Summer Explorers

Tuition-Based Summer Camps

  • Duration

    Multiple Days

  • Grades

    6 - 12

  • Price

    Varies by Camp; $600-1,300

  • Where

    In the Field

Overview

The National Aquarium's Summer Explorers program offers overnight summer experiences in the field. Guided by the National Aquarium's expert staff of education specialists, campers will explore the natural splendor of Maryland and its local ecology.

Registrations will be accepted for students in grades 6 through 12 and 2024 graduates.

Pricing

Camp pricing is per camper and varies based on the type of experience. Full descriptions of the individual programs and respective costs can be found under the 2024 Camps section.

National Aquarium members receive a reduced rate per camper; these prices are also listed with the 2024 Camp descriptions.

Registration Information

Summer Explorers' participation will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for each camp will remain open until the program's start date. Campers may also sign up for a waitlist, but this does not guarantee slots will become available.

Registration Terms and Conditions

  • A 50% nonrefundable deposit is due at the time of registration. The remaining balance is due by May 1, 2024. Reminders for payment will be sent ahead of the due date.
  • Registrations received after May 1, 2024, must be paid in full.
  • A camper's spot will be forfeited if full payment is not received by May 15, 2024.

Cancellation Policy

In the event a camper cannot participate after registering, cancellations must be received a minimum of four weeks, or 20 business days, before the program's start date for a partial refund of 25%. Refunds for cancellations received within four weeks of a program's start date will not be given. Partial refunds for missed days of camp will not be issued. If the National Aquarium must cancel a camp program, all participants will receive a full refund.

Contact

Please get in touch with us at Camps@aqua.org with any questions about camp programs or registration.

2024 Camp Registration

Register for this year's Summer Explorers camp opportunities today via CampDoc*!

2024 Camps

Date: June 24 to June 28, 2024
Price: $1,300 per person
Member Price: $1,170 per person

Spend the week at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Lab on the Eastern Shore. Discover the different aquatic systems found in Maryland through beach seining, canoe trips, water testing and other aquatic exploration. Campers will learn about freshwater streams, Chesapeake marshes, and the vast Atlantic Ocean ecosystems of Maryland and their inhabitants. This summer camp includes round-trip van transportation from the National Aquarium to UMCES in Cambridge, Maryland, plus lodging and meals. Three Aquarium educators and an EMT lead this camp.

Registrants must be ages 11-12 at the time of camp to participate. The camp's optional virtual pre-trip meeting will be on June 8, 2024.

Date: July 10 to July 12, 2024
Price: $750 per person
Member Price: $675 per person

Mallows Bay is the first National Marine Sanctuary located in Maryland. During this trip, campers will learn about the ghost fleet of Mallows Bay and venture onto the Potomac River by kayak. In addition to the ghost fleet, campers will learn about the area's cultural heritage, including commercial fishing operations and the history of tribal nations. Investigate how some of our modern achievements have changed the ecology of this river system and ways conservationists are helping species to overcome these changes. This camp includes round-trip van transportation from the National Aquarium to Cedarville State Forest in Brandywine, Maryland, two nights of tent camping (tents provided) and meals. Three aquarium educators lead this camp, with medically trained personnel present on location.

Registrants must be ages 12-14 at the time of camp to participate. The camp's optional virtual pre-trip meeting will be on June 22, 2024.

Date: July 15 to July 19, 2024
Price: $1,300 per person
Member Price: $1,170 per person

Spend the week at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Lab on the Eastern Shore. Discover Chesapeake marshes and waterways through beach seining, canoe trips, water testing and other aquatic exploration. Visit an oyster hatchery, conduct a research experiment, and hike through Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Learn about careers in conservation and what you can do to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This summer camp includes round-trip van transportation from the National Aquarium to UMCES in Cambridge, Maryland, plus lodging and meals. Three Aquarium educators and an EMT lead this camp.

Registrants must be ages 13-15 at the time of camp to participate. The camp's optional virtual pre-trip meeting will be on June 29, 2024.

Date: June 19 to June 21, 2024
Price: $750 per person
Member Price: $675 per person

Pocomoke River State Park, located along the banks of the Pocomoke River, is best known for its cypress swamps. This unique habitat in Maryland showcases a variety of unusual plants and animals. Campers will engage their senses as we hike through the park and participate in hands-on activities to learn about these creatures. In addition to learning about the cypress swamps, campers will venture further to the east and visit Assateague Island National Seashore and participate in hiking, fishing and more. This camp includes round-trip van transportation from the National Aquarium to Pocomoke River State Park in Snow Hill, Maryland, two nights of tent camping (tents provided) and meals. Three aquarium educators lead this camp, with medically trained personnel present on location.

Registrants must be ages 14-16 at the time of camp to participate. The camp's optional virtual pre-trip meeting will be on June 1, 2024.

Date: August 7 to August 9, 2024
Price: $750 per person
Member Price: $675 per person

Fort Frederick State Park sits on the banks of the upper Potomac River, with its centerpiece being a stone fort built during the French and Indian War. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal also passes through the park. Campers will be immersed in history as we learn about the lives of those who served at the fort and the history of early transportation via the C&O Canal. Throughout this trip, we will conduct water quality testing, hike through the parks and view the river during a tubing trip leaving Harpers Ferry to see how the past has impacted the river today. This camp includes round-trip van transportation from the National Aquarium to Fort Frederick State Park in Big Pool, Maryland, two nights of tent camping (tents provided) and meals. Three aquarium educators lead this camp, with medically trained personnel present on location.

Registrants must be ages 15-18 at the time of camp to participate. The camp's optional virtual pre-trip meeting will be on July 20, 2024.

Date: July 31 to August 1, 2024
Price: $600 per person
Member Price: $540 per person

Have you ever wanted to experience the life of a shark biologist? Join Aquarium educators in this overnight study as we delve into the world of shark research. Explore Ocean City's coastal marshes, dunes and grasslands; join shark biologists on a shark tagging cruise and learn more about ongoing research in Maryland. This overnight camp includes round-trip van transportation to and from Ocean City, Maryland, one night's lodging at Salisbury University and meals. Three Aquarium educators lead this camp, with medically trained personnel present on location.

Registrants must be ages 16-18 at the time of camp to participate. The camp's optional virtual pre-trip meeting will be on July 13, 2024.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

The Summer Explorers program and the National Aquarium strive to create a welcoming environment that prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.

*CampDoc is a secure and encrypted online registration service that also serves as an electronic health record system for National Aquarium camp staff to reference. A CampDoc account allows for easy registration and payment and will send email reminders for outstanding balances and incomplete health information. Please add campdoc.com to your safe sender list so notifications are not accidentally sent to a spam folder. The National Aquarium receives no benefit from the cancellation insurance offered by CampDoc. Questions about the insurance or its use should be directed to the insurance agency.

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