Youngsters can learn while having fun at various summer camps
April 7, 2017

By Dolly Duplantier

Giving youngsters and teens something to do in summer always is a challenge for parents, but a variety of organizations are ready to provide fun and educational activities. Moms and dads can rest easy knowing that their youngsters and teens will be well cared for in supportive learning environments.

Hubbard Street Youth Dance Camps offer creative and technical performance opportunities all summer long.

Chicago Park District, 541 N. Fairbanks Ct., (312) 742-7529 or (312) 747-2001 (TTY),,, Facebook, Twitter (@ChicagoParks),Instagram. Looking to keep your kids active, engaged, and safe this summer Explore the Chicago Park District’s Summer Camps, Monday, June 26, through Friday, Aug. 4. Chicago Park District staff take great pride in planning an awesome summer day camp experience for their campers. Each week of camp includes energetic team building and cooperative games, visual arts and writing activities, outdoor and environmental education, performing arts and imaginative play, and active games and fitness activities. The standard six-week camp is for children ages six through 12 and offers unique arts and crafts, sports, team games, and other recreational activities. In addition, campers will have fun with nature, go on weekly field trips, and make regular visits to the local pool or beach. The Chicago Park District also offers a Play Camp for children ages three-tofive years old and a Teen Camp for 13-to-15 year olds. Numerous specialty camps are also available, including Sports Camps. Late Summer Camps take place August 7 through 11 or 18 (varies by park). Online registration begins Monday, April 24, at 9 a.m. for parks located west of California Ave., and on Tuesday, April 25, at 9 a.m. for parks located east of California Ave. In-person registration opens Saturday, April 29, at most locations. Early bird and extended options offer convenient hours to cover the full day (8-to-ten hours, varies by park). Financial assistance is available for eligible Chicago residents. Visit the Chicago Park District website for details.

De La Salle Institute Academic and Sports Camps, 3434 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 842-7355, ext. 147,, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@DLSMeteors). Want to keep your grade school student busy in June and July? De La Salle Institute offers a wide variety of academic and sports camps to exercise the mind and body. Whether your child needs to improve his or her math skills or would like to learn something new, the De La Salle Academic and Sports Camps are a great way for students to spend the summer. Current De La Salle faculty and staff members lead four-day academic sessions featuring Algebra Fundamentals, Creative Art, Culinary
Arts, Drama, French, History Detectives, Mandarin Chinese for Beginners, Robotics with Arduinos, and 3D Printing and Design.

De La Salle Sports Camps offer a wide variety of options for children in second grade through eighth grade, depending on the sport. These include Football, Baseball, and Wrestling for boys, Softball for girls, and co-ed camps for Basketball, Boxing, Golf, Soccer, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Speed, Tennis, and Volleyball. The De La Salle varsity coaching staff runs the sports camps stressing fundamentals, as well as skills and techniques needed to succeed in all facets of sport.

The De La Salle Academic and Sports Camps also provide a great opportunity for your middle school student to learn more about the high school environment and what it takes to succeed. Camps begin the week of Monday, June 19, and run through Thursday, July 20. For a complete list with age requirements, visit the De La Salle website. Hubbard Street Youth Dance Program, 1147 W. Jackson Blvd., 312-850-9744,,, Facebook, Twitter.

Hubbard Street Youth Dance Camps offer creative and technical performance opportunities all summer long for young dancers, beginner to advanced ages 18 months to 18 years. The Dance Explorers Camps are the perfect opportunity for new and experienced campers, ages five to nine, to explore techniques that support contemporary dance, including ballet, West African Dance, jazz, hip-hop, and musical theater. If you have very young children, consider Hubbard Street’s Parent-Child Mini Camp (18 months to three years) or their Little Movers Half Day Camp (three to five years). Students wiggle and giggle as they establish a lifelong love of dance, exploring their world through creative movement activities, and Story Time Dance. Make sure to check out three new exciting workshops for 2017—Teen Workshop (ages 12-to-16), Hip-Hop Sampler (ages nine-to-18), and African Roots of Hip-Hop (ages nine-to-18).

