Science Camp sells out in record time
The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s science camps are always popular, but you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to get a spot.
In fact, the camps sold out faster this year than they ever have. Right now camp director Morgan Syvertsen says there are only a few family camp spots available. “It was amazing to watch, we have been getting phone calls from people wonder- ing why they weren’t able to register,” said Syvertsen. “It was the fastest it has ever been. We had some camps sold out before Christmas.”
Registration opened on December 5 and within a day, 44 per cent of the spots were taken. A week later, they were over 70 per cent sold out. He says as of today, the youth spots are taken, but there are spaces in the shorter family camps.
This is in the face of tougher economic times. While the majority of participants are from Alberta, they also get registration from across Canada, and beyond. “We have seven kids coming from the United States this year,” he said. “It’s not unusual for some coming from England.” He credits the growth of the camp’s popularity to the fact that the camp practices real science. “I think the reason that it become so successful is that we have gotten away from the whole idea of it being a summer camp where you come and play dinosaurs, to an emphasis on citizen science where you come and contribute to the work being done here,” said Syvertsen. “The kids actually work with, or do projects for, the researchers. We have prospected and found things that scientists are using. We collect things, wash it, process it and even sort it under a microscope and hand it off to them.”
“I think instead of summer camp, it is a palaeontology boot camp.”
This is the kind of experience that would look good on a resume or college application. “We have so many of our camp graduates who have gone on to university now, and they come back and say “wow, we got to do things in camp that we haven’t been able to do in university yet.”
He looks forward to the future, although the camp is looking for a sponsor. Its long time partnership with Encana has expired.
“The future looks bright in terms of the expansion of the museum, we will probably be able to expand the size of the camp and do more cool things.”
The Science Camp at the Royal Tyrrell Museum sold out faster than it ever has, and currently there are only a few family camp spaces available.