CM Kids' Choice Summer Camp - FAQs

REGISTRATION

Q: How do I register for camp?

A: You may inquire about registration by contacting Amanda at amanda@classroommatters.com or (916) 420-9935. Once we have you confirmed, you will need to fill out the following forms to secure your spot:

Q: When and where does camp take place?

A: Camp takes place at our main center at 2426 Sacramento Street, Berkeley, CA. We also have field trips and outdoor play at local parks.

Camp runs for seven weeks, from June 18th through August 3rd, Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm each day (extended care available from 8-9am and 5-6pm).

Camp will take place on July 4th.

Q: How much does camp cost?

A: $350 per week (M-F) per child. We offer discounts for siblings!

Q: What happens when your camp is full.  Is there a waitlist?

A: If a camp is full, we will create a wait list in our online registration system. If a space opens up, we will send a message to families on the wait list and give them 24 hours to respond. Then, we will give the space to the respondent who joined the waiting pool first. If a space opens up more last minute, whoever we reach first on the wait list will get the space. We often have spaces open up!  Feel free to check in with our office.

Q: What is your refund / cancellation policy?

A: We charge a flat $300 per week per child regardless of how many days that week your child attends camp.

  • 80% refund if you cancel by May 1

  • 50% refund if you cancel by two weeks before camp session

  • NO REFUND if you cancel less than two weeks before camp session

Q: Can I set up a payment plan to pay for camp?

A: Yes, you can set up a payment plan by contacting Teresa (teresa@classroommatters.com). We offer this at no cost to our clients!

Q: Do you offer single day registration?

A: No; we register students by the week, but you are welcome to register your kids for individual weeks. If you are a returning student from our afterschool program, please contact Amanda (amanda@classroommatters.com) to inquire about drop-in rates. If a particular week is not full, we may be able to accommodate you.

Q: Can I add more weeks of camp after my initial registration?

A: Yes, you can contact Amanda (amanda@classroommatters.com) to add more camp weeks. If you need last-minute care, you can register your child for a certain week up to Monday morning of that week.

Q: Do the morning and afternoon extended care need to be reserved in advance, or can I add that later if I find out that I need it?

A: Extended care reserved in advance will be charged to you at $10/hour. Extended care not requested in advance will be charged to your credit card on file based on your sign in/out times.

  • Our office will review sign in sheets after camp for the time you, guardian or your child signed in and out, and charge your credit card on file for any extended care outside hours you have registered.

  • Fees are at a rate of $13/hour; $7/half hour; $4/15 minutes and will be determined by rounding to nearest quarter hour, e.g. 5:54pm sign out will be charged as though pick up was at 6pm or 8:06am drop off will be charged at 8:00am.

  • If there is no sign in or out time, office will charge you for drop-off of 8:00 or pick up time of 6:00, or whatever is the start or end time of camp, if there is no extended care.

  • If sign in or out time challenging to read, our office will make best determination and charge you.

  • Please make sure to tell all dropping off or picking up your child or your child to sign in and out and write the time legibly.

  • Please contact our office for any clarification re: drop-in charges, as we keep our sign in sheets on file and can send you scan of the sheet that triggered the charge.


GENERAL INFO

Q: How can I contact you and stay in the loop about camp?

A: We use e-mail as our primary means of communication for confirmations of registration, our camp newsletter sent the weekend before each week of camp, balance due invoices, and receipts. If you have an urgent question about billing, please contact Teresa at teresa@classroommatters.com or (510) 540-8646. For general questions about camp, please contact Amanda at amanda@classroommatters.com or (916) 420-9935.

We send out a newsletter via email each weekend with updates on the coming week, as well as fun highlights from the past week.


A DAY AT CAMP

Q: What does a typical day at Classroom Matters Summer Camp look like?

A: At CM, we value the power of play. Similar to our afterschool program, we provide lots of opportunities for free play as well as structured exploration of different activities. We know that each kid is unique, and we strive to provide a variety of experiences for our campers. Because of our small staff-to-camper ratio, we're able to help your child discover activities they love.

