1. Mike has never been away from home for more than a day. My wife and I are concerned about him being away for a month. Any thoughts?
A. The following will take care of homesickness.
(a) If the student has not been to a residential camp before,
a few weeks prior to camp send the youngster off to a relative or on a trip with friends or to a short camp, with overnight stay of one or two nights but without the parents.
(b) At MathPath counselors will remind students to call home every day in the first week, less frequently thereafter.
Please impress upon your son or daughter the importance of making these phone calls and keeping in touch. These phone calls (or email messages) should be brief. Too much talking about home can increase homesickness.
2. What % of participants "get homesick" and leave early? I suppose my biggest concern is 11-14 year olds so far from home for a month.
A. Since MathPath first met in 2002, exactly one student has left early because of homesickness. Our counselors and staff are on the lookout for homesickness at the start of camp, and the few cases that arise are usually quickly overcome. The main reason homesickness is not a problem at this camp is because, it being a four-week gathering place of the very gifted who qualified on their own to attend, the students find in the camp what they are hungering for – the fun and excitement of meeting others just like themselves, doing advanced math, and sharing in the sorts of leisure time activities math kids like to do. MathPath students become happily occupied very quickly.
While the parent's enthusiasm for the camp is one reason for sending the student to camp, please ensure that you do not push an unwilling child to go to MathPath even if he/she qualifies.
3. Some parents are wary about the camp being so far away. (D. Phair, math teacher)
A. Parents naturally would worry about sending the youngsters so far away. However, the Unaccompanied Minor option for air travel, travelling in a group with other students, and our fine-tuned airport pickup arrangement combine to ensure a safe passage for the students -- See getting there. Just be sure not to book on the last flight of the day, although even that would not be an issue for students travelling in a group.
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