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Summer Camps

We set the bar “high” for our camps. It is why more and more kids in Highland Park and on Chicago’s north shore continue to spend their summers with us. 
Your child will have a chance to get a little dirty, make new friends, build self-esteem and spend time every day in the great outdoors. Children from ages 3 – 16 years old will be part of a team and have a sense of belonging. Most importantly, your child will have a chance to “be a kid” throughout the summer! 

Due to COVID-19, many of our facilities are closed, and programs are canceled.  See updated information on facilities and programs here.


Select A Page:

If the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order and Restore Illinois Plan permit, the Park District will provide a modified version of summer camp beginning July 6. 

Resident camp families who are pre-registered for camp will receive priority registration. More information will be available in the coming weeks. 


Find Your Adventure at Summer Camp!

Choose from over 25 summer camps! You are sure to find that special camp that fits your child’s unique interests and your busy schedule. Our summer camp program has become a favorite within the Chicago North Shore area. 

Plus, you can’t beat the Park District for a truly terrific camp experience at affordable prices! 


Flexible Options

Make summer camp a breeze for you and your family with these great options:                                                                                                                                                                                               

2020 Session Lengths & Dates:
7 Weeks: June 15-Jul 31 
4 Weeks: Jun 15-Jul 10
3 Weeks: Jul 13-Jul 31

Mini Camps Aug 3-Aug 14

Busing… Door-to-door bus service is available for many of our camps within the Highland Park area. 
Extended Care… Before & After Camp offers convenient care in the mornings and afternoons when you need to extend the day a little longer.

Camps are structured with a variety of activities and outdoor play to maximize the fun and contribute to your child’s physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development. 

Our staff is trained to reinforce the value of friendship, good sportsmanship, a celebration of achievement, and “Can Do” attitudes.

Find your adventure at the Park District of Highland Park Summer Camps! 

Before & After Care
Before/After CampGrades 1-8Gear up for camp or wind-down after the day is done.
Swim 'N Gym After CampGrades 1-8Finish your camp day with a splash! Spend the afternoon swimming in the indoor pool and playing in the gym.
Counselor In Training
CIT Leadership CampGrades 7-10Have an adventurous summer and be a role model for young campers. CITs develop skills perfect for future jobs, no matter your career path!
Early Childhood & Kindergarten
Camp Sunshine & More Camp SunshineAges 3-5The perfect "first camp" opportunity. Each day is filled with exploration, socialization, confidence building and creating memories!
Variety Camps
Crew CampsJunior Crew: Grades 1-2

Senior Crew: Grades 3-5

NEW! Senior Crew XL: Grades 6-8
No need to choose one favorite activity... we have them all! Crew is the total package!
Into the Wild
Grades 3-6Give your 'super sleuth' a chance to uncover the wonders of the natural world through play, exploration, games and crafts with this week long camp offering different themes each week.
Creative Camps
Camp Big Top/Little TopGrades 4-8Add some magic to the summer and join the circus for a once in a lifetime 4-week camp experience. All campers participate in the Showcase under the big top at the end of camp.
SpotlightersJunior Spotlighters: Grades 1-2

