Summer Camp at The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier

2020 Discovery Kids Summer Camps

At The Discovery Center, your child will find fun and challenging educational activities designed to encourage creativity. Our talented camp instructors  are devoted to enhancing learning and adventure through projects, experiments, art, music, dance, creative expression, game play, outside adventures, and numerous hands-on activities. 

All of our camp programs are NYS licensed and have low child to adult ratios to ensure your child has the opportunity to build relationships with staff and other children in a safe and nurturing environment.

And let’s not forget, your child will be able to spend sunny days learning and playing in our award-winning Story Garden and rainy days exploring the region’s one and only children’s museum. What better place is there for your kids to spend their summer?

Young boy in Story Garden

Early Bird Savings for Full-day Campers

Now through May 16, if you register your child for the full summer, you will receive 10% off your registration.

Camp Structure and Rates

Our camps are divided into four different age groups: Pre-k, Ages 5-6, Ages 7-8, and Ages 9-12. 

Pre-k

Pre-k Summer Camp at The Discovery Center

Pre-k Camp (9AM – 12PM)

  • $86 for members per week
  • $96 for non-members per week

For our youngest campers, we are offering Pre-k camps all summer.

These half-day morning camps are open to 4 year olds and will help your child adjust to a school-like setting and prepare them for Pre-k or kindergarten in the fall.

Your child will learn new skills as they interact with their peers and adjust to classroom routines.

*To participate in this camp, your child must be toilet trained. You will also need to supply proof of immunizations and last medical physical to complete your registration.

Ages 5-8

Summer Camp at The Discovery Center

Morning session only (9AM – 12PM)

  • $86 for members per week
  • $96 for non-members per week

Afternoon session only (1PM – 4PM)

  • $86 for members per week
  • $96 for non-members per week

Full Day (9AM – 4PM)

  • $172 for members per week
  • $192 for non-members per week

Childcare subsidies through the Department of Social Services (DSS) will be accepted on a limited basis for full-day only camps. Please contact Kristy Wales at 607-773-8661 ext 209 for details.

We know some parents are looking for half-day options while others are looking for full. That’s why we offer parents the opportunity to choose what is best for your 5-8 year old campers.

Morning and afternoon camps will follow the same theme but include different activities. 

Due to scheduling factors, an afternoon camp may have an opportunity for a special guest that a morning camp does not and vice versa. 

Whether you sign up for the morning, the afternoon, or both, your child will have plenty to do!

Ages 9-12

Summer Camp at The Discovery Center

Ages 9-12 Camp (9AM – 4PM)

  • $172 for members per week
  • $192 for non-members per week

Childcare subsidies through the Department of Social Services (DSS) will be accepted on a limited basis for full-day camps. Please contact Kristy Wales at 607-773-8661 ext 209 for details.

Camps for our “big kids” are full-day because they are jam-packed with so many cool projects – your child won’t want to miss a minute.

Designed with numerous opportunities for child-directed fun, your child will be challenged with engaging projects that will develop over the course of the camp session.

Registration Fee and Required Deposit

A one-time registration fee ($18) covers the cost of this year’s camp t-shirt with a cinch bag. Half of the cost of your total summer camp fee is required as a deposit at the time of registration to hold your child’s slot. You must pay your camp fee in full a week before camp begins. Your deposit is nonrefundable.

Extended Camp Options

We offer before-camp care (8AM – 9AM) and after-camp care (4PM – 5:30PM). Each option can be purchased separately for $26 per week, or $52 per week for both. Before-camp care and after-camp care require pre-registration.  There will be no on-site registration at drop-off or pick-up. Breakfast will be available for children registered for before-camp care.

Member Discount

In order to qualify for special member discounts, your family membership must be current at time of registration through August 2020. If your membership will expire before September, you must renew it before completing your camp registration in order to receive the member rate. When you renew your membership now, your new membership year is activated when your current membership expires. To purchase or renew a membership, click here or call 607-773-8661.

No refunds will be given for memberships purchased after camp registration is completed.

Membership benefits are not transferable, and membership discounts for camp cannot be used to register extended family members.

A Typical Day at Camp

Adventure and learning are waiting around every corner at the Discovery Center! Every morning, campers will gather in their classrooms and settle in with their instructors. From there they’ll take part in all kinds of engaging activities.

We’ll conduct hands-on experiments, create art, sing, and dress up! Each day includes playtime in our hands-on children’s museum, award-winning Story Garden, or the woods of Ross Park. Structured games like gaga ball, hide and seek, and tag keep kids moving. Everyone will be back in their classrooms for pickup with plenty of stories to tell!

Pre-k Camp Descriptions

Pre-k Camps run July 6 – August 21, 2020.

