What camper parents said about Epsilon Camp:
“A unique math camp for an exceptional math kid to be challenged, to connect with like minds, and to learn from mathematicians. This was the first time our child got to be around others who are inspired by math, and it was wonderful to watch him flourish with like-minded peers,”
“My daughter made great friends, got to work with amazing teachers, and saw a part of the country she had never seen before.”
“It provided a level of academic challenge he had never before encountered with a group of peers.”
“What a phenomenal gift the Epsilon people have given him: renewed excitement about math and learning, special new friendships, and a feeling of belonging in the world.”
“Epsilon Camp was the first time my child had exposure to math that truly challenged his intellect.”
“He enjoyed interacting with the other campers in games and sports as well as other activities.”
“The professors were approachable and engaging both inside and outside of the classroom. My child gained a lot from this experience and would love to attend again.”
Children throughout the world become fluent in their native tongues...because they grow up in them. A person trying to learn a new language later in life not only takes longer but also is affected more by the accent peculiar to one's country.
Some children easily become fluent and even have the capacity to learn any number of languages! Similarly, musical prodigies start very early in music.
It seems to be a safe assumption that it is better to start very early in mathematics, especially if the child is showing a liking and an ability. Among the hundreds of such children are the extreme cases - the Epsilon-gifted, who not only are exceptionally or profoundly gifted but also love mathematics.
Should you withhold illustrated great literature - appropriately selected for content - from the precocious early reader? Should the budding Mozart hear melodic strains, or the cacophony from popular bands? Should the Epsilon-gifted be allowed to experience the epiphany when understanding dawns on a mathematical concept or cringe at another school day in silent unnoticed boredom?
The Epsilon-gifted in school
Individual IQ's in a school class fall within a wide range. Except in a few schools, the majority of students in a class will be average. The curriculum and pedagogy are designed to service this majority. In some school districts the gifted or the highly gifted are provided segregated instruction. But what about the Epsilon-gifted?
Imagine a school with, say, 1000 students, where one is Epsilon-gifted. It is just impractical to tailor instruction to this one person even if the teacher or the teacher of the gifted is knowledgeable. What do you think this child will do in class? Doodle? Dawdle?
A concerned or discerning teacher may use this child as a helper to teach the rest; but that is not a long-term solution for servicing this child.
Learning Opportunities for the Gifted
The Epsilon-gifted student not only needs greater challenges than are available to peers but a different style of learning as well. The need for greater challenge is easily met by enrolling the student in classes in the particular subject in a higher grade - this is called acceleration. Thus a grade 4 student showing precocity in math can be enrolled in the math class for a higher grade. The student can return for other subjects to her/his peers in grade 4. But prior to enrolling in the higher grade, the teacher in collaboration with a mentor knowledgeable in the math of the school grades may want to compact  the current math course and run the student through it; this gives the student a running start in to the subject in a higher grade. Quickly noting the precocity, compacting the current course for the student and then enrolling the student in an appropriately advanced class is a service that the elementary school or middle school teacher would want to perform rather than to directly provide exposure to advanced mathematics.
Advanced classes are also available online, which suits the Epsilon-gifted since they are typically self-learners. An additional advantage of an online course is that the student need not travel from the school if the needed course is not available in the school.
Another way to provide extra challenge for the Epsilon-gifted is to enroll the child in a problem-solving activity. This is also easy to do as there are national math contests for various age groups.
Both acceleration and contest training can benefit the student, acceleration offers the opportunity to be with older students learning advanced stuff, and contests offer a pipeline to recognition through competition.
The Epsilon-gifted need more. Training for speed-dependent contests is not enough - these children need to think deeper and over longer periods of time. While acceleration and contest training are appropriate activities for the Epsilon-gifted, these activities are of the one-size-fits-all type. They will fit many but not all Epsilon-gifted.
The Epsilon-gifted would be well-served with opportunities in which their mind is stretched - the type of enrichment that happens in "Math Circles."
Early Intervention for the Epsilon-gifted
The acute minds of the few dozen mathematically profoundly gifted students in the nation demand intervention and direct instruction. Epsilon camp serves this need in the summer for students who are at least 8 years old but under 12 years while at camp. The 11 year-olds who are mature enough for the dormitory life in a residential camp have another choice - the MathPath summer camp which takes students 11-14 years of age.
As at the MathPath camp, Epsilon seeks to provide the early experience appropriate for a future mathematician. If, later on, a different profession is chosen, this early experience is still very likely to be of great value. In fact, the role of the camp is to provide the setting for these students to grow in both social and academic domains.
Professor Robert Hunt, Deputy Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences and a Fellow of Christ's College, University of Cambridge, commenting on Samantha Imafidon, a 9-year old math prodigy, stated: "Mathematics is a subject which some children latch on to very young - unlike, say, English Literature which requires a deeper emotional maturity - and they should always be encouraged to follow their interests, preferably through enrichment of the school curriculum."
Epsilon Camp takes the Epsilon-gifted and endeavours with suitable instruction to encourage their early interest to blossom into a passion.
The Epsilon-gifted need  to meet their intellectual peers who are of their age. This is their most suitable social networking ... and they do not need to explain themselves to the peers!
Parenting the Epsilon-gifted has many challenges. The Epsilon camp also runs a parallel workshop on the same campus for the parents.
 Renzulli, J.S., What Is This Thing Called Giftedness, and How Do We Develop It? A Twenty-Five Year Perspective, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Volume 23, Number 1 (1999)
Thomas, G.R., Why MathPath, Essay on the web at www.mathpath.org.