Senior Spotlighters: Grades 3-7
Spend your summer acting, dancing, and singing your your way to the big stage!
Nature Camps
High Tide, Low Tide
Grades 1-4Explore our beach world where sandcastles are built to new heights, treasures are found daily, and friendships only grow stronger!
TrekkersGrades 5-6Adventure Seekers Wanted! Make your own path through the wilderness at this non-competitive, out of the ordinary adventure camp!
Outdoor Adventure CampGrades 7-9From camping under the stars, speeding through the trees on a zip line, and seeing nature's beauty while paddling across the open water. Build confidence and experience the great outdoors this summer!
Sports Camps
Jr. Varsity SportsGrades 1-4Get outside for an action-packed summer playing sports and having fun along the way!
Varsity SportsGrades 5-8Sports are fun, but it is REALLY fun when you can play with your friends and become a better player along the way!
Girls Play Strong CampGrades 3-6Learn from the best sports instructors in the area, build meaningful friendships, and take on new adventures all summer long!
Girls Play Golf CampAges 8-14Looking to start your camp season with something different this 1 week class teaches girls the basics of golf!
HP Golf Academy Pick-a-WeekAges 8-14All the greatness of HP Golf Academy with the flexibility to pick your week!
Highland Park Golf AcademyAges 8-14Get into the game with the finest in PGA golf instruction! We'll give you the tools to improve and have fun playing!
Half Day PGA Golf Academy
Ages 7-13Learn from the best. Taught by Park District PGA of America Professionals, these camps guarantee skill development in the games fundamental areas including full swing, putting and chipping.
Tennis AcademyAges 7-16Whether you are a serious player or picking up a racquet for the first time, the Academy is a great way to build fundamentals.
End-of-Summer Mini Camps
Mini Camp SunshineAges 3-5Continue the camp fun! we'll enjoy field trips, arts and crafts, outdoor game, songs, and story time!
Tennis Mini CampAges 7-16Extend your summer tennis camp experience with expanded instruction in tennis basics.
Mini CrewGrades 1-5Extend your summer with games and activities. Get creative in arts, and come along for fun field trips!
Hook, Line and SinkerGrades 4-8For fish-fanatics! Perfect for boys and girls who love to fish.. or those who would like to learn!
Girls' Outdoor ChallengeGrades 4-8Challenge yourself (and your new best friends) to exciting new outdoor experiences!
NEW! Accelerated Prep Golf AcademyAges 12-17Prepare for your High School golf season by participating in the accelerated golf academy that provides PGA instruction and daily play at Sunset Valley Golf Club.

Age Requirements

  • When choosing an age-appropriate camp for your child, please to sure to use the grade that your child will be entering in fall 2020
  • Preschool campers must be of age by the first day of camp
  • Five-year olds must be entering Grade K in 2020

Staff Supervision

  • Each camp is supervised daily by a qualified adult director.
  • Some camps, depending on size, also have an assistant director.
  • Each camp’s high school- or college-age counselors are chosen carefully by the Park District for their demonstration of maturity and enthusiasm.

All camp staff members complete an extensive training program, which includes supervision and safety techniques, activity development and first aid.

Camp Session Refund Policy

Full Camp:
1. A full refund (less a $50 service charge per camp session) will be given if a camp refund form is properly submitted to the Park District before 5pm, Feb 28. This cutoff date also applies to the second session of camp.
2. A full refund (less a $200 service charge per camp session) will be given if a camp refund form is submitted to the Park District after 5pm, Feb 28 and before 5pm, May 10. This cutoff date also applies to the second session of camp.
3. No refunds are granted after 5pm, May 10. There are no exceptions to this policy. This cutoff date also applies to the second session of camp.
4. Bus transportation fees for all services are not refundable after 5pm, April 19.

Mini Camp and Extended Camp:

A full refund (less a $50 service charge per camp session) will be given if a camp refund form is submitted to the Park District before 5pm, June 14. No refunds are granted after this date. There are no exceptions to this policy.


  • For all camps, transfers from one camp to another must be made before 5pm, April 19.
  • If additional fees are required, payment is due at the time of transfer.
  • Registrations and the applicable payments are not transferable between individuals. No refunds are granted after this date. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Parent Manuals

Parent manuals for camps beginning in June are mailed at the end of May.  Manuals contain all of the information you’ll need to know about camp, including lunch, field trips, swimming activities, camp clothes, hours, busing schedules, and more.

Camp Location Changes

Please note that a camp location may be changed from time to time due to unforeseen building repairs and construction schedules. The Park District of Highland Park would like to recognize and thank School District 112 and 113 for use of their facilities.

Communicating with Us

  • Contacting the Office… If you need to leave a message for staff members or call in for a sick child, call 847.831.3810 beginning at 8 am, Monday – Friday, June 17-August 2.
  • Contacting Your Child’s Camp Director…  All camp directors are equipped with a cell phone.
    Peace of mind and the safety of your camper are only a phone call away!
  • Reporting Safety Concerns… We are committed to providing a safe place for recreational activities and encourage you  to report safety concerns about our facilities and parks by calling 847.831.3968.  Leave a message any time of the day, seven days a week. We want to know if you see something that concerns you.
  • Camp Newsletter… In keeping with the Park District Green Initiative, our camp newsletters are paperless. The newsletters will be emailed to you and most camp newsletters are available on the Park District website.