From 8-10a.m, campers have Free Play. We have a variety of materials and stations for campers to explore - whether constructing a cool invention at our Engineering table, or challenging another camper to a game of giant mancala, or gardening in our outdoor space, every camper is sure to find something they'll love.  After a morning snack at 10, campers will have the opportunity to join in on one of our staff-led mini-camps. We have a stellar staff of educators, including a professional chef, a touring rock musician, a local artist, and more! Lunch happens at noon, after which we will either embark on a field trip or venture to a nearby park for outdoor play. After returning from our outdoor adventures, we'll have more free play and a chance to chill out and relax (and eat another small snack). At 5pm, campers are picked up for the day.

For specific activities taking place each day, check out our weekly newsletter, or give us a call/email!

 

Sample Daily Schedule

8:00-9:00am - Optional extended care

8:50-9:00am - Campers greeted by staff and checked in

9:00-9:35am - Summer camp begins—community circle / daily announcements / agenda + free play

9:40-10:50am - Art (guided lesson or free exploration with rotating selection of materials) or Yoga

10:50-11:05am - Snack break

11:10 -12:20pm - Science or Coding

12:25-1:25pm - Lunch and outdoor play

1:25-2:35pm - Cooking, Music, or Park Day / Community Exploration / Field Trip

4:00-5:00pm - Free Play

5:00pm - Summer camp ends—parents pick up campers and sign out with staff

5:00-6:00pm - Optional extended care

Note: Is your child interested in working with an academic tutor during camp? We offer tutoring sessions during summer camp in our private upstairs rooms. Contact the front desk (frontdesk@classroommatters) for more information.

Q: How many kids attend each day?

A: Our program can accomodate up to 20 children each day. We pride ourselves on having a small, inclusive camp!

Q: What is the staff : child ratio?

A: Usually 1:9, but sometimes as low as 1:5 or as high at 1:10.

Q: What can kids do during Free Play?

A: We have an amazing variety of creative materials, games, and activities for campers to explore. Here's just a small sampling!

The Active kid: several indoor cycles, an elliptical machine, body-surf-rolly-boards, jumpropes, hula hoops, bucket stilts, run-mat, gardening tools and a cozy outdoor space, and more!

The Game Lover: Fastrack, Connect-4, Mancala, Chess, Twister, and more. We also have a cool variety of GIANT games.

The Crafty Kid: Perler beads, recycled materials for engineering and art-making, origami, fabric and sewing materials, oil pastels, and more.

None of the Above? We're bound to have something you'll love!

Our staff are engaged with campers during free play and are always eager to join in on a game or activity! Not sure how to do an activity? Our staff is happy to teach you and help you get a game or activity going with a fellow camper.

Q: Do you leave the main camp site?

A: Each day, we'll begin camp indoors at the Classroom Matters center. Following lunch, we'll transition outside for active play. We'll either visit a nearby park (Strawberry Creek and Charlie Dorr) or take a field trip within the community. We will always update families in advance via the weekly newsletter if the upcoming week's session will include a field trip.

Q: What kinds of field trips and special activities will take place?

A: Here's a sampling of what you can expect to see!

  • Build with real tools and try out the zipline at Adventure Playground
  • Take a spin on the concrete slide at Codornices Park
  • Marvel at weird and wonderful amphibians at East Bay Vivarium
  • Meet a real author at your local library
  • Build sandcastles at Albany Beach
  • Learn a piece of dance choreography and perform it
  • Make ice cream in a bag
  • Tie-dye t-shirts and shoes
  • Send positive vibes out into the world with community service opportunities
  • Make and fly a kite at the Berkeley Marina
  • Make your own bath bombs and scrubs for a fancy spa day
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Learn to wheatpaste and make chalk-paint, then transform our community with some washable street art
  • Have a relay race
  • Collect local flowers and berries to make homemade stomp-dyed fabric
  • Meet special guests from the community
  • Make dinosaur eggs with hidden treasures inside and smash them open
  • Paint with squirt guns, bubble-wrap boots, and plants. Painting never looked so cool!
  • Play with the childhood classic: the giant rainbow parachute
  • Immerse yourself in a 2-D chalk-art landscape and have a photoshoot
  • Get messy with shaving-cream-paint Twister

Q: What if my child does not want to do an activity?