The Great Big Outdoors
Come explore the great outdoors! Your little ones will learn all about their world through nature-inspired games, creative arts, songs, and experiments. And of course plenty of time playing in our Story Garden and exploring Ross Park! We will study a different children’s author each day.

Down By The Sea!
We’re bringing the sand and the sea to the Discovery Center! Come play in the waves and learn all about the creatures in the ocean. We’ll build castles, splash in the creek, dance like ocean animals, and have a beach picnic. Watch out for seagulls!

Animaltastic
Can you slither like a snake? Can you moo like a cow? Can you hop like a rabbit? This week is all about the different animals in our world. From the desert to farms to your own living room, there are animals all around us. Let’s have a week of games and art inspired by our animal friends and make a collage of our favorite animals!

Ready! Set! Go!
Whether we’re waving our hands, kicking our legs, or spinning in circles, humans were made to move. We’ll challenge ourselves to obstacle courses and paint with our feet! Join us as we play stretch, run, balance, dance, and hike our way through the week.

The Happy Camper!
What color makes you feel happy? One place you can put your feelings is into your art. This week we’ll explore our emotions through painting, drawing, sculpting, and more!

Garden Growers Did you know that everything we eat relies on three things? With soil, sun, and water we can grow carrots, apples, and so much more! Create vegetable art and use fruits and vegetables to paint a work of art. Spend a week with the Discovery Center exploring our Story Garden, our worm friends, and the plants growing all over Ross Park.

Field Days!
It’s time for some good old-fashioned field days! Join us for a whole week of challenges from bubble blowing contests to races to scavenger hunts. We’ll channel our talents in our sidewalk art challenge and end the week with special surprise!

Ages 5-6 Camp Descriptions

Camps for ages 5-6 run July 6 – August 28, 2020.

A Pirate’s Adventure!
Ahoy, matey! Come aboard the S.S. Discovery! You and your friends will transform into a fearsome crew of pirates and sail the seven seas. You’ll build your own boat, learn how to use a compass, have a pirate sing-along, and hunt for buried treasure. Adventure awaits!

Science To The Limit!
This week we are taking science to the extreme! We’ll be exploring life at the depths of the ocean, inside volcanoes, and at the top of the world. Do you think we could survive these conditions? We’ll end the week by sculpting brand new animals adapted to live in the craziest conditions.

Gather Round the Campfire!
Put on your boots and get your s’more stick because we are going camping! This week we’ll have all of the fun of an overnight camping trip with none of the trouble. We’ll learn how to hike safely, create nature sculptures, pitch a tent, and even make some tasty trail snacks. Let’s hit the trail!

The World of Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs have taken over the Discovery Center! We need to learn as much as we can about our new Jurassic neighbors. What do they look like? What do they eat? Are they friendly? We’ll spend the week making cretaceous creative arts, playing gigantic games, and excavating ferocious fossils!

Busy Bugs!
Nothing says summer quite like bugs! This week we’re getting up close and personal with our creepy, crawly, fluttery, slithery, slimy friends. We’ll practice some of the techniques that entomologists (bug scientists) use to capture specimens in the air, the water, and on dry land. We’ll learn how insects use color for their survival and draw our specimens. That means plenty of time tramping through Ross Park!

Animal Antics!
Whether they’re flying, crawling, swimming, or walking, we want to learn about them all! We’ll look for animal evidence in the woods, collect crayfish in the creek, and create our own animal masks. Of course you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for the stuffed animal fashion show!

Discovery Center Spirit Week!
Discovery Kids Spirit Week! We’re celebrating the end of summer with a good old fashioned all-camp color war! Our mixed-age teams (ages 5-12) will compete against each other in scavenger hunts, capture the flag, riddles, and other daily challenges. We’ll crown the winners at our end of the year picnic on Friday!

**BONUS SESSION**
Goodbye Summer!
Need an extra week of summer fun between camp and school? We’ve got you covered! This mixed-age group of kids (ages 5-12) will get to explore all over Ross Park, play in the museum, and participate in all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities.

Ages 7-8 Camp Descriptions

Camps for ages 7-8 run July 6 – August 28, 2020.

The Science of Art
Think art and science are two separate things? Think again! We’re combining two of our favorite topics into one awesome camp. Learn how scientific discoveries have impacted the world of art and how art affects science. You’ll explore the science behind colors, use gravity to create a masterpiece, and turn science experiments into art work to treasure.

Back to the Future!
We’re journeying back in time to the 1980s and returning to some camp classics! We’ll learn new skills like lanyards and tie-dye. From pinch pots to tug of war to ghost stories, we’ll be revisiting the old activities and games that really make a summer rad.

