Summer camps keep youngsters active, engaged, and having fun
March 30, 2019

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

By Dolly Duplantier

Every summer, parents are challenged to find activities for youngsters and teens. A variety of organizations help them meet that challenge by providing both fun and educational activities. Supportive learning environments give moms and dads peace of mind, knowing that their children are active and engaged.

De La Salle Institute Academic and Sports Camps, 3434 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 842-7355, ext. 147,, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@DLSMeteors).

De La Salle Academic and Sports Camps are a great way for students to spend the summer. If you want to keep your grade school student busy this 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, current De La Salle faculty and staff members lead a number of four-day academic sessions for boys and girls featuring Algebra Fundamentals, Band, Creative Art, Drama, Learning to Code, Mobile App Development, Mock Trial, and Culinary Arts. The Culinary Arts program features a different session topic each week, including Breakfasts, Breads, Entrees, and Desserts.

De La Salle Sports Camps offer a number of exciting options for children in second grade through eighth grade, depending on the sport. These include Football, Baseball, and Wrestling for boys; Softball, Cheer Camp, and Dance for girls; and co-ed camps for Basketball, Boxing, Golf, Soccer, Lacrosse, Track and Field 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 the sport.

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 10, and run through Thursday, July 25.

For a complete list with age requirements, visit You can register and make payment online at

At the Fortson Fine Arts Center, children will spend a fun-filled week learning the basics of ukulele, guitar, percussion, singing, and music art.

Fortson Fine Arts Center Summer Camps, 1550 S. State St., (312) 469-0667.,, Facebook, Instagram.

Looking for a summer camp that will nurture your child’s love of music and art? At the Fortson Fine Arts Center Summer Camp, children ages four through 12 will spend a fun-filled week learning the basics of ukulele, guitar, percussion, singing, and music art. Small groups based on age allow campers to create, explore, and let out their musician and artist. Camp is designed to be fun while inspiring students to create and enjoy their summer. No experience is needed.

Studio owner Sheila Fortson began the Fortson Fine Arts Studio as a way to broaden her passion to educate the young and young at heart. A member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Fortson has a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and a master’s in interdisciplinary art. She has over 20 years of experience teaching, plus a 15-year background in choral conducting. In addition, all of the camp instructors are background-checked and professionally trained in their instrument of piano, voice, guitar, ukulele, drums, or art. 

Campers with their own ukulele or guitar are asked to bring them to camp. Otherwise, instruments and art supplies will be provided. Parents are also asked to provide two snacks, lunch, a water bottle, and sunscreen. Fortson is a nut-free zone. The cost of camp is $360 per week. Hours are Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Extended daycare is available from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for $75 per week. Weekly sessions begin the Mondays of July 15, 22, 1nd 29. Register online at

The Hi-Five Sports Camp Chicago helps youngsters have a good time and learn teamwork and sportsmanship no matter what their skill level.

Hi-Five Sports Camp Chicago, 1430 W. Adams St., (312) 226-6555,,, Facebook, Instagram.

Hi-Five Sports Camp Chicago is back again for another summer of keeping your child active, healthy, and happy. Hi-Five provides safe, cutting-edge, skill-developing programs in which no matter the child, the goal remains the same: have a great time and learn the value of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Offering a full menu of team sports designed for boys and girls from pre-k to 8th grade, Hi-Five Sports Camp Chicago is about more than winning and losing – it is about teamwork, playing hard and playing fair, making new buddies, and enjoying the camaraderie. The camp is as encouraging as it is challenging, as safe as it is high-energy, and as instructional as it is fun. At Hi-Five Sports Camp Chicago, fun is the name of the game.

The camp offers experienced professional coaches who promote the fundamentals through personalized instruction and positive reinforcement. Their mission is to stress the importance of building self-esteem while always maintaining a sense of humor.

Hi-Five Sports Camp Chicago features a different sports theme every week such as NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, Olympic, World Cup, and Collegiate Week. There is non-stop fun and no two days are alike. Campers experience exciting field trips to water parks and professional ballgames, an instructional swim program, and an all-you-can-eat hot lunch featuring Chicago’s favorites such as Lou Malnati’s Pizza, Fontano’s Subs, and Hi-Five’s famous Friday cookouts. Plus, door-to-door bus transportation is included while After Camp Care also is available.

Camp sessions begin Monday, June 17, on the 11-acre campus of Whitney Young Magnet High School on Adams Street in the West Loop. Hi-Five’s new Field of Dreams will occupy the brand new Michelle Obama Sports Complex. Flexible two, four, six, or eight-week programs are offered with customized three, five, or seven-week schedules to accommodate busy families. Register online or telephone (312) 226-6555.

The Pui Tak Center and Pui Tak Christian School will offer the JSP Jump Start Program for students entering pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

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, Monday, July 1, through Friday, Aug. 16. Students can register for the whole seven weeks for $950, the first four weeks for $600, or the last three weeks of the program for $500. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Before school and after school care also is available at an additional cost. Child Care Assistance (CCAP) is 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, (312) 328-1188, or Chen Zhuang at the Pui Tak Christian School (312) 842-8546.

SAY of Chicago is a co-ed recreational youth soccer organization dedicated to “Kids Having Fun.”

Soccer Association for Youth (SAY) of Chicago,,, Twitter, Facebook.

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 volunteer run, 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 in which youngsters, ages four through 15, learn the basics of the game, as well as the merits of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Celebrating its 20th year, SAY serves more than 650 children from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds throughout the Chicagoland area. The 2019 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 Monday, April 29) is $110 or $130, depending on the age bracket. Fees include a season of soccer (22 games, weather permitting), team uniform (jersey, shorts, and socks), player award, individual and team photos, and referees (for U9, U12, and U15 only). 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 at 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.

Sean Phillips Soccer, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, (312) 848-6160,,, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

This summer, take your child’s soccer skills to a whole new level, learning from championship winning soccer coaches and players. Held on the south campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Sean Phillips Soccer Day Camp is designed for boys and girls ages four through 14. UIC Head Men’s Soccer Coach Sean Phillips has 19 years of collegiate coaching experience at the Division 1 level and over 21 years of experience coaching and operating soccer camps for players of all ages and levels. The camp staff is composed of UIC coaches, current and former players from the UIC men’s and women’s soccer programs, and other select Chicago area coaches.

Teaching is done through technical training with games-based activities such as soccer tennis, as well as small and larger sided games throughout the day with the mindset that the game belongs to the kids. The goal of each program is to specifically address the individual players so that they learn more about themselves and the game while growing their passion for soccer.

The camp also offers goalkeeper-specific training through a partnership with nationally known Camp Shutout. This program is designed for boys and girls ages ten through 18 who want to receive specialized goalkeeper training.

Five weekly sessions are offered beginning Monday, June 10. Full day sessions run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; half-day options are 9 a.m. to noon. Early drop off and late pick up options are also available. Register online at