Education

Shedd Explorers FAQ

What is the age limit for participants?
What activities will my camper participate in?
Will my child spend time outside?
What areas of the aquarium will campers see?
Can my camper bring his or her cell phone, video games, iPod, etc.?
How do I get in touch with my child while he or she is at camp?
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
What time are pick-up and drop-off?
What documents should my camper and I bring with us on the first day?
What documents should I e-mail, mail or fax before camp begins?
Is child care provided before or after camp?
How many staff members will be with campers during the week?
What should my camper bring to camp?
What should my camper wear?
My camper has a food allergy. Can you accommodate this?
What if my camper needs to take medication during the day?
Can campers buy food at the aquarium?
Will campers be able to shop in the aquarium gift store?
What if I have other questions?

What is the age limit for participants?
Shedd Explorers programs, including summer camp, are designed for participants ages 11-14.

What activities will my camper participate in?
Campers will be presented with fun challenges through the week. To tackle these challenges, campers will explore aquarium exhibits, tour behind-the-scenes areas and meet live animals up close. Your camper will also have the opportunity to get to know aquarium staff from across the building, including animal care staff and exhibit designers. Campers will help design the camp experience by determining which resources will be the most helpful to them as they work together to accomplish goals.

Will my child spend time outside?
We will take every opportunity to spend time outdoors: eating lunch, exploring Shedd’s gardens and investigating natural areas on the Museum Campus. Camp also includes a field day at a nearby nature area, where campers will participate in stewardship activities and connect to nature.

What areas of the aquarium will campers see?
Campers will have the opportunity to learn in every area of Shedd, including the main galleries, the Abbott Oceanarium, the Wild Reef, the new Jellies exhibit and behind-the-scenes areas. We will also enjoy time outdoors on Museum Campus and take a day-long field trip to a local nature area.

Can my camper bring his or her cell phone, video games, iPod, etc.?
Please leave video games, mp3 players and other electronic devices at home. Campers are permitted to bring cell phones, but they must not be used at all during the day (including lunchtime). In order to keep campers focused, electronic devices seen during camp will be confiscated and returned at the end of the day. If your camper is tech-savvy, there will be many opportunities for him or her to exercise those skills throughout the week.

How do I get in touch with my child while he or she is at camp?
Contact the Shedd Education Department at 312-692-3159 or 312-692-3164 to notify us of the camper’s absence or to get in touch with your Shedd Explorer in case of an emergency.

What is the refund and cancellation policy?
No refunds will be issued unless Shedd Aquarium cancels the program. Shedd Aquarium reserves the right to cancel the event for any reason. If your event is cancelled, you will be informed via phone as soon as possible. In the event of a cancellation, you will be fully refunded within 30 days. Your refund method will be based on your original method of payment.

What time are pick-up and drop-off?
Campers are to be dropped off between 8:30-9:00 a.m. each day at the aquarium’s bus turnaround. Camp counselors and Shedd staff members will be at the bus turnaround to greet your child and check him or her in.

Campers are to be picked up at 3:00 p.m. each day at the aquarium’s bus turnaround. It is not necessary for you to leave your car unless you need to speak to a camp staff member. All campers must be picked up by 3:30 p.m. each day.

On Monday, a parent or guardian must accompany campers to check-in so that we can verify emergency information. Parking is available in the Museum Campus parking lots for a fee of approximately $16. Metered parking may also be available on Solidarity Drive.

What documents should my camper and I bring with us on the first day?
You will be e-mailed a number of forms once your child is registered for camp. You will need to bring signed forms with you on the first day of camp. These forms include: signed field excursion permission slip, signed release and waiver, and signed photo release form (optional).

What documents should I e-mail, mail or fax before camp begins?
Please e-mail any special needs or medical considerations for your camper before camp begins. You will also need to fill out general camper information. We will be sending a survey to get feedback from the parents. We will also be gathering information from campers before camp begins to prepare for their experience.

Is child care provided before or after camp?
No, there is not after-camp child care. Campers are to be dropped off between 8:30-9:00 a.m. and picked up between 3:00-3:30 p.m. each day.

How many staff members will be with campers during the week?
Three camp counselors will be working with campers during the week. Additional Education Department staff will be on hand to assist with drop-off, pick-up and other staffing needs as they arise.

What should my camper bring to camp?
Your camper should bring a lunch that does not need to be refrigerated or heated. He or she should also bring a reusable water bottle with them every day. A backpack is recommended with sun screen, a light jacket and a hat. Please label all personal items with the camper's name.

Please note: Campers are not to bring electronic devices such as iPods, portable music players, electronic games, etc. to camp. If discovered by Shedd staff, such devices will be held until the end of the day, at which time they will be returned to the camper.

What should my camper wear?
Campers should wear comfortable clothing and closed-toed shoes (open-toed shoes such as sandals or flip-flops are not permitted behind-the-scenes). All Shedd Explorers will receive a complimentary t-shirt on the first day of camp. Campers must wear their camp t-shirts each day. Additional t-shirts may be purchased for $10 each.

We plan on being outside at times, so campers should dress appropriately. We suggest a rain jacket and umbrella on rainy days, and sunscreen and hat on hot, sunny days.

My camper has a food allergy. Can you accommodate this?
Please indicate your camper’s allergies on the information form when you register. Campers are expected to bring their own lunch each day, though a snack will be provided during our end-of-camp celebration on Friday. We will take your child’s needs into account when choosing a snack.

What if my camper needs to take medication during the day?
Your camper is responsible for bringing and administering medication for him- or herself. If your camper requires assistance with medication, please indicate this on the information form. The Camp Coordinator will contact you to discuss options in detail.

Can campers buy food at the aquarium?
No, campers must bring a lunch, beverage and any snacks they might need during the day. Camp will be going on during our busy season, so purchasing food in the cafeteria will not be possible. Campers will not be permitted to use vending machines around the building or visit food vendors outdoors. Campers will not have access to refrigerators or microwaves. Please make sure your camper eats a complete breakfast before coming to camp each morning.

Will campers be able to shop in the aquarium gift store?
No. If you wish to visit the gift store with your camper, you may do so only after you pick them up at 3 p.m. Please do not send your child to camp with money to spend on food or gifts.

What if I have other questions?
If you have any questions regarding the Shedd Explorers program or your registration, please contact the Youth and Family Programs Coordinator, at 312-692-3164 or families@sheddaquarium.org.

Buy Tickets Give Now Be A Member Shop Online Facebook Flickr Twitter YouTube Google+ Instagram Pinterest Vine