Camp Registration and FAQs

How to Register  Camper Health Policies  Cancellation and Rescheduling  Staff and Ratios  Check In & Out

Water Camp Policies  Individual Camper Needs

How to Register

Online registration is the quickest and most secure way to process your payment. You can also register by phone at 858-534-7336 or in person at the Birch Aquarium Visitor Services Office. 

Aquarium Associates & Above: March 3rd, 2020

  • Online starting at 12 a.m. (PST)
  • By phone starting at 9 a.m. (PST)

Members and General Registration: March 10th, 2020

  • Online starting at 12 a.m. (PST)
  • By phone starting at 9 a.m. (PST)

Information Needed When Registering:

  • Camper's full name and date of birth
  • Parent/Legal guardian full name and contact information (email, phone, etc.)
  • Membership number (if applicable)

Book & Check Availability 

Age Requirements

Enroll your child according to the age he/she will be by the start of the camp session. Our programs are designed for the age group specified, and age grouping will be strictly upheld. Birth certificate verification is required for any child entering four and five year old camps. 

Camp Confirmation Materials

Once your registration is processed, you will receive two emails.

  1. Confirmation email
    • This email will contain important information directing you to a password-safe parent website where you will be able to download all of your camp details such as map(s), camp descriptions, supplies to bring, etc. 
    • It is important that you visit this web page to obtain the items needed for the first day of camp.
  2. CampDoc™ Medical Form
    • New this year, we will be using CampDoc™ to collect all medical information and waivers for our campers.  CampDoc™ is the leading health record system for camps.
    • Your camper's spot is not secure until you have completed the CampDoc form. Please complete as soon as you receive the email.

Waitlist Process

Once a camp is full, you may join a waitlist. Waitlist entries are contacted on a first come, first served basis. 

It is difficult to anticipate if or when a spot in a waitlisted camp will become available as this occurrence is dependent on a registered camper deciding to cancel their enrollment. 

If any spaces open up, we will immediately begin contacting people on the waitlist by phone and email.

Financial Aid 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, a limited amount of financial aid is available for campers who demonstrate financial need. To read more about our financial aid opportunities and to apply, please visit Camp Financial Aid.


Camper Health Policies 

We are now using CampDoc™ for all health forms and waivers!  You will receive an email from notifications@campdoc.com. Please make sure to check your spam folder and fill out you child's forms ASAP. Your camper's spot is not secure until the forms are filled out!

Immunization requirements?

All campers must be fully immunized to participate in camp. A statement from the custodial parent/guardian attesting that all immunizations required for school are up to date, including the date (month/year) for last tetanus shot, is required. This record can be obtained from your child’s school or physician and attached to the Health History form. We require a current health history every camp season.

My camper is feeling unwell and it’s the week of their registered camp. Should I still bring them to camp?

To ensure the safety and health of our campers, we ask parents/guardians to please adhere to the following illness policy. If you or your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms please call the Camp Coordinator at (858)967-2126 and let them know your child will not be attending camp that day. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Symptoms:

  • Fever of 100 degrees F (38.8 C)
  • Sore Throat and/or cold symptoms
  • Coughing Congestion Discharge from the nose of any color (non-allergy related)
  • Earache
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained rash or itching
  • Pinkeye
  • Diarrhea or nausea
  • Staph or strep infections
  • Lice, or other contagious parasite

Campers needing treatment or medication during the hours of camp will need a parent/guardian or other authorized adult administer treatment/medication.

Camp staff is not permitted to store/carry medication or administer any treatment/medication other than general first aid, CPR and/or AED. Life-saving medication (EpiPen and/or inhaler) is permitted and must stay under the control of the camper at all times. Camper must be able to self-administer these medications. Camp staff can provide assistance if necessary.

Prior notification, via camp medical form and conversation with camp staff, of any special treatment/medication will ensure camper’s health needs are supported and accommodated by camp staff and schedules. 


Cancellation and Rescheduling Policy

  • Cancellation Fee: $50
  • Rescheduling Fee: $25
  • No refunds within one (1) week of camp*

Camps are refundable until seven (7) days prior to the start of that camp, less a $50 cancellation fee. *There will be no refunds within one (1) week of the camp.

