Summer Camps 2024
With health and safety as our number one priority, we are happy to confirm that we are offering an expanded array of unique and memorable camp experiences for children entering PreK-12th grade this summer!
Mystic Aquarium offers the perfect environment to enjoy and explore animals while having outdoor adventures in nature. Our camps are designed to engage our campers every day whether they are indoors or outside. Each camp has its own dedicated classroom within the Milne Ocean Science and Conservation Center, which is separated from the public, to continue learning and exploration.
In accordance with the State of Connecticut requirements for youth camps, Mystic Aquarium has established stringent guidelines to ensure campers’ and educators’ health and safety.
Children Entering PreK-12th Grade
June 17-21 Turtle-ly Awesome Tots (PreK-K) – This camp is about turtles found on land and especially in the sea.
June 17-21 No Bone About It (1st-3rd) – Jump into the exciting world of animals without bones!
June 17-21 Marine Naturalist (4th-6th) – Become a member of the “Naturalist Society” as you explore the connections between animals and their ecosystems.
June 24-28 Shark Club (PreK-K) – Back again, this camp is about our favorite toothy fish. Look, a SHARK!
June 24-28 Totally Turtles (1st-3rd) – Turtles here and turtles there, but how do they survive in today’s oceans.
June 24-28 Mystic River Adventure (4th-6th) – Explore the Mystic River - from the animals that live underneath to sailing the water with a sailboat at Mystic Seaport. This is a joint camp with the Mystic Seaport Museum.
July 1-3 Mammals R’ Us (1st-3rd) – Whales, seals, and sea lions! Oh my!
July 1-3 Shark Investigation (4th-6th) – Misunderstood and feared by many. Why are sharks so intriguing?
July 1 In the Field Day: Marsh and Sea (10th-12th) - Investigate a local estuary alongside Mystic Aquarium instructors who will lead a 3-hour hands on workshop on field research techniques for estuarine ecosystems.
July 2 In the Field Day: Field and Stream (10th-12th) - Ready to get muddy? Join Mystic Aquarium instructors in a local forest where they will guide you through 3 hours of hands-on exploration of terrestrial ecosystems.
July 8-12 Marine Mammal Mania (PreK-K) – This camp is all about the whales, seals, and sea lions that call Mystic Aquarium home.
July 8-12 Animal Rescue (1st-3rd) – Join the world of animal rehabilitation and see how we help seals and sea turtles.
July 8-12 Deep Sea Exploration (4th-6th ) – It’s cold, dark, and home to many unusual creatures. How do they survive and how can we learn about them?
July 8-12 Marine Biologist 101 (7th-10th) – That dream job of exploring the ocean is within your grasp, but what are the next steps?
July 15-19 Turtle-ly Awesome Tots (PreK-K) – This camp is about turtles found on land and especially in the sea.
July 15-19 No Bone About It (1st-3rd) – Jump into the exciting world of animals without bones!
July 15-19 Marine Naturalist (4th-6th) – Become a member of the “Naturalist Society” as you explore the connections between animals and their ecosystems.
July 22-26 Shark Club (PreK-K) – Back again, this camp is about our favorite toothy fish. Look, a SHARK!
July 22-26 Totally Turtles (1st-3rd) – Turtles here and turtles there, but how do they survive in today’s oceans.
July 22-26 Marine Animals and Their Environment (4th-6th) – Explore the residents of the local ecosystems through the exhibits at Mystic Aquarium and the waters off Project Oceanology. This is a joint camp with Project Oceanology.
July 22-26 Environmental Conservation Camp (7th-10th) –Learn how you can have an impact on our local environment while at Project Oceanology and Mystic Aquarium. This is a joint camp with Project Oceanology.
July 29-August 2 Marine Mammal Mania (PreK-K) – This camp is all about the whales, seals, and sea lions that call Mystic Aquarium home.
July 29-August 2 Animal Rescue (1st-3rd) – Join the world of animal rehabilitation and see how we help seals and sea turtles.
July 29-August 2 Mystic River Adventure (4th-6th)– Explore the Mystic River - from the animals that live underneath to sailing the water with a sailboat at Mystic Seaport. This is a joint camp with the Mystic Seaport Museum.
August 5-9 Turtle-ly Awesome Tots (PreK-K) – This camp is about turtles found on land and especially in the sea.
August 5-9 No Bone About It (1st-3rd) – Jump into the exciting world of animals without bones!
August 5-9 Deep Sea Exploration (4th-6th) – It’s cold, dark, and home to many unusual creatures. How do they survive and how can we learn about them?
August 5-9 Marine Biologist 101 (7th-10th)– That dream job of exploring the ocean is within your grasp, but what are the next steps?
