PathfinderFrequently asked questions about Pathfinder programs, a three-day two-night group experience for grades 4 - 8.
Registration and Account Information:
- Who do I contact with questions?
If you are the group leader who is booking the camp, you will contact your Space Camp Group Coordinator with any questions you have. There should be one group leader who is the single point of contact for the Group Coordinator. If you are a parent or chaperone, please contact the teacher who is serving as the group leader- this is the person who books the camp. They will answer your questions, or ask the Group Coordinator for you.
- When must payments be submitted?
A 50% deposit payment is due 120 day (4 months) prior to your group’s arrival and the complete balance of your account is due 90 days (3 months) prior to your arrival.
- What if a student has an allergy?
If any of your students have allergies or dietary restrictions, please inform your group coordinator at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival at camp. Click here for more information on our allergen policies and meal options for individuals with allergies and dietary restrictions. *All meals are cafeteria, self-serve style, so students will be choosing their own food. While we do offer allergen friendly options, students must come to camp with knowledge of their allergies and what foods to avoid.
- Can I come to Space Camp if I don’t live in the United States?
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center leadership team has made the difficult decision to open Space Camp in Summer 2021 only to students residing within the 48-contiguous states of the United States. This is due to the challenges and uncertainties presented by pandemic-related travel restrictions as well as testing and quarantine requirements for international and long-distance travelers.
Staying at Camp:
- Where do campers sleep during their stay?
Campers will stay on-site in our Habitat facilities. Campers will be placed in either a 7 person room or in a larger Bay room capable of sleeping your entire group. Your group coordinator will ask you to create a room request, breaking your students into groups of 7; however this does not guarantee the 7 person room and your students may still be placed in a large Bay room upon your arrival. Habitats are separated by gender and 24 hour security is provided. Lockers are provided for students to store their belongings, but they must supply their own locks. Campers should pack bed linens or a sleeping bag, and a pillow.
- What is your allergen policy
Snacks containing nuts/peanuts or may contain nuts are not allowed at Space Camp and will be immediately discarded without reimbursement. Such items will not be sold in our Habitat store. Our Gift Shop and vending machines contain products that may have been manufactured in a plant or facility that processes nut products. No nut products may be brought into Camp dorm areas. Our Kitchen makes every effort in using products that do not contain, may contain, or are produced in a facility that processes nut/peanut products. Our Chefs and nutritionists work to meet special dietary and handle them on a case by case basis. We make every effort to ensure that camp areas such as our Habitats (Camper dorm areas), Camp Galley (Kitchen and Dining area) and Astrotrek are nut-free environments. However, we cannot guarantee the total absence of nut products on our premises. In addition to our tree nut policy, our kitchen also takes efforts to ensure no cross-contamination of other allergens in regards to our special needs diets. All Camp meals are prepared in the same kitchen area so dairy, gluten and meat-by-product items will be present in the kitchen, and as a result there is a very minimal chance that food products may come into contact with other items. Because of this, we cannot provide a guarantee against allergen cross-contamination. If any of your students has an allergy or needs special dietary considerations, please inform your Group Coordinator 2 weeks prior to your camp Our Crew Galley is cafeteria, self-serve style. Students will choose their own food, so they should have knowledge of their own dietary restrictions before attending camp.
- What if a student gets sick?
Group leaders and chaperones are responsible for the health of their students while at camp. Should a student become sick or injured while at camp, the group leader while make the decision of how to care for the child and whether to seek medical care. Any prescription medications students take will be the responsibility of the group leader.
- Can parents visit their kids during camp?
We understand that parents will miss your child while he or she is attending our program. Unfortunately, parents cannot visit their child while camp is in session as it takes away from an immersive camp experience. We do encourage parents to attend graduation ceremonies and call their child while at camp!
- Can I call my child at camp?
Your child will have the opportunity to call home in the mornings and at night as part of their Wake up and Prep-for-Bed time. Calls after 10 p.m. Central Time are discouraged. You may not hear from your child every day. Please keep in mind they have fully scheduled days packed with fun activities throughout their camp experience.
- Can a child stay with their parent off-site?
If your group is staying on-site, but a parent not serving as a chaperone wishes to travel to Huntsville and have their child stay off-site with them overnight, it is at the discretion of the teacher in charge and the school. If a child is staying off-site with a parent, it is the responsibility of the parent to book the hotel and transport the camper to and from camp each day.
Packing for Camp:
- What should trainees wear during camp?
