Teen Arts Camp 2020 FAQ

Who can attend the camp?

Teen Camp is open to young people ages 12 through 15. Applicants must be of the appropriate age on the start date of the camp session that they are registering for.

Where does the camp take place?

Teen Camp takes place at our Lincoln Square location: 4545 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, and camp classes take place throughout the building.

When does the camp happen?

Teen Camp hours are 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

What are the session options?

Session 1 is June 22-July 3; Session 2 is July 6-July 17; Session 3 is July 20-July 31.

The Session 1 showcase will take place on Friday, July 3 in Szold Hall.

The Session 2 showcase will take place on Friday, July 17 in Szold Hall.

The Session 3 showcase will take place on Friday, July 31 in Szold Hall.

What is the cost?

The price for Teen Arts Camp is $750 per session. A non-refundable deposit is required at the time of registration. Balance payments are due on June 10, 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.

What is the structure and focus of the camp classes?

Each camp session has two different classes. The camp groups switch between these two classes, and each group therefore experiences all classes during the day. Classes and independent studio time will focus on many topics, including writing, poetry, music, movement, theatre, visual art, and more. All classes will introduce and deeply explore a particular area of arts education, and all class experiences will involve artistic collaboration, independent exploration, group dialogue, listening & ensemble work, reflection, and critique, all with a focus on the process of creativity, joyful art-making, and thoughtful peer interaction.

How do the camp groups work?

Our campers are divided into co-ed groups. The camp groups remain together during classes. The entire camp is together at various times throughout the day, including morning meeting, lunchtime, studio time, and afternoon wrap-up.

Who staffs the camp?

One camp leader, plus arts mentors and teaching artists, all with backgrounds in education and the arts, staff our camp.

What are the roles of the camp leader and arts mentors?

The Camp Leader and Arts Mentors have a unique role in our Teen Arts Camp community: cultivating relationships with campers throughout the day, supporting experiences within classes and campers' studio time, and communicating with campers, parents, and camp staff. Most importantly, being artists themselves, the Camp Leader and Arts Mentors are invaluable resources for guiding campers' creative collaboration, exploration and development.

Does my teen need to bring any instruments or special equipment?

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. We also encourage teens to bring their own instruments!

My teen is really shy. Is participation in the showcase mandatory?

The purpose of the Old Town School of Folk Music Teen Camp is to allow teens 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!

What should my teen bring to camp every day?

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. Teen Campers are allowed to use the vending machines inside the School.

Additionally, we recommend that all campers bring a durable, screw-top water bottle. Backpacks and bags are allowed. Please make sure all of your teen's belongings are labeled. We are not responsible for anything lost or misplaced.

Is there a camp orientation?

Yes! There is an orientation for all summer camp parents on the first day of each camp session. We invite parents and caregivers to join us for the first 15 minutes of the camp day to meet the Camp Leader, Arts Mentors, and teachers, hear about the classes their campers will take that session, and learn more about the camp schedule and final showcase. Orientation will last around 30 minutes. 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 available to camp registrants.

What kind of medical and emergency information do you need for my teen?

We take medical situations and health care very seriously at our camp. Once you register your teen for camp, 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 teen will be allowed to attend camp without this signed form! If your teen 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 teens'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 teens 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 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.

Do you allow nuts at your camp?

Our camp is nut-free. Please make sure your teen'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.

Is there a uniform?

No, the teens do not wear a uniform. We do ask that everyone dresses 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.

Do you take field trips?

The only field trip we take is a short visit to the YouMedia branch at Sulzer Public Library. Sulzer is a five minute walk from the School and all campers are walked to and from the library by our camp staff.

I'm concerned about sun exposure. Do the teens 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 before we go outside. If your teen is allergic to a particular sunscreen or sunscreen ingredient, please let us know ahead of time so that we can help your teen avoid the allergen.

Does your camp offer an extended hours program?

We do not offer an extended hours program for Teen Camp.

What are your drop-off and pick-up procedures and attendance policies?

Campers are to arrive between 8:45 and 9:00 AM and will be dismissed at 3:00 PM. We encourage caregivers to authorize their campers to sign themselves in and out by checking the appropriate box on the Camper Information Form. Campers who do not have this box checked off will need to be picked up in person by an authorized adult from our "home base" classroom every day. Please inform the Camp Leader at the beginning of the session if your camper will be arriving late, leaving early, or missing a day of camp.

Questions? Contact the Camp Coordinator »