The Junior Intensive program is for beginner/intermediate dancers. Three one-week sessions are offered beginning Monday, July 10. This program is ideal for emerging dancers who are working toward intermediate and advanced course work. Junior Intensive students take ballet, modern, jazz, improvisation, and composition courses. Students perform for family and friends at the conclusion of each week. No audition required. Students must audition on Sunday, April 30, for the Intermediate/Advanced Intensive. This session is ideal for serious dancers who are working towards advanced and pre-professional course work. Students take ballet, modern, contemporary, Pilates, yoga, improvisation, and composition courses. Dancers perform for family and friends at the conclusion of each week. The more you dance, the more you save. Discounts are available for multiple sessions. For complete details about each program including age requirements, dates, times, and cost, visit the website.

JSP – Jump Start Program, 2216 S. Wentworth Ave. or 2301 S. Wentworth Ave., (312) 328-1188 (Pui Tak Center) or (312) 842-8546 (Pui Tak Christian School),,, Facebook ( The Pui Tak Center and Pui Tak Christian School have worked together for decades serving Chinatown and Chicagoland neighborhoods by offering community and academic programming to new immigrants, children, youth, and adults. This summer, they will once again offer the JSP – Jump Start Program, a seven-week program for all students entering pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Students will review and prepare for the next school year through an engaging, creative summer curriculum that includes academics, field trips, gym games, and inspiring Bible activities. Each day, students will be challenged in math, reading, writing, and phonics, as well as take part in arts and movement while learning the Bible and participating in physical education during gym games.

Students will gain hands–on learning experiences during weekly field trips, engage in teamwork, and build relationships with peers through special events like mini Olympics and a summer carnival. The JSP – Jump Start Program will take place at the Pui Tak Center and Pui Tak Christian School beginning Monday, July 3, and running through Friday, Aug. 18. Students can register for the whole seven weeks for $900, the first four weeks for $550, or the last three weeks of the program for $450. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Before school and after school care is also available at an additional cost. Child Care Assistance (CCAP) accepted for those qualified. Parents may register at the Pui Tak Center or Pui Tak Christian School. For more information, contact Karen Lee at the Pui Tak Center or Sarah Tang at the Pui Tak Christian School.

Latin Street Music & Dancing Kids Summer Dance Camp, 600 W. Roosevelt Rd, Suite 2W, (312) 427-2572 or (312) 42-SALSA,,, Facebook and Instagram (LatinStreet-Dancing), Twitter (LatinSD). This summer, make new friends; learn to dance, and exercise. Get ready to dance Hip Hop, Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Samba, Urban Latin, and more at the Latin Street Kids Dance Camp. Kids ages six through 18, can choose from one, two, or three dance groups of rhythms or sign up for all of them. Dance with the experts. Latin Street Music & Dancing has created international dance instructors and world champions, as well as spread the love of dancing everywhere. For almost 20 years, it has been the leader and the running engine of Latin dancing in Chicago and the United States. Located in the South Loop, the organization’s seven-week program begins at the end of June. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For complete details, visit the website.

De La Salle Institute offers a wide variety of sports and academic camps, including an opportunity for participants to learn the culinary arts.

Mathnasium of Chicago – West Loop, 8 S. Peoria St., (312) 344-3828,,, Facebook. This summer, youngsters in grades PK through 12 can score big with Mathnasium! The summer programs help youngsters excel at math, resulting in improved grades and increased self-confidence. Instructors teach math in a way that makes sense, ensuring students also enjoy math. Mathnasium’s summer programs are designed to combat summer learning loss and help youngsters retain what they have learned during the school year so they are well equipped for a strong start in the fall. The Mathnasium Method focuses on instructing students who need help improving their basic math skills or enrichment through exposure to challenging math concepts. Parents typically enroll their students for six-to-12 months and students visit the learning center two-to-three times per week. An initial assessment test is given to each student and then a custom-learning plan with appropriate worksheets is created for each. Qualified instructors who love math and enjoy teaching youngsters are available at the center to assist students during their weekly visits.

Mathnasium provides a unique teaching method that helps youngsters catch up and get ahead in math, while making the subject fun and engaging. Take advantage of the Summer Program Discount: 15% off the Mathnasium month-tomonth rate for one, two, or threemonth summer enrollments. Schedule your summer session now and combat the summer slide.

