Limited scholarships are available for youth who need financial support to attend Aquarium camps. Financial aid is awarded to campers based on financial need and an application reviewed for completeness and the child’s expressed level of interest via the application assignment. Please note that booking a reservation as a full-paying individual precludes you from applying for a scholarship.
Scholarship applications are accepted on a rolling basis until spaces are filled. Don’t delay!
Recipients of a scholarship will be required to pay a copay for the program’s tuition, dependent on your household’s Gross Adjusted Income (typically Line 37 from IRS form 1040, or equivalent).
Annual Household Income Junior/Senior Programs Co-Pay Advanced 1-Week Programs Co-Pay Advanced 2-Week Programs Co-Pay <$40,000 $50 $55 $115 $40,000 – $80,000 $100 $110 $230 >$80,000 Not Eligible Not Eligible Not Eligible
We would like to thank the following major donors to the Harbor Discoveries Program:
- New Balance Foundation
- Summer Fund
- Roy A. Hunt Foundation
- Eaton Vance
- Cabot Corporation
- Arthur J. Gallagher
For information on how you can support this and other Aquarium programs, visit our Giving page.
What to Bring and What to Leave at Home
Please make sure your children have everything on these lists that they need for camp, and make sure all of their belongings are clearly labeled.
There are certain items you should leave at home. Instructors reserve the right to confiscate items deemed inappropriate for use during the program. These will be returned at the end of the last day of the program. Please be aware that lost and found items will not be mailed to participants if left at camp; all items must be picked up in the camp office.
What to Bring
Meals and Snacks
Participants are provided with snacks and lunch all week, including meals on the overnight. Bag lunches will include sandwich, drink, and fruit snack.
If your children have allergies or dietary restrictions, please note it/them on the paperwork you submit and inform the camp office at least a week before your child’s time at camp. You may need to send lunch and a snack with them to camp.
For Day Trips
Please be sure to label your belongings.
- Insect repellent (preferably lotion)
- Sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
- Sweatshirt, jacket, or windbreaker
- Hat or visor
- Backpack or small duffel bag (with closures)
- Small nutritious snack (Snacks are provided. Please contact the camp office directly if your child has dietary restrictions.)
- Plastic water bottle, filled with ice (On the first day of camp, campers are given a reusable water bottle to keep.)
- Water shoes or old shoes that can get wet or muddy
- A set of clean, dry clothes
- Small old hand towel
- Snorkel and dive mask (optional)
- Any special or personal necessities (subject to the “leave at home” list below)
Please pack lightly and label all belongings. Program participants carry their own belongings. In addition to key items from the day trip list, please bring:
- Sleeping bag (pad and pillow optional)
- Warm clothes (e.g. sweatshirt and sweatpants)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Rain gear (raincoat and pants are best)
What to Leave at Home
Items Not Allowed at Camp
- Candy and gum
- Cell phones
- Trading cards
- iPods® or personal stereos, CDs, MP3 and DVD players, and headphones
- Gameboys® and/or video games
- Jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, and watches (unless waterproof)
- Money (no purchases of food or souvenirs will be allowed during programs)
Instructors reserve the right to confiscate materials deemed inappropriate for use during the program. Items will be returned at the end of the last day of the program.
Harbor Discoveries Camps Open House
This year’s Harbor Discoveries Camps Open House was held on Saturday, June 25, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. This will be an informal opportunity for registered campers and their parents to meet the camp staff, learn about what to expect with the program and ask questions. The Open House will be held in the Aquarium’s Ocean Center, in the Harborside Learning Lab. There is no set schedule—you may come and go at any point during the Open House.
Camp Pricing and Payment Policies
Junior and senior camps are $650 for members and $725 for non-members. Advanced camps are $725 for members and $800 for non-members ($1,400/$1,500 for special two-week sessions). Short weeks are $125 less. A $2 service fee will be added to each non-member ticket.
When to Pay
Registration by phone or online is available.
- A $75 nonrefundable deposit via credit card is due at the time of registration.
- 50 percent of the total camp cost is due no later than March 4, 2016, and may be paid by personal check or credit card. No purchase orders or billing are permitted. If registering after March 4, 2016, a 50 percent nonrefundable payment is required immediately via credit card.
- The final, nonrefundable balance is due no later than May 27, 2016.
Any registrations accepted after May 27, 2016, will require immediate, nonrefundable full payment by credit card.
- All payments are nonrefundable. Due to high demand for these programs, there will be no exceptions to this policy, even in cases of illness where participants are unable to attend. If a payment deadline is not met, we will attempt to contact you before we make your spot available to other registrants.
How to Pay
If you have a balance, make payments by one of the following methods:
- Online – Sign into your Parent Dashboard to make payment
- By Phone – Call the Aquarium Reservations Department at 617-973-5206.
- Make payable to “New England Aquarium” and write the camper name(s) in the memo field of the check.
- Mail to:
New England Aquarium
Boston, MA 02110
Limited camp scholarships are available for youth who need financial support to attend Aquarium camps. Financial aid is awarded to campers based on financial need and an application reviewed for completeness and the child’s expressed level of interest via the application assignment. Please note that booking a reservation as a full-paying individual precludes you from applying for a scholarship.
Camp Parking, Drop-off, and Pickup
Aquarium camp staff will direct vehicles to park in the semi-circle in front of the Aquarium. Please clearly display your temporary parking permit. Monday morning check-in is more time consuming than any other morning. When dropping off a child, you may only park temporarily. If you want to speak to instructors at length, please plan to park your car in the closest parking garage at your own expense.
New for 2016, Harbor Discoveries is offering early drop-off! For an additional tuition charge, campers can be dropped off at the Aquarium as early as 8 a.m. They will be properly supervised and engaged with fun activities, but program curriculum will not be delivered during this time. This option is offered at discount if opted into before the day of programming. Please visit your Parent Dashboard to enroll in this option. Refunds are not available if a camper does not arrive in time for the Early Drop-Off period.
The program begins with drop-off between 8:45 and 9 a.m. A staff person will open the doors to the Ocean Center’s Harborside Learning Lab at 8:45 a.m. If you arrive before that time, you and your child will need to wait near the Ocean Center entrance until the drop-off time period begins. Unless guardians have elected in the paperwork to allow their child to check in to camp on their own (available only for campers age 12 and older), all campers must be signed in to the program by an authorized adult.
You may park temporarily in the plaza in front of the Aquarium to pick up your child. Please display your parking permit on your dashboard for Aquarium security. Pickup time for Monday-Wednesday is between 4:45 and 5 p.m. On Friday, plan to arrive between 12:45 and 1 p.m. Campers may not leave until they have checked out with their instructor.
Please notify the camp office ASAP if you will be late in picking up your child by calling 617-877-1428. If the camp office is not aware that you will be late, then any child who is not picked up by 5:15 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and 1:15 p.m. on Friday may be taken to the Boston Police station located near Government Center until a parent/guardian is able to retrieve the child. Your child will be without Aquarium staff supervision once under the supervision of Boston Police. If you are running late, please let us know. We will not take this step unless we are unable to reach an authorized adult for the camper.
We will not release children to take public transportation or taxi cabs without prior written consent from the parent/guardian.
If you need to pick up your child early, please call 617-226-2425 at least 48 hours in advance. A staff person will call you back to make the necessary arrangements. While you may request an early release, it may not always be possible due to the many offsite activities planned. No refunds or price adjustments will be made for early pickups.