August 12-16 Shark Club (PreK-K) – Back again, this camp is about our favorite toothy fish. Look, a SHARK!
August 12-16 Totally Turtles (1st-3rd) – Turtles here and turtles there, but how do they survive in today’s oceans.
August 12-16 Marine Naturalist (4th-6th) – Become a member of the “Naturalist Society” as you explore the connections between animals and their ecosystems.
August 19-23 Animal Rescue (1st-3rd) – Join the world of animal rehabilitation and see how we help seals and sea turtles.
August 19-23 Deep Sea Exploration (4th-6th) – It’s cold, dark and home to many unusual creatures. How do they survive and how can we learn about them?
Is the camp you’re interested in sold out? Please use the below form to be added to our Summer Camp waitlist.
Camp Caregiver Handbook
Download the Camp Caregiver Handbook for our 2024 camps to learn more about how to prepare for your upcoming camp.
How do I register for camp?
Camp registration is completed online. If assistance needed, please contact our Education department at 860-572-5955 ext. 431
Do I have to pay for the camp at the time of registration?
Yes, payment in full is required at the time of registration.
Can I change my camp session to another week of camp?
Yes, camp session dates can be changed as space allows. Please contact our Education department at 860-572- 5955 ext. 431
What is the cancellation policy?
Contact the Education department directly at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding cancellations and refunds. All refund requests must be made in writing and as soon as you know you need to cancel.
The Mystic Aquarium will provide a full refund for any camp that we cancel for any reason.
No refunds will be issued for non-attendance once a camp session starts.
No refund will be issued for a camper who is asked to leave camp for behavioral reasons.
Refunds will be considered at the discretion of the Camp Director, in the event of illness.
Our standard refund/cancellation policy is as follows, once we receive your request in writing:
30 days or more from the start of the camp week - 100% of the camp fee will be refunded.
29 - 15 days from the start of the camp week - 80% of the camp fee will be refunded. The 20% admin fee is not refunded.
14 days and under from the first day of camp – Refunds requested for cancelling camp during this time will not receive a refund. Please contact the Camp Director directly to discuss your options.
How do I receive a receipt for tax purposes?
Please refer to the Summer Camp Caregiver Handbook for information on obtaining the tax ID or notify the Camp Director on the first day of camp.
What paperwork will I need to have completed?
A complete list of paperwork needs is listed in the Summer Camp Caregiver Handbook, but we require camper information, a health form completed within the last 3 years with immunization dates, Administration of Medication form if needed and an Individual Plan of Care to let us get to know your camper a little better.
When is my paperwork due?
Camp paperwork is due no later than two weeks prior to the start of your camp week session. Late paperwork will result in your camper missing camp time.
Is a recent school physical accepted in place of the Mystic Aquarium form?
Yes, if the physical has been completed within the past 3 years and includes the record of vaccinations.
What is CampDoc and how do I access it?
CampDoc.com is a secure, electronic system that organizes and protects all required camp paperwork for Mystic Aquarium camps. The Camp Director will send you a welcome email when your CampDoc login credentials are available; you will not be able to log into CampDoc until you receive this email. All registered campers will then receive a follow-up email from CampDoc.com with detailed instructions on how to submit required health forms and paperwork. The website is secure, encrypted, and password-protected. If you have used CampDoc.com for Mystic Aquarium in the past, the previous year’s information will be visible, and you will be able to update it as needed. You cannot transfer information between organizations on CampDoc.
What is the itinerary and how do I get one?
The itinerary is specific to each camp and will provide information on daily themes, packing lists, and more. The itinerary will be given to the guardian on Monday of your camp week. You will be emailed in advance, a list of what your camper will need for the week.
Is my camper required to be vaccinated against Covid 19?
Campers attending our general camps are not required to be vaccinated for Covid 19. We do strongly recommend vaccination.
Do I need to screen my camper for illness prior to camp starting?
We expect every camper to be healthy upon arrival at camp. If your camper is exhibiting any symptoms of sickness, they cannot attend.
How old are the staff?
Camp staff are required to be at least 21 years of age and camp volunteers are at least 16 years of age.
Are staff trained in first aid and medication administration?
Camp staff are trained in First Aid, CPR, AED and medication administration of rescue inhalers, EpiPen use and oral medication administration.
How many staff are there in a camp? What about on a field trip?
The staff to camper ratio is as follows: PreK-K camp 1:6, Grades 1-10 1:9; if additional staff are needed for any reason, they are scheduled as appropriate. Most camps will have at least one additional volunteer or intern.
What experience does your staff have with children?
