Advanced Summer Program for students age 11-14
who show high promise and love mathematics

Getting There, Getting Home, 2018

Arrival day is Sunday July 1, with a specific window of hours for arrival. Departure day is Sunday July 29, again with a window.

Arrivals and departures on other days are almost never permitted. Arrivals and departures on the specified day but outside the window are sometimes permitted, but only by special permission. This permission is never automatic, even for foreign students. Permission is never considered except for problems caused by difficulties in arranging travel. Anyone reading this page to plan travel for an admitted student has already signed the registration form, which contractually commits you to send your MathPather to attend for the full 4 weeks, no exceptions. If you must request an exception due to difficulty arranging travel, go immediately to the section Exceptions below.

Everyone must provide us a travel itinerary by May 15 as explained in the section Reporting at the bottom of this page.

For MathPath 2018 at Lewis & Clark College in Portland OR, there are 2 recommended ways to travel: car, and plane. Whichever way you come and go, please take into account that the first meal at MathPath will be the midday meal on Sunday, July 1; and the last meal at MathPath will be breakfast on Sunday, July 29, and it will probably be a box breakfast for all (as many will eat it on the bus to the airport).

Travel by Car

People coming by car on July 1 should arrive between 9am and 5pm. We recommend arrival around 11 am, in time to unpack before lunch, or in the mid afternoon. If you come to lunch on campus after checking in, MathPath students will eat for free with their mealcard, and the rest of your party can pay cash. Arrival before supper is important for social reasons. Our residence hall is the Copeland complex, #45 on the campus map. There is parking for drop offs in front of the complex. For driving directions to campus, and much more transportation information, click here.

People departing by car on July 29 may do so any time between 8am and 11am. Since breakfast will be the last meal on the contract, we recommend an early departure. There is another reason for early departures as well; see below.

Travel by Plane

The camp airport is Portland International (flight code PDX), about 30 minutes drive from campus in good traffic. Only book flights that arrive at PDX on July 1 between 9am and 4pm. The 4pm cutoff will allow everyone to get to camp in time for dinner.

Departures on Sunday July 29: Please schedule departures between 5am and 1pm. We allow such early departures because those flying to the east, especially with connecting flights, will find that they have to leave early to make it home for dinner, given the time zone differences. Recognizing this, airlines flying east from west coast cities have generally scheduled their first flights of the day very early anyway.

Even if you are not flying to the east coast we recommend an early departure. Why?

Turns out kids have a thing about the last night of our program. They want to stay up all night, running around playing games with their friends from whom they will shortly have to separate. The MathPath staff does not encourage this behavior, but we allow it as harmless, and counselors supervise it. In any event most kids stay up. The best we can do is make the night shorter by leaving for the airport early. The first bus to the airport may well leave by 3am. if your children are going to the airport early they should fly out early rather than wait around. You'll get to see them sooner too. Depending on how much sleep they get on their flight, they may still zonk out when they get home, but by dinnertime they will probably be coherent again – and happy.

So unless you are certain that your child really needs sleep, knows it, and wouldn't think of staying up all night, and doesn't need to leave early to make it to the East, book him or her on the very first nonstop flight out of PDX to your home airport.

It is always best to book nonstop flights if you can. There are nonstops between PDX and many American cities and some international ones – and more are being added. There are restrictions on youngsters flying with plane changes, but with careful planning it is possible. See the discussion and links below about Unaccompanied Minors.

Unless it is already late in the spring, we recommend that you not buy tickets right away but put a watch on prices for a few weeks using your favorite travel website.

Safe and Easy Travel

It is not necessary for parents to spend money to accompany their children. Parents are welcome to travel along, if they want to make a holiday out of a visit to the Northwest, or if they wish to attend camp for a day or two – short visits at the start or end of camp are welcome. (More information about visiting MathPath will be in the 2018 Precamp Briefing.) Any parent wishing to accompany his or her child from PDX to camp on the MathPath shuttle may do so, room permitting, with prior notification, at a cost of $25 each way. Except on arrival/departure day, or if there is no room in the shuttle, parents should plan to get to/from campus by public transportation; see the public transit information at the bottom of the Lewis & Clark's travel page.

The first reason campers may travel alone is the proven efficiency of our greeting procedure. More information about how we safely collect all the campers on arrival day and send them off on departure day, even if there are delays or cancellations, are in the 2018 Precamp Briefing.

The second reason is the special supervision that airlines provide to youngsters when you have them travel with Unaccompanied Minor Status. For details about this, see our UM information page. UM status is a mixed blessing. It adds security but it also adds cost and sometimes severely restricts the flights that are available.


If you absolutely cannot schedule your arrival and/or your departure in the window, then do not schedule anything. Don't book a flight and do not plan your car trip. Instead, consult the Acting Camp Director, April Verser, at and explain your problem. Book only after you and April have agreed on a plan, which may be a very different plan than you originally propose.

Note: Expect some emailing back and forth before reaching a decision. Also, the only way to reach April is through the email just given. Other MathPath email addresses and phone numbers reach other people who do not make arrival/departure decisions for April. Therefore, if you think there may be a problem fitting in our windows, start planning early.

Reporting the Itinerary to Us

Logistically, the two travel days are the most complicated days of our program. For the safety of your child, we must have clear, correct and current information about his or her itinerary, even if you are traveling by car.

So once you set your itinerary, you need to tell us. Please use our online form for student travel at

You have until May 15 to complete this form.

Often Airlines change schedules and people driving change their plans. If your information changes after you submit just submit it from scratch again, and in the optional comment box please indicate that the previous listing is superseded. Better yet, perhaps don't submit your information at all until near May 15, at a time when you feel quite certain that no further changes will be made.

Page last updated February 25, 2018
Copyright 2001–   MathPath
Send suggestions to