Frequently Asked Questions
How are your science camps organized?
Our science camps offer a daily combination of in-class discovery and exploration, as well as hands-on applications of the scientific principles presented. Your child will be able touch, see, hear, smell and taste what science is really all about. We use an inquiry-based technique that allows even the youngest camper to enjoy our learning environment. Campers create a variety of take-home projects and participate in "snack-tivities" while exploring how science affects the world around us. Your child will have so much fun he may deny he was learning!
What ages are appropriate for your science camp?
We offer camps for children entering grades K through 6. Please check the grade requirements for each theme. For Advanced Robotics, the technical nature of building your own robot requires a little more manual dexterity from our campers. Therefore, Advanced Robotics will be open to campers in grades 3 to 6.
All camp activities are specifically designed to be conducted in an age and grade appropriate manner. Activities are comprised of large group discussion, small “team” work and individual attention. Depending on the nature of the activity, camp instructors will typically split the campers by age and/or grade to ensure the material is presented at an appropriate level. If there are different aged children in the same camp, we use the buddy system where the older camper will sometimes help the younger camper. For the most part, campers work in small groups with children of similar age. Our camps usually have a good mix of both ages and gender, therefore your child will be paired with children his age and he will make new friends. All children will have fun, but any activity can be more fun if it is shared with a sibling or friend. Please mention our camps to your family, friends and neighbors. After all, you just may gain a car pool partner!
We strive at all times to provide fun and safe science activities for all children participating in our programs. To fulfill this commitment, we ask that all children enrolled adhere to basic behavioral guidelines. Our instructors set clear boundaries and expectations as to appropriate conduct and we will hold all children to these expectations. We stress these expectations at the beginning of each day of each program. We ask your cooperation should any parent be notified of discipline issues. It is our intention to provide children with, not deprive them of, exciting and fun science. It is only when a child interrupts this positive learning environment that we would take any action.
We also have expectations of the parents whose children are enrolled. Only children with a sincere interest in our programs and the necessary maturity to handle the time commitment and the social interaction of a large group of children should be allowed to enroll. All parents should support the learning process after the camp is dismissed.
What is the camper to instructor ratio?
Our camper to instructor ratio will never be greater than 14 to 1. Usually, the average sized camp is about 18 children with 2 instructors. With the popularity of some themes and weeks of the summer, several camps could reach their maximum occupancy which is 20-22 depending on the location. For camps that have a waiting list, If possible, we will create additional camps with different instructors so as to not disappoint any children.
The minimum number of campers necessary to hold a camp is 12. SEO tries to inform parents as soon as possible should it appear that a camp will not reach its minimum enrollment. On these occasions we will offer priority enrollment in other camps or a full refund should the camp have to be cancelled.
Who are the science camp instructors?
Our instructors tend to be teachers on summer break, college students pursuing an education or science degree. Some of our instructors have worked for other organizations doing after-school science programs during the school year. All of our instructors have experience working with large groups of elementary-aged children, have undergone a background check and received approximately 16 hours of summer camp specific training. The main characteristic that our instructors all share is their love of working with children.
How do I register my child for a camp?
We provide two ways to register: on-line, or over the phone. The easiest way is through our on-line registration system. It takes about 5 minutes and accepts only credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover). All of our camps are available through our on-line registration system.
Is payment due in full when I register?
Yes. You must submit payment in full to reserve a spot for your child. Only MasterCard, Visa or Discover credit cards are accepted as methods of payment.
How soon do I need to register to reserve a space for my child?
This is the toughest question we get because we have no idea. Some camps and dates fill very quickly, while some may have spaces available up to the start date. We recommend that you register as soon as possible.
Will all camp sessions run?
We create our camp schedule with the intention of being able to offer each and every session. We ensure there is sufficient equipment and instructors to manage the schedule we publish. Unfortunately, there is no science to how the registrations for each camp session will grow. We have established a minimum number of campers needed to offer a session. If this number is not met, we must cancel that session.
