/ Center for Exploratory Learning

Parent Information & Policies

We provide a safe, engaging learning environment for every student. Per State of Michigan and Hope College policies, COVID-19 safety measures are in effect. Please carefully review this document prior to camp.

Overall goals and outcomes for campers fall into four broad categories; academic, mental, social and physical:

  • Campers will grow academically through learning camp-specific content
  • Through participation in camp specific-activities, campers will gain confidence and therefore grow mentally
  • Campers will grow socially through interaction with their peers, working in pairs or teams to use observation and problem-solving skills
  • Through participation in camp-specific activities and projects, campers will develop and improve their fine motor skills
Arrival and Departure

ARRIVAL

Prior to arrival to your child’s camp:

  1. Please take note of which building your child’s camp will be operated in. This information will be included in your registration confirmation email.
  2. Check campus and parking maps to determine the best location for parking. It’s a busy time, try to arrive early. 
  3. Take note of camp policies (allergies, pick-up, lunch supervision).

First day of camp:

  1. A parent or responsible adult must be present the first day of camps to register every child.
  2. Please arrive 15 minutes before the beginning of your child’s camp.
  3. If your child’s camp is located in the Schaap Science Center or Van Zoeren Hall, check-in will be in the center of the building on the 1st floor of A. Paul Schaap Science Center. If your child’s camp is located in Martha Miller or Jack Miller, registration will be held in the lobby of the building your child’s camp will be held in.
  4. For K–4th graders, you will receive pickup cards for and directions to your child's classroom. For 5th–12th graders, be prepared to discuss a meeting location after camps are done.
  5. Before you leave your child, please check that their snack does not contain peanuts or tree nuts (including coconut).
  6. If you have signed up for lunch supervision, please ensure your child has a lunch. (Lunch is not provided.)

Remaining days of camp:

  1. Kindergarten–fourth graders should be accompanied to their classroom each day.
  2. Fifth graders can report directly to classroom or be accompanied depending on what was decided by parent/guardian.
  3. Sixth–twelfth graders can report directly to the classroom.

DEPARTURE (END OF CAMP)

Pick up:

  1. Grades K–4: Children will be picked up in their classroom.
    • Pick-up card is required for the safety of all campers. Children will not be released without a pick-up card.
    • If you lose your pick-up card, please go to the camp office to show your photo ID to the camp administrator. The name on the ID must match the parent/guardian name on the registration record.
    • Parents/guardians may give the pick-up card to anyone they choose.
    • If possible, please arrive 5–10 minutes early, as this age group camp is often full.
    • Please be patient with our staff as they work to check your pick-up card and release your child.
    • Please remain outside the classroom as you wait.
    • Your patience and cooperation are greatly appreciated!
  2. Fifth grade: Option of pick-up in the classroom or meeting at a pre-arranged location.
    • There will be a form available at registration on the first day of camps to sign allowing your child to be released from camp each day unaccompanied by the parent/guardian to meet at a pre-arranged location.
    • If you will be picking up your child in the classroom a pick-up card will be required.
    • If you lose your pick-up card, please go to the camp office to show your photo ID to the camp administrator. The name on the ID must match the parent/guardian name on the registration record.
    • Parents/guardians may give the pick-up card to anyone they choose.
    • Children will not be released without a pick-up card. This is for the safety of all campers.
    • Please be patient with our staff as they work to check your pick-up card and release your child.
    • Please remain outside the classroom as you wait.
    • Your patience and cooperation are greatly appreciated!
  3. Sixth grade and older: Dismissed at the end of camp each day without parent/guardian. Please be sure to discuss a plan with your child prior to camps (e.g., they will you meet somewhere, they are driving themselves, etc.).
Program Eligibility and Special Needs

Program Eligibility

Each camp has designated age limits. To be eligible for any camp, your child should fall within the age limits. These limits were determined based on the content and skills required for campers to have a positive camp experience in each camp. Campers too old for a camp may be bored while campers too young for a camp may become frustrated.

Special Needs

While we want every child, no matter ability, to come to camps and experience the fun of science and more, our staff is not qualified to deliver accommodations to students with special needs. We are unable to provide one-to-one attention to special needs campers. For more information, please feel free to contact the camp office at 616.395.7628 or by email at sciencecamp@hope.edu. We may be able to help you find a more appropriate experience for your child.

Food During Camps

Snack

  • Camps will have a break for snacks in the middle of the session.
  • Campers will need to bring their own snacks or they may buy a snack from our “Snack Shack.”
  • Please no peanuts/peanut oil/tree nuts from home! We frequently have campers with allergic reactions to these products. Some are life-threatening.

Lunch-Hour Supervision

  • A lunch is not provided with lunch-hour supervision.
  • Campers will eat lunch inside and have time outside (weather permitting) to be active before the afternoon session begins.
You are welcome to bring a lunch and eat with your child at any time. Please stop by the camp office and let us know. Thank you!
Incidents, Health and Medications

Incidents

Incidents fall into three categories: near misses, slip and fall, accident

  • Near misses: You will be notified of any near misses of accidents by a staff member at pick up time.
  • Slip and fall: Sometimes campers run on the cement, despite being warned by staff, and fall. In this instance, we will help your child wash and dress the wound and fill out an incident report. A staff member will notify you of the incident at pick up and you may request a copy of the report at the camp office if desired.
  • Accident: Any accident that renders a child unable to continue with camps will be documented and you will be called at the emergency number provided to pick up your camper. We will provide you with a copy of the incident report. 

Health

We must have on file the following:

  1. Permission to treat
  2. Statement of health conditions that may interfere with a child’s ability to participate fully in camp activities
  3. Statement of most recent tetanus vaccine

Illness: If a camper becomes too ill to continue with a camp, we will call you at the number provided to us during registration and ask that the child be picked up. We will keep the camper in the office until pick up. We will document the illness and you can request a copy at the camp office if required.

Medications

  1. Our staff is not qualified to administer any medications to your child.
  2. If your minor child requires medication (i.e., allergy medication) during the camp day, we require you or a designated adult, come to camp and administer the medication.
  3. We are not equipped to store campers’ medications on site.
  4. Campers with EpiPens or diabetic medications are allowed and required to have their medications with them at all times. We assume campers will be able to self-administer such medication. Feel free to contact the camp office regarding any concerns about this matter.
Staff Training
Camp staff have all undergone background checks and are trained in camper safety, classroom management and learning techniques. First-aid-trained staff are on site.
Special Needs
Please inform us of any special needs for your child when you register. We like to talk about them with you directly so we best serve your child.
Allergies
We run the camps in campus buildings in which we can not completely control the environment, but we keep the classrooms and snack spaces cleaned and peanut free. Please inform us of all allergies for your child so that we can watch out for exposure and be prepared. Forms are provided for you to alert us to any issues. 
Photo and Technology Releases
We request photo and technology releases of all campers. If you have a concern with your camper being in photos or videos, please let us know. We make sure all staff are aware of your wishes and honor them throughout the week. 
Hope College Liability and Consent Forms
Liability forms are required of all campers. This is reviewed and agreed to at registration. You can preview the policy here in English and Spanish. ExploreHope is conducting evaluation of the camps for grant-writing purposes. Find information for parents on the consent form.