Camp-In FAQ and Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS A CAMP-IN?
Space Center Houston has opened its facility for an educational overnight experience. The Educational Programs Crew has developed a program that allows campers to utilize Space Center Houston exhibits to fulfill camp/badge requirements

WILL WE “TOUR” SPACE CENTER HOUSTON?
No, this overnight experience is not a guided tour of the facility. We use the atmosphere, and the various attractions/exhibits that correlate with the theme of the evening. Because so many activities are packed into a camp-in, the counselors keep a tight schedule. Free time and gift shop time are incorporated into your next day visit. A next day visit is included in the registration fees.

IS THERE 24-HOUR SECURITY AVAILABLE?
Yes! Safety is Space Center Houston’s number one concern. Security personnel are at each camp-in round-the-clock, as well as patrolling the outside area.

IS THERE A FIRST AID FACILITY?
Space Center Houston houses a first aid station that is available during the day. For the overnight, each group is responsible for a First Aid Responder being present. Space Center Houston Camp Staff has access to a basic first aid kit for your use.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE MY CAMPERS PAYING FOR?
An awesome experience, of course! Many others are dying to “spend the night” at Space Center Houston, but we reserve this experience for the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts at this time. Not only do the campers work on their badge requirements, but they experience activities not available to the general public. Because we are a not-for-profit organization, Educational Programs must support their own efforts. Costs incurred during a typical camp-in include: reserving the facility for the entire evening, materials, food, and all staffing.

CAN I BRING MY FAMILY?
Only registered scouts and their leaders/chaperones attend a Camp-In. Chaperones are not permitted to bring any children who are not registered or who do not meet the designated age level or gender requirements for a camp-in.

WHAT ARE A LEADER’S/CHAPERONE’S RESPONSIBILITIES DURING A CAMP-IN?
Space Center Houston’s policy requires that all campers be under the direct supervision of an adult leader at all times.
The counselors really need your help with: maintaining discipline/attention, staying with your team, upbeat attitude (campers mirror you), helping the campers with some activities.
The group leader must have all of the participants’ (campers and adults) medical forms readily available in case of an emergency.

WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT TO PURCHASE BADGES FOR THE CAMP-IN?
Because the troops/dens are from various councils, it is the leader’s responsibility to purchase the badges from a scout store. As a troop/den leader, it is your discretion as to how you want to award badges to your scouts. Some leaders like to take Camp Badge an activity a step further or require the scouts to turn in their log books. It is your call. Space Center Houston does have a camp patch available the night of the camp for $5.00.

HOW MUCH SLEEP WILL WE GET?
About as much sleep as you would get from a slumber party with 350 people. Because of our time constraints and the badge requirement activities, we take the scouts from Mach 25 to zero in approximately 6 to 7 hours. Sleep time is anywhere from 5 to 6 hours. Lights out ranges from 11:30 pm to 12:30 am depending on the Camper/Scout level.

Tips and Information

WHAT TO BRING:
An outdoor quality sleeping bag packed inside one bag (such as a trash bag or paper sack) with name clearly marked on the outside. You will be sleeping on the floor. Also bring a minimum of toiletries (toothbrush and toothpaste, hair bushes… and don’t worry, our camp site has plenty of toilet paper.) Cool Idea: Mark your bag with stickers or flags (no paint please). Plain trash and paper sacks all look the same! It might be a good idea to mark your group’s bags in a similar manner to insure that they are always kept together. Make yours different! Don’t forget your camera! Pictures in front of the shuttle make great keepsakes!

WHAT TO WEAR:
Like the dark of space… Space Center Houston can get very warm or very cold. It may be a good idea to bring along a sweater or light jacket or dress in layers.

WHAT TO SLEEP IN:
Keep in mind when selecting sleepware that Space Center Houston is a secure facility. Security cameras are located throughout the building (rest rooms excluded). Sweats and shorts make great pajamas for our camp-in.

OPTIONAL:
Although no extra money is needed for the camp-in, many campers bring spending money for The Space Trader gift shop. A special 10% discount is offered to all campers and chaperones.

WHAT NOT TO BRING:
Campers may not bring food/snacks, flashlights, radios, tape players, hair dryers, or other electrical appliances. These items will not be allowed in the facility (contact lens cleansers are okay). Due to space limitations, foam or air mattresses are allowed only for adults with a medical need. You may bring a camping mat the size of your sleeping bag.

WHERE WILL WE SLEEP?
You and your group will be sleeping among the space capsules, and exhibits in Starship Gallery and Kids Space Place… it’s the closest thing to Space on Earth! As for sleep itself, expect as much as anyone would get at a slumber party for hundreds of people.

SETTING UP THE CAMP SITE:
Your counselor will instruct you on where to set up your gear. Keep in mind, that just like on the Space Station and the Space Shuttle, the camp site has tight sleeping quarters. When rolling out your sleeping bags please make sure they are as close together as possible, to make sure that we will have room for all our campers. Each camper must be accompanied by a chaperone when going to the restroom after lights out. Of course, the main thing to do at your camp site is SLEEP! Food, drinks, gum, candy, etc. are NOT ALLOWED at the camp site!

LIGHTS OUT:
It is a proven fact that when the lights go out, groups of kids lose control of their ability to be quiet. What happens after lights out depends on what YOU do as a leader. Help quiet down anyone going past your camp site. And above all, get some rest. Make it easy on your fellow group leaders. Be sure your group isn’t the problem. If everyone cooperates, everyone will have a pleasant, and restful time.

THE FUN STUFF!
The expedition into space is challenging, exciting, and moves very quickly. The camp crew and counselors have a great deal of information to pass on to the campers. Activities are geared to the age of the campers and are designed to meet the specific requirements of each camp.

WHAT WILL WE EAT?
Dinner will be served to all the groups at 6:00pm in the Zero-G diner. A late evening light snack will be served to all campers. A light breakfast wraps up every camp-in. Group leaders and chaperones will eat with their groups at the assigned time. No outside food or drink is permitted in Space Center Houston, unless needed for medical reasons. If you have questions about the menu, call 281-244-2131.

UPON LANDING:
If camping on a Friday night, unload your gear upon arrival. Education Staff members will show you where to stow it. If camping on a Saturday night, please leave your gear in the car. You will go out to get it later in the evening. Registration will begin at 5:00pm. Only leaders need to report to registration area. Please know the number of scouts and adults in your group. As an incentive, we are offering one camp patch to each group that arrives by 6:00pm. The camp-in will begin promptly at 6:00pm! If you are traveling on I-45 South, allow yourself plenty of time for traffic.

Leaders are encouraged to bring small flashlights.

Space Center Houston will provide name tags.

Leaders/chaperones are expected to interact with and monitor the behavior of campers. Your excitement is contagious and will guarantee a good time for all.

All camp-in activities will focus on helping the campers meet various badge requirements.

Leaders will receive a camp-in schedule at registration.

 

For more information, please call 281-283-4755. You can also send an email to: reservations@spacecenter.org.