Click the sections below to find answers to the most frequently asked questions. We are updating the FAQ all the time so please check back if you have a question in the future. Or if you have a different question or need more information, send a message to the Camp Support Group from the UASK link above.

* Cosmosphere Camp Plan - 05-08-20

Updated Cosmosphere Camp Plan in Response to COVID-19

May 08, 2020



Following a meeting between Cosmosphere Camp leaders, its senior executives and the Reno Reno County Health Director, the Cosmosphere Camps scheduled to start in July are a go! If you have a camper registered in one of those camps, we will continue to contact you regarding registration and payment requirements. 

The protocol for our summer is based on CDC COVID-19 Guidelines; the State of Kansas Plan to Reopen and Reno County Guidelines. If your state has different restrictions or “stay-at-home” orders, you should comply with those orders. If that means your camper will be unable to attend camp, you will receive a full refund by following the REFUND PROCEDURES outlined in this document.

Plans for some of our longtime vendors for activities such as flight experiences have been impacted by COVID-19. We are working with them and with other suppliers to ensure our programming will go off as promised. If plans have to be altered, we will create an equally engaging activity that meets the goals of the camp. 


The Cosmosphere has been working throughout the pandemic to follow best practices for the industry and to stay in contact with state and local health officials to ensure the safest environment is provided for campers, guests, staff and volunteers.  We are taking the following extra steps to ensure the safety of your camper. 

Steps Prior To Camp

  • Two weeks from the start of camp, the parent/guardian for all campers will be asked via email to review and respond to an online Pre-Camp Screening form. You can view a sample form at THIS LINK. Note: the official online form will be emailed out closer to the start of camp. 
  • Following the travel-related mandates set forth by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KSDE), campers coming from areas identified on the KDHE Travel & Exposure Related Isolation/Quarantine page two weeks prior to camp, will not be allowed to participate in camp. You can view the KDHE website at THIS LINK. This list can and has changed so we will use the most up-to-date version at the time of each camp.  

 Steps At Camp Check-In

  • The parent/guardian for all campers will be asked to re-confirm their child’s health and sign the Pre-Camp Screening form. 
  • Temperatures will be taken of all campers and documented as a baseline for reference. Any camper with a temperature over 100 degrees will not be allowed to participate in camp.  
  • All campers and family attending camp orientation will be asked to wear a mask. Disposable masks will be available for campers and family attending orientation, but we encourage you to bring your own. The orientation will be streamed in the Cosmosphere lobby and online for those who choose not to wear a mask.  

Steps During Camp

  • Camp staff will be required to wear masks while interacting with campers. Campers will not be required to wear masks, but may do so if desired. Your camper is encouraged to bring and use any safety equipment you feel appropriate, such as a mask, gloves, disinfecting wipes, etc. We will make it socially acceptable among the other campers to do so.
  • Campers in a camp session will be part of a closed group that will have minimal interaction with all other camps. While our intent is to keep groups separated, we ask that campers take part in maintaining social distancing with other groups. 
  • In dorm rooms for overnight camps, two to three campers will share a room. Should a camper show symptoms of illness or have a temperature, they will be moved into a separate room and the parent/guardian will be asked to provide transportation home.  
  • Camp spaces will be cleaned and sanitized between activities. 
  • Additional classroom spaces will be utilized to ensure adequate space exists to comply with social distancing.
  • Meal times will be staggered to limit the number of campers eating at one time.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the camp areas.
  • Camp staff nurses will have more interaction with the camp structure and are always on call. 
  • We will continually monitor camper and staff health throughout camp. Parents will be contacted immediately if campers exhibit or express any of the following symptoms. Upon review by camp nursing staff, we reserve the right to remove the camper from activities or camp if they exhibit two or more of the following symptoms as outlined by the CDC at THIS LINK
    • Temperature over 100 degrees
    • Coughing or wheezing 
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell

We welcome your questions and input. If you do not feel comfortable with these procedures and precautions, you are absolutely entitled to follow the REFUND PROCEDURES outlined in this document.


