Parent Guide to Space Center Houston Explorer Camps

We are passionate about sharing science and space exploration with our community. Our Explorer Camps introduce hundreds of children to the wonders of space exploration. That said, keeping your children safe is our first priority. That is why you will find some changes to the Explorer Camp processes this year.

Please review this guide to learn about the new procedures for our Explorer Camps.

Contact information

  • Reservations: +1 281-283-4755
  • Explorer Camp Coordinator: +1 281-283-7773
  • Accessibility & Inclusion Specialist: +1 281-244-2147
  • Camp email: camps@spacecenter.org

Camp Information

Hours of operation

To maintain safe social distancing procedures, age groups will have staggered drop-off and pick-up times. Please review your confirmation to confirm these specific times:

Age group Check-in time Check-out time
4-5 year olds 8-8:30 a.m. 3-3:30 p.m.
6-7 year olds 8-8:30 a.m. 3-3:30 p.m.
8-9 year olds 8:30-9 a.m. 3:30-4 p.m.
10-11 year olds 8:30-9 a.m. 3:30-4 p.m.

Before and after-care

Before-care and after-care cost $20 per time slot, per day. Services can be added by signing into your registration account.

Before-care for all ages is 7-8:15 a.m.

After-care for all ages is from the completion of the program to 6 p.m.

Camp attire

Campers must wear a mask at all times during the program.

Campers will be given an Explorer Camp T-shirt at check-in on the first day of camp. For the safety of the campers, this shirt will need to be worn to camp each day. Additional camp T-shirts can be added by signing into your Explorer Camp registration account.

Note: campers may go outside briefly during the camp for some activities so please check the weather and dress appropriately.

Campers should wear closed toe shoes. 

Age requirements

Summer 2021 camps are offered for the ages of 4-11. Space Center Houston strictly enforces age requirements. Your child must be the correct age at the time of camp.

Children ages 12 and older are encouraged to participate in the five-day Space Center University program.

Required Information

The medical history and the image releases must be completed during the registration process. If any medical information changes for your camper, please sign into your account to make updates for our staff at least two (2) days prior to the start of camp.

Campers with additional needs

If your child has a disability, an impairment, or a condition requiring additional support, please indicate this need within the Medical History portion of the camper’s registration. A representative from Space Center Houston will contact the parent to discuss reasonable accommodations for the child. To ensure specific accommodations are available, we request a minimum of five (5) business days' notice.

Campers with allergies and medication

Space Center Houston cannot guarantee a nut-free environment.

Any medication brought to camp must be in the original labeled container and identified within the Medical History portion of the camper’s registration.

Food allergies - see "Lunch & Snacks" below.

Lunch & snacks

Campers may bring their lunch each day or you can purchase a meal plan during the Explorer Camp registration process.

The three-day meal plan costs $28.50 per camper. The four-day meal plan costs $38 per camper.

  • Day 1 - Baked all-natural chicken tenders, with BBQ honey mustard dip, baked home fries and grapes (vegetarian substitution: Pasta in marinara sauce)
  • Day 2 - Individual cheese pizza with fresh tomato sauce and fruit cup
  • Day 3 - All beef hot dog, with baked home fries and broccoli
  • Day 4 - Roasted turkey & cheddar sliders, with potato chips and apple slices with strawberry cream cheese dipping sauce

All meals served with choice of organic juice pouch or bottled water.

Note: While we are happy to accommodate requests for vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free substitutions for the menus above, currently may be unable to modify menus for other individual dietary needs/allergies. Requests for vegetarian/gluten free substitute options must be provided a minimum of 72 hours prior to your event to be guaranteed. Please be aware that items are prepared in a facility handling and preparing with egg, milk, wheat, shellfish, soy, peanut and tree nut products and other potential allergens. If you have dietary requests or questions about the menu, please contact camps@spacecenter.org.

No glass containers are allowed. There is not a microwave available to campers.

Every camper will be provided with a daily snack in the afternoon.

Campers with food allergies will be required to sit at an allergy-free table to avoid food contamination.

Health & Illness

Health questions will be asked at check-in for all participants.

Masks must be worn by the campers at all times during the program.

Space Center Houston requests that you keep children at home if they have have recently had a fever, are potentially infectious, or have been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If a child becomes ill during camp hours, a parent or guardian will be required to pick them up within one hour of notification.

Late arrivals/early dismissals

In the case of late arrival or early dismissal, parents should inform a crew member at the Learning Innovation Center behind Space Center Houston by calling +1 281-283-4772. See "Frequently Asked Questions" below.

Camper code of conduct

Disruptive behavior, physical aggression, violence, disrespectful behavior towards others or their property, damage to Space Center Houston property, theft or possession/use of dangerous items will not be tolerated and may result in immediate dismissal.

Damage to Space Center Houston equipment due to misbehavior will be at the expense of the parent.

Space Center Houston has a zero-tolerance policy in regard to bullying.

No refunds will be provided for early dismissal as a result of suspension.

Valuables

Space Center Houston is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Cell phones are permitted at Explorer Camps but should not be out or used during the day. If you need to get in touch with your child during camp hours, please contact the Education Office at +1 281-244-7773.

