VMFA’S CURIOSITY CAMPS FOR 3–5 YEAR OLDS
Immersed in the rich environment of VMFA, children will explore, connect, and grow as individuals and as members of a collaborative community. In these Reggio-inspired multiple-day camps, emphasis is placed on art along with play, music and movement activities, and the museum grounds—all guided by the interests of the group.
WHAT TO BRING
Required forms (listed below) must be submitted in-person on the first day of camp. Completing forms in advance speeds up the check-in process. Blank forms will also be available on-site, if needed.
- The Emergency Information Form allows us to learn more about your child and keep them safe. It must be submitted in-person on the first day of every camp.
- The Emergency Medication Permission Form (if necessary) should be completed if a student is to self-carry a medication for use in the event of an emergency.
- Clearly written instructions on the administration of medicine must be provided by the parent or legal guardian.
- It is strongly advised that if your child will bring emergency medication, VMFA staff is notified at least two weeks ahead of the program via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Medical Notice: In an emergency, VMFA Staff will respond promptly, and a staff person will immediately attempt to reach the parent or legal guardian.
- The Photography Release Form allows us to include children in photos documenting camp activities to share with caregivers via a Google photo album. VMFA photographers may document the camp for web and advertising purposes.
All authorized adults planning to pick up children from camp are required to show a valid ID during checkout each day.
Campers should bring a small, healthy snack to eat and a water bottle daily. Snacks will be stored in children’s cubbies.
Health & Food Notice: For the health and safety of others, students cannot share food. In consideration of children with potentially life-threatening allergies, foods with traces of peanuts and tree nuts are not allowed.
CHANGE OF CLOTHES
Campers should bring an extra set of clothes complete with a shirt, shorts/pants, underclothes, and socks. These will be stored in your child’s cubby for the duration of the camp.
Face masks are recommended indoors during VMFA Curiosity Camps. Disposable youth masks, and face shields are available.
WHERE TO PARK
Allow ample time to park, walk in, and check in before the start of camp. The VMFA Parking Deck is free for members and free for the first 30 minutes for nonmembers; after that, it is $6 to park for the day. You may also choose free parking along the street.
Note: Parking is strictly prohibited in the Entry Plaza, or fire lane, in front of the museum.
WHERE TO GO
Camps take place in the Art Education Center, inside the museum. We strongly recommend that caregivers familiarize their children with the area prior to the first day of camp.
Use the Student Entrance (left of the main entrance) to access the Art Education Center. The rest of the building will be closed to the public (VMFA hours of operation are Mon–Sun, 10 am–5 pm, with extended hours Wed-–Fri until 9 pm).
WHAT TO WEAR
Wear clothing that is appropriate for a messy art camp. Comfortable, closed-toed shoes are recommended and a long-sleeved shirt—it’s often cool inside!
CAMP POLICIES + PROCEDURES
Upon arrival, please wait in line while we verify paperwork or welcome students to camp. Check-in consists of a “no contact” check-in, and voluntary temperature check. We appreciate your patience!
- Don’t forget the Emergency Forms on the first day.
- Campers must be checked in by an authorized adult.
- Please be mindful and physically distance from others while waiting in line.
- Only students, staff, and interns are typically allowed in the studios (no caregivers or siblings).
When campers are ready for dismissal, a staff person will begin the checkout process. Staff will check IDs while you wait and gather students every few minutes.
- Authorized adults must show a valid Photo ID before we can release a camper from the studio.
- Checkout is located in the Art Education Center.
- Plan for extra time on Fridays, as students bring most of their artwork home at the end of the week.
- If you need to pick up your child early from camp, make arrangements during check-in, when possible. Otherwise, camp staff may not always be available to assist you right away.
- In the event of an emergency, phone Visitor Services at 804.340.1405 and ask them to radio camp staff.
Pick-up time begins promptly at the end of camp (noon). Late pick-ups may result in dismissal from the program. If your child is not picked up within 10 minutes, VMFA staff will attempt to reach you first, and then other contacts. If you are running late, leave a message at 804.340.1343.
Curiosity Camps are non-refundable and cannot be transferred to another camp. Be sure to mark your calendar and save your confirmation email upon registering for camp(s).
Please review the following information with your children before the start of camp:
- Be kind to teachers, classmates, and materials
- Be careful and safe in the studios, galleries and museum grounds
- Have fun!
We use positive reinforcement and logical consequences for challenging moments. We empower children to have a constructive role in solving and fixing problems. VMFA staff will inform parents if behavioral issues arise.
Students and/or parents will be asked to complete a survey at the end of camp. We value your opinion!
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS RESPONSE TO COVID-19
VMFA staff are committed to providing a safe and healthy space for our students, teachers, staff, volunteers, and visitors. While there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 with any in-person experience, we make sincere efforts to mitigate this exposure.
Following the Guidelines from VDH and the CDC’s Operational Guidance for Early Care and Education, VMFA recommends the use of masks for all participants and faculty/staff in Early Childhood Education programs. Along with the mask recommendation, VMFA will maintain strict safety guidelines within studios and classrooms, including physical distancing and thorough cleaning.
COVID-19 SYMPTOMS & SCREENING QUESTIONS
Please self-screen prior to attending camp or class. If a student, caregiver, teacher, or other staff member can answer “YES” to one of the following questions within 24 hours of class, they should remain home and notify VMFA Early Childhood Staff of their absence.
