Skip Navigation or Skip to Content

Powdermill Nature Reserve Camp Procedures

Thank you for registering your child for a summer camp at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. We look forward to welcoming your camper with an exciting, fun, and educational experience this summer!

Please note these camps are located in Rector, PA. Please contact us at if you may have registered for a camp in the wrong location.

Important Forms and Information

The Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form is required for all campers. Please complete this form as soon as possible. It is included in the registration email you received upon purchasing a summer camp.

  • Campers must be the appropriate age on the date the selected camp begins
  • Children who turn 5 after July 27, 2020, are too young for camps
  • Pre-camp care and post-camp care are not available at Powdermill Nature Reserve

General Information


Your camper will be participating in a range of indoor and outdoor activities that may include paint, markers, glue, mud, grass, water, and other fun items. Please dress your camper accordingly. Campers spend most of the day outside, rain or shine, and camp activities include hikes through forests, streams, and meadows.

Each child is provided a cubby for personal items. Please be sure to label all items clearly. Items campers might store include a change of clothes and shoes in case they get wet, a rain slicker, sweater or light jacket, and insect repellent.

Camp includes an investigation of a stream called Powdermill Run. The water level is low and no swimming is necessary. Sturdy shoes are required in the stream. Children may wear bathing suits under their clothes. Send a complete change of clothes and a towel for stream day. You will be notified in advance of stream day when it will take place.


Closed shoes, such as sneakers, are required. For safety, campers are not allowed to wear flip flops, sandals, open-back shoes, or Crocs. Children without proper footwear may not participate in some activities.


All children must bring a packed lunch each day. Refrigeration is not available. Campers are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles marked with their names.


Snack time is not provided, and campers are not permitted to share food with other campers due to dietary/medical restrictions.

Food Allergies

Please list your child’s food allergies on the Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form provided in this registration packet, including any accommodations your child may require because of the allergy. The following accommodations will be provided for campers with food allergies only if specifically requested on the Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form:

  • Special seating areas during lunch will be provided for campers with allergies.
  • Campers will be escorted to the restrooms to wash their hands before and after lunch.
  • You will be notified if camp activities involve food.


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.

Epinephrine Policy

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh staff and volunteers are not professional medical personnel. However, basic epinephrine auto injector administration training is offered for staff and key volunteer leaders. Children who must carry epinephrine are permitted to bring and use an epinephrine auto injector on themselves in the event of an emergency. If a child cannot administer the medication to him- or herself, appropriately trained Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh staff may administer the child’s epinephrine auto injector. If an epinephrine auto injector is administered, 911 and the parent/guardian of the camper will be notified immediately.

If the child is bringing an epinephrine auto injector to camp, the parent/guardian must complete a Consent for Self-Administration of Medication form and the Epinephrine Auto Injector Policy and Consent Form, which can be obtained from Program Registration.

Sunscreen and Insect Repellent

Sunscreen and insect repellent are encouraged for outdoor activities. Staff may not apply sunscreen or insect repellent for campers, so please be sure to apply in the morning before arrival. Campers may apply sunscreen and/or insect repellent to themselves.

Personal Property

Please leave toys, electronic games, music players, cell phones, cameras, etc. at home. These items may be a distraction to camp, and we do not have a secure location to store valuable items. If personal items do become a distraction, camp staff will confiscate the property and return it to a parent/guardian at the end of the day. Powdermill is not responsible for lost items.

Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures

The reserve is located in Rector, PA, 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Parents or guardians must provide transportation. Summer camps take place at the nature center. Signs will be posted to direct you to the registration site. See our website for directions.

: 8:45–9 a.m.
Sign-out: 3 p.m.

/Sign-Out Procedure

  • Each camper’s parent/guardian must sign the camper in and out every day.
  • Parents/guardians are NOT permitted to wait in their vehicles during sign-in or sign-out. Please park and walk with campers to the sign-in location.
  • Someone other than a parent/guardian may pick up a camper only if their name is listed on the Carnegie Institute Programs Permission Form.
  • Anyone picking up a camper will be asked to present ID.

Accessibility: Features For All

Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History welcome all visitors. We work to assist visitors with disabilities in obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, and in supporting equal access to services, programs, and activities.

To request special disability accommodations for our programs, please contact 412-622-3288 or ProgramRegistration@CarnegieMuseums.Org. Please contact the museum at least two weeks in advance of visiting or participating in special tours, classes/camps, and other activities.

Guests should contact Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh’s Accessibility Coordinator with concerns regarding accessibility for visitors with disabilities at the museums. Call 412.622.6578 during weekday hours, or email