Mother McAuley Summer Camps, 3737 W. 99th St., (773) 881-6500,, Facebook, Twitter (@McAuleyMacs), Instagram (mothermcauley). From Sports to Art and Theatre to Technology, there’s something for your child to explore at the Mother McAuley Summer Camps. Beginning the week of Monday, June 12, and running through the end of July, Mother McAuley camps are for students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. The Theatre and Technology camps are co-ed, and all others are for girls.

Sports Camps – Mother McAuley’s athletic program has a rich tradition, built on success, hard work, and Mighty Mac pride. Join varsity coaches for camps in Basketball, Bowling, Diving, Golf, Lacrosse, Running, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, and Water Polo. Ages, dates, and times vary by camp.

Creative Writing – Participate in a variety of creative writing activities using iPad technology designed for girls who love to write. Instructors will encourage a love of the written word, or in this case, the electronic word.

Technology – Students focus on creation, collaboration, and sharing ideas with the world by creating school and personal projects using various applications to publish works for written, audio, and video platforms.

Visual Arts – Through a variety of fun practice activities, individualized instruction, and creative projects, campers will develop drawing, painting, and sculpting skills and techniques.

Theatre & Music – Open to girls and boys, campers will practice singing, dancing, and acting in preparation for the performances of Lion King and Mulan at the end of camp.

Mini MAC Camp – This enrichment camp provides hands-on, project based sessions that give girls the opportunity to explore creative environments. Each day explores something different, including Art, Music, Theatre, Technology, Science, Sports, and World Culture. Visit the Mother McAuley website for specific camp dates, age requirements, pricing, and online registration.

Mount Carmel High School Summer Camps, 6410 S. Dante Ave., (773) 324-1020,, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Whether your child is interested in academics, sports, or both, he can spend the summer learning with the Caravan at one of their many academic and sports camps. Mount Carmel’s Academic Camps continue a tradition of academic excellence. Courses include Architecture, Stand Up Comedy, Chicago History, and Greek/Roman Mythology. All academic camps are open to grammar school boys fifth grade and older and incoming Mount Carmel freshmen. Experience the
kills and drills of Mount Carmel’s Caravan Athletics program. All camps take place at Mount Carmel High School, except the Golf camp located at Lincoln Oaks Golf Course. Sign up for an athletic camp to learn more from Mount Carmel’s coaches and student-athletes. Basketball, Wrestling, Soccer, Golf, Lacrosse and Baseball camps are open to grammar school boys Kindergarten age and above and incoming Mount Carmel freshmen. Rugby camp is open to first grade through seventh grade boys and incoming Mount Carmel freshmen. Football and Swimming camp are open to grammar school boys in fifth grade and older and incoming Mount Carmel

All camps run Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon, except Wrestling and Lacrosse, which take place Monday through Thursday, noon to 3 p.m.

Groups of five or more receive a discounted group rate. Bring a team or club to Mount Carmel for members to enjoy summer camp with friends. Contact Sue Doheny at (773) 359-0429 to schedule a group for a summer camp. Transportation is included to all of their camps, except for the off-site golf camp. For more detailed information, including dates and registration forms, visit the school’s website,

Sean Phillips Soccer Camp, held at UIC Soccer Fields, (312) 848-6106,,, Facebook, Twitter (@SPhillipsSoccer). Celebrating its 12th year of soccer camps at UIC, Sean Phillips Soccer Camp is one of Chicago’s premier environments for soccer players of all ages, levels, and interest. UIC Soccer Head Coach Sean Phillips surrounds himself with talented and experienced staff who work to develop each camper’s abilities and further a passion for the game. Coach Phillips and his staff provide every player with the opportunity to train within a competitive environment and further their soccer development. Campers are divided by age and ability. Sessions focus on fundamental soccer skills and technical development. Individual and small group activities and games ensure further enjoyment of the game and improved performance. Players also are exposed to tactical ideas using various small- and large-sided games. Sean Phillips Soccer Camp offers a choice of five half-day and full-day weekly camp sessions. Weeks start on the Mondays of June 12, June 19, June 26, July 10, and July 17. Camps are open to boys and girls, ages four through 14. All campers should bring a snack to camp. Full-day campers should bring lunch or may choose a lunch option for an additional $55 per camper for the week. Campers are required to have their own clearly marked soccer ball and water bottle at camp.