Refunds & Cancellations

Camps with insufficient enrollment will be canceled at least two (2) weeks prior to first day of camp and an alternative camp will be made available.

Partial or full refunds are not made for early dismissal, failure to attend, absences, or sick days.

Cancellation notifications must be emailed to two (2) weeks prior to the event at camps@spacecenter.org.

When offered, lunch packages can be cancelled up to one week prior to the event for a refund. Food must be ordered and prepared so less than one week prior to camp, we cannot offer a refund.

No refunds or credits will be given for pre-care or after-care after the event has taken place.

Camp refund policies

Non-attendance Policy
Cancellation two (2) weeks prior to the first day of camp Full refund (for any reason)
Cancellation 48 hours prior to the first day of camp. Full credit (for any reason); credits must be redeemed within one calendar year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is needed before the first day of camp?

Any campers who do not have a completed registration by the start of camp will not be allowed to participate until it is completed online and paid for.

Do you have before-care and after-care?

Before-care and after-care are offered for the times listed in the previous sections.

Campers cannot be dropped off earlier than 7 a.m.

If children are not picked up by 6 p.m., you will be charged $30 for the extended time.

What are the hours of camp?

Different age groups will have staggered drop off and pick up times. Please review your confirmation carefully to identify what time your child needs to be dropped off and picked up.

Age group Check-in time Check-out time
4-5 year olds 8-8:30 a.m. 3-3:30 p.m.
6-7 year olds 8-8:30 a.m. 3-3:30 p.m.
8-9 year olds 8:30-9 a.m. 3:30-4 p.m.
10-11 year olds 8:30-9 a.m. 3:30-4 p.m.

What does my child need to bring to camp each day?

  • Face masks must be worn each day.
  • Closed-toed shoes should be worn each day.
  • Lunch
  • Optional water bottle and snacks.

What should I expect at camp check-in?

A map to the Learning Innovation Center behind Space Center Houston is included on the parent guide website.

Please look for camp drop-off signs to guide you to the check in area. Camper check in closely resembles a school drop-off line.

Drop-off procedures:

  1. Parents, upon your arrival to our drop-off/pick-up lines, please do not get out of your vehicle.
  2. Please make sure your child stays in the vehicle until the check-in process has been completed.
  3. Our trained staff will come to the driver’s window, while maintaining a six-feet distance from the vehicle.
  4. Space Center Houston staff will be asking the parent and/or child a series of questions each day you report for your mission. You and your flight team at Space Center Houston will go through a checklist to ensure your safety and a successful mission.
  5. Parents will give consent to have their camper participate in the education program.
  6. Parents will be given a hanging car tag with their child’s name. This tag is to be placed on the rear-view mirror at check-out.
  7. Once outside the vehicle the child will be escorted to the Learning Innovation Center to begin their camp experience.

T-shirts: We ask that the T-shirts received during check-in the first day of camp are worn by the child before entering the Learning Innovation Center for easy identification.

What if my child has additional needs?

If your child has additional needs please indicate their needs in the Medical History portion of the registration process at least five (5) business days prior to the camp start date.

Once a parent indicates that their child has a disability, impairment, or condition, a representative from the Space Center Houston education staff will contact the parent to discuss reasonable accommodations for the child.

Does Space Center Houston provide lunch?

Campers may bring their own lunch each day or purchase a meal plan.

No glass containers are allowed. There is not a microwave available to campers.

Campers with food allergies will sit at an allergy free table to avoid food contamination.

Every camper will be provided with a daily snack in the afternoon.

Where do I pick up my child each day?

Check-out begins at 3 p.m. each day from the Learning Innovation Center behind Space Center Houston. Please look for camp pick-up signs to guide you to the checkout area. Camper checkout closely resembles a school pick-up line. Please follow pick-up times:

Age group Check-in time Check-out time
4-5 year olds 8-8:30 a.m. 3-3:30 p.m.
6-7 year olds 8-8:30 a.m. 3-3:30 p.m.
8-9 year olds 8:30-9 a.m. 3:30-4 p.m.
10-11 year olds 8:30-9 a.m. 3:30-4 p.m.

All campers not in after-care must be picked up by 4 p.m. If a camper is not picked up by 4 p.m., they will be placed in after-care, and your account will be charged $30 for the services provided.

Pick-up procedures

  1. When coming to pick-up your child from camp, the parking fee is waived. Parent hang-tags need to be properly displayed on the rear-view mirror during the pick-up process.
  2. Parents, upon your arrival to our drop-off/pick-up lines, please do not get out of your vehicle. Our trained staff will come to the driver’s side window, while maintaining a 6ft distance from the vehicle.
  3. Please be ready to present your ID as Space Center Houston staff confirm parent pickup.
  4. A staff member will escort your child to the vehicle for departure.

Late drop-off or early pick-up

If you arrive at the Learning Innovation Center after 9 a.m. or before 3 p.m., please follow the procedures below to maintain safe social distancing while dropping off or picking up your child.

  1. Please park your vehicle in the car line.
  2. Come to the front of the building and press the intercom button to alert staff to come out and greet you.
  3. Please maintain social distancing guidelines while interacting with staff for drop-off or pick-up procedures.
  4. You must show your ID/hang-tag in order to pick up a camper early.
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