Who can attend the camp?
Summer Arts Camp is open to children ages 4 through 6 years. Applicants must be of the appropriate age on the start date of the camp session that they are registering for. Children who are nearly 7 and have completed Kindergarten may be eligible for the 7-11 year-old Arts Camp. Contact the Arts Camp Coordinator with questions.
Where does the camp take place?
Summer Arts Camp takes place at our Lincoln Square location: 4544 N. Lincoln Ave Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Camp classes take place throughout the building.
When does camp happen?
Summer Arts Camp hours are 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Monday through Friday. We offer three
2-week long sessions. Space in our summer camp program is limited to 24 children per session.
What are the session options?
First Session: June 22 – July 3 — Campers explore a multidisciplinary arts-based program and will present a showcase on July 2 at 11:40 AM.
Second Session: July 6 – July 17 — Campers explore a multidisciplinary arts-based program and will present a showcase on July 16 at 11:40 AM.
Third Session: July 20 – July 31 — Campers explore a multidisciplinary arts-based program and will present a showcase on July 30 at 11:40 AM.
What is the cost?
The price for Arts Camp (4-6 years) is $600 per session. We require a non-refundable deposit per camper, per session at the time of registration. Balance payments are due by June 8, 2020. Please refer to our Summer Camp Pricing page for more details.
Do you offer financial aid?
Financial Aid is available for all Old Town School summer camps. Applications are available as hard copies only, beginning on November 13, 2019. You may pick up an application at the front desk of 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue or 4545 N. Lincoln 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, 2020.
How do the camp groups work?
Our 24 campers are divided into two co-ed groups and each group is assigned a full-time counselor. Due to the fact that there are different age groups enrolled in camp, the groups will consist of 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 their classes. The entire camp is together during Morning Meeting, snack time, closing activities, a collaborative class that meets every day, and on Park Day Fridays.
Who staffs the camp?
Counselors, teaching artists, and a camp leader, all with backgrounds in education and the arts, staff our camp.
What are the camp classes like?
Each camp session has two different morning classes. All camp groups rotate through these classes, and each group therefore experiences both of the classes equally during the course of each week. Every class day, campers will experience a collaborative class period, where both groups and teachers will come together to play, and to shape the showcase On Fridays, the campers will not have class, but will spend the day at Welles Park, weather permitting.
What kind of classes has the camp offered in the past?
Our camp offers a wide variety of classes every summer, and the line-up changes from year to year! Our classes are all based in music, theatre, art, dance, and movement. The camp classes allow children the opportunity to deeply explore many areas of the arts, all while taking part in both individual and collaborative learning processes.
It looks like you offer a lot of music and dance classes in the camp. Does my child need to bring any instruments or special shoes?
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 and shorts underneath all dresses or skirts!
My child is really shy. Is participation in the showcase mandatory?
The purpose of the Old Town School of Folk Music Summer Camp is to allow children to explore many artistic mediums, and to explore all facets of the performance experience. We strive to introduce the arts in an exciting, nurturing environment wherein we encourage experimentation and focus on the importance of the learning process. Participation in the showcase is encouraged but not mandatory!
What should my child bring to camp every day?
Each day at our camp is action-packed, so all campers should bring a nutritious (nut free) morning snack. Snack foods cannot be refrigerated or cooked at our site.
Additionally, campers should bring a durable, screw-top water bottle that should be filled at home every morning. Small backpacks or bags are allowed, but please try to limit the amount of items your child brings to camp, as storage space is quite limited! Please label your child's belongings. We are not responsible for anything lost or misplaced.
What should my child NOT bring to camp?
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.
Do you take field trips? Do you go outside?
We do not take field trips, but every Friday campers will play outside in our courtyard or at Welles Park. During our time outside, children will be very closely supervised by our camp staff.
I'm concerned about sun exposure. Do the children wear sunscreen if they go outside?
Yes! We are really invested in sun protection at our camp, and we supply sunscreen (30 SPF or above) to all campers. Our staff will help all children apply sunscreen before going outside. 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.
Is there a camp orientation?
Yes! There is a 30-minute orientation for all summer camp parents on the morning of the first day of each camp session. Orientation for the first camp session is on Monday, June 22, 2020. Orientation for the second camp session is Monday, July 6, 2020. Orientation for the third camp session is Monday, July 20, 2020. Further details regarding orientation will be made available to camp registrants.
What kind of medical and emergency information do you need for my child?
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 need to log in to your Old Town School web account in order to access the Camper Information Form. You will need to fill out this digital form by June 1, 2020. No one 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.
Do you administer First Aid? How do you handle emergency medical situations?
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.
What do you do to accommodate children with allergies, intolerances, or special medical conditions?
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 create 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.
Do you allow nuts at your 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.
May I send treats with my camper to share with the other children?
We're sorry, but treats, including birthday treats, are not allowed at camp.
Is there a uniform?
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 around a lot, 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.
Does your camp offer an extended hours program?
This summer camp does not offer an extended hours program.
What are your drop-off and pick-up procedures and attendance policies?
Campers are to be dropped off at 9:00 AM and picked up from summer camp at 12:00 PM.
In the mornings, we will have a staff member stationed near the front entrance of 4544 N. Lincoln at drop-off time. 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, that's okay, too! If you do so, you will still sign your child in with the morning host. Counselors and the camp leader will be waiting to supervise the campers as they arrive.
At the end of the camp day, all campers will meet back in the home base room by 11:40 AM for closing activities. Your child will be available for pick-up at 12:00 PM. In the afternoon, you MUST come into the home base room to sign out your child before your child leaves the premises!
What if my child has a doctor appointment or a baseball game? Can I pick up my child early from camp?
We strongly recommend that all campers attend for the full camp day (9:00 AM - 12:00 PM) as often as possible. If you need to pick up your child before 12:00 PM, please do so at the School at snack time (between 9:55 and 10:15 AM) only. We do not allow pick-ups during class times! Please notify the camp leader of any absences (or special pick-ups) as early as possible.
I am signing up my child for multiple camps around the city, and one of them conflicts with Old Town School camp. Can my child attend only a part of a session?
Because our camp only meets for two weeks and culminates in a final performance, we cannot admit campers for one half of any session (example: either the first or second week or one week of one session and another week in another session). We want to ensure all our campers experience camp to its fullest extent, so we cannot make any exceptions!