Summer Camp FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Camp

What is the camp about?
Summer Science Day Camps at The Bakken are about empowering students to solve personally meaningful problems. We do this by mentoring students while they build their own projects and inventions. We provide students with the tools, space, materials, and guidance to make unique and individual inventions. This camp provides students  with the opportunity to practice creative problem solving skills, play games, and make friends. 

What do the students do?
Make things! Students engage in a variety of hands on activities that ultimately prepare them to design and build their own projects to take home over the course of the week.

Everyday starts with games and Creative Problem Solving Challenges. The bulk of time is spent in the workshop, where students  have an assortment of tools and materials available that they can use in their projects and inventions. The students will learn about electricity and circuits, take part in hands-on safety training with the tools in the workshop, engage in activities to inspire creativity, and put together a take-home, science-based magic trick. Students will work with camp staff and volunteers to create their own original creations utilizing the Bakken’s Innovation Process: Wonder, Try, Discover, and Share!

Do the students get to keep their projects?
Yes! Students will keep and take home their daily magic tricks, and their final projects at the end of the week. Each day students will have the opportunity to bring something home.

What is the schedule?
Camp starts each morning at 9am (doors open at 8:45am) and runs until 4pm.
Camps start on Monday and run through Friday, each week (except there is no camp on Monday July 3rd, or Tuesday July 4th).

How much does the program cost?
Most camps cost $325 per session.
Participants with a Household Membership receive a 10% discount, $293 per session.

Session 3 is $250 ($225 for members) and is only 3 days in length.

Are there discounts or scholarships available?
Yes. 10% discount to everyone with a Household, Household+, or Supporting Membership to the museum.

There are two types of need-based scholarships available. Scholarships for 85% of the program cost are available to families that are receiving public assistance. Scholarships for 50% of the program cost are available to other families needing assistance. For more information or to apply please call Visitor Services at (612) 926 – 3878.

What do the students do for lunch?

Campers are expected to bring their own lunch and drink. Lunches and drinks will be collected in the morning and stored until lunchtime. There is no microwave or refrigerator available for campers to use.

What kinds of snacks are provided at morning break?

The Bakken will provide a small snack in the morning. This usually consists of something like pretzels or animal crackers. Students are welcome to bring their own snack if they want more to eat or do not like the snack provided. Campers are also encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottle.

Do the students get to spend any time outside?
Students will go outside for breaks. After lunch we go outside for about 45 minutes and soak in some sunshine by the lake. In the afternoon we head to the rooftop terrace for our 15 minute break. This assumes it's not raining or unbearably hot. Movies or Mythbusters usually serve as our rainy day alternative to outside time. We have a supply of sun screen and insect repellant available to anyone who wants to use it.

How are the all girl camps different from the other weeks?
No boys! Our all girl camp features the same activities and challenges as the other camps with the only difference being the composition of the classes. Girls-only camps are intended to present girls with the opportunity to explore activities and environments that too often appear reserved for boys. By providing a camp for all girls we hope to provide a safe, comfortable environment that empowers young women to pursue science and innovation.

What's different about the camp for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders?
The major difference between this session and the rest is what the students bring of themselves to the camp. The projects and challenge solutions from this session tend to be more advanced and/or complex.

What is the schedule for 4th of July week?
The week of July 4th we will have a 3-day camp for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders.  This week will be essentially the same as the other full-day camps with one exception.  Because of the missing days, this week will have a tighter schedule and more daily workshop time to make sure students still get enough time to work on their projects.

Can you sign up for more than one week of camp?
You are welcome to sign up for multiple weeks of camp. However, each week we repeat the same challenges, tricks, and activities. Campers are welcome to build a new project each week or, if they know they’ll be returning, work on one project over multiple weeks. We recommend limiting your camper experience to a maximum of 2 weeks. 

Are the activities different from last year?
Each year we come up with new challenges and tricks for our students to try. The inventions are up to the students, so they are free to come up with something entirely new and original.

What do I need for the first day of camp?
On the first day of the session you will need the student emergency contact and release forms and a bag lunch. You are welcome to include a snack for break time as well, and we encourage campers to bring a reusable water bottle for the week. If you did not receive the forms by mail, they can be found on our website at

What kind of shoes should be worn?
When students are working in the workshop they will need to have closed toed shoes. NO SANDALS, please. There are many heavy and sharp things in the workshop and we like our students to leave with as many toes as they started with. So far we have had a 100% success rate with this, and we would like to keep it this way.

What happens if I’m put on a waiting list?
If a session is filled to capacity, you can be put onto a waiting list. If there are any cancelations or no-shows, we will call the families on the waiting list on a first come first served basis, you will then have one week to turn in your registration and payment to reserve your spot. 

What is the Bakken's cancellation policy?
For cancelations prior to the program start date:

    ~  up to 30 days prior – 100% refundable, less $25

Other Questions?
If you have other question please feel free to contact one of the program instructors, Justin Spencer ( or André Phillips ( 612-926-3878 ext.225.