activities are student-centered and designed to appeal to a range of abilities and prior knowledge. Safety guidelines for use of art and science tools and equipment are developed in an age-appropriate manner, so adherence to camp age brackets is also an important safety consideration.
My child is still toilet training. Is this an appropriate setting for my child?
In determining if your child is ready to experience the fun of summer camp at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, consider their level of independence in toileting, wiping, and changing clothes. Museum staff members are not permitted to assist campers in toileting, wiping, or changing clothes. Regular bathroom breaks are scheduled, and campers of all ages are encouraged to bring a change of clothes.
What age range is “high school” as a camps category?
An incoming freshman high school student to a rising senior.
Are your teachers qualified?
Yes, experienced educators with all necessary clearances teach Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History camps.
How many teachers do you have per camp?
The camper-to-teacher ratio varies based on age of campers and complexity of activities in each camp. Camps average about 8–10 children per instructor. Additional adult, teen, and college-aged assistants help at each camp.
How do your camps facilitate restroom breaks?
Regular bathroom breaks are scheduled, and (whenever possible) campers utilize restrooms reserved for their use. Camp staff are not permitted to enter restrooms while they are in use by campers.
What’s your security like?
Security is a major priority. Summer camps at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History work closely with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh security professionals to ensure that our policies, procedures, and practices promote the safety of campers, museum visitors, exhibits, and collections at all times.
- Parents/guardians must sign children in and out at drop-off and pick-up. No child is released without identification of an authorized person. Identification must be presented every day.
- If an injury or other emergency occurs, the emergency contact specified on the camper safety form will be contacted.
Do the kids get to go outside?
Most camps combine structured indoor and outdoor activities with supervised free time. Weather permitting, campers have daily outdoor recess. A detailed list of outdoor activities can be provided on the first day of camp.
Do you provide snacks?
Is lunch provided? Do the kids have recess?
Full-day campers must bring a packed lunch every day; we encourage reusable containers. Parents/guardians are not permitted to sign out campers for lunch. Weather permitting, children eat lunch outside on picnic tables, under shade trees, or on the grass lawn. Refrigeration and microwaves are not available for lunches.
How do I know my child is fully registered for camp?
Once payment has been received by Program Registration, registering adults will receive a confirmation e-mail including a personalized link to the online Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form. Individual links are provided for each camper. Separate forms must be filled out for each individual child attending our camp program; a single form cannot be submitted to cover multiple siblings.
If you make camp purchases in multiple transactions, you may need to submit a new Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form for each individual transaction.
What should my child bring for camp?
May I attend camp with my child?
Our goal is for campers to participate in activities independently and with their peers. If you have concerns about your child’s level of comfort or independence, please indicate your concerns at the time of registration, and our staff will contact you to discuss your child’s needs.
Many of our campers have parents who are unable to stay for camp. In order to provide the best experience for all of our campers, we invite parents and guardians who wish to remain onsite during a camper’s program to enjoy Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History for free while their children attend camp. Regular parking rates apply beyond the hour-long drop-off/pick-up period.
At Powdermill, the trails, nature center exhibitions, and parking are always free.
Do you provide transportation or bus passes to camps?
No travel to or from camp is provided by the museums. Parents/guardians are responsible for drop-off and pick-up during scheduled periods.
There is no public transportation between Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History and Powdermill Nature Reserve. Parents registering for Powdermill camps are responsible for daily transportation to and from Powdermill Nature Reserve in Rector, Pennsylvania.
Some full-day camps may include field trips to Laurel Caverns, Powdermill Nature Reserve, or elsewhere. Transportation for these trips is included in the total camp fee.
What are the drop-off and pick-up policies?
Parking at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Enter the museum parking lot at the intersection of Forbes Avenue and South Craig Street. You will be directed to the designated drop-off or pick-up area. Visitor Services Staff will be available to assist you. On the first day of camp, parents/guardians will receive a pass from the Visitors Services staff at the gate allowing for up to one hour of free parking for camp drop-off, and one hour for pick-up. Beyond one hour, standard parking rates apply in full.
Parking at Powdermill Nature Reserve
Parking at Powdermill Nature Reserve is always free.
Parents/guardians or other authorized adults must sign campers in and out every day. Campers ages 11 and older may sign themselves in/out of camp if so indicated on the Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form. Anyone authorized to pick up a camper will be required to present identification every day.
- Full-day camps including Hi-Fives! sign-in: 8:45–9:15 a.m. /Sign-out: 3 p.m.
