Summer Camp Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding our Summer Camps. If you do not see your question and answer, please feel free to email us.
Mad Science® is the world’s leading science enrichment provider. We deliver unique, hands-on science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational. Mad Science is proud to introduce millions of children to a world of discovery while sparking their imagination. Mad Science encourages scientific literacy in children in an age when science is as vital as reading, writing and arithmetic. Our products and services are delivered through an extensive distribution network that serves every major North American market and 19 countries worldwide.
Mad Science camps offer a daily combination of in-class discovery and exploration, outdoor games and physical activities, and hands-on application of the scientific principles presented. Your child will be able to 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 while exploring how science affects the world around us.
Your child will have so much fun he may deny he was learning! Back to top
Most Mad Science camps are open to RISING students in grades 1 through 6. (Some camps run by our partner locations may be open to a smaller range within this group). By law, children must be a minimum of 6 years of age prior to the start of their Mad Science Camp Program.
All Mad Science activities are specifically designed to be conducted in an age and grade appropriate manner. Activities are composed of large group discussion, work in small teams of 3-5 campers, and individual attention. Depending on the nature of the activity, our 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 ages 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 kids have fun at Mad Science, 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!
Mad Science strives 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.
Mad Science also has 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. Parents are welcome to observe any class and to participate where appropriate. We ask that you limit your participation so that the hands-on nature of our programs is preserved. All parents should support the learning process after the camp is dismissed. Back to Top
Our camper to instructor ratio will never be greater than 20 to 1.
The minimum number of campers necessary to hold a camp is 10. Mad Science 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. For additional information on camp cancellations, see the Refund and Cancellation Policy section below. Back to Top
Mad Science instructors tend to be college students pursuing an education, science or dramatic arts degree, former / retired teachers or teachers on summer break. Most of our instructors have worked for us in our after-school programs that we conduct in area schools. All of our instructors have experience working with large groups of elementary-aged children, have undergone an extensive background check and received summer camp specific training. The main characteristic that our instructors all share is their love of working with children. Back to Top
We have previously offered the NASA and Crazy Chemworks programs as part of our Mad Science Club after-school programs in area schools during the school year. The best components of our Super Sleuths and Camp Whodunit? themes offered in years past have been combined to form our Secret Agent Lab camp, which is similar to the after-school program of the same name. The longer time frame of camp allows us greater freedom and flexibility to explore the many scientific concepts introduced through this unique programming, but if your child attended one of our Mad Science Clubs at school and wishes to experience something different, we encourage you to select a different camp topic. Back to Top
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 Hampton Roads area so they should be no more than 15-20 minutes travel time for the majority of the population. In our on-line registration system, you will find a Map button for each location. Clicking this will take you to a Mapquest map for that location. Should the location not be in our on-line registration system, the camp schedule will have the location's phone number. Back to Top
Maybe not. We are in discussion with many locations to provide our Mad Science camps. 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. Back to Top
Camps run by Mad Science are half-day offerings (9am-12pm) only. Additionally, our partner locations may offer additional options which allow you to combine Mad Science with one of their other offerings to encompass a full day. Please check our camp schedule for locations of partner camps and web addresses/phone numbers for information on these camps. Back to Top
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. Also, we typically offer our Early Bird Registration prior to each camp season to get $25 off any camp price (not available on partner camps). Back to Top
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 progress. 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 4 weeks in advance and give that camp 2 more weeks 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 2 weeks 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.
Mad Science reserves the exclusive right to run a camp session under the stated enrollment minimum. Back to Top
If our schedule does not work with YOUR schedule then bring Mad Science to you!
All you need is 10 children and a place to hold the camp and Mad Science will come to you! We may even be able to adjust the start time, length of the day, number of days or customize our programming to exactly match your needs.
Location needs for a Mad Science camp are pretty simple:
Mad Science provides everything else!
We can also provide exciting one-time events for your Vacation Bible School, scout troop, childcare facility summer program, library reading program or just about any other group of elementary-aged children. Back to Top
Please contact our office for details.
