Planning Your Travel

Arrivals and Departures are very simple for students: we meet each camper individually at the airport, bus station, or train station and bring them to camp, and then we return them to their point of departure at the end of camp. Below are some details on traveling to and from Mathcamp 2024.

Planning Your Travel

We need each student to enter their full travel itinerary on our online registration page (available for admitted students here) by May 14, 2024, along with their camp registration. If you are driving, please provide an approximate arrival/departure time.

Covid-19 protocols: We will communicate with families in the weeks leading up to camp about masking and testing protocols for travel.

Travel Dates: Students should plan to arrive at Mathcamp on June 30 and depart on August 4. If you must arrive or depart on a different day, please discuss with us as early as possible! It can be difficult to adjust to life at camp when arriving late, so we strongly prefer that students do not miss orientation day. Similarly, we discourage students from leaving early: the last few days of Mathcamp are full of activities, day and night, and we guarantee that you will be very sad to miss them.

Arrival: We can greet students at any time of day on arrivals day. If you have some flexibility, please plan to arrive in the afternoon, allowing some time to get settled in before dinner. Our first official meal will be dinner on Sunday (the dining hall is usually open 5pm–6:30pm; we will order pizza for later-arriving students), and there will be some optional activities throughout the day as students are getting settled in. If your flight options are more constrained, we prefer for students to arrive early on Sunday morning (taking a red-eye on Saturday night and arriving Sunday morning) rather than late on Sunday evening; it is easier to have a day to adjust to camp, and orientation starts bright and early on Monday morning.

Departure: Any time of day on August 4 is fine for departure, though almost all students depart first thing in the morning (so the dorm is quite empty by mid-day). Flying out very early in the morning (e.g. on a 6am flight) is (surprisingly) absolutely fine, since the night before is an official camp "all-nighter." The last official meal is lunch on Sunday at noon (although most students do leave before lunch).

Where to Travel: The airport for Mathcamp 2024 is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in SeaTac. The closest train station to Mathcamp is in Tacoma, and buses (e.g. Greyhound and Megabus) stop in Tacoma.

Students coming from outside the US: Be sure to bring your passport (with US visa, if required) and the invitation letter signed by the camp director, showing that you have qualified for Mathcamp 2024.

Travelers under 15: Most airlines offer an "unaccompanied minor" (UM) service for children flying alone. Since we will meet each student at the airport and escort him or her to University of Puget Sound, Mathcamp does not recommend this service. However, some airlines require it for passengers under 15. The policies and cost (usually $25 - $125 each way) vary by airline; for more detailed information, visit your airline's webpage or see this summary.

Arriving By Plane, Bus or Train

All students traveling on their own will be met by the Mathcamp welcome party immediately upon arrival. Members of the welcome party will be wearing Mathcamp T-shirts. Look for a white placard reading "Mathcamp" in blue letters.

Students arriving by bus or train should look for the welcome party inside the station. Students arriving by plane will be met at the baggage claim for their flight. Students on international flights will need to go through customs first, and will be met outside the customs area. Only students flying as "unaccompanied minors" will be met at the gate. (We do not recommend this option, unless required by the airline.)

If you miss your flight or bus, or if there is a change in your itinerary, please contact the Mathcamp office immediately! You can reach us toll-free from any phone at (888) 371-4159.

In the unlikely event that you miss seeing the welcome party immediately, do not leave the airport or station! Just call the Mathcamp office, and we will relay your call to the welcome party. If you have a cell phone, keep it turned on. Also, listen carefully to all announcements made in the terminal: we may try to page you. Do not panic: since we know your airline and flight number, we won't miss you. We will be waiting for you even if your flight is delayed or arrives late at night.

All students will be asked to call or text their family at home as soon as they are met by the welcome party. (We have a camp phone for students to borrow if they're not bringing a cell phone, including for placing international calls.)

Suggestion for all international travelers: We recommend that you include your name and the Mathcamp office number, (888) 371-4159, in a label on each checked bag. (If the airline misplaces your luggage, it will be easier for them to call our office than to reach you directly on an international phone number.)

Arriving By Car

Directions to the University of Puget Sound campus can be found here. A campus map is available here. Our dorms are Smith and Oppenheimer, and the registration desk (where you should go when you first arrive) will be (31 and 40 on the printable campus map). Parking at UPS is free and plentiful on Sundays; you do not need a permit to park in the lot next to Smith and Oppenheimer.

Don't forget:

  • Enter your full travel itinerary on our online registration page by May 14, 2024. (Online registration for admitted students is here.) If there are any last-minute changes, please update the registration page and also email us to let us know.
  • Carry a photo ID and the Mathcamp office phone number (toll free: 888-371-4159) with you when you travel.
  • If you're from outside the US or if your medical insurance does not cover you in Washington: you must purchase travel medical insurance before you leave. Step-by-step instructions for buying online are available here.

Please email us if you have any further questions about arrivals and departures.

See you in Tacoma!