Camp OverviewFrequently Asked Questions
Encana Badlands Science Camp
Still have questions about Camp? Take a look and hopefully you’ll find your answers here.
- Where is Camp located?
- What is the campsite like?
- What are the sleeping arrangements at Camp?
- What kind of security clearance does your camp staff have?
- How many people are in each Camp?
- How do campers spend their time at Camp?
- Are campers expected to do chores at Camp?
- What is your policy regarding bullying at Science Camp?
- Are there shower facilities at Camp?
- Where do meals take place? What are meals like? Are there vegetarian options?
- Do campers have to pay to enter the Museum?
- How can I contact a camper in case of emergency?
- May I visit with outside guests while at Camp?
- What time do I drop off and pick up my child?
- Where do we unload camping gear?
- How do campers get their gear to Camp?
- What is the check-in procedure?
- What is the check-out procedure?
- How can I get to Drumheller from the Calgary International Airport?
- Why do I need to mail my Science Camp registration forms rather than send them by email or fax?
- Does Encana Badlands Science Camp meet the criteria for the Federal Government’s Children’s Arts Tax Credit (CATC) program as described by Canada Revenue Agency?
Where is Camp located?
Camp is a 20-minute-hike (approximately 1 km) from the front entrance of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta. This hike is completed at least twice a day—once in the morning to get to the Museum and back to the campsite in the evening. The path is not difficult, but children under five may find it difficult to walk the entire distance.
What is the campsite like?
Science Camp is located in the rugged environment of the Alberta badlands, much like the camps used by early palaeontologists who explored this area. The scenery is breathtaking and fossils can be found all around our site. Nine large teepees are used for eating, sleeping, and free time activities. The site is located in Midland Provincial Park and is exclusive to Encana Badlands Science Camp participants— no other camping is allowed in the Park.
What are the sleeping arrangements at Camp?
All campers sleep on cots set on wooden platforms inside real teepees. Family campers have the choice of bringing their own tent or sharing a teepee with other Camp guests. We do our best to match genders together, but the only way to guarantee privacy is to bring your own tent. Due to Park restrictions, we cannot allow recreational vehicles at Camp.
What kind of security clearance does your camp staff have?
All of our Camp staff are thoroughly screened and must complete an RCMP vulnerable sector background check (i.e. clearance for working with children) prior to being hired. We also abide by the Alberta Camping Association policy, which restricts an individual staff member from being alone with a single child, at any time. In addition, almost all Camp staff are hired from our pool of leadership training program graduates and have attended Science Camp for multiple years themselves, so we are very familiar with them.
How many people are in each Camp?
The maximum number of campers at all Camps is 36. At youth camps, the ratios are 24 boys and 12 girls. Boys and girls have separate teepees and gender specific counselors. Family campers are grouped by families or by gender (moms and kids with moms and kids; dads with kids with dads with kids). During youth camps, a counsellor stays in each teepee with the kids. At Family Camp, staff sleep in their own tent.
How do campers spend their time at Camp?
Science Camp participants spend half their time at Camp—sleeping, eating, enjoying free time in their teepees, sitting around the campfire, or exploring the badlands. The rest of the time, campers will be in the Royal Tyrrell Museum touring the galleries, participating in science activities, doing research work, playing games, watching dinosaur documentaries, and making new friends. Junior Campers take a field trip to the Historic Atlas Coal Mine, and Senior Campers visit one of the fossil-rich sites in the area. All Campers take a chartered bus to the Drumheller Aquaplex for a swim and shower.
Are campers expected to do chores at Camp?
We try to minimize the work and maximize the fun for all of our guests at Camp. However, there are some things everyone needs to do to keep Camp safe, clean, and comfortable. Participants are responsible for keeping their belongings organized so that the living space can be shared effectively with others. Our staff always appreciates a hand with the morning dishes.
What is your policy regarding bullying at Science Camp?
Any kind of abuse is not tolerated at Encana Badlands Science Camp. If an incident occurs, the parties involved are immediately moved to different teepee groups to mitigate any further bullying opportunities. The child responsible for the abuse then meets with the camp coordinator and is given one warning. If there is a second incident, the camp coordinator will contact the offending child’s parents to discuss a resolution – including sending the offender home if necessary.
Are there shower facilities at Camp?
No. However, each Camp session includes at least one trip to the Drumheller Aquaplex for a refreshing swim, soak in the hot tub, and a hot shower. A limited amount of water is available at the campsite for washing and tooth brushing needs. Shower facilities are available at the Museum for emergencies only
Where do meals take place? What are meals like? Are there vegetarian options?
Breakfast is served in a designated teepee at Camp, usually a variety of hot and cold breakfast cereals, fresh fruit, bagels, juice, milk, coffee, and tea. Lunch is served outdoors in the ATCO Tyrrell Learning Centre amphitheatre (weather permitting) and consists of a build-your-own sandwich buffet with veggies, fruit, juice, and dessert. Snacks are also served midday to keep energy levels up. A hot dinner is prepared and served in the Museum cafeteria each evening by professional staff, and vegetarian options are available. Food allergies and dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a peanut-free environment.
