Frequently Asked Questions
Changing your summer schedule is no problem. All you have to do is give us a call or send an email. Here’s our policy.
Cancellation and refund requests must be communicated:
- 30 days before start of a session in order to receive the amount paid minus $50 cancellation charges per session cancelled.
- 15 days before start of a session in order to receive the amount paid minus $125 cancellation charges per session cancelled.
Refund will not be available for a cancellation made within 15 days before the beginning of a session. There is no charge for transferring the
enrollment from one session to another. Refund requests should be called in at (408) 634-2470 or sent to the email
Whether your camper is joining us for full day or for an extended day, their time will be a mixture of indoor robotics and outside energy releases. A Full Day camp (9am-3pm) will include Core Project times, Related Tech activities, morning outdoor break and a one-hour supervised lunch break. Our Extended Day campers will experience all our Fulll Day campers do, as well as an afternoon outdoor break plus additional Tech activity time. Here is what a typical day looks like:
9am – Sign-in Campers, Grouping, ice breakers, kick-off for the day
9:15 – Core Project time
10:30 – Snack/Play Break – outside when possible
10:45 – Core Project time
12pm – Campers have lunch & free hour
1:00 – Re-grouping campers
1:15 – Fun Tech activities
3:00 – Full Day Campers sign-out
3:00 – Extended Day campers Snack/Play Break – outside when possible
4:00 – Fun Tech activities
6pm – Full Day Campers sign-out, Camp ends
Because much of the core project work takes place inside, we encourage campers at extended care to spend their extra time outside enjoying the beautiful summer sunshine. Most of our camps are located on school campuses such that playgrounds are available. We also plan other games and activities for campers to play. These activities are fun and enriching and may involve some sneaky learning too! All extended care hours are completely supervised by our staff members, as camper safety is our top priority.
Our summer camps typically have a maximum of 24 campers at a time, ranging in age from 8-14. While this seems like a large age spread, keep in mind that campers work together in pairs on their projects, and we form partnerships based on similar ages and/or abilities. Campers are also encouraged to try new partners with each new project as we believe learning about team work is just as important as learning how to program a robot. Our Inventor Mentors who run our year-round after school programs and lead our summer camps are adept at managing multi-age, multi-ability groups of students. As well, our Mentors have at least 2 Assistants in each camp such that our camper to staff ratio is 8:1.
We definitely ask that your child is at least 8 years old and will be entering 3rd grade in the Fall. We want every camper to be successful and have fun, and through our experience, we’ve found that younger campers are not ready for the challenges in our Lab. Specifically, kids need to: (1) be able to handle the collaboration that is required in our Lab (as kids work in pairs and learn all about working together to iteratively design and implement a project), (2) have the fine motor skills required to work with some tiny equipment and type on laptop keyboards, and (3) have the ability to tackle real computer programming tasks. Your young child can join us in a future year!
Our summer camps allow more flexibility than our after school programs. They allow larger groups of kids, and we have multiple instructors who can break kids into different age groups. All the projects we do in camp allow for scale to the levels of each individual student. In particular, younger kids will be building more than doing advanced programming or mechanisms, and will have a lot of different materials to create with. As far as partnering goes, we cannot guarantee pairings. However, if we cannot pair your child up with another camper the same age and/or ability level, and your child is not happy with the arrangement once it’s been tried, we will refund the remaining days of camp.
Our summer camps have a maximum of 24 campers at a time. Each camp is run by one of our Lead Inventor Mentors, with at least 2 Assistants such that our camper to staff ratio is a maximum of 8:1.
The safety of our campers is a top priority. All of our staff members go through a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice, and they are TB tested as well. We require all campers to be signed in and out each day unless you have notified us that your child is able to sign themselves out. Parents must also give us a list of all people approved to sign out their child.
No, we do not give our campers food of any kind. We ask that each camper bring his/her own lunch, snacks and beverages. And, we also ask that you refrain from sending in any food items containing nuts as we maintain a nut-free environment for our camps.
Yes, we offer early bird discounts as well as multi-camp discounts. Please refer to our Summer Camp website for details.
Camp and Classes are just more fun with friends! Refer your friends to our camps or classes, and earn discounts for both you and your friends.
Here is our referral policy:
- Your friend must mention your Full name OR your email address in the “Notes” section of checkout page when they enroll. Retroactive referrals are not possible.
- The family must be new to SparkMyThought (i.e. never attended SMT Camps, Classes or After-School clubs previously).
- The new family must enter the full name OR email address of the referring family in the “Notes” section of checkout page, at the time of enrollment. Names cannot be retroactively applied, no exceptions.
- Refer-a-friend discount may be combined with other multi-camp or other discounts.
- There is NO LIMIT to how many new families you can refer. The referral credit will be applied for each new family.
- Referral discounts will be credited as a coupon in the SparkMyThought accounts of the referrer and the referee respectively, after the purchase is confirmed. The coupon can be used for any subsequent purchase of classes or camps and will apply automatically during checkout.
Referral Discount for Camps: $25
Referral Discount for Classes: $15
Absolutely. As long as there is still space in the particular camp of interest, you can switch one week’s registration to the other week without any penalty.