Archaeology Camp 2017 IS FULL.
Click here for registration information.

Archaeology Camp excavation site
Click on photo for larger image.

The South Dakota State Historical Society, Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), sponsors an annual three-day Archaeology Camp. This camp is an active, outdoor experience on a real archaeological site. Students should be prepared to hike, work in the dirt, listen carefully, and follow directions from camp leaders and professional archaeologists.

Students will learn an introduction to the field of archaeology, why we conduct archaeological digs, what stories artifacts can tell us about the past, history of fur trading posts, how to map a site, and how to use team-building skills. In addition to excavation at the site, other fun activities will include processing artifacts, practicing with atlatls, and tours of the Archives and Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society. There will also be trips to the Turtle Effigy and the Oahe Chapel.

For more information and photos from the 2016 camp, please click here.

Who: Students going into grades 4-6 (no exceptions), 2017-2018 school year

When: June 20-22, 2017; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT
The program is structured for students to attend all 3 days. Students should not expect to be released mid-day unless there is an emergency.

Where:  Cultural Heritage Center (CHC)
            900 Governors Drive
            Pierre, South Dakota
Staff will then transport students to and from the archaeological site near Oahe Downstream Recreation Area.

How Much: $30 per participant

Registration: Limited to the first 20 applicants who have not previously attended. Prior participants may apply, but their names will be added to a lottery and only considered if there are less than 20 new campers.

Registration begins on May 22, 2017 at 8 a.m. and will close on May 26, 2017 or when the camp is full, whichever comes first. No walk-in campers will be accepted on camp days.

NOTE: While registration forms will be available both online and at the Cultural Heritage Center on May 15, they will not be accepted until May 22 at 8 a.m. They will be logged in in the order in which they are received. APPLICATIONS RECEIVED PRIOR TO 8 A.M. ON MAY 22ND WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Click here for registration information. Registration forms may also be picked up in the Administration Office of the Cultural Heritage Center, 900 Governors Dr. in Pierre.

Additional Important Info:
Please be sure to include an e-mail address in the space provided on the form. All applicants will be notified via e-mail whether or not they have been accepted.

Two weeks before camp begins, parents or guardians of students accepted will be mailed a letter detailing what campers need to bring and other specifics.

For more information on the Archaeology Camp, please contact Paige Olson at 605-773-6004 or by e-mail at