While attending the program, trainees are required to dress in an appropriate and conservative manner. Groups may ask students to adhere to school dress codes while at camp. Group leaders should check weather forecasts prior to arrival and advise students to bring weather appropriate attire. Campers will be asked to refrain from wearing the following:
- Shorts that do not cover the upper thigh
- Dresses/skirts without shorts underneath
- Low-cut tops
- Tank tops with straps that measure less than one inch in width
- Any clothing that reveals undergarments
- Shirts that reveal the midriff
- Clothing (including hats) that display risqué, offensive, inappropriate logos, mottos or art. This includes, but is not limited to, logos advertising or advocating the use of alcoholic products, tobacco products or drugs.
- What should campers pack?
Click here to print Click here to view pdf
MAKE SURE TO LABEL EVERYTHING We recommend packing items in a rolling carry-on suitcase or rolling duffle bag that is easy for the camper to manage. Our lodging facilities are designed with limited personal storage to acquaint students with space limitations on the International Space Station (Space Camp) and in barracks (Aviation Challenge).
- Prescription medications and vitamins- these will be monitored and administered by the group leader and chaperones from your school.
- Sleeping Bag or Twin Bed sized sheets, blankets and pillowcases.
- Spending money for vending machines - $1 denominations
- Combination padlock (Please ensure trainee knows how to operate the lock.)
- Bug Spray
- Toiletries: soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush
- Towel and washcloths
- Hair brush/comb
- Flip flops or shower shoes
- Casual clothes/active wear (see dress code)
- Climate appropriate outerwear (jacket/rain poncho)
- Socks and athletic shoes (closed-toe shoes)
- Zip lock bags for dirty clothes
- Lip balm for chapped or wind-burned lips
- Water bottle
- Portable charger and/or charger plugs and cords for mobile devices
- Backpack or day pack
- During the months of Nov. - Feb., please bring a jacket, sweatshirt or coat, gloves and hat
- For Groups attending in late May – Sept., please bring sunscreen.
What to leave at home... No outside food or beverages, portable music players, skates or roller shoes, hand-held computer games or other expensive items. We understand that you will miss your child while he or she is attending our program. However, we discourage visits while camp is in session so that your child may have a true “away-from-home” experience. We do encourage parents to attend graduation ceremonies and will make special arrangements for visitation as necessary.
- Are cell phones and tablets permitted at camp?
Just as NASA schedules an astronaut’s personal communication time while on the International Space Station (ISS), Space Camp trainees have scheduled times when personal communication is permitted on cell phones and other mobile communication devices. Astronauts talk to friends and family when they are not working and when the ISS is in the correct range for a communications link. Internet and cellular network permitting, Space Camp trainees have designated time in their schedules in the morning when they are getting ready for their busy day and in the evening before they go to bed. To provide an environment in which our Camp trainees are immersed in the learning and fun of the program, we do not allow cell phones and other mobile communication devices during Camp program time. Details:
- Cell phones and other mobile communication devices may be brought to Space Camp, but we do not encourage or recommend it, as Camp is a time to learn, grow and make new friends.
- Cell phones and other mobile communication devices may be used for communication in the morning before programs begin and at night before lights out. Our program is action-packed, and this communication window is limited. For your information, we do not provide Wi-Fi in the Habitats, nor can we guarantee cellular coverage.
- Cell phones and other mobile communication devices will be secured by the Camp trainee in their Camp-supplied locker with a Camp trainee-supplied lock during program hours and again at lights out until wake up the following morning.
- For any Camp trainee not following the policy, Space Camp leadership will follow the established progressive discipline process of
- issuing a warning and
- calling home/parent, etc.
- Disposable cameras are allowed for photos, but we reserve the right to ask the Camp trainee to put the camera away if it is disruptive to the program or may impinge on the privacy of others. To provide a more authentic immersive experience and eliminate the pressure on trainees to photograph their favorite moments in Camp, we also offer an optional photo package for purchase to capture the Space Camp experience.
- If a Camp trainee needs to call home at any time, he or she should alert the Space Camp Crew Trainer and arrangements will be made for a call. If you need to check on your Camp trainee, please call Camp Customer Service at (256) 721-7185.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is not responsible for lost, stolen or broken electronic devices.
- Am I required to purchase a flight suit?
No, flight suits are optional and may be purchased for $105. Trainees are sized upon arrival to ensure proper fit.
Traveling to and from Camp:
- How do we get to and from camp?
Transportation to and from camp will be arranged by your group leader- this is the teacher who is responsible for booking your camp and serves as the point of contact with the Space Camp Group Coordinator.
- Can we fly to camp?
Yes! Travel arrangements are the responsibility of the group leader and the school. We do not book flights. We can provide transportation to camp from the airport for a fee of $25 per person, each way.