Do campers have to pay to enter the Museum?
Your admission to Encana Badlands Science Camp grants you access to the Royal Tyrrell Museum during your stay. There are no additional fees at Camp. Adult participants may purchase additional food from vending machines or the cafeteria, or items from our Gift Shop. If you choose to visit the Museum after your stay at Camp, entrance fees will apply.
How can I contact a camper in case of emergency?
The Camp Coordinator is on call 24-hours a day while Camp is in session. The Camp cell number is 403-820-4287. Or, you can call the Royal Tyrrell Museum switchboard during regular business hours, toll free. In Alberta dial 310-0000 then (403) 823-7707, or in North America, 1-888-440-4240.
May I visit with outside guests while at Camp?
Outside visitors are not allowed at the campsite at any time. However, you can meet with friends off-site during scheduled free time while attending Family Camp. Youth campers are not allowed to leave the group for personal visits unless previously arranged with the Camp Coordinator.
What time do I drop off and pick up my child?
All youth camps begin with drop-off at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, and finish with pick-up at 10:00 a.m. the following Saturday. Family Camp check-in is at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, and check-out is 10:00 a.m. Saturday.
Where do we unload camping gear?
When you first arrive at the Museum, follow the one-way road around the hill and follow the curbside signs. All gear will be loaded into our Camp van, which will be parked in front of the outdoor restrooms, just past the Museum entrance. Here's a printable map if you need it. Note: this is a Fire Lane, so vehicles cannot be left unattended while campers check in. Please park your vehicle in the public parking area after unloading gear and before checking in.
How do campers get their gear to Camp?
All Camp gear is loaded into a Museum vehicle and transported as close to the site as possible. From there, each Camper is responsible for carrying their own gear 50 metres up the trail to Camp. A backpack is best suited for this.
- Loose gear or items that have been stuffed into plastic garbage bags are very difficult to carry.
- Campers will be walking from the Museum to Camp immediately after registration, so please wear appropriate footwear. It is also advisable to carry a day pack with a water bottle and a rain jacket, just in case.
What is the check-in procedure?
After you have unloaded your camping gear and parked your vehicle, proceed to the front doors of the ATCO Tyrrell Learning Centre (the first set of double doors). There you will be met by one of our enthusiastic Camp staff who will register your child and answer any questions you may have. If your child has medications or a medical condition, please speak with the Camp Coordinator in the Learning Centre lobby. All medications, except asthma puffers and Epipens, must be left with the Camp Coordinator for security reasons. Note: Parents are responsible for family medications at Family Camps.
What is the check-out procedure?
On Saturday morning, the last day of Camp, all the camping gear is loaded into the Camp van and transported back to the Museum. It is then organized in the ATCO Tyrrell Learning Centre lobby. Check-out time is 10:00 a.m. Children will be kept in the classroom until parents arrive. They will then be led out to the lobby and helped to locate their gear. Parents will be asked to fill out a brief evaluation form at that time.
- Lost and Found items will be held until September 30, after which they will be donated to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Claimed items will be returned at the owner’s expense.
How can I get to Drumheller from the Calgary International Airport?
Drumheller is a 90-minute drive northeast of the Calgary International Airport. This can often be a challenge for campers flying in to attend Science Camp. Because of this challenge, we have identified three ways to get to the Museum*:
1) Rent a car: Calgary Airport - Car Rental
2) A personal shuttle service to Drumheller is available through a local tour operator: www.BadlandTours.com
3) Greyhound offers daily service to Drumheller from Calgary. Call 1-800-661-8747 for more information.
Why do I need to mail my Science Camp registration forms rather than send them by email or fax?
As with many legal documents, these forms require an actual ink signature. We understand that many online agreements allow digital submission, but when it comes to the health and welfare of your child, we want to ensure everything is considered—including your permission. The cost to mail a set of Science Camp forms in a 9” x 12” envelope within Canada is $1.22 (GST incl.).
*Please note: the Royal Tyrrell Museum, on behalf of the Alberta Government, is not responsible for any content of any linked website. The Museum provides these links as a convenience only, and a link does not imply endorsement, sponsorship, or any affiliation with the linked website.
Does Encana Badlands Science Camp meet the criteria for the Federal Government’s Children’s Arts Tax Credit (CATC) program as described by Canada Revenue Agency?
Canada Revenue Agency has confirmed Encana Badlands Science Camp qualifies for the Children’s Arts Tax Credit (CATC) program. Parents may therefore claim the entire amount of their child’s Camp registration fee as a deduction on their income tax. The electronically generated confirmation letter/receipt received from our Bookings Office can be used for your CATC claim.
Note: This tax credit applies to Youth camps only, not Family camps.
Seven Wonders Of The Badlands
Marvel at the wonders of the badlands on this guided hike.
Watch as fossils found right here in Alberta are prepared by our technicians for research and display.
Located 6 km from Drumheller, the Museum is nestled in the heart of the Canadian Badlands where fossil hunters have prospected for over a century.