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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. For example:

  • A child who turns 6 before June 10 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 19 may register for any age 4-5 or Hi-Fives! camp, but is not eligible to register for any age 6-7 camps.

Children who turn 4 after August 12, 2019 are too young for participation in 2019 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.


Are your teachers qualified?

Yes, experienced educators with all of the necessary clearances teach Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History camps.

How many teachers do you have per camp?

The student-to-teacher ratio varies based on age of campers and complexity of activities in each camp. For Hi-Five! programs, we average five children per instructor. Other camps average about 8–10 children per instructor. Additional adult, teen, and college-aged teaching assistants help at each camp.

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 park their vehicles and enter the building to sign children in and out of summer camps.
  • Parents/guardians must sign children in and out at drop-off and pick-up. No child is released without the signature of an authorized person. Identification is required.
  • 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 full-day camps combine structured indoor and outdoor activities with supervised free time. A detailed list of outdoor activities is can be provided on the first day of camp. Half-day camps may not include outdoor activities.

Do you provide snacks?

Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
  • Snacks are not provided for age 6-13 full-day camps or pre-camp care.
  • Snacks are provided for half-day camps (ages 4–5) and full-day programs for age 5 (Hi-Fives!).
  • Snacks are provided during post-camp care. Parents may also send snacks from home for post-care.
  • When provided, snacks generally consist of fruit, crackers, pretzels, water, etc.
Powdermill Nature Reserve
  • Snacks are not provided.

Is lunch provided? Do the kids have recess?

Full-day campers must bring a packed lunch every day. Parents/guardians are not permitted to sign out campers for lunch. Refrigeration for lunches is not available.

Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
  • Ages 4–5 half-day camps: no recess, snack provided.
  • Age 5 (Hi-Fives!): half-hour lunch period and half-hour recess period. Campers provide their own lunch. Snacks are provided during morning and afternoon breaks.
  • Ages 6–13: half-hour lunch period and half-hour recess period. Campers provide their own lunch. No snack provided.
  • Campers do not have access to vending machines. Campers are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles marked with their names.
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the galleries.
  • Campers are not permitted to share food with other campers due to dietary/medical restrictions.
  • You will be notified if camp activities involve food; otherwise, the designated lunch time is the only break for food during camp.
Powdermill Nature Reserve
  • Pack a hearty lunch! The kids work hard all day. We encourage recycling, so recyclable or reusable containers are appreciated.
  • No snacks are provided.
  • Weather permitting, children eat lunch outside on picnic tables, under shade trees, or on the grass lawn. Children have 15–20 minutes of recess after lunch.


What should my child bring for camp?

Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
  • All materials are provided unless otherwise specified.
  • Campers participate in a range of indoor and outdoor activities that may involve paint, markers, glue, mud, grass, and other fun items. Please dress your camper accordingly.
  • Galleries and classrooms are air conditioned and may be chilly, so a sweatshirt or sweater is recommended.
  • Sturdy shoes are a must. Flip-flops, sandals, and Crocs are not permitted.
Powdermill Nature Reserve
  • Each child is assigned a cubby for personal items. Please be sure to label all items clearly. Items you might store in your child’s cubby include a change of clothes and shoes, a rain slicker, sweater or light jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent, and bottle of water (preferably refillable).
  • We spend most of the day outside, rain or shine, and camp activities include hikes through forests and meadows. Sunscreen is a must. Closed shoes such as sneakers are required. Flip-flops, sandals, and Crocs are not permitted.
  • Camps include investigations of Powdermill Run stream. The water level is low, and no swimming is required. Children may wear bathing suits under their clothing. Send a complete change of clothes for stream day, including sturdy shoes.

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.

Additionally, 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.

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 and Powdermill Nature Reserve. Parents registering for Powdermill camps are responsible for daily transportation to and from Powdermill Nature Reserve in Rector, Pennsylvania. At Powdermill, the trails, nature center exhibitions, and parking are always free.