Our normal camp session size is a maximum of 30 campers. In most years, it is common for almost all of our sessions to reach this capacity. This year, we have made the decision to limit the group size of all camp sessions. While the camp size varies per camp, the number of campers will be below the limit allowed by our State and Local Reopening Plan. We will follow the protocols outlined above to ensure adequate space per camper.


If you would like to cancel your camper’s registration, please send an email to camp@cosmo.org prior to May 15 for a full refund (minus the $50 registration fee). Refund requests made after May 15 may not be accepted and you will not receive a full refund without a physician’s written verification, or within the parameters of other circumstances outlined above. 

If your camper is registered for a camp session that has been cancelled by the Cosmosphere, you don’t need to do anything. We will contact you with information and your options. You can reschedule your camper in a different session that is still available or request a full refund. 

Refunds will be processed within 30 days after receiving the request. 


May 8 - Final determination will be made regarding moving forward with the summer program.

May 15 - All cancellation requests are due. We will offer a full refund (minus the $50 registration fee) for any request made by this date. Follow the REFUND PROCEDURES outlined in this document.

May 15 - All camp payments are due. For campers that are registered and plan to attend camp, the full balance for camp is due. Payments can be made directly through the camp portal. 

NOTE: We still have scholarship money available! You can apply for a scholarship using the application found on the camp portal at cosmocamps.org.

May 18 - New registration features will be launched on the camp portal. This includes roommate requests, shirt sizes, medicine information forms and more. All campers will receive email instructions about these features on May 18.

May 25 - All camp registration information is due. 


If you have questions or concerns that you would like to discuss, please contact Nathan Meyer, Vice President of Education and the head of the Cosmosphere Camp program, directly at nathanm@cosmo.org or 620-270-1122.  

Note: This plan is contingent upon the State of Kansas following its anticipated schedule for reopening. Should the schedule be altered and affect the Cosmosphere’s ability to hold camp, registered campers will be notified immediately.

** COVID - 19


Q: How has COVID-19 impacted camp?

A: We have created a document explaining our revised plan for camp. You can find that at THIS LINK.    

*** Using The Portal


  • The new camp portal is intended to be a tool that makes managing the camp registration process easier for you (and us!)
  • Information below should help you navigate the features of the portal, but if you have any questions or need help, please contact the Camp Support Team at camp@cosmo.org or 620-222-0201.
  • If you find any bugs with the portal or have a suggestion on how to make things easier or better, please share those comments and suggestions. We appreciate the help! 


  • You need a profile on the portal to register for a camp, apply for a scholarship or retrieve your referral codes to share with others. 
  • There is no cost or obligation to create a profile for the camp portal.
  • To create a profile, click the SIGN UP button at cosmocamps.org. 


  • If you forget your password, you can request a new one from THIS PAGE. 
  • You will receive an email instantly with your new password. Please check your SPAM folder if you do not see it right away.
  • If you are still having issues, please contact the Camp Support Team at camp@cosmo.org or 620-222-0201.


  • You can edit your profile from the link on the Dashboard page. 
  • Your profile information is what we will use for all registration documents and communication. Please be sure it is current and accurate. 


  • You can register for a new camp from the link on the Dashboard page. 
  • Choose if you are registering yourself for a camp or are registering a child.
  • If registering a child, complete the form to enter the child's profile information. All fields (except email and phone number) are required. Click SAVE CAMPER
  • Select the camp session that you are registering for. The list includes camp name and start date. Also, if you were referred by another person, enter your referral code. This is the only place you can redeem a referral code. Click SAVE CAMP
  • From the Registration Confirmation page, you can choose to make a payment, register for an additional camp or return to the Dashboard page. Note: we will only hold your registration for 24 hours if you do not make a payment. 


