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Behind the NIHF Scenes

Considering Our At-Home Camp? Get Honest Answers from Parents Like You

On May 6, parents across the country joined us for a conversation about the at-home version of Camp Invention®, the nationally acclaimed summer camp from the National Inventors Hall of Fame®. A panel of five parents whose children have tried our at-home program provided honest answers for a range of questions from those who attended the webinar.

If you weren’t able to join us, no problem! We’ve compiled the top questions and answers right here, to give you some valuable insight as you make your family’s summer plans.


How is Camp Invention At Home different from online school?

“It’s just more fun, it truly is. And to see them being able to play to learn, it’s amazing to watch — that a child can learn just by playing and being so hands-on. The learning came from play, so it’s completely, completely different.” Gina, mom of 9-year-old and 6-year-old campers

“[My son] has a lot more flexibility with his schedule [...] and there’s a lot more socialization and banter. He had a lot more fun and he wanted to go to this in the morning.” Dawn, mom of a 10-year-old camper


What comes in the Innovator’s Toolkit?

“I’m confident that I’m speaking for every parent here on the panel that the arrival of the box was kind of like Christmas morning! Inside the box was everything from a camp T-shirt [...] to all of these wonderfully organized, color-coded bags for each day of the week and each project, so everything was super easy to find. Another thing I really appreciated was that not only did it have materials that were specific to the project, but it also had all the scissors and rubber bands and rulers, and all the basic supplies.” Danielle, mom of a 7-year-old camper


How much time will my child spend online?

“It just depends on what your kid wants to do, and that’s the beauty of the program. They can leave the screen at any point, and it takes nothing away from their learning experience.” Gina


How much supervision or help should I expect to provide?

“98% of the time, I was hands-off. This was so well organized and so well thought out, that it is completely possible for a kid to do this with little to no supervision. And my child is 7, so I know he’s probably even on the younger end of the spectrum. So for the older kids, I would say 100% they can do it on their own.” — Danielle


My child is tired of virtual learning — can we do this program off screen?

“I would say certainly you can do it off screen. That’s what [my son] did. But I would definitely encourage parents to use some of the resources because it’s a real nice enhancement.” David, dad of a 9-year-old camper

“[My daughter] did the program primarily off screen. She did look at some of the videos because there are some good step-by-step videos for guidance, and she appreciated that. But for the most part, she just relied on the step-by-step instructions. She had a great time being off screen, and it gave her that break from some of the virtual learning she’s been doing.” Carrie, mom of an 8-year-old camper


Will this program keep my child engaged?

“[My son] was engaged throughout the whole thing. I was concerned when I signed him up, knowing it would be online — would he stick with it? But he did. And I think the Instructor was really important. Her energy and enthusiasm really roped the kids in, and she would help them. My son loved [...] sort of ‘accidentally’ learning about trajectory and things like that.” — Dawn

“I think it’s that combination of hands-on learning with all that stuff in the [Innovator’s Toolkit], and just how the Instructors were motivating them to use their imagination and do really good problem solving to come up with their own inventions. The whole thing was designed for him to be engaged the whole time. He really loved every single part of it. Honestly, if this program was offered at school or throughout the year, I would keep him in it. He did not want it to end.” — Danielle


Is this program worth the investment of $235?

“Absolutely. When you not only look at the quality of the materials, but the time that it keeps your child active, what they learn — and then even comparing it to other camps out there, [...] I think it’s a great program and completely worth it. And it doesn’t end after that week.” — David

“The value is absolutely there. The combination of the quality of the materials, the quality of the instruction, the quality of the organization, the friendships that he made during the week. The skills and the type of thinking that it develops — that’s priceless in and of itself. Having the experience, I’ve been recommending it to my friends, so I would absolutely say it’s worth it.” — Danielle


What will my child gain from this experience?

“With [my daughter], I just saw her getting out all these rulers and measuring tape and certain tools that I had never seen her experiment with before. And it was all in such fun, and I think that will never leave her now.”— Gina

“The main things [my daughter] gained from this experience were confidence and building her persistence. Sometimes an in-person program is challenging for her because she has difficulty transitioning from one activity to the next. But doing this at home, all of those barriers were removed, and she had the freedom to work at her own pace, and to explore the things she was interested in exploring. Her confidence had grown through the program [...] and she knew how capable she was.” — Carrie


Watch Our Full Parent Q&A Webinar

Even if you couldn’t join us for this insightful conversation, you can still find out what all our panelists had to say by watching a recording of our webinar.

To learn more about Camp Invention At Home and to sign your own child up for this flexible, fun experience, please visit our website.

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