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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on “Answer” to expand…
What are your safety guidelines? Answer
Please be assured that all in-person programs will follow strict safety protocols required by George Mason University and are subject to pivoting to all virtual platforms if health and safety conditions warrant. We are working closely with Mason officials to provide a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. Required protocols will include masks, physical distancing, daily health checks, and more. Please visit our COVID Safety Guidelines for all in-person programs. We will be routinely updating the information as it evolves. Stay informed by visiting our website and through other Academy alerts and communication.
How many students are allowed in a classroom space? Answer
Each classroom has a reduced capacity due to physical distancing and Mason COVID safety guidelines. The room capacity generally is about 7-12 depending on the classroom size. Classrooms will be reserved to host one unique program per space. University Office of Environmental Health and Safety has certified safe airflow quality in all classrooms.
What are your sanitization standards? Answer
We are working closely with Mason officials to provide a safe environment for our students, faculty, and staff. Standard sanitizations will include:
- CDC-recommended face masks and practice physical distancing rules throughout the day. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required for specific programs. Students will be responsible for bringing these items. Please check the individual program’s webpage Requirements Section for detail.
- Essential tools will remain unique to each student each day. Students are required to bring their own writing utensils and supplies.
- Music stands, keyboards, and high-touch surfaces will be wiped down and sanitized by instructional and administrative staff.
- Hand sanitizing stations available throughout the building.
- Nightly cleanings will be performed in all buildings and classrooms by Mason’s custodial staff.
Should my child bring a lunch? Answer
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 refrigeration will not be available. Siblings should have their meals packed separately as they may not be in the same location for breaks. At lunch, students will sit with their class cohort while maintaining physical distancing. Due to a high volume of severe food allergies among our campers, please avoid snacks/food containing nut products.
What if my child is sick? Answer
Please use good judgment about bringing your student to our summer programs. If your student is sick or showing symptoms of illness, please keep them home. Students who become ill during the day will be guided to an isolated space supervised by an Academy staff member until the parents/guardians arrive to pick them up. As a reminder, students and staff are required to complete a daily health screening and will not be admitted without University approval.
Will my child be safe on the George Mason campus? Answer
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.
My child won’t be 5 until this fall. Can they still attend camp? Answer
Periodically children younger than 5 are admitted to the program. Please contact the AFYP staff at email@example.com to discuss details about your child to determine if starting this summer is a good fit.
My child wants to attend with a friend. How can I arrange for that? Answer
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.
Is each camp session a repeat of the last? What are the benefits of attending more than one week? Answer
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.
If my child wants to attend another session of camp, how can I arrange for that? Answer
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.
Our schedule has changed and I need to switch my child’s camp week. How do I arrange for that? Answer
Notify the AFYP staff 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? Answer
Cancellations must be requested in writing. Up to 2 weeks prior to the start of a camp session, refunds are granted less a $50 processing fee. After the start of a camp session, prorated refunds less the $50 processing fee are granted with valid medical documentation only.
Is there any other paperwork required besides the questions answered during registration? Answer
In addition to the daily Mason Covid Health Check, answers to the registration questions online is all we need. Please call us if you need to change or add any information about your child.
My child’s camp tuition is a reimbursable expense. Where can I find your Tax ID Number? How can I get verification of attendance to submit to my employer? Answer
George Mason University’s Tax ID Number is 54-0836354 (applicable to AFYP’s Mason Community Arts Academy programs). If you need a form signed, please email Mary (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to the end of your camp week and arrange to have your paperwork signed and returned via email. If you’d like a receipt emailed to you, please request in writing and allow processing time.
Pickup & Dropoff Procedures
Where do I drop off my child? Is there a street address? Answer
Parent/Guardians will park at Mason Pond Parking Deck and will walk students to our check-in station, located at the Center for the Arts lobby and plaza (See Map). Details will be included in our Welcome email, prior to the start of your program. Please use the directions we provide for reference.
Should I walk my young child in on the first day? Answer
This year, we are asking parents/guardians of all students to park at the Mason Pond Parking Deck for 30 minutes free of charge (fees apply after 30 minutes) and walk your child to check-in at the Center for the Arts each day. AFYP staff members will be stationed at various points to help guide you to your check-in point. Additional details will be included in our Welcome email.
How do I arrange for late arrival? Answer
If you are running late, please call us at 703-554-4931 and we will send a staff member out to meet you in front of the Center for the Arts Concert Hall and escort your child to their group’s current location.
Can I stay with my child during the camp day? Answer
Parents are not permitted to enter the building unless prior arrangements have been made to accommodate special circumstances.
My child has to leave early one day of the camp week. How do I arrange for that? Answer
Please notify Mary by email ahead of time (email@example.com), 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.
I need care for my child after 3:00 pm. Is there aftercare available? Answer
Unfortunately, due to safety policies pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not able to offer aftercare for Summer 2021. All students must be picked up promptly at the end of the camp day, at 3:00 pm.
Does my child need prior experience? Answer
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.
What will my child be doing all day? Answer
Please see the Summer Acting Camp Daily Schedule for an overview of our daily activities. After check-in each morning, each age group starts their day with an acting class and then will work on other skills throughout the day. There will be two meal breaks each day. Campers must provide their own non-refrigerated, nut-free snacks or lunch.
How are age groups broken down? How large are the groups? Answer
Students are broken into five groups: ages 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13+. For this summer, with health guidelines in mind, our groups will be capped at a smaller size. 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.
How do electives work? Answer
This year, electives will be worked into our regular acting curriculum, part of our regular camp day, specifically designed to supplement in specialized areas of theater training.
Who are the teachers and counselors? Answer
Our talented teaching artists and staff are carefully vetted with background checks. Our key faculty consists of professional performers/educators, and our assistant teachers are students from area colleges who are pursuing careers in theater and theater education. We also have an intern/junior counselor program for high school students (many of whom have graduated from our program.)
How do you handle children with specific medication needs? Answer
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? Answer
Please notify us in advance if your child has any learning disabilities or special needs we should be aware of. AFYP strives to makes its programming available to everyone, including students with physical, developmental or cognitive disabilities. Please contact Mary and the AFYP Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-554-4931 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.
Will there be a final presentation at the end of the week? Answer
This year, our spaces will not be able to accommodate an audience. Final presentations will be recorded, and a secure link will be sent via email after a short editing process, for families and friends to enjoy.
To Register for Multiple Sessions/Programs:
Choose the first program you’d like and add to Shopping Cart. Before clicking the green “All Done! Proceed to Checkout” button, please click “Add Program” at the bottom of the page. From there, you can search for additional programs for the current participant and register for them. Click the “All Done! Proceed to Checkout” button and submit final payment. All applicable discounts will be reflected on the final payment page.
To Register Siblings:
When registering more than one child for a program, start with the first child and add the program(s) you’d like to your cart as noted above. To add additional participants, please click “Add Participant” in the Shopping Cart and choose program(s). Click the “All Done! Proceed to Checkout” button and submit final payment. All applicable discounts will be reflected on the final payment page.
To Register for After Care/Extended Day:
Before clicking the green “All Done! Proceed to Checkout!” button, please click “Add Program” at the bottom of the page. From there you can search “after care/extended day” and add the extended day program for the appropriate week.