  • Every user has two referral codes they can use to invite other people to camp and get rewarded when the camper registers!
  • You can retrieve your referral codes from the link on the Dashboard page. 
  • Share your referral codes with anyone you think is interested in camps - you don't have to control who uses the code, but please understand each code can only be redeemed one time. 
  • When a code is redeemed, both campers will receive a Cosmosphere Gift Card at camp check in (Young Explorer Camps = $25 and all other camps = $50)
  • To receive a reward gift card, you must have a camper enrolled in and attend at least one of the camp sessions.
  • Referral codes cannot be redeemed by yourself for seemingly obvious reasons - they must be used by a camper with a separate profile. 
  • Cosmosphere has the right to exclude any individual at our discretion if we determine a person is misusing the referral program.


  • You can see the details of your camp registration by clicking on the MANAGE button for your camp on the Dashboard page.
  • You can access registration tasks, camp details and payment history. 
  • Many registration tasks, such as completing forms, requesting roommates, sharing details about medicine, allergies and dietary needs, will be available in January. More information about those tasks will be sent out at that time. 


  • We use PayPal for our merchant processor All camp payments will go through our SSL secured site and process through PayPal's secure payment process. 
  • You will receive an email payment receipt from the Cosmosphere but delieved through by PayPal. This is your receipt for any payment made. 
  • If you register for a Travel Experience and do not pay in full, you will receive a separate invoice for the 50% deposit within 24 hours of registration. The deposit amount is due within 10 days of registration. 


  • Information will be available soon.
  • Receiving a scholarship does not guarantee you a spot in your desired camp session. To guarantee your spot, you need to complete the camp registration process while there are still spots available. 


  • Information will be available soon.
  • Once you connect your profile with another profile (such as a spouse, relative or guardian), both profiles will have access to camper and camp registration information. 
  • All connected profiles can manage the camper details and registration tasks. 

All General Camp Questions

Q: Why is there so much change to the camp program?

A:The Cosmosphere Camp program started in 1985. While camps have adapted in several ways over those 35 years, the programming has stayed relatively the same for awhile now.  In order to stay relevant with industry trends and truly continue to provide a quality camp program with fresh content, a giant leap forward was needed. 

The improvements to Cosmosphere Camps being initiated for the summer of 2020 include:

  • Aligning ALL camp content with Career Clusters, Career and Technical Education practices, and Next Generation Science Standards—as these standards are used in most educational settings
  • Focusing on learning and honing life skills such as leadership, teamwork and problem solving
  • Offering campers a brand new mission experience in the state-of-the-art Astralis capsule-based simulator

We are excited to launch this new camp program and know it will shape our future leaders for many years to come!


Q: I’ve been to camp 101, 201, 301, etc. in the past. Which camp do I sign up for this year?

A: Please choose a camp which is grade appropriate for your camper. With new content including new hands-on activities, a new focus on Career Clusters and carreer and college readiness and new simulated missions in the BRAND NEW Astralis capsule-based simulator, campers will be offered fresh learning opportunities regardless of previous camp experiences.

If you are a returning camper and familar with the previous camp names, please consider the suggested camp experiences below:

  • Space 101 is now equivalent to Mission: Moon Shot
  • Space 201 is now equivalent to Mission: Astro Lab
  • Space 301 is now equivalent to Travel Experience:Texas
  • Space 401 previous campers can chose from TWO new options:
    • Mission: Lunar Trek (10-11 grade)
    • Mission: Martian Base (11-12 grade)

**Due to various reasons, the trip to Florida previously part of the “Space 401” camp is no longer offered**

  • Space 501 is now equivalent to Travel Experience: California

To view all camp options, including information about activites and simulated missions for each, CLICK HERE. To download and print a summary of camp details CLICK HERE.


Q: My child is not quite the right age for a specific camp, but is very smart for his/her age. Can he/she still sign up?

A: Choosing a camp which is grade appropriate for your camper is very important. Content is developed specifically for each intended age group listed on the camp detail page and may present challenges for a younger child.  Additionally, as Cosmosphere Camps seek to hone social and life skills in addition to STEAM principals, it is important campers relate with others their same age and maturity level.

 * The Travel Experiences and Extreme Flight have a minimum age requirement which MUST be met. For the Texas experience, the age requirement is 14 years old.  For the California experience, the requirement is 16 years old. For Extreme Flight, the age requirement is 12 years old. The camper must meet the age requirement by the start date of their registered camp, or he/she will not be able to attend.


