Operational Modification for Summer Scouts 2020


The health and safety of our scouts is always our first priority. The Scouts at HMNS program has extensive health and safety procedures and staff training in place every year. This summer, in light of COVID-19, The Scouts at HMNS Team is updating these procedures extensively, informed by current recommendations from local, state, federal health officials, agencies, and authorities, including CDC guidelines. At this time, we are planning to proceed with our summer classes as scheduled, beginning June 8, with extensive health & safety modifications. This is in addition to the substantial modifications and procedures in place for the museum overall. You can read more about the museum’s updated health and safety procedures by visiting our Health and Safety page. The modifications include:

Social Distancing and Crowd Limitations

  • Reducing the number of scouts per classroom to half.
  • Reducing the total enrollment in Before Class to half capacity and social distancing scouts in the Moran Lecture Hall with designated space for each scout.
  • Reducing the total enrollment in After Class to half capacity. Each After Class classroom will be at half capacity with one teacher and one assistant.
  • Reducing the number of scouts per classroom during lunch. We will not combine classrooms during the lunch period.
  • Reducing the number of staff per classroom to one teacher and one or two assistants.
  • No more than three scouts per classroom table.
  • Teachers and assistants will remind scouts to remain separate.
  • No partners or group projects.
  • Only campers and staff will be allowed in the classrooms and the Scout Office. Floor decals will indicate 6-foot spacing for parents to queue outside each classroom for drop off and pick up. Sign In and Sign Out with ID checks will be conducted in the hallway.
  • Any class presentations on Fridays that would normally be with parents will be with the teacher and assistant(s) only.
  • We strongly urge advance online purchase of summer scouts classes, before and after class, and lunch and the emailing of completed Scout Health Record forms to scouts@hmns.org to enable “low-touch” entry to the Museum and communication with the Scout Office staff.
  • Lower Level of the Museum will be reserved exclusively for participants in children’s programs from the museum’s reopening date, May 15, through the end of summer programming.
  • Scouts will participate in no-touch tours throughout the museum exhibit halls, as they relate to class curriculum.
  • While on exhibit hall tours, scouts will socially distance from all general museum patrons. Museum staff will monitor all public spaces to facilitate social distancing; and have installed signage and floor decals throughout the facility to encourage and remind visitors to practice social distancing and hand washing and sanitizing.
  • Scouts will go on exhibit hall tours earlier in the day to avoid potential crowds.
  • Exclusive Wortham Giant Screen Theatre and Burke Baker Planetarium shows for scouts. No general museum patrons will be admitted to the theatres during these shows.
  • Staggered pick-up times to reduce the foot traffic in the Lower Level museum halls. Details coming soon.

Health Monitoring

  • The temperature of all scouts will be measured in the Grand Hall before entering the Museum and being signed-in; any scout exhibiting a fever of 100.4 or above will be sent home with their parent or guardian. Scouts must be without a fever above 100.4 for 24 hours before returning to class.
  • The temperature of all employees will also be measured before entering the museum; any employees exhibiting a fever of 100.4 or above will be sent home. Upon entering the building, employees must wash or sanitize their hands. The museum is also putting extensive health maintenance requirements in place for employees to follow throughout the day.

Cleaning and Sanitization

  • Upon entering the museum, scouts must wash or sanitize their hands.
  • Scouts will wash or sanitize their hands often throughout the day especially before returning to the classroom from exhibit hall tours, bathroom trips, or demonstrations.
  • All staff who engage with scouts will wear face masks.
  • All scouts will be encouraged to wear face masks. Cloth face masks will be available to purchase at the museum.
  • The museum is installing more hand sanitizing stations and instituting heightened cleaning protocols, including frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection of “high-touch” door handles, elevators, and restrooms.
  • Scout classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each camp day.
  • Scouts will have an assigned seat and space in the classroom. Scouts will be asked to wipe down their personal area with sanitizing wipes at the beginning of the day and then again after lunch.
  • Teachers and TAs will sanitize surfaces and handles in the classroom at the beginning of the day and again after lunch.
  • The museum is implementing cleanliness “patrols” in all exhibition galleries and other public areas. These patrols will clean and sanitize all public surfaces in the museum frequently throughout each day.
  • Hands-on exhibition components and other “high touch” experiences will remain closed, including theatre experiences and interactives in the Wiess Energy Hall, docent touch carts and more.
  • All materials and supplies used in class will be packaged or sterilized.
  • Scouts are encouraged not to share personal electronic devices. Electronic devices cannot be used during the camp curriculum portion of the day.
  • In order to create a possible “low touch” Before and After Class environment we will eliminate touch items like board games and building sets from the room. This summer we will provide coloring pages and activity sheets to younger scouts and screen short movies for all ages. All scouts will be permitted to use personal electronic devices during the extended day periods. Scouts will be encouraged not to share personal electronic devices.

Staff Training

  • All museum staff have been trained on all operational changes the museum is implementing.
  • All Summer Scouts staff have been specifically trained on all operational changes to the summer scouts program.

We will continue to be informed by local, state, federal, and CDC guidelines and make necessary operational modifications as needed. The Scouts at HMNS staff will continue working non-stop to develop additional protocols and procedures that prioritize the health and safety of our scouts.

In addition, The Scouts at HMNS program is offering a limited selection of live online virtual summer scout camps for those who may not feel comfortable returning to the museum in-person. Scouts can take part in a one week, one hour per day, virtual class experience with hands on activities presented by a scout teacher using an online meeting application. Please visit our Virtual Summer Scouts page for more information.

We are looking forward to providing your scouts with fun and engaging educational summer classes in a healthy way. We hope you all are staying safe and taking good care of yourselves, and we hope to see you again soon!

HMNS at Hermann Park

5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston,Texas 77030
(713) 639-4629


Get Directions Offering varies by location
HMNS at Sugar Land

13016 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
(281) 313-2277


Get Directions Offering varies by location
George Observatory

21901 FM 762 Rd.
Needville, Texas 77461
(281) 242-3055

Hours
Tuesday - Saturday By Reservation
Saturdays 3:00PM - 10:00PM
Saturdays (DST) 3:00PM - 11:00PM
DST = Daylight Savings Time.
Please call for holiday hours. Entry to Brazos Bend State Park ends at 9:30 p.m. daily
Get Directions Offering varies by location

Stay in the know. Join our mailing list.



The Houston Museum of Natural Science is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives no federal or state funding. Tax ID # 74-1036131.