Summer Camp
Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together a list of the most commonly asked questions, in one easy place for your perusal. If you can't find an answer for your question here, please email Mary Lechter, at 

Click on the question to expand the answer...

[ Open All | Close All ]

* Where do I drop off my child? Is there a street address?
Complete directions to the camp drop off point are posted on the “Directions” page in the Camp section of our website, and will be posted again along with other important information, on June 1. Please use the directions we provide for reference.
* Should I walk my young child in on the first day?
You are welcome to park in the nearby garage for 30 minutes free of charge, and walk your child to check-in. Our staff members are stationed from our drop point all the way to the Center for the Arts each morning to greet students and walk them safely to check-in, but several parents wish to come in on Monday morning especially. The garage location will be included in the June 1 website posting.
* Can I stay with my child during the camp day?
We do not recommend staying with your child unless arrangements have been made to accommodate special circumstances.
* My child won’t be 5 until this fall. Can they still attend camp?
Periodically children younger than 5 are admitted to the program. Please contact Mary to discuss details about your child to determine if starting this summer is a good fit.
* Is each camp session a repeat of the last? What are the benefits of attending more than one week?
We cover the same basic skills each week as a foundation of our training program. Just as a musician perfects their art by performing the same exercises daily, some repetition of warm ups, exercises and theater games is necessary for actors to reinforce important components of acting, voice and movement. However, each week has its own theme, so activities are carefully planned to tie in to that theme and provide variety for multi-week and returning campers. While each week provides a standalone, complete learning experience for our students, many of them gain mastery of these skills by having a longer time to work on them.
* What will my child be doing all day?
Please see the “Summer Acting Camp Daily Schedule” for an overview of our daily activities. After check-in each morning, each age group will have an acting class, and then are accompanied by their acting teachers through all of their other classes, which last approximately 45 minutes each. There will be two meal breaks each day. Campers must provide their own snacks or lunch.
* How are age groups broken down? How large are the groups?
Students are broken into five groups: ages 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13+. Often, we subdivide further to accommodate larger groups. Group size is approximately 15-25, with adequate faculty coverage for higher numbers. If a child is on the borderline of an age range (for example, age 8 but turning 9 in the fall) we recommend placing them with the next group up unless parents would prefer to keep them with students their exact age and slightly younger.
* My child wants to attend with a friend. How can I arrange for that?
During the registration process you will have an opportunity to complete the “please group with” section. Students wishing to be grouped together should be close in age; it is not advisable to place children with widely differing ages in the same group.
* How do electives work?
Electives are classes in addition to our regular acting curriculum, part of our regular camp day, specially designed to supplement in specialized areas of theater training.
* Can my child switch electives?
Yes, if your child would like to attend a different elective than that chosen during registration, please notify us in advance. Teachers will confirm students’ choices with them on the first day of classes. If a child attends a first class but wishes to switch for the second, our staff works with them to catch up on what was covered the first day. Please note that if a child is registered for On Camera Acting and switches to Playwriting, they will not record a commercial or get a DVD on Friday.
* Should my child bring a lunch?
Campers should bring a lunch and second snack (and beverages) to enjoy each day. They will keep their lunches and personal belongings with them throughout the day, and will be in a variety of spaces. Siblings should have their meals packed separately as they may not be in the same location for breaks. Due to a high volume of severe food allergies among our campers, please avoid snacks/food containing nut products.
* Will my child be safe on the George Mason campus?
Students are supervised carefully at all times while on campus by their acting teachers as well as other faculty and staff members. In the unlikely event of any emergency the GMU Police Department is only a few buildings away.
* Who are the teachers and counselors?
Our talented teaching artists and staff are carefully vetted with backgrounds checked. Our key faculty is comprised of professional performer/educators, and our junior counselors are students from area colleges who are pursuing careers in theater and theater education. We also have an intern program for older high school students (many of whom have graduated from our program)
* How do you handle children with specific medication needs?
Please notify us in advance if your child has any health issues we should be aware of before registering. We will confirm with you that we are able to accommodate your needs.
* Do you work with children who have learning disabilities?
Please notify us in advance if your child has any learning disabilities or special needs we should be aware of. AFYP strives to makes it’s programming available to everyone, including students with physical, developmental or cognitive disabilities. Please contact Mary at 703-307-5332 if you have questions and/or to determine that this is the right camp for your child(ren). If a student’s disability proves to be in any way beyond our staff’s capabilities, we may recommend that a student discontinue the camp program, and a pro-rated refund will be granted.
* If my child wants to attend another session of camp, how can I arrange for that?
You are welcome to register for additional weeks of camp, pending space availability. Please check with our staff regarding openings, and you are welcome to use the online registration system. The multiple week discount should be reflected upon checkout.
* Does camp run until 3:00 p.m. on Fridays or does my child have to leave immediately following their presentation?
Camp runs until 3 p.m. each Friday and faculty/staff continue to accompany students through-out their day, but you have the option of taking your child home after their group’s presentation if that is more convenient for you.
* Our schedule has changed and I need to switch my child’s camp week. How do I arrange for that?
Notify Mary right away if you need to change dates. We will do our best to accommodate your request providing space is available. There is no charge for switching camp sessions, only for cancellations.
* What happens if I have to cancel a camp session?
Cancellations must be requested in writing. Prior to the start of a camp session, refunds are granted less a $50 processing fee. After the start of a camp session, if you must request a cancellation, refunds are granted less the $50 processing fee and the prorated amount for each camp day attended.
* My child has to leave early one day of the camp week. How do I arrange for that?
Please notify Mary by email ahead of time, and send a reminder note at check-in if your child must leave early one day of the camp week. Staff and teaching team will be notified of departure time, and we will accompany your child to the front of the Center for the Arts Concert Hall to meet you.
* How do I arrange for a late arrival?
Our staff stays at the drop off point and check-in desk until approximately 9:30 a.m. If you are running later than that, please call Mary at 703-307-5332 and we will send a staff member out to meet you and escort them to their group’s current location.
* I see you ask for a copy of my child's health insurance card. Is there any other paperwork required?
A copy of your child's insurance card is all we will need. Please be sure to send it on the first day check-in if it has not been sent prior.
* My child's camp tuition is a reimbursable expense. Where can I find AFYP's Tax ID Number? How can I get verification of attendance to submit to my employer?
George Mason University’s Tax ID Number is 54-0836354 (applicable to AFYP and Mason Community Arts Academy programs). If you need a form signed, please email Mary prior to Friday’s presentation and arrange to have your paperwork signed before departing. If you’d like a receipt emailed to you, please request in writing and allow processing time.
* What kind of performance will we see on Fridays?
Each group works on age appropriate material every day in acting classes, culminating in our final presentations on Friday of each week. Age groups will share approximately 30 minutes with the audience, focusing on their acting class project, and may include activities from Improv and Musical Theater classes if time allows. Our camp program focuses on process vs. product, and our goal is to provide top-level training for our young actors and give them the experience of sharing their work with an audience at week’s end, while celebrating their accomplishments and building confidence.
* Does my child need prior experience?
Students with all levels of experience enjoy our program, from newcomers to young professionals. While some students may have had prior training and/or performance experience, we also train new students who have an interest in theater and want to give it a try in a fun, nurturing environment. Our teachers determine each student’s needs and do their best to reach them at their current skill level.