- Half-day (morning) sign-in: 8:45-9:15 a.m. / Sign-out: 11:30 a.m.
- Half-day (afternoon) sign-in: 12:45-1:15 p.m. / Sign-out: 3:30 p.m.
Registering adults will receive e-mail communication in advance of each camp experience outlining what specific procedures they should expect for sign-in/sign-out during their camp week(s).
Late Pick-up Policy
- Full-day campers ages 6-13 who have not been picked up by 15 minutes after scheduled sign-out will be enrolled in post-camp. Parent/guardian will be charged the full weekly post-camp fee of $100 per child and may utilize post-camp care for the remainder of the week.
- Post-camp is not available for children under age 6. Half-day and Hi-Fives! campers will be charged $20 for every 15 minutes late.
- Program Registration will reach out as soon as possible to complete payment of all late pick-up fees or post-camp care fees. These fees must be paid within three business days. If payment of late pick-up fees or post-camp care fees is not received within three business days, you will receive an invoice with an additional $15 late fee.
- You may call Program Registration at 412.622.3288 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to submit payment.
- Please see the Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form for complete information about late fees and procedures.
Pre- and Post-Camp
- Pre-camp and post-camp are available at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History in Oakland for enrolled campers. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
- Registration is for the entire week; care is not available on a day-to-day basis.
- Campers must be picked up from post-camp by 5:30 p.m. or late pick-up fees will be charged. Late pick-up fees are $20 for every 15 minutes late. Campers must be signed in and out of pre-camp and post-camp each day. Anyone picking up a camper will be required to present identification.
- A light snack is provided in post-camp, but parents may also send extra snacks and drinks for registered campers.
- Pre-camp and post-camp are only available for campers ages 6-13.
Times and Fees*
Pre-camp: 7:30–9 a.m. – $35/week
Post-camp: 3–5:30 p.m. – $100/week
If my child needs medication, can camp staff administer it?
Staff may not dispense medications. If medication must be taken during camp, arrangements must be made for an adult to come and dispense medication. If an adult is unable to come and dispense medication, you must complete a Consent for Self-Administration of Medication form allowing your camper to carry and administer their own medication. Contact Program Registration at least one week in advance of camp.
The following applies for campers with epinephrine prescription medication:
- Museum staff are not permitted to store or carry epinephrine for campers
- Children who must carry epinephrine are permitted to bring and use epinephrine on themselves in the event of an emergency.
- If a child cannot administer the medication to themself, appropriately trained Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh staff may administer the child’s epinephrine auto injector, provided that the child’s parent/guardian has previously provided permission via the Epinephrine Autoinjector Policy and Consent Form.
- If an epinephrine auto injector is administered, 911 and the parent/guardian of the camper will be notified immediately.
Does your camp address accessibility?
The museums welcome all visitors. We work to assist visitors in obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations and in supporting equal access to services, programs, and activities. Interpreters and guides can be provided for deaf and blind children. Free participation is provided to TSS/aides for children with autism or physical or behavioral challenges. Please note that requests for accommodations should be made at least two weeks prior to your program. For specific questions about wheelchairs, strollers, or other programmatic or equipment needs, see Visitor Services at the museum information desk or e-mail email@example.com, or call 412.622.3131. The four Carnegie Museums are committed to keeping their websites compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We welcome any feedback on how to improve our sites’ accessibility for all users, and we strive to develop websites that are accessible to all.
How do you handle food distribution for children with food allergies?
Please list your child’s food allergies on the Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form pincluding any special accommodations your child may require because of the allergy.
The following accommodations are provided for campers with food allergies if specifically noted on the medical form:
What public health procedures are in place?
We’re following all recommendations by the PA Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Campers will be expected to adhere to the public health guidance and Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh procedures in place during the time of their camp. Registering adults will receive e-mail communication in advance of each camp week outlining the specific precautions being taken to protect camper, staff, and community health.
What is the cancellation policy?
- If you cancel your registration at least 14 days before the camp/workshop start date, you will receive a refund equal to the cost of the camp less a $25 service fee per child, per camp.
- Withdrawals made less than 14 days in advance will not receive a refund.
- If your child is unable to attend camp due to a covid-19 exposure or diagnosis, immediately contact Program Registration at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 412.622.3288 to discuss available options.
- Refunds are made using original payment method. Credit card refunds are processed upon notice of withdrawal and may take up to one week to credit your account. Check refunds may take up to four weeks for processing.
- The museums reserve the right to cancel programs due to insufficient enrollment. In this case, a full refund is given.