Where is Master Builder Camp (MBC) located, and what are the camp hours?
Master Builder Camp (MBC) is located at 3536 NW 8th Ave Gainesville, FL. The 2017 summer program will offer 9 exciting camps, each unique in programing and theme, running June-August M-F (9am-3pm). Two of our camps this year are special project camps, which are 3-day camps with a special focus and big team build (week 1 and 5)
Do you offer extended care services?
Yes! We partner with GASP (Gainesville After School Program) which is located on the same property as MBC for extended care. Campers can be dropped off in their classrooms as early as 7:30am and picked up as late as 6pm. Any camper signed up for extended care will be escorted by Master Builder staff to and from the MBC classrooms and GASP. It costs $15/day or $50/week per camper for this service.
Is Master Builder Camp religiously affiliated?
The space that we rent is located in a complex of buildings in which religiously affiliated organizations also rent space and operate, but our camp (nor GASP) has no affiliation with them nor any other religious entity.
Can a parent stay with a camper if needed?
Absolutely, we know that (especially for some of our younger campers) starting a summer camp week can be stressful, and mom or dad may want to stick around for a bit to help settle their campers in. No problem! We encourage parents to stay as long as they feel they need until their camper is ready for them to go. Just let us know if you feel this may be the case for your camper, and we will do all that we can to help them feel comfortable.
If my camper takes medication during the school year to help them with behavior &/or focus, do they need to take it while at MBC?
This has been a hard call for us, because as parents, we totally understand not wanting to medicate your child during the summer time. That being said, MBC is structured in a way that campers need to be able to focus on a fine motor skill task and work in collaboration with their peers as a team for about an hour at a time. We've been willing to work with parents on this and try it for a day without the medication and see how the camper does. We ask that you talk with us about this prior to the start of camp, so we can prepare accordingly. However, if we feel that your camper's behavior is greatly affecting their &/or their peers' experience at camp, we may ask that they continue taking the medication for the duration of the camp week.
What if my camper is 5 but will turn 6 soon, or is 13 and wants to come, can they attend MBC?
We want any child who wants to be a Master Builder to be able to come! However, we also want them to have the best summer camp experience they can and feel successful. So we've made the following exceptions to our age limits: 5.5+ year olds can be approved by the Camp Director on case by case basis, and 13 year olds who have previously attended an MBC session and would like to return are welcome to register this summer.
How much does MBC cost?
Master Builder Camp has a base registration fee of $215 for the 5 day camps (week 2,3,4,6,7,8,9) and $185 for the 3 day camps (week 1 & 5). During the month of March, we offer Early Registration Pricing at $185 for 5 day camps and $165 for 3 day camps.
Do you offer discounts for sibling registrations or for signing up for multiple weeks?
Yes, we do! We love having siblings come to camp and encourage campers to return for multiple weeks as we work hard to make each week unique and allow campers to continue to build on their skills learned and grow in their challenges. With purchase of a regular priced registration, all other registrations (sibling registrations and/or multiple week registrations) will be added at a $15 discount ($200/week for 5 day sessions, and $170 for 3 day sessions) Discounts are automatically applied, no code needed. THERE ARE NO DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE DURING EARLY REGISTRATION PRICING
Do you offer scholarships or income-based discounts?
Not at this time. Because we are a For-Profit family owned business, we do not qualify for grants which allows some other summer camps to offer these types of price reductions. The technology that we work with and materials we use for our builds and projects are quite expensive, and we reinvest heavily into our camp to make sure that we offer the highest quality camp experience possible for our campers with a stellar camper/staff supervision ratio. We would welcome any established local businesses who wanted to sponsor a camper registration and would happily promote them through our website and shout outs on our Facebook page.
What is your refund policy?
We understand that sometimes plans change. We are happy to refund your registration cost (minus a $15 processing fee for each week canceled) up to 8 weeks prior to the start of camp. We can honor a 75% refund up to 4 weeks prior to the camp week start date (minus processing fee), and a 50% refund 2 weeks prior to camp, but there are no refunds after that. (However, if the camp is full and we can immediately fill your spot with another camper from a waitlist, we have no problem refunding your cost at 50%.) Camp week switches are fine at no cost (up to 1 week prior to camp start), as long as there is space available.
CAMP SCHEDULE/STRUCTURE QUESTIONS
How early can I drop my camper off in the morning?
Campers can be dropped off in the Main MBC Camp Room between 8:45am-9am, but no earlier. This allows staff the time to get fully prepared for the day and to receive campers and be able to focus solely on them when they arrive. If you need to drop off earlier than 8:45a, please contact us about Early Drop off options through GASP.
How are the camper groups broken up?
During the structured activity time, campers will be divided into groups of 16, based on their ages/skill level/experience with MBC. This allows us to tailor the challenges and instruction to their developmental abilities. Also, campers are often further grouped into Builder Teams of 2-4 (depending on the project) to collaborate and work together on the more complex projects and challenges. Campers do have times throughout the day where they get to build on their own as well as free play as a whole group together.
If my child is attending camp with a friend, can they request to be grouped together?
You are welcome to send us requests, and we try our best to match up kids in the best groups for them to be successful at camp, sometimes that includes friends they came with and sometimes it does not.
Are lunch/snacks provided?
With all the allergies and dietary preferences out there these days, we are unable to supply food for campers, and it will all need to come from home. Campers will need to bring lunch with them each day, and we encourage that they also bring a few snack items that they can have if needed throughout the day. We eat lunch at 11:30am, so if your child will be starving by that point, they will need to bring a snack for the morning, and the same goes for the afternoon. We don't have a specific snack break time but do allow campers to take snack breaks on their own as needed. We do sometimes provide a special treat at the end of the week for campers or give out popsicles on water day, and so ask that parents include all dietary restrictions on their child's registration/consent form.
Can campers bring home what they built?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We use a lot of expensive building materials and technologies which need to be reused each week, often our build projects are team builds and couldn't be taken home by just one camper. The way we celebrate their accomplishments and let them bring those memories home is with our End-Of-Week Slideshow. Our staff/(and campers too!) take lots of pictures with our camp cameras and we create a fun slideshow of memories to watch on Friday Afternoons. All campers get a link to download the slideshow to keep and enjoy at home. This end of the week show, happens at 2:30pm on Friday of each camp session. This is a special time where we will close out the week together. Parents are welcome to attend.
Do campers stay indoors or are parts of the day done outside?
Weather permitting, we eat our lunch outdoors each day and give the campers free time on the fenced in playground for 1 hour each day from 11:30-12:30p. Certain activities will also be done outdoors under the covered walkways.
Are there unstructured activity times?
Yes, we have found that putting unstructured time at different points in the day and week help our campers get the most out of the structured activities and projects we have plans. They always get at least 1 hour of free play outside each day, as well as free play times with our building materials at the beginning and end of the scheduled day.
What is your staff to camper ratio?
Our ratio is 1:8 staff/camper. All staff & interns have completed extensive training and many have academic backgrounds in child education and social services. All staff and interns (and special guest teachers when applicable) have undergone level 2 background screenings, and MBC is an approved SAFE CAMP by FL DCF.