EPIC | Structure

Epic camps create a different kind of environment for kids

Our Social Goal

To build community

What makes Epic different is that we extend our mathematical approach to shaping social interactions: We provide our students with a set of techniques for solving problems and then encourage them to think creatively, using beauty as their guide. Remarkably, one of the most effective techniques we give our kids is simply supporting one another in the process of solving mathematical problems. Using this team approach to learning math as a model for how to support each other more generally, Epic gives us all an experience with the power in community.

Our Structure | Caring

We let our kids know we care for them

Our goal is to create a learning community that is based on kids caring about kids. We have found that you have incredible power when kids know you care about them. For this reason, everything we do at camp is built around caring for our kids or communicating that love to them. One of our particularly effective practices is hiring high schoolers as staff members to serve as teachers and role models. In our camp near-peer mentors make sure their students are safe, happy, and learning, a structure that creates a family environment. We also make sure our kids know Epic camps are not a one-time experience. We aim for students to come back to camp year after year, so that camp is a way for students to become part of a community rather than just a way for them to have an experience for one summer or one spring.

Our Structure | High Standards

We strive together to bring out the best in ourselves

We hold each other to high standards at Epic. We constantly point out and celebrate the beautiful moments when we meet our standards. And we refuse to accept that a student or staff member cannot meet our standards. When we experience behavior in camp that is below our expectations, we acknowledge the behavior in question. Note that this does not mean we have to approach any situation with a punitive mindset. Instead, we use dialogue to find ways to support each other in making better choices in the future.

Our Structure | The Kids Create

We engage our kids' hearts and minds

We let our kids know that they share responsibility for the kind of camp we create, and then we invite them to create something beautiful. We have found that kids react strongly when we give them a problem, allow them the autonomy to be creative, and then take their solutions seriously. We have found this to be the case for both mathematical and social problems, so that in addition to learning math, in our camp kids find ways to build community and support one another.

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