Health and Safety

Emergency Form
The Park District does not require children to have a medical examination to attend camp. However, it is important to accurately complete the emergency form that is included in your parent manual. If your child has special needs such as allergies, phobias or medical alerts such as epilepsy or asthma, please include this information with home and work phone numbers on the form we provide. These forms must be returned to your camper’s director on the first day of camp.

Medical Forms
Staff with advanced training in first-aid, AED and emergency response is accessible to staff during camp hours by cell phone and reviews all emergency forms, medical forms and accident reports, assists in medical distribution, checks first aid supplies and assists in other areas.

Special Accommodations ADA Information
The Park District of Highland Park encourages participation by everyone! If you or a family member have special needs and would like to participate in a program, we will be happy to make reasonable modification(s) to meet your needs. Please indicate on the registration form or online if you would like information regarding our inclusion programs and/or specifically identifying any need for and request for reasonable modification(s) according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Park District of Highland Park provides recreational opportunities for all residents of Highland Park. People with and without disabilities are encouraged and invited to register for all Park District of Highland Park programs of interest. People with disabilities will not be discriminated against in the delivery of Park District of Highland Park programs.

To discuss our policies, programs or services or to raise a claim of discrimination on the basis of disability, contact Liza McElroy, our ADA Coordinator, at 847.831.3810.

Friendship Requests

Friendship requests may only be submitted for:

  • Junior Crew, Senior Crew & Senior Crew XL
  •  Junior Varsity & Varsity Sports
  • Girls Play Strong
  • Coast Guardians
  • Sand Trackers
  • Junior & Senior Spotlighters
  • Camp Big Top/Little Top (Session I only)

In the spirit of teaching children adaptability, friendship requests serve to join a pair of campers rather than separate them.  Due to the unique structure of activities at all other camps, children are placed into camper groupings and friendship requests are not available.

Guidelines for friendship requests:
The Friendship Request Form is located in the center spread insert of the 2019 Summer Camp brochure

  • Only one friend may be placed with your child, and both must be entering the same grade in the fall and be of the same gender
  • You may only request one friend, and that friend must also request you (you may turn in your requests separately)
  • Friendship requests that list more than one friend will not be honored
  • Friendship requests are only accepted if the form in the brochure is completely filled out
  • Friendship requests are not accepted after 5pm, May 10
  • Friendship requests cannot be submitted online. Requests must be dropped off at West Ridge Center before May 10 at 5pm for online registration

High Tide, Low Tide| Grades 1-4 


Embark on a summer adventure along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Explore our beach world where sandcastles are built to new heights, treasures are found daily, and friendships only grow stronger! Sun, sand, and water adventures are waiting for you.

Camp Length Options…. 7, 4, or 3 weeks

Activities- Campers will explore and comb the shore for treasures at Rosewood Beach. Weekly field trips to Park District facilities (Hidden Creek AquaPark) and other fun locations that tie into the theme of the week, such as: Beach Treasure Week, Insect & Plants Week, and Camping Week. Participation in games, art projects, and science experiments will be enjoyed by all. A love for the beach and water is a must for this camp as days are spent exploring outdoors everyday.

Swimming- Each camper will enjoy instructional learn-to-swim lessons at the indoor pool at the Recreation Center of Highland Park. Campers are supervised by a certified lifeguard while swimming at the beach.

Staff & Camper/Staff Ratios- Staff members are certified in Red Cross First Aid and CPR  and the camper to staff ratio is 8:1.

Location- Rosewood Beach, 883 Sheridan Road

Contact- Amy Banner, 847.579.4184,


Trekkers | Grades 5-6

  Adventure seekers wanted! Make your own path through the wilderness at this noncompetitive, out of the ordinary adventure camp that fosters team building and self-confidence.

