Celebrating 60 Years
Summer Camp is open to children ages 7 through 11 years. Applicants must be of the appropriate age on the start date of the camp session that they are registering for.
Summer Camp takes place at our Lincoln Square location: 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, Illinois and our home base is the Mabie Gallery on the first floor on the west side of the building. Camp classes take place throughout the building.
Summer Camp hours are 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. We offer two four-week-long sessions. Space in our summer camp program is limited to 60 children per session.
There will be no camp on Tuesday, July 4, 2017!
First Session: June 26 - July 21 — Campers explore a multidisciplinary arts-based program, and will present a showcase on the evening of Thursday, July 20 at 7:00 PM in Maurer Hall.
Second Session: July 24 - August 18 — Campers explore a multidisciplinary arts-based program, and will present a showcase on the evening of Thursday, August 17th at 7:00 PM in Maurer Hall.
Arts Camp for 7-11 year olds is $1,600 per session. We require a non-refundable deposit per camper, per session at the time of registration. The Session 1 deposit amount is $800, and the Session 2 deposit amount is $800. Balance payments are due by June 1st, 2017. Everyone who has registered and paid a deposit by May 22 will receive a balance payment reminder email at that time.
The cost for Session 1 extended hours is $500. The cost for Session 2 extended hours is $500. See below for more information about the extended hours program.
Financial Aid is available for all Old Town School summer camps. Applications are available as hard copies only, beginning on December 1, 2016. You may pick up an application at the front desk of any of our three locations: 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, 4545 N. Lincoln Avenue, or 909 W. Armitage Avenue. Please ask specifically for the Summer Camp Financial Aid application, as it is in a different format (and color!) than our other financial aid applications.
To submit your application, you'll need to drop off your completed form during regular business hours with an attached copy of your most recent 1040 tax return (for proof of household income). Once your application for financial aid is received, you can expect to hear from us within two weeks. If you qualify for financial aid, we’ll let you know your award amount at that time. Financial aid for summer camp has rolling admission, and will be distributed to qualifying families on a first-come, first-serve basis. Since financial aid is awarded only as long as funds are available, we strongly encourage you to apply by March 1, 2017.
July 21 and August 18 are half-days for ALL campers, with pick-up for all campers at 12:30 PM. A lunch will be provided for all campers on those two half-days. There is no camp on July 4.
Our 60 campers are divided into six co-ed groups based on age, grade, and gender, and each group is assigned a full-time counselor. Due to the fact that there are different amounts of each age group enrolled in camp, many of the groups will contain children of several ages, and we always do our best to group children appropriately. We do not take friend requests for groups. The camp groups remain together during morning classes. The entire camp is together during Morning Meeting, lunchtime, and park time.
Six counselors, 12 instructors and a camp leader, all with backgrounds in education and the arts, staff our camp.
Each camp session has six different morning classes. All camp groups rotate through these six classes, and each group is therefore able to experience all classes during the course of each week. Each camp group has an area of concentration called a 'core class' -- that is, one class that they go to first thing every morning. It's in this class that the children work with their instructor and counselor to create a performance piece for the big show on the last day of camp. Core classes are matched to the camp groups by the camp administrators prior to the start of camp.
Our camp offers a wide variety of classes every summer, and the line-up always changes from year to year. Some of the classes that we've offered in the past are:
While many of the classes use instruments and special equipment, all of those materials are provided by the camp, at no additional cost to you. Because our campers move around in many classes, we ask that all children wear secure, closed-toe shoes to camp. If your child wears a skirt or dress, make sure they wear shorts underneath.
The purpose of the Old Town School of Folk Music Summer Camp is to allow children to explore many artistic endeavors, and to explore all facets of the performance experience. We strive to introduce the arts in an exciting, productive environment wherein we encourage experimentation and focus on the importance of the learning process. Participation in the showcase is encouraged but not mandatory!
Each day at our camp is action-packed, so all campers should bring a substantial and nutritious lunch (with drink), as well as a morning snack (with drink). Lunch and snack foods cannot be refrigerated or cooked at our site. In addition, lunches and drinks will not be available for purchase from our café by campers.
Please include the appropriate utensils and join us in our efforts to make the camp as green as possible — pack your camper's lunch in a reusable container, and use smaller reusable containers inside. Remind your child to bring the containers back home at the end of the day!
Additionally, campers should bring a durable, screw-top water bottle that should be filled at home every morning. Backpacks are allowed, as are books (to be read during morning activity time or park time). Please label all of your children's belongings. We are not responsible for anything lost or misplaced.
Please do not allow your child to bring any toys, trading cards, dolls, stuffed animals, or personal electronic devices to camp. If any of these items accompany your child to camp, they will be set aside and sent home at the end of the day. Phones brought to camp need to be left in a bag in the Gallery and either turned off or silenced.
Yes! There is an orientation for all summer camp parents on the first day of each camp session. Orientation will last 30-40 minutes. Orientation for first camp session is on Monday, June 26, 2017, and orientation for the second camp session is Monday, July 24, 2017. Further details regarding orientation will be available to camp registrants.
