FAQs

FOR PARENTS

  • What do children need to bring to their Program?

    • A packed lunch, drink, and snack clearly marked with his or her name, unless you are notified otherwise.
    • Clean, shareable Upcycle items used for prototyping, such as boxes, containers, old toys, etc. (these are shared between all participants during the program and cannot be assigned to a specific child or returned). A list of further Upcycle examples can be viewed on our What to Prepare sheet.
    • Any medications clearly labeled with your child’s name and the Medical Authorization section of our What to Prepare sheet completed.
  • Who writes the Program curricula?

    We have an experienced group of individuals who specialize in a range of diverse subject areas. This team of education-focused professionals makes a conscientious effort to integrate 21st century learning while promoting fun hands-on activities that align with state and national education standards. Our National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees work hand in hand with our curriculum writers to infuse our programs with Inductee stories, challenges, and triumphs from the greatest minds of our nation.

  • What will children do during the Program?

    Children use their creativity, imagination, and inventive thinking skills to solve problems within each environment, building on what they learned the previous day. Using upcycled materials brought from home, they could be challenged to rebuild a rocket ship, cross a river of hot lava, rescue sea creatures or assume another mission. Through hands-on fun, children get excited about science while working together as a team. Though activities will vary depending on the program selected, each one is designed to educate, entertain, and inspire.

    Learn about our program:

  • How will I know if the location my child attended last year will be returning?

    We will send an email notification announcing when the location is returning to all those who attended the previous year. This email is typically sent within a few days of the location signing on with us. Keep an eye out for this email, as it contains exciting information about the brand-new program! Alternatively, we also encourage you to check back on our website regularly to see if the location has returned.

  • Who teaches the Programs?

    Instructors are qualified educators in your local area. These talented individuals are selected for their abilities to excite and motivate children and their enthusiasm for creative learning.

  • What is the Program team-to-child ratio?

    Camp Invention maintains a program team-to-child ratio of 1:8, and our pre-K, after school, and middle grade programs have a team-to-child ratio of 1:12, which grants children the opportunity to flourish in a small group environment.

  • Is the Program right for my child?

    Because our programs combine teamwork with the need to work independently at times, your child will need the basic skills to be self-sufficient, use hand tools successfully, have an age-appropriate maturity level and adhere to the behavior policy, as well as the willingness to participate in the imaginative, creative process. We produce a high-energy experience that at times can be noisy, lively and requires an open mind. The summer program environment is very active and teamwork-oriented, as children will rotate rooms and Instructors throughout the day for each module activity, which can vary from a typical single-classroom/teacher setting during a school year. If you feel Camp Invention is a good fit for your child, find a location near you or call our Customer Relations Department at 800.968.4332 to register today!

  • How are the children divided into groups?

    Children are placed in groups based on their grade, with the curricula geared toward each specific grade level.

  • Will my child spend time outside?

    Some of the program modules can involve outdoor fun; however, this is contingent upon the host site property and current weather conditions. At no time will children leave the program location.

  • My child needs to take medication. Who will dispense it?

    All medication must be delivered in its original container and will be administered by a pre-authorized individual designated by you. No member of the program team is permitted to dispense medication except in the case of the administration of an EpiPen (See EpiPen® requirements). We will however, remind children when it is time to take their medication and supervise them as they take it, so long as you have authorized self-administration. Please make sure to fill out the Medical Authorization form and bring it on the first day of camp. If you are not comfortable with your child self-administering his or her medication, you or a pre-authorized individual are welcome to come to the site to dispense the medication when necessary.

  • My child requires an EpiPen® in case of allergic reaction. Who will administer it?

    Parents of participants with severe allergies requiring an EpiPen® should select YES in the EpiPen® section when registering their child, and will also need to complete a Medical Authorization form. The Director must be trained by the parent in the administration of epinephrine and arrangements should be made prior to the program start date. For any additional questions, parents can call our Customer Relations Department at 800.968.4332.

  • What is your information on latex and gluten?

    Some of our program materials may contain latex or gluten. If your child has a severe allergy to either of these, please contact our Customer Relations department at 800-968-4332 to discuss alternative items parents may be able to use during the program. As such, we are unable to provide any guarantee of ‘gluten or latex free’ products due to the possibility of secondary contamination outside our control, including items participants bring from home that could potentially cause an allergic reaction. In the case of a severe allergic reaction, Program Team Members will follow emergency procedures for treatment. If your child has severe allergies, please indicate the specifications during registration and complete a Medical Authorization form for the first day of the program.

  • Can my child switch to a different program location after he or she is already registered?

    As long as there is availability, you may switch programs up to one week prior to the beginning of the originally registered program. There is no additional cost to change locations, but if the new site is priced higher than the original camp, you will be responsible for paying the difference. If you do switch to a different program location, the refund policy stands within the initial program start date. Please contact our Customer Relations Department at 800.968.4332 to find out more.

  • Do you ever cancel programs?

    We do everything possible to ensure that each program takes place. If for any reason we must cancel a program, you will have the option to receive a full refund, or we can place your child in a nearby location, if it is available. If and when a program is canceled, we notify each participant as soon as possible.

    If a location needs to close for only a portion of the program due to unforeseen circumstances (such as inclement weather), the progressive and flexible nature of our curriculum often allows us to work with the local level on schedule adjustments so your child doesn’t miss out on any of the innovative fun.

  • Does Camp Invention offer early drop-off and late pick-up?