Q: My child really enjoyed the Cosmosphere’s unique activites in the past!  Will they have similar opportunities with the new camps?

A: Yes, all Cosmosphere camps will include the following activities and focus on learning major life skills: 

Unique Cosmosphere Activities:

  • Tour the Hall of Space Museum and understand the story of the Space Race by learning about the unique collection of US and Soviet space artifacts
  • Watch an appropriate documentary or feature film in the Carey Digital Dome Theater to solidify ideas discussed during camp
  • Experience an explosive live demonstration in the Cosmosphere’s Dr. Goddard’s Lab to understand the history of rocket science
  • Fly through the Cosmos and learn about the night sky in the state-of-the-art Justice Planetarium 

Life Skills Practiced

  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Conflict Resolution & Crisis Management
  • Leadership
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving


Q: I’ve read that Cosmosphere Camps focus on understanding Career Clusters. What does that mean?

A: Cosmosphere Camps aim to inspire campers to reach their career dreams!  In order to achieve that goal, camp content has been developed following the Career Clusters - Career Technical Education (CTE) model. Specific camps highlight various careers both inside and outside of the space industry, such as:

  • Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Arts
  • Audio & Video Production
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Communications
  • Education & Training
  • Finance
  • Government and Public Administration
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology Systems
  • Law, Public Safety, Correction and Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Transportation, Distribution & LogisticsArts


Q: What does Ad Astra mean?

A: Ad Astra means 'to the stars' in Latin and is part of the Kansas motto, 'Ad Astra per Aspera', meaning 'To the Stars through Difficulties'. This motto pays homage to our home state of Kansas and also our founder, Patty Carey, whose desire to share the wonders of the Cosmos became the foundation for what has become an international science education center and space museum today!


Q: What does Astralis mean in the Astralis capsule-based simulator?

A: Astralis, pronounced ahh-STRA-lees, is a Latin word for, relating to the stars; revealed by the stars.

Food - Allergies - Dietary Restrictions

Q: Will I need to pack meals for my camper while at camp?

A: All meals are included with the camp tuition. If a camp is in session during a breakfast, lunch or dinner meal time, meals will be provided. There are also opportunities to purchase snacks several times throughout the day. 


Q: Can my camper bring snacks or drinks from home?

A: Outside snacks are not allowed in the dorm rooms for the safety of all campers. Snacks will be available for purchase at the Cosmosphere concession stand and there are vending machines in the dorm common areas. You camper can bring sealed drinks (water, Gatorade, pop) for the dorm room if you would like. 


Q: My camper has a food allergy. Will you be able to accomodate their needs?

A: Yes, we are able to accomodate most camper's needs. Beginning in January, we will ask for more information about any food allergies to anticipate accommodating for your camper. If more information is needed before the registered camp start-date, a Cosmosphere staff member will contact you using your registration information.


Q: My camper has a dietary restrictions. Will you be able to accomodate their needs?

A: Yes, we are able to accomodate most camper's needs. Beginning in January, we will ask for more information about any dietary to anticipate accommodating for your camper. If more information is needed before the registered camp start-date, a Cosmosphere staff member will contact you using your registration information.



Q: My camper has medication they need to take while attending camp. How will medication be collected and distributed?

A: All medication is collected at camp check-in by our camp nurse. All medicine (except rescue inhalers and EpiPens) will be carried and distributed by camp staff. No medication will be allowed without proper forms completed.


Q: What forms need to be completed for my camper's medication?

A: Forms will be availble to completeon the Cosmosphere Camp portal regarding your camper's medication(s).  Please be sure to complete medication forms PRIOR to camp check-in, as medication will be collected at that time.


Q: Do I need to pack over-the-counter medication for my camper?

A: Cosmosphere will have some over the counter medication availble for campers for use in "as-needed" situations. This includes: Tylenol, Ibuprophen, Benedryl and Robitussin. We will contact the parent or guardian for permission before distributing any over-the-counter medicaiton. If your camper takes over the counter medication on a schedule, please list this on the medicaiton form on the Cosmosphere portal and bring the required dosage to camp check-in.


