Residential Camper Option

Main Content

Campers attend the week-long camp(s) and reside in the University dormitories on campus, walking to and from the laboratories. A trained evening mentor will be with campers at all times. This option is only for students entering grades 5-12.


Campus Housing: Curtin Hall, one of Penn State’s East residence halls, is an ideal lodging location for youth programs. Housing and Food Services offer a friendly environment for youth. The residence hall community also offers an excellent atmosphere for fun, learning, and growth.

University policy requires that youth groups provide a minimum of one counselor for every eight participants between the ages of eight and fourteen. Science-U evening mentors must be at least 21 years of age and there will be two counselors of each gender residing in the dorms with the campers. Housing also provides one conference assistant per building for youth conferences.

Campers are responsible for their own property; therefore we suggest they lock their room and keep their key with them at all times. If the room key is lost, campers must report the loss to a counselor or program director immediately so that a replacement key can be issued. The cost for replacing a lost key is $50.00. We urge campers not to bring valuables with them. The University is not responsible for lost or stolen articles.

All residence hall areas have television lounges and pay laundry facilities. Telephones are not provided in residence hall rooms.  There is one courtesy phone available on each floor of each dorm. (phone cards are available for purchase on campus at the Penn State Book Store). Cell phones are permitted at the program but we ask that they are turned off during the program and activities.

Attendees may have indicated one roommate preference on the registration form. Listing a roommate preference does not guarantee enrollment of the roommate in the program. If no preference is indicated, the housing office will assign a roommate.

When campers check out of the residence hall, please make sure they have all of their personal belongings. The University is not responsible for belongings left behind.

Dorm Rooms:

Linens (sheets and bed pad) are provided. Pillows, blankets, towels and toiletries are not provided. Small refrigerators and microwaves are in the dorm rooms. The rooms are not air-conditioned; it is highly recommended to bring your own fan!

Suggested items to bring:

● Phone cards or cell phone

● Money for PSU souvenirs (including coins for vending machines/games/laundry facilities)

● First-aid kit with bandages, disinfecting solution, and over-the-counter analgesic drugs

● Umbrella and rain gear in case of inclement weather

● Alarm clock

● Swimming attire, towel, and sunscreen

● Jacket or windbreaker

● Towels and a washcloth

● Toiletries

● Pillow and pillowcase

● Blanket

● "Shower shoes" (flip flops)

  • Fan

Typical Evening Activities

At the conclusion of the camp day, evening mentors will meet the residential campers at the camp meeting site and walk with them back to their residence hall.  Residential campers will stay in secure residence halls with 24-7 supervision.  The residence halls are located near campus dining commons, where campers eat all meals.  The evening mentors will accompany the campers to dinner and then to evening activities.  Some camps have scheduled evening 'content' events, like telescope viewing, movies, or evening talks.  Evening mentors will accompany campers to these events.  Most camps have a rotation of fun activities for kids such as: Spikes Baseball games, fireworks, walks to the Penn State Creamery for ice cream, swimming, games, and light shopping together downtown.  Evening mentors will organize and supervise these activities.  Campers are not permitted to walk around campus or to go off-campus without an evening mentor.  At the end of the evening’s activities, mentors will accompany campers back to the residence hall and enforce the University’s curfew for youth staying in the residence halls.  The evening mentors stay overnight in the residence hall and are available throughout the night in the event that a camper needs assistance.  In the morning, the evening mentors accompany the campers to breakfast and then walk them to the camp meeting site.

Dining Halls:

All meals will be served in University dining halls, and vegetarian, gluten free and peanut free meal options are available.  Campers may eat as much as they want but should not waste food or remove it from the dining areas.  Penn State’s Housing and Food Services Department makes every effort to accommodate special needs/requests. If your child requires special meals, or if you have any questions, please call the dining commons nutrition assistant at 814.867.5277 to discuss options and so that special preparation of foods that may be arranged.

Sunday Check-in/Orientation:

Campers meet the staff on the Sunday afternoon prior to camp.

The registration area will be open from 4:00 to 5:00 P.M. in Findlay Commons on Sunday afternoon for resident campers. At check-in at Findlay Commons, participants will receive their room assignments and room keys (along with the other materials listed below) and will be directed to their residence hall.

The actual location of your room will be in Curtin Hall for all campers. Science – U staff will be on-hand to answer any parent/guardian or participant questions. Please allow enough time to pick up information and your child’s key in the registration area and to deposit your child’s belongings in the dorm room before 5:00 P.M.
At check-in and orientation, campers and/or parents will receive the following:

  • Residence hall room assignment and key
  • Meal card (Sunday dinner through Friday Lunch)
  • Name Badge and Lanyard, and T-shirt
  • Notebook &/or Curriculum Packet
  • Science-U Pen
  • Updated schedule (if necessary)
  • Parent Permission forms (as needed)

Following check-in, the Science - U staff will accompany participants to the dining hall for dinner. At 7:00 P.M., campers will attend an opening ceremony. Parents/guardians of residential campers, having had an earlier opportunity to ask questions at check-in at Pollock Commons, are not required to attend the 7:00 P.M. orientation (location TBA by camp), but are certainly welcome.

Late Arrivals for Resident Campers:

We ask that you make every effort to arrive on time; however, late arrivals should report to the Pollock Commons 24-hour Information Desk to check in. The Commons Desk will put you in touch with the resident assistants for the program. The resident assistants will have registration materials for late check-ins.


Parents or guardians dropping off children for the program will be able to park in the East Parking Deck. A parking map will be provided prior to arrival on campus. There are also various faculty/staff parking areas around Curtin Hall. If you park outside of the East Parking Deck, please look for posted signs in the parking areas to determine if parking is permitted there on Sunday afternoons. Student parking lots are reserved 7 days a week; there is no parking in the student parking areas.

Parents or guardians attending the closing ceremony and/or picking campers up on Friday may park in the Eisenhower Parking Deck with a permit secured at check in. Parking is also available in the East Deck (located next to the Penn State Creamery), which allows visitors to park free for the first 30 minutes with a small fee ($1.00 per hour or any portion of an hour) for time spent beyond the first 30 minutes.

All University parking rules and regulations will be enforced! All vehicles must be parked in a legal parking space designated by two white lines.