A: The wonderful thing about our camp is that there are a variety of options to choose from, so kids can find what they like. Because of our small staff-to-kid ratio, we can make sure that your child is engaged in something they're stoked about. On the occasions when there is an activity that all the kids participate in and your child really does not want to or cannot join, they can choose an alternate solo activity.

Q: How well does your program serve an active child?

A: We serve the needs of many types of children, whether shy or outgoing, very active or less active, artistic, scientific, musical, nature lovers. Depending on the week, we pay attention to who is there so we can make the camp the greatest experience for all involved.

Q: Do you provide lunch for campers?

A: Please send your child each day with a packed lunch. We will, however, provide a variety of healthy snacks!

Q: What might a typical snack look like?

A: We always have a rotating variety of fruits and veggies: bell peppers, carrot sticks, apple slices, grapes, mandarin oranges, sugar snap peas, and more! We also offer things like roasted seaweed, fresh-popped popcorn, Goldfish crackers, pretzel sticks, Sunbutter, and other tasty treats. We always have water available and often serve iced herbal / fruit tea as a treat.


SAFETY AND INDIVIDUAL NEEDS QUESTIONS

Q:My child has a food allergy and gets a severe reaction to nuts. They will be bringing an EpiPen. What are your policies and experience with this?

A: Please provide details about allergies, sensitivities, and medications via the medical form. Our cooking class makes lots of yummy, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly food, and we never serve food containing nuts.  Our goal is to make snack time and cooking accessible for as many children as possible. If your child cannot eat products processed in facilities that also process nuts, or if you are at all concerned and just want to make sure your child eats only what you provide, please bring alternate snacks/treats with you on the first day and give them to the site director.

Q: My child does not eat gluten.  Will she be able to eat the snack?  Also, will she be able to participate in cooking projects?

A: 90% of our PM extended care snacks are gluten free, and there is always a gluten free alternate.  For cooking projects, we do our best to plan for food allergies and sensitivities and have alternates.  We cannot always guarantee it, but there are always lots of fun activities besides the food project, so your child will be able to participate in other fun. When you register, please let us know if your child is gluten-free.

Q: My child has special needs. How will your staff make sure they have a positive camp experience?

A: Our staff is well-trained and experienced with students with special needs. Please get in touch with us about any accommodations your child may need. Prior to, or at the time of registration, parents/guardians are responsible for notifying us of an officially diagnosed special need. Additionally, we must be informed if your child has been asked to leave another camp program and/or if your child has had disruptive behavior during his/her time in any other program. If your child has an aide during school, they will need one during camp.  We have a staff ratio of 1:9, but sometimes go as low as 1:6 or up to 1:10, so kids need to be able to operate within those ratios most of the time. Some kids need more behavioral or emotional coaching or physical support than our regular staff can provide. Your child’s aide/coach is welcome to come to camp to assist your child so they can have that social experience and get the support they need. Often kids will grow into more independence with time and support, and be able to manage without that coach/aide later on.

Q: What is your policy on lice?

If we discover your child has nits or lice while they are at camp, staff will contact you to come pick up your child asap. Before they can come back to camp, they need to be nit free.

Q: My child is not feeling well. Can they still come to camp?

Your child must be fever free for 24-hours before they can come back to camp, as often a fever can go away in the morning but return in the afternoon.

Q: Do you have parent references?

A: Yes, we do. Please contact our office to access this information. There are also quotes from parents available on our website, and reviews on YELP.