Q: Will there be a nurse on staff during camp?

A: Yes, we have a nurse on call 24 hours. Every overnight camp will have a nurse at check-in to collect medication and to answer any questions. 

Overnight Camps

Q: Where does my camper stay while at camp?

A: Your camper will stay in the dorms on the Hutchinson Community College campusDorm rooms will be equipped with a bed, mattress and drawers. Depending on the room availability for each camp, there are two to four campers per room. Dorm bathrooms are available on each floor, male and female. Each are equipped with multiple restrooms, shower stalls and sinks.


Q: Does Cosmosphere Camps have a lost and found?

A: If your camper has lost an item, please contact the Camp Support Team at camp@cosmo.org or 620-222-0201.


Q: Where can I mail a care package or letter to my camper?

A: Care packages and letters are welcome to our campers, as long as they do not include food. Please allow adequate time for the package to arrive. Mail will not be distributed to campers on the final day of camp. You may address camper mailings to:

Cosmosphere Camps - Camp Title

Camper's Name
1100 N Plum
Hutchinson, KS 67501


Q: Can my camper make a roommate request?

A: Yes, starting in March, your camper may make a roommate request through the Cosmosphere portal. All roommate requests must be made and accepted by the other camper at least 4 weeks before their camp start-date. Any request made after the 4 week mark, may not be acoomodated. Please note, no room changes will be made the day of camp. 


Packing for Camp

Q: Are cell phones or electronic devices allowed at camp?

A: As to avoid distractions during camp -- no cell phones or devices will be permitted during camp programming/activities. Campers will have access to their devices in the evening, during free time at the dorms and prior to bedtime. If a camper does decide to carry a phone or device during camp programming, camp staff will hold on to it and return it at an appropriate time.


Q: What does my camper need to pack?

A: Your camper should pack the following items:

  • Suitable clothing, such as shorts or jeans and comforatable shirts, are needed for each day and should be marked with the camper's name 
  • Pajamas
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Tennis shoes (no sandals or open toed shoes allowed during some activities)
  • Bath towel
  • Personal Items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant)

Please note, Cosmosphere is not responsible for lost or stolen items.  Please mark all belongings with camper's name. Please leave all valuables and sentimental items at home.


Q: Should I send my camper with spending money? 

A: Spending money may be sent with your camper. Money can be used during field trips, vending machings, concession stands and gift store purchases. Please understand that camp staff is not responsible for lost money or for choices on how the money is spent. 


Q: Will my camper need to pack bedding?

A: If your camper is staying over night at camp, either at the HCC Dorms or in the Cosmosphere, they will need to bring bedding. They should pack a pillow with pillow case and either a sleeping bag or twin XL sheets with blankets. 

Promotions - Discounts

Q: Are there any promotions for camp registration or discounts available? 

A: Yes, there are several promotions and discounts available! Details are below or you can download and print a flyer at THIS LINK.

  • Pay-In-Full Discount - if you choose to pay the full balance due at the time of camp registration, you will receive a discount of $50.00 on camp tuition! 
  • Recruit-A-Friend Promotion - if you recruit a friend which registers for a camp in the summer of 2020, both you and your referred friend will receive a Cosmosphere Gift Card ($25 for Day Camps and $50 for all other camps). Gift cards will be presented at the camp check-in. Both you and your referred friend must be registered for a camp or Travel Experience and the friend must submit your name and email address at the time of registration--No late submissions after registration will be accepted. Limit of two referred friends. 
  • Membership Discount - members of the Cosmosphere receive a 10% discount on camp registrations. You must enter your Cosmosphere Patron number in your camp portal profile to receive this discount. Note: this discount does not apply to Travel Experiences. Interested in becoming a member of the Cosmosphere? Call the membership coordinator at 620.665.9320 or email membership@cosmo.org

Some promotions and discounts contain restrictions. If you have questions or need help with registration, contact the Camp Support Team from the UASK link in the header bar above.