There is a $25 rescheduling fee for each instance of rescheduling a camp. You can reschedule a camp up to seven (7) days before the start of your original camp, if a spot is available. *If you reschedule within seven (7) days of the start of your camp, you are responsible for paying the full amount for the camp spot vacated, in addition to the camp spot you have rescheduled to.

Should a camp have insufficient enrollment, it will be canceled five (5) days prior to the scheduled start date. In this event, a full refund will be made, or an opportunity to enroll in another camp—space permitting—will be provided.


Staff and Ratios

What is your camp philosophy?

Our camps and camp environments are designed to support inclusive and collaborative learning, promote exploration and discovery, and empower campers to reach their full potential.

Who are the camp staff?

Full-time and part-time employees and interns. All camp staff are required to complete one full week of training and background checks each year. Our year-round staff are CPR and First Aid certified.

Camper-to-Staff Ratios

In our classroom and field programs, the camper-to-staff ratio is at least:

  • Ages 4-5: 1 staff member for every 6 campers (1:6)
  • Ages 6+: 1 staff member for every 8 campers (1:8)
  • Water Camps: 1 staff member for every 5 campers—of all ages (1:5)

Camp Check-In & Check-Out

What time should I check in and check out my child?

Camp check-in will begin 15 minutes prior to your child’s scheduled camp start time. You will check them into camp by signing in with a camp staff member. Camp check-out will take place directly at the end of camp. All parents/guardians must have their photo ID to sign their child out of camp each day and be on the campers approved pickup list. All campers must be signed out during the 15 minute period following the end of camp. If you have a camper to drop at a water camp and a camper to drop at Birch Aquarium, please drop your water camper first!

What if someone else is going to check-in and/or check-out my child?

when registering make sure to fill out the pick-up authorization stating that your child is going to be picked up by another adult. Please list any adults aside form legal guardians on this form. You camper cannot be released to an adult that is not listed.

Is parking available at Birch Aquarium?

Three-hour complimentary parking is available for aquarium visitors. We ask that you park in the lot and escort your child to the camp check-in table. Please do not park in the traffic circle when dropping off or picking up your child due to the high volume of summertime visitors and clearance for emergency vehicles. Camp participants will have access to a limited number of 15-minute pick-up/drop-off parking spaces in the lot.  


Water Camp Policies 

What does ‘intermediate swimming’ mean?

A camper with “intermediate swimming” abilities must be able to do each of the following:

  • Swim 50 yards using any coordinated style of swimming (side stroke, crawl stroke, breaststroke, etc)
  • Tread water continuously for one minute
  • Float motionless in deep water for three minutes

What kind of snorkel equipment should I have for my child?

We recommend a traditional mask that covers only the eyes and nose and a snorkel that can be connected/adjusted on the mask. Full face masks are not recommended because of safety concerns in ocean conditions.

Where do I rent or buy snorkel equipment for my child?

You may rent or buy snorkel equipment from OEX located at 2243 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037 (Telephone: 858-454-6195). Buying equipment may be the best option if you will be using it for more than one day. Large retailers also sell equipment (Sports Chalet, Target, or Walmart). Please have your child try on equipment before the first day of camp. 


Individual Camper Needs  

I have two children of different ages. Can I put them in the same camp?

We feel that social learning is very important in camp. To maintain the program-quality standards of our camps, campers need to be enrolled in the camp designated for their age group.

My child has special needs. How do you accommodate this?

Birch Aquarium at Scripps collaborates with Kids Included Together, a nationwide program that provides our staff with training and support for including children with and without disabilities. Although our staff have training, we cannot accommodate one-on-one support. Please contact us if you wish to discuss a plan for your child.

My child is shy. Can I stay with him/her during the camp?

We ask that all parents refrain from attending camp as we find children acclimate quickly. We do however allow a parent to stay at the aquarium while their child is in camp. 

Do you have extended care before or after camps?

No, we are unable to offer extended care before or after our camps at this time. 


For more information on programs and registration, please contact Visitor Services via email at birchaquariumprograms@ucsd.edu or you can reach us by phone from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 858-534-7336