Camp Length Options…. 7, 4, or 3 weeks

Activities- Each session has multiple overnight campouts in other states, ranging from 1-3 nights (weekends excluded). Field trips are at Park District facilities (Hidden Creek AquaPark) and other adventure-based locations where social skills such as respect and responsibility are key. Campers will be crate climbing, caving, hiking, SCUBA diving, wake boarding and learning survival skills such as: starting a fire with one match, identifying edible wild plants and shelter building. Activities will challenge campers both mentally and physically in a safe environment.

Staff & Camper/Staff Ratios- Staff members are certified in Red Cross First Aid and CPR and the camper to staff ratio is 8:1.

Location-Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road

Contact-Meghan Meredith, 847.579.4183,

Outdoor Adventure Camp (OAC) | Grades 7-9

Prepare for adventure on a whole new level! The name says it all, this is the camp where you’ll spend most nights camping under the stars, speed through the trees on a zip line, and see nature’s beauty while paddling across the open water.

Camp Length Options…. 7, 4, or 3 weeks

Activities- Campers will be rock climbing, whitewater rafting, zip lining, kayaking and camping 2 overnight trips of two nights and 4 overnight trips of four nights, weekends excluded. Some camp-outs are located out of state. Campers will learn independence, teamwork, self confidence, and responsibility.

Staff & Camper/Staff Ratios- All OAC staff members are 21 years or older and are certified in Red Cross First Aid and CPR. Qualified instructors are used for various activities such as rock climbing and kayaking. The camper to staff ratio is 7:1.

Location- Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road

Contact- Amy Banner, 847.579.4184,

img_3722Junior Crew | Grades 1-2  (for details and registration, click here)

Senior Crew | Grades 3-7 (for details and registration, click here)

A typical day is anything but!  Crew  is filled with adventures, opportunities to make new friends, try new things, and enjoy the great outdoors!

Activities – Campers participate in a variety of activities including: theatre, cooking, martial arts, science experiments, sports, nature activities, water activities and themed days. We also enjoy field trips to the Amusement Parks, Dinner Shows, water parks in the Chicagoland Area, Rock Climbing, and more!  For fun in the sun and swimming we head to Hidden Creek Aqua Park and Rosewood Beach: Heller Nature Center to experience the Teams Course: Centennial Ice Arena for gymnastics; and the Recreation Center for swim lessons (Junior Crew only).

Camp Groups & Camper/Staff Ratios – 
Friendship requests must be completed correctly, mutual, and turned in by May 12 to West Ridge Center in order to be honored. Due to the unique structure of this camp, please note that groups will not be changed after the first day of camp. The staff to camper ratio for Junior Crew is 1:8 and Senior Crew is 1:10.

dscn0673Staff – Before hiring, all of our staff goes through a selective interview process, background check, and thorough training process prior to camp.Each staff member has different hobbies and experience in activities to make our camp staff just as well rounded as the camp program. The Camp Nurse travels around and is available throughout the day, every day, to ensure the safety of your camper.

Contact – Mariana Henriques,  847.579.3120 or



Into the Wild | Grades 3-6  (for details and registration, click on the week below that interests you)

Sneak through the trees, seek creatures in a magical forest, explore for birds, insects, plants, and animals. Give your ‘super sleuth’ a chance to uncover the wonders of the natural world through play, exploration, games and crafts!

Camp Length Options….one week. Every week of camp is a different theme and balance of science, wonder, discovery, and silliness! Choose one adventure or choose them all!

Activities- Campers will meet live animals, become an outdoor enthusiast and explorer, perform experiments, and swim. The weekly themes are:

Active games and hands on activities help with team building and strategy creation while getting an education of the natural world.

Swimming- Campers will swim once a week at Rosewood Beach or Hidden Creek Aqua Park, where campers are supervised by lifeguards certified in First Aid and CPR.

Staff & Camper/Staff Ratios- Staff members are certified in Red Cross first aid and CPR and the camper to staff ratio is 8:1.

Location- Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road

Contact- Meghan Meredith, 847.579.4183,