As parents ourselves, we understand the unique challenges that arise during the summer as families try to coordinate work schedules, vacation schedules, camp schedules and everything else we have going on in our busy lives. Therefore, if the camp in which your child is registered has not met the minimum requirement, we will notify you at least 2 weeks in advance and give that camp 1 more week to increase the registration before we make a cancellation decision. Frequently we will need just 1 or 2 more campers to meet the minimum. Often parents can help us reach the minimum by calling friends, family or neighbors. If the camp has not met its minimum registration by 1 week prior to the scheduled start date, we may have to cancel the session. In this case, all parents will be notified promptly with a list of alternative camp sessions. If we are unable to accommodate your schedule, we will offer you a full refund of your registration fee.
What is your refund policy?
- SEO reserves the right to cancel any program 8 days prior to the start date, at which time you will be entitled to a full refund.
- Cancellations received more than 30 days prior to the start of the camp week for which you registered will be refunded the amount paid minus a $50 administrative fee.
- Cancellations received between 30 and 15 days prior to the start of the camp week for which you registered will be issued a “Science Camp Voucher” for the value of the camp week(s) being cancelled minus a $50 administrative fee. The camp voucher can be used as payment for any future camp week being offered at the original location you registered only. You will also have the option to switch camp sessions up to 15 days prior to the start of your original choice, on a space-available basis, at no additional charge.
- No refunds will be issued for any cancellation within 15 days of the start of the camp.
- No refunds or prorated credits will be issued for any other reason.
Can I sign my child up for more than one camp?
Yes. In fact we encourage it. Each camp is completely different so your child can enjoy them all without repeating activities. Oftentimes, parents initially register their child for only one camp. After they discover how much they enjoy our activities, they attempt to register for additional camps. Due to the popularity of many of our themes and weeks, several children end up disappointed when the additional camps are already sold out. Take our word for it – your child will love all our camps! Save yourself the trouble and register for all themes available at that location!
Are these the only locations where you will be holding your camps this summer?
Most likely these are the only locations for this summer. However, we are always looking for new, better and more comfortable locations where we can offer our camp. Please look at our website on a regular basis as we will be updating our schedule as soon as additional locations are added. Also, if you have a particular location in mind, please bring it to our attention.
I am not familiar with the camp location, how do I find out where it is located?
All our locations have been carefully chosen to be easy to get to and convenient to find. Most are very close to the major highways in the Long Island area so they should be no more than 15 minutes travel time for the majority of the population. Please take a look at the "Camp Locations" page which has an interactive Google Maps connection to help you get directions from your home.
Do you offer only half-day programs?
Yes. All locations will offer half-day camps only. Half-day camps allow children and parents greater flexibility for other pursuits during the day either before or after our science camp.
What should my child bring/wear to camp?
We provide all the equipment and materials for both the in class activities and the take home projects. All you need to provide is a child who is ready to have fun! Children should dress comfortably for that day’s weather. We ask that children not wear open toed shoes to camp – especially no flip-flops. Also, as we will be outside on a number of occasions, please do not dress your child in any clothes that you do not want to get dirty.
Do you provide a snack with the camp?
No. Due to rising concerns with food allergies we will not provide a snack. We will provide a mid-morning break and water. Parents are encouraged to send a snack with their child. Coolers/refrigeration will be available. Please clearly mark your child’s name on all items.
What is your policy for early drop off and late pick up?
For most of our camps, SEO cannot accommodate early drop off or late pick ups. To ensure our instructors are ready to provide your child with an exciting, stimulating and safe day, our doors will open promptly at our stated start time. Please do not drop off your child and leave him unattended before the start time of camp. Our instructors will not be responsible for your child until the start of the camp day.
An authorized parent or guardian must be at the camp site prepared to assume responsibility for your child at the stated end time of camp. We ask that you do not enter the room until the instructors dismiss the camp. The vast majority of our camps end on time. However, to ensure all children complete the activities for the day, our camps may run a few minutes long. Should someone be unable to consistently pick up their child at the stated end time of camp, SEO reserves the right to remove your child from camp without a refund.