Skip to Content

Vacation & Summer Programs

Seven weeks of insect-themed camps for 2017!

Discovery Camp: Incredible Insects

June 26-30: Nature's Recyclers

July 10-14: Incredible Insects (only week of full day camp)

July 17-21: Magnificent Metamorphosis

July 24-28: Community Dwellers

July 31-Aug 4: Pollinators and Pests

Aug 7-11: Masters of Disguise

Aug14-18: Aquatic Insects

Did you know that humans are not the only ones who recycle? Campers will get a close look at a variety of hard working creature recyclers simply by turning over rocks and logs in our play-yard! We will also explore the art of composting, and how it can be beneficial to both people and the earth.
Incredible Insects (full day week):
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an entomologist? Entomologists are scientists that study the life and behavior of insects. In this full-day week of camp, we will use some of the tools that these scientists use to take a closer look at a wide variety of critters. Decomposition, metamorphosis, and pollination are just a few of the fun topics we will explore!
Butterflies are probably the creatures that come to mind when you hear the word metamorphosis, but there are many other insects that also go through this amazing process. We will touch on a few of these special insects, learning not only about their life cycles, but about their anatomy and behavior too!
City living isn't just for humans! Ants, termites, and bees also belong to their own complex social communities in which they learn to cooperate for the greater good of their colony. Within each colony, there are many jobs to keep these insects busy: building the nest, gathering food, caring for young, and protecting the group, just to name a few!
Some may find insects to be gross or scary, others may see how beneficial they can be to us and other animals. From honey bees and ladybugs, to mosquitoes and spiders, we will explore the different ways humans and insects coexist.
All kinds of creatures in the animal kingdom use camouflage to aid in survival. Whether they're hiding from predators, or sneaking up on prey, animals use this skill for many different reasons. During this camp week, we will learn about some camouflaging insects and discover why they use the art of disguise in so many cool and wacky ways.
Did you know that there is an insect that can walk on water? And another that builds a protective case around itself out of gravel, sand and twigs? Through storytime, crafts, and games, campers will uncover the amazing insects that inhabit the underwater world.

For kids ages 5 - 8, Half-day 9am-12pm, Full-day: 9am-3pm

Sessions are $125 half-day or $250 for full-day for the week. 20% discount for siblings who sign up.  

Please contact Leila Nordmann for registration.

Click here for an application.


Franklin's Guides

Begins June 26, Monday. Ends August 11, Friday.
For students ages 11-15.

Click here for an application.   

Franklin's Guides is a student docent training program where students are ambassadors of the Museum and represent the spirit of Franklin Fairbanks when he dedicated his collections to the people of St. Johnsbury.  Franklin's Guides discover and research exhibits of their choice, then provide short tours or presentations to the public based on those exhibits.

Guides receive mentoring and support from our education team to practice their research, presentations, and public speaking skills. In return, they offer creative perspectives and new ideas that help us keep our interpretations of the collections fresh. This provides both the students and our visitors a closer look at our displays and collections.

Franklin's Guides in 2016
Sabra Anne Snyder, our AmeriCoprs Member, currently directing Franklin's Guides, comments: "We made a new record last year with the number of students accepted into the program. With 16 students on board there were so many exciting and relevant tours available!

  • 3D Printer Demonstration
  • Ancient Culture Clothing Traditions
  • Ancient Oceans
  • Birds of Paradise & Endangered Moose
  • Butterfly & Bug Art Walkthrough
  • Endangered & Extinct Animals
  • Fish Inside and Out
  • How Ancient Cultures Identified Constellations
  • Juno's Mission
  • Musical Instruments & History
  • Rocks & Minerals
  • Swords of History
  • Vermont's Bird Calls
  • Vermont's Endangered & Extinct Animals

Providing tours isn't the only part of Franklin's Guides. We've really gotten hands on this year with creating some amazing things through our STEM projects such as creating our own geodes and making our own galaxy t-shirts. Of course our biggest contribution towards the program is getting altogether at the end of each week to venture out in the field for exploration, intrigue, and swimming adventures!"

How to apply to be a Franklin's Guide

If you are interested in learning more about becoming one of Franklin's Guides, download or print the 2017 application hereGuides are engaged, mature students who are ready to learn the responsibilities of interacting with the public in a natural history museum setting. We require student applicants to be between the ages of 11 and 15 years old. 

Contact Sabra Anne Snyder with any questions or concerns. 

What to expect as a Franklin's Guide

Our Guides will spend time on the main floor running existing programs, but also producing their own presentations to the public. They will have the Guides Coordinator, Museum Educators, and experts in various fields as a resource throughout the summer. The Franklin's Guides schedule runs between Monday - Friday, from 10am - 2pm, and students will be expected to commit to at least one day a week to perform presentations. We also have our Friday Field Trips, which are optional, but tons of fun for us to get together for summer adventures!

Fun fact: Did you know that it was Franklin's Guides students who helped built the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium in 1961? What might you contribute and inspire in your community?




Astronomy Camp 2017

**Completely Full** 


April 18 & 20: 9:30-4:30pm

April 19: Peacham Observatory visit, 7-9pm - Families are invited to join us this evening.

Ages: 9-13 yrs old, if younger we will put them on a waiting list (preference to 9-13)

Price: $115 members, $135 non-members

This is an amazing time to be an astronomer.  From movies like Hidden Figures highlighting the women behind NASA missions, to Juno’s encounter of Jupiter and Cassini’s last moments with Saturn, we will cover all the latest events in astronomy. Come to the Museum to learn about the history of NASA scientists and what we have learned from these missions during their travels.  We will continue to develop a deeper understanding about optics, light, and gravity in the universe. 

Taught by Bobby Farlice-Rubio, Museum Educator

  • Please send your child with a healthy lunch and re­usable water bottle. ­Camp runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 18 and 20, with a visit to Northern Skies Observatory in Peacham from 7p.m. to 9p.m. on April 19. 
  • For rocket launching we would like to use a local private field about 3 miles from the Museum. We will issue permission slips for staff to transport students, and directions to the field if you would like to transport your child and watch the launching.
We are not accepting anymore students for Astronomy Camp. We look forward to seeing you next year. Thank you.