The easiest way is through our online registration system. It takes about 5 minutes and accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and checks. We can also register you for a camp via phone at (757) 502-8124.
Almost all of our camps are available through our on-line registration system. However, our partner camp locations are responsible for processing their own registrations. Partner camps are clearly outlined on our online and printed camp schedules.
Note: registration requirements, start dates, end dates and minimum camp size may vary by location. Back to Top
Yes, payment is due at the time of registration. You can also choose our Payment Plan option (see next question). If you use our online system and elect to use a check as your payment method, the check must be received in our office within 7 days of registration in order to confirm your seat. Our mailing address will be printed on your Registration Receipt. Check payments not received within 7 days are subject to having the registration cancelled. Back to Top
Payment plans can only be used when paying by credit card. Register your child and when you arrive at the "Basket" screen, before completing your checkout, click on the Payment Plan icon in the Due Now column. This will open a new window for you to select your payment plan option and see when remaining payments will be debited. After selecting your payment plan, proceed to Checkout to finalize your order. If you have any questions regarding Payment Plans, please call our office at (757) 502-8124. Back to Top
Yes! In fact, we encourage it. Each camp is completely different so your child can enjoy them all without repeating activities. Take our word for it: your child will love all our camps! Save yourself the trouble and register for all of them! Back to Top
There is a $50 cancellation fee for cancellations received more than 7 days prior to the start of camp. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received within 7 days of the start of camp.
There is a $15 fee to change to another camp.
For all customers:
If paying by credit card, you must call our office at (757) 502-8124 and register over the phone. If you are paying by check, you can register for the camp of your choice through our online registration system. When the system asks you for payment information, check the box for "Cash/Check/Money Order.” When you send your check, please include the coupon with your payment. Back to Top
Mad Science provides 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 a Mad Science 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. You may wish to apply sunscreen or insect repellent or send these items with your child. Due to the number of children, instructors may not be able to assist in applying these items, so if your child cannot do it on his own, please do it at home prior to the camp. A hat and/or sunglasses may also be useful.
Mad Science does not provide snacks during the camp, but we do allot some break time for eating if you wish to send in a snack. Not all of our locations have refrigerators available, so please send a snack which doesn't require refrigeration. Water will always be available.
Please clearly mark your child's name on all items he brings to camp. Back to Top
Mad Science 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 an authorized parent or guardian not be present at the end of camp, Mad Science reserves the right to charge a late pick-up fee of $1.00 per minute per child beginning 10 minutes after the stated end time of the camp. This late fee must be paid by cash or check directly to the Mad Scientist who has supervised your child. Your child cannot return to camp until this fee is paid. A second late pick-up will result in your child being removed from camp without a refund. Back to Top
Please call our office at (757) 502-8124 and we can get a message to the camp. If you need to pick up your child early, please feel free to do so. If you know this will occur when dropping your child off, kindly inform the Mad Science instructor as a courtesy. We will only release your child to a parent or guardian that is authorized to pick up your child. You can add authorized persons to your child’s account through our online registration system, by calling our office, or by sending in a note to camp with your child. Back to Top
All our activities are designed to be inclusive and promote teamwork. However, Mad Science realizes we are all individuals. Should your child elect not to participate in any activity, we will respect his wishes. Because of the nature of our activities and the involvement of our instructors in the learning process, we may not have an alternate activity available if your child doesn’t want to participate. Therefore, it is our expectation that non-participating campers stay with the group and wait quietly until they are ready to participate again. Back to Top
Yes. There is an element of risk inherent in participating in the scientific process and handling scientific materials and equipment. We at Mad Science of Hampton Roads take every precaution to ensure the safety of our campers and staff. It is important for campers and their parents to understand that if used improperly, and/or without instructor supervision, certain equipment and materials can be dangerous and could result in severe injury or death.
Please print, fill out and sign the below Authorization Form and bring it with you on the first day of camp. Your child will not be allowed to participate in a Mad Science camp without a completed Authorization Form on file with Mad Science. If your child is enrolled in more than one Mad Science camp, you will need to complete an Authorization Form for each camp. Back to Top
Go to Authorization Form (Note: form may take a moment to load)