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From Ecology to Performing Arts: Summer Day Camps for Kids

By Laura Pearson | Monday, July 12, 2010

A young artist in a Kidstreet class gets into her work. Photo from the Kidstreet Chicago blog.

It goes without saying that there’s an endless array of summertime activities in Chicago, but if you have children, you may hear an all-too-familiar complaint (particularly on long, hot days in July and August): “I’m bored!”

Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for kids to reconnect with their peers and stay active this time of year, and day camp is one of the best ways to squelch midsummer malaise. It’s not too late to sign up for a variety of area day camps.

Waters Fine Arts School (4540 N. Campbell Ave.) is offering a free arts and ecology camp, Mondays through Thursdays (8 a.m. – noon) from July 19 to August 19. According to Julie Peterson, one of the instructors, “The goal of the summer camp is to give children a chance to learn about and develop their love of nature.” And the setting provides abundant opportunities to experience nature up close.

“The Summer Ecology Camp has the heavenly location of the Waters School Gardens, full of flowers, butterflies, birds, vegetable gardens, a log circle for stories and games, and plenty of room for arts, dance, and playing games,” Peterson says. “On hot days, we’ll get out the sprinkler for kids to cool off and have fun. It’s a great opportunity with some wonderful teachers and artists through the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education and Waters School.” The camp has only 30 slots available and is aiming to enroll students at the 2nd – 5th grade level (though there is some flexibility). If you’d like to sign up your child, email Julie4511@gmail.com. A PDF signup form is available here.

The Entertainment Project at Gordon Tech High School (3633 N. California Ave.) started its third session of performance art summer camp today, and there are still slots available for juniors (ages 5 – 11) and teens (ages 12 – 17). Session Three runs from July 12 – 30, and Session Four runs from August 2 – 20. The day camp features an action-packed schedule of acting, music, drama, dance, and art. Find registration info. here or call (773) 243-7729.

Speaking of action-packed: Each day at The Galaxie Kids Arts Camp (2603 W. Barry Ave.), kids ages 6 – 11 participate in six 50-minute classes focusing on fine art, martial arts, dance, theater, music, aerial arts, and more. Campers also take a trip to a nearby park for outdoor playtime. There’s limited availability for the remaining July session (July 19 – 23) and the two August sessions (Aug. 16 – 20 and 23 – 27). Go here to register.

Lillstreet Arts Center (4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.) still has openings in some of its Kidstreet classes and camps. The Ravenswood arts institution offers sessions ranging from making comics to throwing pottery to discovering ancient Egyptian art. You’ll find info. about registration and class availability here.

Know of any other area day camps for kids that still have openings? Feel free to add them in the comments section.

Correction (7/13/10): The art and ecology camp at Waters School is for students in 2nd through 8th grade.

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  • Julie P

    Laura, Thanks for spreading the word about all these great programs.

    By the way, the Waters program is 2nd-8th grade. It was not previously publicized enough so we are hoping to get enough kids signed up early this week to make sure the program goes and isn’t canceled. We started getting inquiries this morning as a result of this article, so things look good. If parents are interested, just email basic contact information to julie4511@gmail.com (as the article indicates) and I’ll forward the sign up sheet to you within the day. For some reason the link didn’t work for me, though it may work for others. Thanks!

  • http://laura-pearson.net/ Laura Pearson

    Thanks, Julie!

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