- Have you or a member of your household been in contact with someone in the past 14 days with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?
- Do you or a member of your household have any of the following symptoms that cannot be attributed to health conditions? Fever (100.4°F or higher) or chills, cough, sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
HEALTH & SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
While the following list is subject to change based on updated recommendations and restrictions, here are some of the precautions we take in effort to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during our programs:
- Enrollment has been reduced to six (6) or fewer students per class.
- Properly worn face masks are recommended for students 2 years and older, unless they are eating or physically distanced outside.
- Six feet of physical distancing is practiced, when possible.
- A “no contact” check-in process has been implemented.
- Teachers and other staff are screened prior to class.
- Only registered students, caregivers, teachers, and staff are allowed in the studios. To keep occupancy low, extra adults, siblings, and other visitors are not permitted.
- Products such as hand soap, hand sanitizer, disposable masks, disposable face shields, and disinfectant wipes are readily available to students and staff, as needed.
- Air purifiers are installed in all the studio and classroom spaces, museum ventilation systems meet approved standards.
- Teachers and staff clean and disinfect studios, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces before and after each class, as well as during class, when necessary.
- Students do not share supplies or workstations unless disinfected between uses.
STUDIO SAFETY & CLEANING PRACTICES
- VMFA Facility Services Associates thoroughly clean studios, restrooms, and high-traffic areas; restock supplies such as soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels; and remove trash and recycling daily.
- Staff uses approved disinfectant cleaner to wipe down surfaces.
PROTOCOL FOR POSITIVE CASE
VMFA Staff coordinates with Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Human Resources for assistance in guiding and advising us on appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our patrons, staff, and volunteers. Please keep in mind that protocols are subject to change.
If a student, Early Childhood Staff member, or someone in their households, tests positive for COVID-19, all participants, parents and guardians, and VMFA Staff and Faculty will be notified, via email, within 24 hours of Early Childhood Staff becoming informed of the positive test results. After the email is sent, you may receive a follow-up phone call by the next day to ensure you received the message.
A student and/or caregiver who tests positive:
- cannot return to the program until they have completed the appropriate quarantine as listed in the VDH quarantine guidelines, and
- Are fever and symptom-free for over 24 hours without assistance from a fever-reducing medication, and
- IF the time period is under 10 days from their first positive test; wear a well fitting mask when attending a class/camp.
- Email Early Childhood Educator, Lori.email@example.com or call 804-340-1343 to discuss further.
A Staff person who tests positive for COVID-19 must be cleared by HR; staff cannot return to work until their symptoms subside and have completed the appropriate quarantine and testing under guidance of VMFA Human Resources Department.
PROTOCOL FOR IN-CLASS DISPLAY OF SYMPTOMS
Anyone showing symptoms such as a high fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell, will be removed from the group and required to leave the museum as soon as possible.
Should a student become ill: A student exhibiting symptoms of covid will need clearance before returning which may include a proof of a negative test or a doctor’s note and/or completion of quarantine. Students should also be fever-free and have little to no symptoms remaining.
Should a teacher become ill: Class will be dismissed and refunds will be issued. The teacher will be required to stay home and coordinate with their supervisor and HR; they will not return to work until all necessary protocols are complete.
In the event that symptoms become life threatening VMFA Security Staff will dispatch EMS and provide first aid.
IMPORTANT CLASS INFORMATION/FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can I prepare my child for class?
Review what will happen when you arrive at the museum. Students should visit the bathroom on the way into class and wash their hands before check-in. Caregivers will sign children in and say goodbyes at the door. Children will enter and put their belongings in their cubby and proceed to exploring, playing and creating.
What if my child misses a class?
Please mark your calendars. VMFA does not provide refunds or allow transfers for missed classes. If your child has symptoms of COVID-19, however, please contact Visitor Services via email or phone 804.340.1405 prior to class, if possible, and VMFA may waive this policy.
Will classes visit the galleries or special exhibitions?
Yes, Curiosity Camps will visit the galleries, often daily.
What does a day in a VMFA Curiosity Camp look like?
Campers spend most of their day in play and free exploration. Children are offered choices of sensory mats, light tables, building blocks, animals, books, and art materials at the studio tables. Morning circle takes place after check-in and includes singing, class discussions and story time, after morning circle class may visit the campus, the galleries or continue to work on projects that are in process. Halfway through class snack time occurs, often outside if weather permits. Children either visit the Sculpture Garden, Galleries, or continue projects/play activities in the studio for the second half of class.
Will my child come home daily with art projects?
Curiosity camps are centered on the child and the group’s interests. Children explore play materials, art supplies and VMFA’s campus with instructors providing experiences in response to their expressed preferences. Children will draw in journals daily, however, as they are encouraged to participate and build upon activities and art as they enjoy them, they may not make art every day. All art will be compiled and ready to be taken home on the last day of camp.
Will VMFA Teachers still share images and quotes via a Google Photo Album?
Yes, teachers and staff will continue to document the events of class each day through quotes and photos. Caregivers will receive an email at the beginning of the week, mid-week and at the end of the week, with updates to the google photo album. Teachers always appreciate your feedback and comments when reviewing the album.
Does VMFA offer scholarships for Curiosity Camps?
Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to offer scholarships for Curiosity Camps. Scholarships are available for other Early Childhood Education programs. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.