Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some questions families commonly have about applying to and attending Epsilon Camp.

Camp Daily Schedule Information

Upon receipt of your deposit, a camp planning guide will be sent to you by email with all of the information you need to confidently prepare for, travel to, and enjoy camp.

Academics

My child is very able at mathematics, but not truly passionate. Is the camp suitable?

In this situation, the camp is probably not a good match. Although we do focus on activities of interest to children of this age, we do assume that they are already interested in mathematical material. Therefore, we push quickly into the material. This could be a frustrating environment for someone who is not excited by the challenge.

How can I help create or develop a love of mathematics in my child?

Helping someone develop a love of a subject is tricky, as it has to come from within. Introducing the right materials into their environment can help your child pick things up and develop their own passion. Some great options to introduce are the videos of Vi Hart, the books of Martin Gardner, or a visit to a local math circle. Construction activities such as Legos, origami, and the amazing Zometool can also be exciting to many.

We have also assembled a substantial list of recommended books, games, and gadgets.

How can I tell if my child's mathematical background and interest is strong enough for the camp?

We encourage you to submit an Application Inquiry Form and to work with the problems found on the Epsilon Camp Readiness Assessment and in the Epsilon Camp Exploration Problems (included with the application materials we will send to you upon receipt of your Admissions Inquiry Form). This will help you identify if your child is engaged in and excited by the mathematical concepts presented. Being able to make progress with the material and showing interest in wanting to know "why" is a great indication that the camp might be suitable. Remember that campers who will not yet be age 9 at camp are not expected to know algebra.

In which academic program will my child be placed?

Campers who will be age 7–8 during Epsilon Camp 2016 will be placed in the Academic Program Ages 7–8. New campers who will be age 9-11 during Epsilon Camp 2016 will be placed in the Academic Program Ages 9–11, Year 1. After their first year, campers age 9–11 who are age-eligible and invited to return are then placed in Year II. If still age-eligible and again invited to return, campers are then placed in Year III.

The goal of Epsilon Camp is not acceleration, but enrichment. The core philosophy of our academic programs is to help develop the campers' love and understanding of mathematics rather than progress them through a standard mathematics curriculum. With this understanding of the campers and the subject, the faculty strive to help each camper go as far as they want to go.

The material we use is selected due to its accessibility for this age group, but also connects directly to many areas of current research interest. Aspects of these elementary [1] topics reward slow, deep study, and systems like the prime numbers are still mystifying mathematicians after thousands of years of research [2]. The material presented in each classroom might not be encountered again for a long time.

[1] The term elementary has a technical meaning to mathematics. It implies that the work only uses the most basic tools and not the full powerful toolkit of modern mathematics. It does not imply that the work is simpler or easier. In fact, paradoxically, an elementary result can often be more difficult than the corresponding one using more advanced techniques.

[2] Just in 2013, Yitang Zhang stunned the mathematics world with his progress on a simple question about the primes that goes back to antiquity.

Student Life

What kind of supervision does Epsilon Camp provide?

Each camper group has a dedicated counselor who provides supervision and support during instructional time. A detailed daily schedule will be included in the camp planning guide sent with registration and deposit information.

Can students exercise or participate in sports?

Campers have plenty of physical activity during classroom and afternoon breaks, and in the evening. Soccer, basketball, and a playground are available and located near the dormitory buildings.

What if my child becomes ill?

Please ensure that your camper and all attendees have medical insurance valid in the United States.

Can Epsilon Camp accommodate students with special needs?

The university campus is accessible to mobility-disabled students in the same manner as most current college campuses. Check with us about available arrangements for other special needs.

Family Life

Who attends with the student?

At least one parent/guardian must be in residence with their camper at all times. Although we prefer a parent/guardian to accompany the student, exceptions can be made for work-related commitments or exigencies, in which event a close relative may substitute for a parent. All adults accompanying the student are invited to attend the parent workshops at no additional cost. These sessions focus on emotional and social support and educational planning for highly gifted young people.

Can family members and friends visit?

Family and friends are welcome to visit with prior written notice to the Camp Director. On-campus housing may be available, but must be arranged at the time of camper registration. Immediate family members of campers receive priority to ensure that suitable housing and facilities are available.

Can parents bring along siblings, and what can the siblings do during the day?

Yes, siblings may accompany the parent/guardian to camp. Siblings under the age of 5 can stay in the family dorms at no additional cost. Parents may work together to find suitable local childcare through care.com or other resources. Older children may be enrolled in other camps operating on the same campus or elsewhere in the area. Epsilon Camp recommends identifying and enrolling in these camps as early as possible, since they can fill up as early as February.

Room & Board

What living accommodations are available?

If families choose to stay in the dorms, each gets a private furnished suite, private bath, and access to common kitchens for light meal preparation. Families may choose to stay off-campus, and if so, are responsible for making their own arrangements.

What about meals?

Whether residing on campus or off-campus, student meals are included in tuition. We encourage all students to eat in the university Dining Hall with their fellow campers. A la carte meals will be available for purchase, by cash or credit card, for all non-camper attendees. Details will be included the camp planning guide.

Are there vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free dining options?

At each meal there are multiple entrée choices including nut-free, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Eating a varied vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, or strictly vegan diet for each meal is possible with the detailed food labeling in the university-run dining hall. In the weeks leading up to camp, you will be asked to specify food allergies so we can inform the dining hall prior to your arrival.

Cost

How much does it cost to attend Epsilon Camp?

See the Cost page for the student tuition. In addition, please plan for the following costs:

  • student lodging
  • non-camper attendee room and board
  • travel to and from camp
  • cost of attractions in the area
  • car rental (most families opt not to rent a car)

Is Financial Aid Available?

In 2017, up to four students will receive financial aid to reduce their camp tuition, and up to two students will receive a full scholarship. Students are eligible to receive financial assistance only once during their Epsilon Camp career. For example, a student who received financial assistance for Epsilon Camp 2016 is not eligible to receive financial assistance for Epsilon Camp 2017. For more information visit our Financial Assistance page.