FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DRIVING PROGRAM
Q: My child has their own helmet and gear. Can they bring it to camp?
A: Although the camp does provide all required equipment, campers who have it are welcome to bring their own gear. Helmets brought to camp MUST be full face helmets (with full face shields) and must have current safety rating. Personal driving suit must have at least one layer of fire protection; may not be a "basic" kart suit without any fire protection. All driving safety gear brought to camp must be inspected by the driving instructional staff. The camp reserves the right to deny the use of any personal equipment that they consider unsafe. Bring your gear with you to camper check-in for inspection.
Q: What kind of safety equipment do the campers use?
A: Campers are required to use the seatbelt/safety harness systems in each vehicle, and to wear a full face helmet & neck restraint at all times when driving. Closed toe shoes, such as sneakers (or racing shoes), are also required.
Q: How fast do the cars and karts go?
A: Fast enough. Camp cars/karts have the capacity to challenge drivers at all experience levels. How fast each camper gets to go depends on their driving skills and abilities, the type of car/kart they are driving at the time, where they are driving, road conditions, and what they are trying to accomplish and learn at the time. Remember, good racing is about being smooth; our instructors put emphasis on precision driving, and speed is de-emphasized. And of course, safety is our top priority! Driving courses are designed to limit speed as appropriate for the skill level of the driver, as well as for the type of vehicle being used, and safe speeds are additionally controlled by car set-up and mechanical configuration.
Q: Where do campers drive?
A: Off-road dirt karts are driven on established dirt courses. These include dirt tracks, woods trails, and onstacle courses. The mini-cup cars and racing go karts are driven on various paved tracks. Courses selected for use are based on the skill level of the camper drivers, the objectives of the driving instructional activities to be conducted, type of vehicle being used, and road conditions, and will vary daily/weekly.
Q: How much seat time will my child have each day?
A: Campers in the 1-week & 2-week programs have two 2-hour driving instructional sessions each program day. Each instructional session includes some "classroom" instruction (approx 15 minutes), and the remaining time of the 2 hour session is spent in hands-on driving activities; seat time will vary depending on the specific activities being conducted. Additionally, each team participates in evening driving after dinner, as well as the ride-car experience, each week.
Q: Is Camp Motorsport a competitive environment?
The Camp Motorsport philosophy on competition is that Nobody Fails or Loses at Camp. As the results of traditional competition are counterproductive to our desire to create a community where campers develop healthy self-esteem, and feel accepted, connected, and emotionally secure, we believe that, while competition is a necessary and inevitable part of life, it should be managed at camp in a way that counterbalances the element of failure.
We challenge each camper to discover his or her own driving skills and abilities. Driving activities are conducted in a supportive environment designed to empower campers to achieve their goals, and have freedom to try and learn without worrying about failure. Campers are encouraged to “compete” with themselves; to improve their driving skills and judge their performance on their own progress, rather than judging their performance solely by comparing their skills to others. Staff give campers specific feedback on their performance, which focuses on their individual goals and areas of needed improvement, without reference to the performance of others. Every child finds success, and has fun while doing it!
Q: Do campers compete driving against each other?
A: At camp, we do not pit kid-against-kid in a traditional competitive win-lose manner. Individual campers do not race against each other for times/places. Rather, they race with each other for skills improvement and accomplishment of personal driving goals. In instructional activities that include completing timed events, each camper competes against their own personal time, to try to improve his or her personal best. In activities where campers run wheel-to-wheel, the focus is for each camper driver to “compete” against their own personal goals, working on improvement of their individual driving skills/time. (Please note that only campers at the appropriate driving skill level participate in wheel-to-wheel driving activities.)
Q: My child is an experienced competitive driver. How do you handle kids with more advanced skills?
A: Driving instruction at camp is designed to meet the needs of each individual camper driver. Our instructional staff are a mix of racecar drivers, driving coaches, and professional driving instructors, so they have the skills to challenge every camper driver who attends…just as with a professional driver, there is always room for improvement! And we use the same high level instructional curriculum used in professional driving schools. Instructors take kids from where they are in their skills when they arrive at camp and push them forward, working with each camper to sets goals for their own improvement.
Q: My child has never driven anything before. Will he be able to handle this program?
A: Not to worry, he is not alone! About ½ of our campers each week are never-evers, or kids who have driven an indoor concession go kart once at a birthday party… Beginning campers start with basic skills, such as how to use the gas and brake pedals, and steer, on open, flat areas. Activities for novice drivers are conducted in wide open areas, free of guard rails or walls, which help campers avoid the fear of making mistakes, and reduces the opportunities for accidents. As skills progress, campers move to driving in areas with curves, turns, and elevation changes. And remember that the cars are “kid size”, making learning less intimidating for kids and teens.
Q: What is the focus of the driving program?
A: Our instructors have extensive driving instructional experience, and keep the focus of driving on precision, driving in-control, and confidence building. Driving instruction is designed to help make the camper a better, safer driver by teaching them defensive driving techniques they can later apply when they drive on the street for real. Campers learn safe handling dynamics, such as proper hand position and visual focus, and defensive driving, including exercises in braking, making lane changes, and accident avoidance, and on different types of road conditions/terrain.
Q: Do campers participate in safety orientation of some kind?
A: Each camper is required to participate in a hands-on safety orientation, which includes all of the safety elements of the vehicle, procedures, and rules. Campers must demonstrate an understanding of all of the rules and procedures prior to being permitted to operate a vehicle.
Q: My child is a returning camper from last year. Will she be challenged in the driving part of the program or just repeat the same things as last year?
Progression is built into the camp program! Because we take each child from where they are in their skills when they enter the program and go forward from there, each camper is challenged, regardless of prior experience.
Please note that campers who only drive while at camp/have not driven during the school year may not have retained all of the skills gained from a prior season, so she may need to repeat some driving instruction in order to "get back up to speed", and progress from last year. And every camper is required to participate in the safety orientation, regardless of prior experience.
If you have additional questions or need more information, please call us at (434) 822-2999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org