Science Camps of America

  • Field Study
  • Monk Seal
  • Host Springs
  • Dr. McCoy
  • Nene Crossing
  • Ocean Study
  • Pele's Tears

Why Summer Camp?

Summer camp provides many benefits to campers and to their families. Benefits that last long beyond summer. We cannot say it any better than Jeff Merhige, the executive director at YMCA Camp Kern:

"Camp is an independent experience that shapes one's character and life - a controlled, safe environment where children and youth are able to make their own decisions about simple things (what activity they want to do, how many s'mores they want to make, or what clothes they are going to wear) and about important things (who they will hang out with . . . who will be their friends)."

From:  Why the World Needs Summer Camps: An Essay To Parents

Why Science Camp?

Science is the world around us, and what better way to learn about our world than to experience it first-hand. Science Camps of America takes science out into the field giving campers the opportunity to experience it, learn and do science - intensively and hands-on.

Why Science Camps of America?

As a parent, you want to know not only what your child will be doing at camp, but also what they will bring home from it (besides dirty laundry!). What we expect campers to take away from camp:

  1. A better understanding of what it means to be a scientist, what the work is like, what equipment scientists use, and the many possibilities that exist for a career in science.
  2. The positive experiences associated with summer camps that emphasize personal skills development that everyone needs, including the ability to make decisions, self-confidence, personal communication, and the development of a richer, more stable identity.
  3. New friends and new memories they will remember and value throughout their lives.
  4. Greater understanding of Earth science, how the Earth was formed, its internal structure, its systems, and geological time.

Health and Safety

Camper safety is a top priority. Our staff are trained in first aid, CPR and AED use and our camp is located less than half a mile from the Emergency Department at Ka'u Hospital.

Part of the camp's curriculum includes hiking through various terrains including rain forests, desert, cooled lava flows, and rocky terrain of varying types. While some risk is unavoidable, all practical precautions are taken to ensure camper safety at all times. Campers are required to wear appropriate safety attire where necessary. For example, when hiking over old lava flows, campers may be required to wear long pants, boots, gloves, and kneepads.


Our camp location in Ka'u is sometimes subject to volcanic fog ('vog') which can be hazardous, especially to those with respiratory illnesses. Those campers who may be affected should be prepared to take appropriate measures and precautions.

Room and Board

We will be housed at Pahala Plantation Cottages located in Pahala, Hawaii.


Meals are included with registration and are prepared by the camp cook. Meals will usually be served at the Plantation House cottage. Box lunches will be provided for field trips.

We believe that part of the camp experience is to develop understanding and responsibility for the environment on different levels. As part of our camp program, under staff direction, campers will have chores around the camp grounds which will include kitchen duty, clean-up and personal laundry.

Washers and dryers are available in each cottage at no charge. Linens will be provided at the start of each session. Professional cleaning is provided prior to each session.

Staff and Transportation

There will be sufficient full-time counselors to provide direct supervision and additional full-time staff with supervisory responsibilities: the Director, Executive Director, Program Director, and Assistant Program director. A ratio of one to four is expected. This ratio may change slightly as the number of campers changes.

Vans will be driven by camp staff over the age of 25.