Registration and Account Information

Q: Who do I contact for questions regarding registration or my account? 

A: You can contact the Camp Support Team by email camp@cosmo.org or by calling 620-222-0201. 


Q: Why do I have to pay a $50 registration fee?

A: The registation fee was added to offset the costs of additional services provided this year to enhance the camp experience: a nurse on site at registrations and on-call 24/7, dedicated meal planner to prepare for all dietary requests, additional staff and supervision at the dorms, increased staff numbers for each camp session and more. We also added a few different ways to help you get that $50 back - check those out on the Promotions - Discounts tab of the FAQ. 


Q: What is the Cosmosphere Camps cancellation policy? 

A: All cancellations must be complete by email to camp@cosmo.org. If a cancellation is due to a medical reasons (illness or accident with a doctor's verificaiton provided), a full refund will be issued. If a cancellation is due for personal reasons, either before or during camp, a refund will be issued based on the camp refund policy (see below). 


Q: Do you have a camp refund policy? 

A: The camp refund policy states that camp tuition will be refunded in full if cancellation notice is received 60 days prior to camp. Camp tuition will be forfeited if cancellation notice is received less than 60 days prior to camp start date. The $50 registration fee is non-refundable.



Q: I’d like to enroll in a camp, but need financial assistance.  Does the Cosmosphere provide scholarships for camp experiences?

A: Yes, the Cosmosphere does have scholarships available. There will be a limited number of full-tutition and half-tutition scholarships available for all camps, excluding Travel Experiences. No cost or commitment required to apply and all are invited.


Q: What is the deadline for scholarship applications?

A: Scholarship applications will be accepting through May 15 or until all scholarship funds will be awarded. 


Q: Am I guaranteed a camp spot if I receive a scholarship?

A: No, a scholarship can only be used if a camp spot is available. If you register for a camp session and then receive a scholarship, any tuition which was previously paid (and which is covered by the scholarship) will be refunded. Camp sessions tend to sell out, so our recommendation is to register for the camp of your choice as soon as possible, then apply for a scholarship, if need be. 


Q: How do I apply for a scholarship?

A: You can apply for a scholarship by filling out the application for Young Explorer's Camps or Overnight Camps. Links to the scholarship application forms are also available on the Dashboard page of the portal. Create a free profile or log in for acceess to the application links. Completed applications should be email to scholarships@cosmo.org.

Travel Experiences

Q: Are the age ranges listed for the Travel Experiences requirements?

A: Yes, the Travel Experiences have age requirements that must be met for the camper to attend the trip. A camper can be registered prior to reaching the minimum age as long as the minimum age is met before the start-date of the registered camp. The age requirements are:

  • Travel Experience: Texas - 14 to 18 years old
  • Travel Experience: California - 16 to 18 years old


Q: What is the deposit for Travel Expereinces and when are payments due?

A: When you register for a Travel Experience, you have the choice to pay in full and earn a $50 discount OR pay only the $50 registration fee to lock in your spot. If you choose to pay only the registation fee, you will be invoiced for 50% of the cost of the Travel Experience and that payment is due within seven (7) days of registration. The remaining balance is due by May 4, 2020.  


Q: Are there special forms required to attend the Travel Experiences?

A: Yes, each experience has special forms which every attending camper will be required to complete. If a camper meets the minimum age requirement, there are no additional special requirements needed to complete the forms. 


Q: Why are you not offering a Travel Experience to Florida?

A: The previous Space 401 trip to Florida and The Kennedy Space Center didn't meet our requirements of offering a unique and exclusive, behind-the-scenes travel experience -- like only the Cosmosphere can provide. Following recent feedback from past campers coupled with the commitment from the Cosmosphere team to continue to provide quality experiences, the Florida offering has been discontinued. 

"I'm a girl from the Midwest who went from training campers to becoming a fully certified flight controller in Mission Control and training other flight controllers International Space Station space simulators. With dedication and hard work any dream can become a reality."
- Carly Toder, Cosmosphere Camps Alumna and International Space Station Payload Communications Manager (PAYCOM) at Teledyne Brown Engineering