Half-day camps are from 9 a.m. to noon and are for players ages four to 14. Full day options are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are for ages six to 14 years old. Morning sessions will focus on technical development, while the afternoon will focus on tactical objectives. Online registration is now available at Sign up for multiple sessions and save.

Mathnasium summer programs help youngsters excel at math, resulting in improved grades and increased self-confidence.

Saint Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt Rd., (312) 432-8306 /(312) 432-8448 (academics) or 312-432-8442 (athletics), sean.o’,, Facebook, Twitter. This summer, engage and challenge your son or daughter at a Wolfpack summer camp. Saint Ignatius offers a wide variety of athletic camps and academic programs for students of different ages. Taste of Ignatius academic enrichment programs are for Junior High students in seventh and eighth grade. Courses offered include Classical Mythology, JAVA Programming Basics, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science Excitement, Beginning Band, Current Events and History, Model United Nations, Introductory Spanish, and World War II and the Movies. Session I runs Monday, June 12, through Friday, June 30. Session II runs Thursday, July 6, to Friday, July 21. Academic courses will fill on a first-come, first-served basis.

Summer with the Pack Athletic Camps are for students in third grade and up. Age requirements and dates vary for each camp. Camps for boys include Baseball, Basketball, Football, Lacrosse, Soccer, Volleyball, and Distance Running. Girls’ camps include Basketball, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Volleyball, and Softball. Cross Country, Tennis, Sailing, Rowing, Track and Field, Swimming and Diving, and Water Polo camps area co-ed. For more information and to
register online visit:

Santa Lucia Summer Educational Enrichment (SEE), 3017 S. Wells St., (312) 326-1839, esheedy@,, Facebook.

Enhance your child’s summer with SEE, a summer school program designed to offer enriching activities and allow students to have fun while continuing their learning into the summer. SEE combines academic and enrichment activities for kids in Pre-K to eighth grade. Students will enjoy field trips, park outings, and outdoor activities, as well as sessions for art, drama, cooking, singing, crafts, and more. STEM activity centers are a new addition for this summer. Campers will use Legos and STEM kits to develop their math and engineering skills. Junior high students will experience other cultures while working with exchange students from China.
SEE runs Monday, June 12, through Friday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Morning care is available beginning at 7:30 a.m. After care runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Register by the week or for all eight weeks. For more information, visit the school’s website or call the office.

Soccer Association for Youth (SAY) of Chicago,, Online enrollment now is open for Soccer Association for Youth of Chicago’s popular summer soccer league. Established in 1999, SAY of Chicago is a not-for-profit co-ed recreational youth soccer organization dedicated to “Kids Having Fun.” It is part of a national organization dedicated to providing an affordable, safe, and enriching environment where kids learn the basics of the game, as well as the merits of teamwork and good sportsmanship. SAY of Chicago serves over 650 children ages four through 15. Players live throughout the Chicagoland area and represent all ethnic and economic backgrounds. The 2017 season runs from early June through mid August.

The SAY league is non-competitive and is divided into five different co-ed age divisions. These include U5, U7, U9, U12 (Jr. Premiere), and U15 (Premiere). Each team will play two games per week on Tuesdays and Fridays at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) turfed fields located at 14th and Morgan Streets; these fields are considered some of the best in the city. Early bird registration fee (through Tuesday, May 2) is $100 or $125, depending on the age bracket. Fees include a season of soccer (22 games weather permitting), uniform (jersey, shorts, and socks), trophy, individual and team photos, referees (for U9 and older), and an end of season celebration. Divisions fill up quickly, so those interested are urged to sign up as soon as possible. The SAY program is run and operated 100% by parent volunteers. The league is dependent on participation of all parents as well as the generous support of sponsors. Volunteer assistance helps provide a well-run program for all players as an affordable cost. Every parent is expected to help in some capacity. Volunteer opportunities include coach, assistant coach, team manager, picture day assistant, and others. Descriptions of each position can be found on the SAY Chicago website. Consider contributing some of your time to help the league accomplish its mission. All that is needed is the desire to help.