We take medical situations and health care very seriously at our camp. Once you register your child for camp and make your deposit, you will receive a packet via email that will contain a Camper Information Form that you will fill out and return by June 1, 2017. No child will be allowed to attend camp without this signed form! If your child needs to receive (or potentially receive) medicine (including an Epi-Pen) while at camp, you will note this on your form and provide a signed approval note from your child's physician. Our camp cannot administer any medications without this form.
Minor bruises, bumps, bug bites, and wounds will be taken care of at camp. If anything more serious arises, we will contact you immediately. If emergency care is required, we will call an ambulance, which will go to the closest medical facility. During our staff orientation, all of our counselors will become certified in CPR and First Aid. Our staff also receives training in the administration of Epi-Pen.
We take life-threatening allergies, intolerances, and special medical conditions very seriously at our summer camp. Parents of campers with serious allergies or serious medical conditions will develop an Allergy Action Plan or Medical Action Plan with our staff before camp begins. All camp families will have access to our Allergy Guidelines prior to the start of camp.
Our camp is nut-free. Please make sure your child's lunch bag and backpack are free of all peanuts, tree nuts, and nut products. While the Old Town School Summer Camp is committed to monitoring foods and responsibly limiting potential food allergens, the school can, in no way, guarantee a 100% nut-free or allergen-free environment, and therefore cannot be labeled as an allergen-free or nut-free school or camp. We ask that all camp parents discuss allergies with their camper beforehand, and explain to their child the importance of washing hands before AND after eating, not sharing/trading food, and respecting the needs of campers with severe and/or life-threatening allergies. Our staff works with all campers to reinforce the importance of hand washing, not sharing foods, and respecting the needs of campers with severe and/or life-threatening allergies.
We're sorry, but treats, including birthday treats, are not allowed at camp.
No, the children do not wear a uniform. We do ask that all children dress comfortably. Keep in mind that the campers will be moving about a great deal, so it's best if they wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and shorts underneath all dresses or skirts. It's also best for everyone if your camper leaves distracting jewelry and accessories at home.
We do not take field trips!
Yes! We are really invested in sun protection at our camp, and we supply (40 SPF or above) sunscreen to all campers. Our staff will apply sunscreen to all children before going to the park. Additionally, if the children go outside for any other reason (art project, science experiment, etc.), the camp staff will designate a time for sunscreen application prior to outdoor exposure. If your child is allergic to a particular sunscreen or sunscreen ingredient, please let us know ahead of time so that we can help your child avoid the allergen.
Extended hours are available at our camp in order to offer students a safe, supervised space in which to relax and play before and after the regular camp hours. Extended hours (8:00-9:00 AM, plus 3:00-5:00 PM) are available for 20 campers per session on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no extended hours on the mornings of June 26 or July 24, and there are no extended hours on the afternoons of July 20, July 21, August 17, and August 18. Extended hours drop-off is no earlier than 8:00 AM, and extended hours pick-up is no later than 5:00 PM. Afternoon extended hours activities may include story time, games, art projects, yoga, and movies. A light snack will be provided. If your extended hours camper has a food allergy or intolerance, you will be asked to provide a snack for your child to eat during this time. The cost for Session 1 extended hours is $500. The cost for Session 2 extended hours is $500.
We are very strict about our pick-up and drop-off policies! Campers are to be dropped off between 8:45 and 9:05 AM or, if attending the extended hours program, no earlier than 8:00 AM. Campers are to be picked up from summer camp between 2:55 and 3:10 PM or by 5:00 PM if attending the extended hours program. If your child is picked up after the appropriate time, you will be charged a $20 fee for every 5 minutes that your child is picked up late.
In the mornings, we will have a staff member stationed outside the front entrance of the school from 8:45-9:05 AM. You may simply pull up in your car (or on foot!) and drop off your camper with the 'morning host'; s/he will see your child safely into the building and sign in your child for you. If you choose to walk your child into the school in the morning, there will be a sign-in and sign-out sheet on the table near the doors of the Mabie Gallery. Please sign your name next to your child's name on these sheets. Counselors will be waiting to supervise the children as they arrive.
At the end of the day, all campers will meet back in the Mabie Gallery by 2:50 PM. Your child will be available for pick-up at 2:55 PM. In the afternoon, you MUST come into the Gallery to sign out your child before your child leaves the premises, no matter what!
If you need to pick up your child before 3:00 PM, please do so at the School at 12:30 PM only. The only camper pick-up times are at the start of lunch (12:30 PM) and at the end of the camp day (3:00 PM). Additionally, we leave for the park at 1:45 PM and, for your child's safety, we do not allow any pick-ups at the park. No exceptions will be made to these policies. We will have an 'Absences and Updates' sheet posted next to the sign-in sheet in the Mabie Gallery where you can make a note about when you will be picking up your child. Please also notify your child's counselor.