The students and staff at Mathcamp form a close-knit community, and the "camp" part is just as important to us as the math. Residential life at Mathcamp is a taste of the college experience: students live in a college dorm, eat in a college dining hall, and enjoy much of the flexibility and responsibility of a college student.
During week days, the academic schedule is packed with classes – but you choose which classes to go to and when. The dorms are quiet during the day, but you'll find students working on problem sets or projects or taking a break to do a load of laundry. You can always find Mathcamp staff in the dorm, so any time you need something (to borrow a library book for your project, or to borrow a frisbee...), you can drop by the office or the main lounge.
During evenings and weekends, no classes are scheduled. It's a chance to rest and prepare for the next day or the next week. You can hang out with your friends, talk over interesting material with teachers, or enjoy some fun activities. Computer labs are available for e-mail and web browsing. The camp lounges are often filled with board games, ping pong, music, and conversation.
In the main lounge, there is a giant schedule board. Anyone—staff or student—is welcome to post an event there. You can put up a sign for an Ultimate Frisbee game you'd like to start, a Scrabble tournament you'd like to run, or a Diplomacy game you'd like to play. The staff will also put up different kinds of activities, from rehearsals for the camp a capella groups (the Contrapositones and the Kernel) to evening seminars to contradance. It's not long before the "off" time becomes just as busy as the rest of camp!
Activities at camp are always optional: you have the freedom to work on your own, go off-campus with friends, or do whatever suits you best.