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Policies & Information

NO Peanut or Tree Nut products will be allowed at the camps this year.

Behavior Policy

In order to make the program experience a positive one for all, we have established a policy to manage behavior incidents that involve chronic disruption and/or safety. We reserve the right to remove students who do not adhere to our behavior policy.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you wish to withdraw from a camp after registering, you must do so at least two weeks prior to the first day of camp in order to receive a partial refund of the registration fee. $40 of the registration fee is considered a non-refundable deposit. No refunds will be given if a cancellation is made within the two-weeks before the first day of camp.

If for any reason the Bell Museum cancels your camp, you will receive a full refund of the registration fee or, if you prefer, the opportunity to transfer to another camp if space is available. Notification will be given two weeks prior to the start date in the event that your camp is canceled.

Waiver and Release Form
A completed waiver and release form must be returned and on file with the Bell Museum for your camper to attend camp.  We encourage you to complete this form promptly. 

Tax Identification
Did your child attend summer camp? Here are the Tax ID numbers you can use when filing taxes.
Federal: 41-6007513  
Minnesota: 8029894


What are the camps like? What will campers do?
  • Each camp is centered around a theme (shown in the title and description)
  • Each camp will have time with the Planetarium staff and will learn to use telescope with a special solar filter to look at the sun. (excludes pre-K)
  • Campers will be outside playing games, going on hikes, etc.  Camps each lunch outside everyday, weather permitting)
  • The Bell’s teaching philosophy is inquiry- based learning- which means that children are encouraged to explore the world as a scientist or artist would, with an emphasis on questioning and exploration
  • Camps meet a researcher, scientist, or other professional whose career relates to the camp’s theme
  • Swimming or bowling (most camps will go swimming)
    • June 12-16 Swimming
    • June 19-23 Swimming
    • June 26-30 Swimming
    • July 10-14 Swimming
    • July 17-21 Bowling
    • July 24-28 Bowling
    • July 31-August 4 Swimming
    • August 7-11 Swimming
    • August 14-18 Bowling
    • August 21-25 Bowling
    • August 28-September 1 Swimming
  • Cooke 10: Warm (83-86 degrees), shallow water (3.5' -5') pool with ramp accessibility
  • Has a lifeguard present
  • campers must wear life jackets unless they can pass a swim test
  • There are also at least 2 other Camp staff available
  • Swimming: If your camper is attending during a swimming week they should bring a swimsuit, towel, and a plastic bag (to take home their wet suits and towels). They may also bring sandals, goggles, earplugs, nose plugs, or anything else they need to be comfortable swimming. If your camper is not a strong swimmer, they are also welcome to bring their own lifejacket.  Before entering the pool for free swim, campers will do a swim test—those who do not pass or do not wish to take the test will be required to wear a lifejacket (if they have brought their own they may wear their own).
  • Bowling: Campers only need to wear or bring a pair of socks! They will be given rental bowling shoes to wear while they are at the bowling alley.
How is lunch handled?
  • Campers bring their own bag lunches , non-refrigerated.
  • Children in K-6th grader camps should also bring a morning and afternoon snack
  • No peanut products or tree nuts are allowed at camp
o   No exceptions
o   Why? We appreciate that making lunches kids like is challenging, but we put the safety of persons with life-threatening allergies above a child's food preferences
  • If your camper is in need of a lunch and our summer camp staff cannot cannot get in touch with your primary or secondary contact, we will order an appropriate lunch for your camper and you will be billed the associated charge.
Who are your teachers?
  • Camp leaders are Bell Museum interpretive staff
  • All Camp staff go through extensive training
  • All camp leaders have experience in managing and teaching groups of children and are CPR and first aid certified
  • All Bell staff and volunteers that have contact with campers have had background checks
What is the student/ teacher ratio?
  • For campers in PreK–1st grade: 7:1 or up to 15 campers with 2 Staff
  • For campers in 2nd- 6th grade camps 8:1 or up to 17 campers with 2 Staff  
Where are our camps located?  
  • We construction now in progress to move the dioramas from the Minneapolis campus location of the Bell to the new St. Paul campus facility, camps will be held in alternate buildings on the Minneapolis campus.  Negotiations are still in progress.  Specific facility locations will be clearly communicated prior to the start of camps via the Bell Museum website and emails to camp registrants

