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What You Need to Know About Spy Camp

Where will camp take place?

Camp HQ is located on the second floor the Spy Museum at 800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004.  Throughout the week “recruits” will run missions in the Museum’s neighborhood and to the National Mall. 

How old do my children have to be to attend Spy Camp?

Campers must be 10 to 13 years old.

What are the dates and times of Spy Camp?

The Museum offers two separate weeks of Spy Camp (Monday through Friday). The programming for each week is exactly the same, so please only register your child for one week of camp. Week 1 will take place from July 23-27, 2018 and week 2 will take place from July 30-August 3, 2018. Check-in is from 8:30 to 9:00 AM each morning. Activities will begin promptly at 9:00 AM and will end promptly at 3:00 PM every day. Pick up is promptly at 3PM each day.

What is the fee per child for Spy Camp?

Register prior to April 16 and receive the early-bird rate of $415. After April 16th, the fee increases to $445.  International Spy Museum Inner Circle members receive a discounted early-bird fee of $395 until April 16th and $425 after. Please note that the program fee is non-refundable.

Where should I drop-off and pick-up my camper?

All participants should enter through the Museum’s front entrance on F Street (between 8th and 9th Streets). We will provide curbside pick-up and drop-off service at the corner of F and 9th Streets throughout the week. On the first day of camp all campers must be escorted by an adult to registration within the Museum. For details about directions and parking please visit our Getting Here page.

Do your offer before and after care?

No.  The Museum will not check-in campers earlier than 8:30 AM.  Camp staff is dismissed shortly after 3:00 PM, so campers are expected to be picked up by the designated adult (or free to leave on their own with a parent note) no later than 3:15 PM.

What should campers bring to Spy Camp?

Campers should dress comfortably for activities both inside the Museum and outdoor missions. The Museum can get chilly so campers may want to bring a long sleeved shirt or sweatshirt for indoor activities. Campers should bring a packed lunch every day.  We do not have a microwave or refrigerator available so please pack appropriate meal items. 

Although we provide basic disguise materials, campers are encouraged to bring their own personal disguise materials (e.g. hats, scarves, sunglasses, wigs). Also please don’t forget your sense of adventure!

What can’t campers bring to Spy Camp?

Campers should leave all portable electronics at home (including radios, iPods, and handheld games). Cell phones are permissible but must be silenced from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM.  Candy, gum, and food other than lunch should be left at home. Also please leave all valuables at home. The International Spy Museum is not responsible for any lost or stolen items or money.

Will meals be served?

No. Campers are responsible for bringing their own lunch each day. A small snack and juice/water will be provided at approximately 10:30 AM each day. There will be a nut-free option for those with nut allergies (please indicate all allergies on medical forms).

Will an adult accompany my child on their spy missions?

Yes. The International Spy Museum has a team of dedicated adult “training officers” (aka camp counselors) who typically have education or museum degrees. The International Spy Museum requires a criminal background check for all Spy Camp staff. Campers are split into small teams of 8 or 9 campers with one training officer, who accompanies them at all times during Spy Camp. The camp also has three to four additional Museum staff who are responsible for directing the camp as well as assisting parents and campers with activities throughout the week.  Additionally, teen volunteers (ages 15 to 18) assist each team and specialists, including intelligence community professionals, scientists, and martial arts instructors come in during camp to conduct various activities.

Can my child bring personal medications?

The Museum staff cannot dispense any medications (including sun block) without the completed consent form.  If your child has a medical condition that may require self-medication (insulin, etc.) please  indicate the specific condition and medication (dose, frequency, etc.) on the form so  we can safely monitor your child throughout the week.

Can my child and their friends or siblings be on the same team?

Yes, they can be placed on the same team or separate teams when requested. Teams typically consist of 8 to 9 children, are gender balanced and grouped by age. 

What is the reservation process for Spy Camp?

The information you will need includes:

  • Legal guardian contact information
  • Local emergency contact information (not parent/guardian)
  • Child’s medical information (physician name and phone, insurance company name and policy number, allergies list, medication list, and any other conditions we should be aware of).

What activities will my child experience throughout the week?

*Please note that activities listed are subject to change.


Infiltration and Mission Briefing

  • Assume your cover and get ready for action!
  • Basic Training at the Spy Camp “Farm”
  • Mission Briefing



Let’s Go Operational!

**We will be outside most of this day – sunscreen, hats, comfy shoes are imperative – also you might need a backpack.  Lunches should be fully disposable.

  • Bag lunch at the tidal basin
  • Surveillance missions in Smithsonian Museums.



Ninja and Spies and Lies

  • Ninja training
  • Learn to use the polygraph
  • Travel to the foreign country of Khandar in Operation Spy


Get Your Gadgets

  • Meet a real spy and learn the tricks of the trade
  • Make your own signaling device and personal alarm using basic electronics
  • Test your spy skills in Spy in the City 



 Operation Beat the Heat – Mission Accomplished?

  • Work with forensic scientists in analyzing evidence
  • Mission Debriefing
  • 2:30-3pm:  Debriefing Party for all agents, operatives, and handlers (that’s code for parents are invited too!)


If we did not answer all of your questions, please feel free to call us at 202-654-0933.