MAGIC FOR MUGGLES – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW IS YOUR CAMP ADDRESSING THE PANDEMIC? In 2021, we will be following the recommended CDC guidelines for summer camps including limiting enrollment, spacing students apart, continuous cleaning, and masks will be mandatory. Also, the building we use is air conditioned and last summer a MERV 13-ventilation system was installed (its purpose is to filter the air to remove Covid-19 particles).
WHAT ARE THE AGES FOR YOUR CAMP? Our core group is between 7-12. We have also had 6 year-olds who know a little bit about HP or attend with older siblings. Students should be old enough to understand the storyline of the first book or movie.
DO THE SESSIONS FILL UP? Since we moved to St. John’s Church fifteen years ago, we have filled every session offered.
ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE AGE GROUP DIFFERENCE? We’ve never seen it. The children are randomly divided into the HP Houses and one of the neat things about our camp is how well these groups bond and work together. The children become very supportive of one another during the week and the older ones really help the youngsters in all of the activities.
DOES ONE HAVE TO HAVE READ THE HP BOOKS? No. Our activities are designed so all can participate without having read a book or seen a movie. Our hope is that those who haven’t read the books will be inspired to begin the series. Often times it starts with parents reading the books to younger children.
DOES A CHILD HAVE TO HAVE A WIZARD ROBE TO PARTICIPATE? Absolutely not. (Though we have had some children tell their parents that!) Campers are encouraged to wear their HP robe, hat, t-shirt, etc. – it definitely adds to the atmosphere.
DO YOU HAVE BEFORE AND AFTER CARE? Sorry, we don’t. Our doors open at 8:45 a.m. and there’s an adult outside to see the children in. Likewise, we dismiss at 1 p.m. sharp, again, under adult supervision. (We have families too and have a ways to go to see them.)
IS THERE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUY LUNCH? No, students must bring their own. We take a short break at noon for students to eat, sit with their friends from another House and watch a few minutes of a film or special. Students can bring extra drinks.
WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS FOOD ALLERGIES? Before every lunch we remind students not to share food because of allergies. We will also alert parents to this when we send out a notice before camp begins. As for foods that we provide students, there are only three things offered to children during the week: (1) A single flavored jelly bean on two occasions for our “guess the flavor” of the magic beans team competition. We use store bought jelly beans (Jelly Bellies). (2) Three days a week after going outside and playing quidditch, we give students an ice pop on their return indoors. These are the multi-flavored pops you would get in Shop Rite. (3) On Fridays we give the campers “butterbeer” which is essentially a vanilla ice cream/soda float in a plastic cup. Please contact us if you have any concerns.
DO YOU HAVE AIR CONDITIONING? Yes! We do now! Saint John’s Church installed air conditioning (which also has a MERV 13-ventilation system to filter the air to remove harmful particles such as pollen and viruses).
WHO IS WORKING THE CAMP? Kevin McCarthy and Adam Scribner are long time educators and Harry Potter fans. This is their seventeenth year directing Magic For Muggles. Magic for Muggles staff includes certified public school teachers and top-notch college students.
ARE THERE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES? Definitely. We go outside at least three days during the week for an hour or so to a small park a few doors down the street (aka “The Magic Forest”). We are “unplugged” all week and do not use computers at any time.
HOW EXACTLY DOES THE CAMP WORK? Students are grouped into one of the four Harry Potter Houses of Hogwarts School. For one week they follow a daily schedule of activities. They earn house points for completing tasks. At times, special guests drop in – a real magician, a reptile specialist, maybe a HP personality- to entertain us. No House EVER gets too far ahead in the point totals. In fact, somehow it always comes down to the last activity on the last day to determine a winner. But we think that about all the children so everyone is recognized and goes home with a certificate of wizardry!
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A CHILD TO SIGN UP FOR MORE THAN ONE WEEK? Definitely, though we think two is just right. And even though the same activities are repeated in the next session, the majority of the campers are new, the students are in different houses and, therefor, the outcomes of each activity will be different. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun to go through the week again!
DO YOU TAKE CREDIT CARDS? Yes, we use PayPal – and it accepts both credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) and PayPal payments. We use PayPal to keep your information secure!
WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY? Refunds are only provided for cancellations when the space can be filled by another camper. Please provide a minimum of two-weeks notice.
ARE YOU HIRING? All staff hired are certified teachers and college students are hired as helpers. We do not hire middle or high school camp interns due to insurance reasons. All staff positions are filled at this time for the upcoming summer sessions.
DO YOU DO BIRTHDAY PARTIES FOR CHILDREN? Sorry, but we don’t do birthday parties during the year despite several requests. All staff members have full-time teaching jobs and they like to hold onto their weekends. We’re also asked about others who offer this, but have yet to run across anyone who does. Our advice has always been to plan your own. Have the kids make magic wands out of cut dowels and color them in. Make magic potions out of colored water and buy small bottles and a mixture of ingredients from a craft store. Play quidditch by passing a ball around and throwing through a hoop. Have the “keeper” goaltender hold a broom. Improvise games you know like bingo and word scrambles only using HP words. And, of course, “sort” the kids into houses (this can be done simply by picking something out a hat). Good luck and have fun!