What does my camper need to do to participate successfully in camp?
We strive to create an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and inspires curiosity for all campers. For this reason, campers must be able to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. Campers must be able to:
  • Maintain appropriate language and actions
    • Hands to themselves
    • Respectful language to fellow campers and camp team
    • Staying with their group
  • Follow directions for their own and others’ safety
  • Transport themselves around campus, up to a half mile
  • Use respectful words to communicate their needs
If your camper is struggling we will have a quiet, friendly space that campers can take a break and calm down or recharge before returning to their group. We do reserve the right to remove any camper that repeatedly cannot meet these expectations.
My camper went to the same day camp last year, will he/ she enjoy this camp again?
  • The learning objectives are the same, but the activities vary from year to year, depending on the instructor.  There may be some overlap but instructors bring their own touch to the camps.
Where do you go for treats on Fridays?
  • At the end of each week, campers go on a special trip to the Dinkytown McDonald’s for ice cream or another parent-/guardian-approved treat. We go to McDonald's because they are the only venue within walking distance that can ensure there is no cross-contamination with peanuts or other allergens and also provides dairy-free treat options.
What if I don’t want pictures taken of my camper?
  • During the registration process you will be asked to give consent for photo release of your camper. If you choose not to consent, we will make sure that camp staff are aware that they cannot take any photos of your camper.
Do I need to sign my camper in and out every day?
  • Yes, we use this sign in and out process to maintain camper safety and ensure that they are picked up only by the adults that are designated to pick them up. Please come in to the sign-in/-out table each day to drop off and pick up your camper.  
  • You will not be able to drop-off your camper later than 9 a.m. or pick up earlier than 4 p.m.  

Health and Ability Questions:
The Bell Museum welcomes all campers, regardless of medical conditions, allergies, and abilities.  However, camp staff must have signed permission from guardians to distribute or administer medications. Otherwise, the camper must carry emergency medications and be able to administer it themselves. Please document any severe allergies, disabilities, and other concerns carefully.  It’s helpful for our staff to know what accommodations or interventions work for the child in their school or home setting.
If the adult would like to discuss medical/disability or behavioral accommodations in detail, they should E-mail bell-camps@umn.edu and we can set up a time to to talk via phone if you prefer that.
  • Please indicate health issues on the health form including strategies and accommodations when going through registration.
  • Nut Allergies: We have had campers with severe nut allergies attend our camps in the past, this is not a problem. Products containing peanuts or tree nuts are not allowed at our camps out of concern for students and staff who have severe peanut and tree nut allergies.
  • We have had many children with Asperger’s/Autism/ASD, but also understand how different each child’s needs are and are happy to work with guardians ahead of time to develop a plan to set up a plan for your camper’s success at the Bell’s day-camps.  Please email us and we can set up a time to talk.
  • A camper can attend if they do not speak English.  We cannot provide a translator, but the camper can bring one with them.
  • If your camper has a PCA at school and having one will help them have a successful experience at camp please consider sending a PCA with them to camp. Unfortunately, we cannot provide PCA’s through our summer camp program. Let us know during the registration process if you plan to send a PCA with your camper.
Are your staff First Aid/CPR Certified?
  • Yes, all of our staff are First Aid and CPR certified. Each camp leader carries a First Aid Kit with a CPR breathing barrier.  
I need a tax ID # for my camp last year:
Fed TIN:  41-6007513
State:  8029894

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Contact us:
The Bell Museum
of Natural History

10 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


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Contact us:

U of M Tickets and Events
84 Church St SE, Ste 13
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-624-2345
Email:  umntix@umn.edu

Mon - Fri: 10 AM to 5 PM