Camps held at Carnegie Museums may include field trips to Fallingwater, Powdermill Nature Reserve, or elsewhere. Transportation for these trips is included in the 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. Please take a ticket to enter the lot. You will be directed to park in a reserved parking area. Security will be available to assist you. Parents/guardians will receive a parking pass allowing for up to one hour of free parking for camp drop-off and one hour for pick-up. Please note that beyond one hour, standard daily parking rates apply in full.

Parking at Powdermill Nature Reserve

At Powdermill, the trails, nature center exhibitions, and parking are always free.


Parents/guardians must sign campers in and out every day. Campers ages 11–13 only may sign themselves in/out of camp if so indicated on the Camper Safety Information form. Individuals other than a parent/guardian may pick up a camper only if they are listed on the Camper Permission Form.

Anyone picking up a camper will be required to present ID.


: 8:45–9:15 a.m.
Sign-out: 3 p.m.

Hi Fives!

: 8:45–9:15 a.m.
Sign-out: 3:30–4 p.m.

Half-day (morning)

: 8:45–9:15 a.m.
Sign-out: 11:30 a.m.

Parents/guardians may not wait in their vehicles during sign-in or sign-out. Please park and walk with campers to the Courtyard Entrance at the rear of the museum. Carnegie Museum of Natural History camps enter through the Portal Entrance. Carnegie Museum of Art camps enter through the museum’s rear doors. There will be signs outside the building indicating where to enter the building. Upon entry, additional signage will direct you to the correct sign-in location. High school workshop locations may differ from summer camp locations. Please see high school workshop confirmation letter for high school workshop locations.

Late Pick-up Policy

Full-day campers who have not been picked up by 3:15 p.m. will be enrolled in post-camp. Parent/guardian will be charged the full weekly post-camp fee of $75 per child, payable at pick-up, 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.

Post-camp is available in Oakland for children ages 6-13. Full-day campers in Oakland who have not been picked up by 3:15 p.m. will be considered enrolled in post-camp and may utilize post-camp care for the remainder of the week. Parent/guardian will be charged the full weekly post-camp fee of $75 per child, payable to Program Registration the following business day.

Post-camp care is not available for any child under age 6. Half-day and Hi Fives! Campers will be charged $20 for every 15 minutes late.

Please see Camp Permission Form and appropriate Camp Procedures for complete information about late fees and procedures.

Pre- and Post-Camp Care

Pre- and post-camp are available for children 6 years of age and older. Campers must be pre-registered. 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 6 p.m. or the late pick-up fee ($20 for every 15 minutes late) will be charged. Campers must be signed in and out of pre-camp and post-camp each day. A light snack is provided in post-camp, but parents may also send extra snacks and drinks for registered campers.


Pre-camp: 7:30–9 a.m.
Post-camp: 3–6 p.m.


Pre-camp: $25/week
Post-camp: $75/week
*Fees prorated 20% for the week of July 1–July 5


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 an epinephrine auto injector is administered, 911 and the parent/guardian of the camper will be notified immediately.

How does your camp address accessibility?

Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History welcome all visitors. We work to assist visitors in obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, and in supporting equal access to services, programs, and activities. With 2 weeks’ notice, interpreters and guides can be provided for deaf and blind children. Free participation is provided to TSS/aides for children with autism or other physical or behavioral challenges.

For more information regarding accessibility, please contact, or call 412.622.3131.

How do you handle food distribution for children with food allergies?

Please list your child’s food allergies on the Camp Permission Form, including 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:

Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
  • Special seating areas in the allergen-free zone of the lunch room are provided for campers with allergies. Tabletops are sanitized prior to each lunch seating to minimize the possibility that the camper will come in contact with residue from previous lunch periods. Snacks and camp activities are carefully designed with common food allergies in mind.
Powdermill Nature Reserve
  • Children with food allergies are seated in a different outside location. Campers are grouped so as not to isolate any children.


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.
  • 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.