Summer Camp FAQs

Have a Question About Camp? 

When will I receive a camp confirmation ticket?

You will instantly receive your e-ticket when you complete an online purchase of your camp. If you do not instantly receive your ticket, call 858-534-7336.

What are your cancelation and rescheduling policies?

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

Rescheduling is dependent on availability. 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.

Where do I find maps or directions to my child's camp?

The maps are located on the password protected camp Parent Site. The password is indicated in your confirmation packet that arrives with your e-ticket after purchase.

How do I get to Birch Aquarium?

Birch Aquarium is located at 2300 Expedition Way in La Jolla. Take I-5 to La Jolla Village Drive. Go west one mile. Turn left on Expedition Way. Turn left at the bottom of the hill into the parking lot.

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 by the Education Office. 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.

What should my child bring to camp? Do they need to bring a lunch?

For half-day camps, your child should bring a snack and drink. Children attending full-day camps must bring both a lunch and a snack/drink. Please do not send money with your child. Campers participating in outdoor activities should wear and bring sunscreen. For a complete list of supplies, log on to the parent site after registering for camp.

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. Please contact us if you wish to discuss special needs accommodation for your child.

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. 

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

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

Do you have overnight camps or extended care before or after camps?

No. We do not offer overnight camps at this time, and we are unable to offer extended care before or after our camps.

What time should I drop off and pick up my child?

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your child’s scheduled camp time.

I have two children going into different grades. 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.

What if someone else is going to pick up my child?

Prior to camp please make sure to fill out the Pick-Up Form stating that your child is going to be picked up by another adult. Please list any adults aside form legal guardians on this form.

The camp I want is full. Will you be opening more spaces?

Once a camp is full, you may join a waitlist. If any spaces open up, we will contact you.

The school my child attends doesn’t have grade levels. What ages correspond to the grade levels?

PreK-K: 4-5 years; Grades 1-2: 5-7 years; Grades 2-3: 7-8 years; Grades 4-6: 8-11 years; Grades 7-9: 11-15 years

What are your student-to-staff ratios?

In our classroom and field programs, the student-to-staff ratio is at least 5:1 for ages 4-5 and 7:1 for ages 6 and up. Programs that take place in the ocean have a 5:1 ratio for all ages.

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. 

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 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.

What is your medical health care policy?

The health care philosophy of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps SLA camps is to support the whole child—mind and body—during their camp experience. This means providing a positive, safe, and healthy environment in which to learn and play in. All campers must be up-to-date on their vaccinations*. If you are unable to complete the Health Form/Waiver form, your child will be unable to attend camp.

*Immunization requirements for 2019 are changing. More information coming soon.

In addition to the “Great Day Guidelines”, 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. This policy will be strictly enforced.


  • 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 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.

How do I register my child for camp?

Registering online 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 membership level and above: March 5, 2019 (by phone only starting at 9 a.m. PST)
Public Registration: March 12, 2019 (online at 12 a.m. PST)

Coming Soon

Is financial aid available?

Thanks to the generosity of various donors, a limited amount of financial aid is available for campers who demonstrate financial need.  

Please verify availability in your preferred camp prior to submitting your financial aid application.

Coming Soon

How do I become a member?

Birch Aquarium at Scripps members save on Summer Learning Adventure Camps. Members who join at our Aquarium Associates level or above receive priority registration. 

Learn More About Membership


I have more questions. Who can I contact?

 Contact us at (858)534-7336 or