Mystic Aquarium summer camp staff have experience working with children at informal learning centers, schools or children’s group sites.
What does state licensing and ACA accreditation mean?
To ensure the highest standards are being met, Mystic Aquarium summer camps are accredited through the American Camp Association (www.acacamps.org) as well as licensed by the State of Connecticut (https://www.ct.gov/oec). To obtain certification as a state licensed youth camp, we undergo an extensive review and inspection process to affirm that we exceed all the state requirements for health, cleanliness, and food service as well as emergency management plans, health care, management, staff training and performance review. Accreditation through the American Camp Association is a voluntary process that goes above and beyond the state licensing requirements and demonstrates Mystic Aquarium’s commitment to ensuring your child is in a safe, nurturing environment.
My camper is advanced for their age, can I register them for an older age camp?
Each camp is tailored to the specific grade ranges; please register your camper for the grade range that they are entering during the next school year. Campers who are registered for a different grade range than identified on their paperwork will be placed in the appropriate camp if space is available, or their fee refunded
Do campers need to be toilet trained?
Campers in all camps must be toilet trained and can use the bathroom independently to attend camp at Mystic Aquarium.
As a requirement for enrollment, all children must be fully toilet trained. The camp is not licensed for an under-three endorsement (sections 19a-79-10) from the Office of Early Childhood which means that staff are not permitted to change diapers/pullups or wipe a child, however they may assist them verbally as to how to clean themselves and change their clothes. The requirement for children to enter the program is that they need to be able to use the bathroom independently. Due to the uniqueness of this environment, the amount of time that is spent visiting exhibits and partaking in special events, being able to use the bathroom independently is imperative and essential to being able to take full advantage of everything the Aquarium has to offer.
This means that a child:
1. Knows when they need to use the bathroom.
2. Can unfasten, pull down bottoms and underwear.
3. Can get on the toilet, wipe themselves, and flush the toilet.
4. Pull underwear up and pull up and fasten bottoms.
5. Can wash their hands on their own.
6. In the event of an accident, the camper must be able to change clothes and clean themselves up.
7. Diapers or pullups are not permitted.
We do suggest that you consider the practicality of the clothing a camper wears to camp. The clothes should be easy to take off and put back on while in the restroom. One-piece outfits are not recommended for camp.
Staff are always monitoring campers via sound while campers are using the restrooms. All staff are aware that campers of any age may have an accident and will assist by providing clean clothes for the camper, assisting with buttons or zippers as needed and providing items the camper may use to clean themselves up. This is done with respect and discreetly so as not to embarrass the camper.
In the event a camper has a bathroom accident and the camper is not able to fully clean themselves up and change clothes, the Camp Director will call the guardian to come in to assist the camper according to regulations. Should a health emergency occur, the staff will step in at that point.
Special needs campers will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Do I need to provide lunch and a snack?
Full day camps require guardians to pack a lunch as well as a morning and afternoon snack each day for your camper. Campers do not have the ability to purchase lunch at the café. Please have an ice pack in the lunch bag to keep perishables chilled. There are local establishments where you can purchase lunch items, if necessary, prior to checking in your camper.
Half-day camps require guardians to pack a snack for the camper each morning. Please have an ice pack in the lunch bag to keep perishables chilled. There are local establishments where you can purchase snack items, if necessary, before dropping off your camper.
What time does camp start and when do I drop off my camper?
Camps begin at 9:00am. Plan to have your camper at the check-in area for 8:55am.
Is Extended Day offered for after the normal camp day?
We offer an Extended day program for select camps/sessions. It will be indicated at registration if it is available.
What is a typical day at camp?
Every day is different but will include many adventures throughout the Aquarium! Each camp will have at least five transitions in and out of the classroom area each day. An example of a day of programming from a Grade 1-6 2023 camp is:
- 9:00 Check in
- 9:30AM Watch a penguin session and speak with a penguin trainer at the Penguin Exhibit
- 10:00AM Penguin class in the classroom
- 10:45AM California Sea Lion show in Marine Theater
- 12:00PM Lunch in Classroom
- 12:30PM Green Exploration
- 1:15PM Activity on adaptations of dinosaurs in the classroom
- 2:00PM Craft in classroom
- 2:45PM Visit Dino Seas exhibit
- 3:30PM Journal/Dinner Talk
- 4:00PM Leave for the day
Who do I contact with additional questions on camp, camp paperwork, or camp activities?
Please contact our Camp Director at email@example.com or 860-572-5955 ext. 158. Camp Offices are staffed during regular business hours (8:00am-5:00pm), Monday through Friday. All calls and messages will be returned within 24 hours and messages left on weekends, after hours and on holidays will be returned within the next business day.