    Camp Invention does not provide early drop-off or late pick-up. However, some individual sites may choose to offer this at an additional cost through the local level.

    Also, some locations offer an Extended Day programming option through Camp Invention. Exciting activities will be available during these additional times to help accommodate working family schedules at an additional cost of $80.  This information is provided on the Registration page or you may contact our Customer Relations Department at 800.968.4332 to inquire.

  • How much do Programs cost?

    As a non-profit organization, we strive to keep costs low to better serve all communities. Some facilities require an additional fee to host our program, so costs will vary by location. Please refer to the Registration page for pricing information specific to your site. If you plan on taking advantage of one of our discounts, please keep in mind these offers cannot be combined.

    Registration costs cover the set-up and materials your child will be using during camp, as well as costs to cover staffing based on enrollment. Your child will create an exciting prototype from the take-apart and upcycle items, in addition to take-home projects from each module. Finally, every child will receive a special program t-shirt.

  • What is the refund policy?

    For Camp and Invention Project, $50 of each registration fee is nonrefundable, and the remaining balance is refundable up to 11:59 pm ET three Sundays prior to the start date of the program. Cancellations made after this time are nonrefundable, as materials and educator costs are allocated and final. Please keep in mind as long as there is availability, you may switch programs up to one week prior to the beginning of the originally registered program. Club registrations are nonrefundable.

  • My child is unable to attend a day during the week of the Program. Am I able to receive a refund for the days they will not be able to attend?

    As a non-profit, the National Inventors Hall of Fame allocates the funds paid for your child’s registration far in advance for the materials and Team Members who are needed for your child’s program experience. Due to this, Camp Invention is unable to pro-rate the cost for the days your child will not be in attendance.

  • What kind of payments do you accept?

    Payment is accepted in full through Discover®, VISA®, MasterCard®, personal checks, travelers’ checks, and money orders. Charges will appear as NIHF PRE K-12 PROGRAMS on your credit card statement. For Camp Invention only, an installment payment plan is available at no additional cost if you use a credit or debit card and your registration is received at least 60 days before the start of your camp. One-third of your program cost will be charged at the time of registration, and the remaining balance will be divided into two equal payments that will be automatically charged at approximately 30 days and 60 days after the initial deposit. All three payments can only be paid by credit or debit card.

  • What if the program my child wants to attend is already full?

    Some locations fill up faster than others, and unfortunately, we cannot hold spots without full payment. If your desired program is full, you are encouraged to consider other locations available in your area. If the only location that will work for your family is at maximum capacity, your child can be placed on a waitlist at the time of registration.

    If we receive notice of a camper cancellation in a full program, a representative will call and email parents of children on the waitlist in order of registration date. Once you are contacted, you will receive a designated number of business days to call us back with your full payment before the next child on the waitlist is offered a spot.

  • Is Camp Invention a non-profit or charitable organization?

    Camp Invention, Club Invention, Invention Project, and Invention Playground are programs of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Our Federal Tax ID number is 34-1580038.

  • Still have questions?

    Contact us at NIHFprograms@invent.org or call our Customer Relations Department at 800.968.4332, and we will be happy to help. Please note, if you have unsubscribed from our email list, you will not receive camp announcements for your area, discount code notifications, or the necessary forms you will need to bring on the first day of the program.

FOR TEACHERS

  • Is the Camp Invention program located in the school district where I teach?

    The Camp Invention program can be hosted at any local school, university, or community center. Each summer, the program is hosted at over 1,500 locations nationwide.

  • Can I teach the program at my school?

    Stipends are provided for local educators to lead and direct the Camp Invention program. All background information and step-by-step instructions are provided to ensure the success of any professional educator. Due to its inquiry-based approach, Camp Invention curricula provide a unique professional development opportunity for educators.

  • How many school program team members are needed?

    The Camp Invention program upholds a 1:8 program team-to-child ratio. Staffing levels are based on enrollment, ranging from five to seventeen program team members.

  • How long will the program run in my school?

    Typically, the program runs for five days (usually Monday through Friday) for 6.5 hours each day. However, Camp Invention schedules and curricula are easily modified to accommodate four-day and half-day schedules if a five-day program is not feasible. The National Inventors Hall of Fame continues to produce new curricula each year, so multiple weeks of programming are also easily accommodated.

  • How much does the program cost schools?

    Through our parent-paid tuition model, there is no cost to the host school or organization. Host sites need only provide the space – five classrooms and a multipurpose room – and the National Inventors Hall of Fame home office provides everything else. Many Title I schools/districts and 21st Century Community Learning Centers use their federal funds to provide the program to their students when the parent-paid model is not an option. In addition, the National Inventors Hall of Fame partners with corporate and nonprofit foundations, through grants, to provide funding so that underserved children can participate in the Camp Invention program.

  • What does the program provide for schools?

    The Camp Invention program is an all-inclusive, turnkey program. The National Inventors Hall of Fame home office provides the curricula, materials, T-shirts for participants and staff, flyers, posters, banners, training, program team compensation, and step-by-step instructions to ensure ease of operation and a quality experience for all. Even the registrations and payments are handled completely by the home office.

  • How can teachers get involved?

    The key is to act now — the sooner you get started, the more time you’ll have to ensure your program’s success. The first step is as easy as selecting a week and location and contacting the National Inventors Hall of Fame home office at 800.968.4332. A Regional Representative will contact you and walk you through the process — every step of the way.