Holiday Camp
It’s Christmas in July! And Halloween! And Thanksgiving! And Valentine’s Day! And your birthday! We’re taking the best days of the year and putting them all in one fun-filled week. Learn about other special holidays around the world from different cultures.We’ll go trick-or-treating, decorate a tree, and have one big birthday party for ourselves.

Wild, Wild World
Have you ever seen a woodpecker in a tree? Or found a salamander hiding in the forest? This week we’re going to explore all of the wonders of the woods. We’ll make our own forts in the trees, draw on leaves, play in the creek, and learn all about our animal friends around the world. We’ll have a wild time!

Wizard Academy
The Discovery Center Department of Magical Arts is pleased to announce that you have been selected for a week of wizardry training. Electives will include potion brewing, familiar animal training, bewitching, and fortune telling. Each trainee will design their own magical crest. No prior magical experience necessary!

Superhero Camp
The Discovery Center is in danger and we need your help to save it! Transform into a superhero and make your very own logo and costume. You must unlock your hidden powers and figure out how you can use them to fight evil and save our camps!

Discovery Center Spirit Week!
Discovery Kids Spirit Week! We’re celebrating the end of summer with a good old fashioned all-camp color war! Our mixed-age teams (ages 5-12) will compete against each other in scavenger hunts, capture the flag, riddles, and other daily challenges. We’ll crown the winners at our end of the year picnic on Friday!

**BONUS SESSION**
Goodbye Summer!
Need an extra week of summer fun between camp and school? We’ve got you covered! This mixed-age group of kids (ages 5-12) will get to explore all over Ross Park, play in the museum, and participate in all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities.

Ages 9-12 Camp Descriptions

Camps for ages 9-12 run July 6 – August 28, 2020.

You’ve Got Game!
Do you want to learn new skills? Improve your coordination? Find out if you’re the fastest kid in summer camp? Do you want to create a brand new sport? Play real-life video and board games? Cheer your teammates to their personal best by creating a banner and making noise? Come join the team for a week all about play, competition, and cooperation!

Time Travelers!
Come join us on a journey through time! Do you have the toga-making skills it takes to live as an ancient Greek? Can you decode a Renaissance painting or create a mosaic? Could you survive the food of the 1950s? We’ll go on an archaeological dig and learn how to interpret clues from the past.

Zombie Apocalypse!
Something strange is going on at the Discovery Center. People have started to walk really slowly and our staff only wants to eat brains. It can only mean one thing: zombies. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to find the source of the outbreak and stop it before it reaches your camp.

The Great Discovery Center Cooking Camp!
Calling all chefs! The Discovery Center is pleased to announce that we are playing host to one of the greatest cooking competitions the world has ever seen. Can you cook a full meal? Create a cake masterpiece? You’ll learn how! Join us for a week of delicious (and gross!) challenges. Who will chop, measure, frost, stir, and sautée their way to victory?

DC Behind the Scenes
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work at the Discovery Center? Well now’s your chance to find out! In this super special camp you’ll get to interview staff members, help the Story Garden grow, plan activities for our younger campers, and even design a new exhibit for the museum. Welcome to Team DC!

All the World’s a Stage
Are you bursting with creativity? Do you want to let your voice be heard? Do you have a story to tell? Then join the DC Theater Company! We’ll spend the week planning, writing, and designing our very own play, musical, or variety show. The choice is yours! Whether you were born a star or prefer working behind the scenes, this is the camp for you.

Discovery Center Spirit Week!
Discovery Kids Spirit Week! We’re celebrating the end of summer with a good old fashioned all-camp color war! Our mixed-age teams (ages 5-12) will compete against each other in scavenger hunts, capture the flag, riddles, and other daily challenges. We’ll crown the winners at our end of the year picnic on Friday!

**BONUS SESSION**
Goodbye Summer!
Need an extra week of summer fun between camp and school? We’ve got you covered! This mixed-age group of kids (ages 5-12) will get to explore all over Ross Park, play in the museum, and participate in all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities.

Food

Full-day campers need to bring a lunch and snacks from home that do not need to be heated or refrigerated. Depending on each day’s weather and activities, we may eat in a classroom or in the Story Garden. We ask that all families be considerate of food allergies. We will email parents ahead of time if there is an allergy in the camp that they should be aware of.

Waitlist and Late Registration

Many camps fill up early so we do maintain waitlists for camps if they reach capacity. Camp registration will close the Wednesday before each camp week begins. Parents will be notified on Thursday if their kids are registered off the waitlist. There will be no onsite registrations once a session begins.

Cancellation Policy

We are unable to issue refunds for any cancellations.

Questions?

For more information, email edu@thediscoverycenter.org or call (607) 773-8661.