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Summer Lab, 1362 E. 59th Street, (773) 834-7766,, Want your child to have an exciting summer filled with great memories? Sign up for the University of Chicago’s Summer Lab. Children ages three to 17 can choose from five programs: Adventure Kids Day Camp (Grades one through eight); Fun in the Sun (Grades nursery through eight; Summer School (Grades nursery through 12); Sports Camps (Grades nursery through eight); and Summer Lab on Stage (Grades five through eight). Camps begin Monday, June 19, and run through Friday, July 28. Complimentary bus service is available. All programs are fun and inspire curiosity, creativity, and confidence in each child. Summer Lab students make new friends, learn new skills, explore the environment, perform, and more. Adventure Kids Day Camp offers a safe, high- energy, and rewarding program packed with fun, friendships, and new memories. Activities include field trips, specialty classes, swimming, sports and games, arts and crafts, camp performances, theme weeks, special event days, and local adventures.

Boys can spend the summer learning with Mount Carmel teachers and coaches at one of their many academic and sports camps.

Summer Lab on Stage combines acting and music into a fun and rewarding theatre experience. Energetic productions begin with singing, dancing, and acting on the first day. The grand finale culminates with a pair of matinees and an evening show. Fun in the Sun is a two–hour day camp offering a variety of activities including arts and crafts, cooking and baking, sports and games, beach parties, dancing, museum visits, and more with engaging, caring, experienced counselors. Children in Grades three through eight have swimming twice a week, while those in grades nursery through two enjoy water play in wading pools and sprinklers. Campers in grades three through eight will also go to the beach.

The Summer Lab Sports Camp is a recreational sports camp for children of all ability levels. Love of the game, fair play, and good sportsmanship rank high among teaching and coaching objectives. All sports camps use Lab’s state-of-the-art facilities. Children entering Nursery through second grade will participate in a rotation of sports during a three-week period. The rotation consists of Little Big Leaguers, Little Strikers, and Fit Fun and Games. Third through eighth graders may select one of the following camps: Basketball, Gymnastics, Soccer, Swim Instruction, and Tennis. They can participate in one or both threeweek sessions.

Summer School offers academic enrichment programs such as Math, Reading, Writing, Science, Art, Cooking, and more. For a complete list of classes and activities, as well details about each camp, pricing, and dates, visit the Summer Lab website. Urban Christian Academy (UCA), 3039 S. Normal (New Life Community Church), (773) 420-9346 (English), (773) 818-6421 (Chinese),,, Facebook. Committed to providing a summer environment that strengthens core academic skills, teaches students to become active learners, and promotes positive social skill development, UCA’s Enrichment Center is now enrolling incoming kindergarten through ninth grade students for its summer academic program. UCA is a nonprofit organization founded in 2014. Taught by qualified teachers, students will work to strengthen reading and math skills in preparation for the next grade. To complement the academic program, students also will have opportunities for sports, art, music, and field trips. Students needing extra English-language (English as a Second Language) support will receive additional instruction in reading, writing, and math skill development. The summer program runs Monday, June 26, through Friday, Aug. 11. Program hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with options for Before and After School care until 6 p.m. Their flexible schedule allows families to mix and match to fit their summer plans. Select all seven weeks or mix and match. Early Bird Discount applies if registered before Friday, April 14. For complete details and to register online, visit the website.

West Loop Soccer Club, 160 S. Aberdeen St., (224) 634-0504,, info@, Facebook, Twitter (@westloopsoccer). Located in the heart of the West Loop, this premier youth soccer program for children ages two-to-12 was founded by a group of parent volunteers and professional youth soccer coaches with a single mission: To provide a superior and consistent youth soccer program for an affordable price. The club welcomes youth to join its organization and master soccer skills in a competitive, yet fun and family oriented environment. The Spring Soccer program offers co-ed and girls- only soccer programs. The club’s development philosophy is based on creating intelligent soccer players who express themselves without fear of making mistakes. The heart and soul of the organization is its coaching staff. All of the coaches are former professional and All-American collegiate players who hold some of the most prestigious licenses and awards both nationally and internationally. The spring season begins Friday, April 14, and runs through Sunday, June 4. Players meet every Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday 9 to 10 a.m. at Skinner Park.