Haley Tweedell

Once again, we at the Weekly decided to present our guide to South Side summer camps in the spring, so that students and their families can begin planning out their not-so-dog-days well before school lets out. This guide features nearly thirty camps, youth programs, and internships for South Side kids to explore the best Chicago has to offer them. While there are many repeats, we’ve included some not seen before, like camps at the Adler and even a boat building camp.

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶


Art Summer Camp @ Olín Studio

Olín Studio Chicago, 1957 W. 23rd St. July 15August 9 (four weeks), MondayFriday, 9am3pm. Ages 712. $550 for the full duration, all art materials included. Weekly rates available upon request. Register before May 1 for $25 off. (312) 874-3170. olinstudiochicago.com/summer-camp

Send your young one to a “culturally rich summer experience” at Olín Studio in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood, offering lessons in different visual arts, Mexican folk dances, music, mindfulness, and more. (Sam Stecklow)

SkyWAY at SkyART

SkyART Studios, 3026 E. 91st St. July 8–August 30, Monday–Thursday, 1pm–3pm. Some field trips on Fridays. Ages 7-24. Free. (773) 731-9287. programs@skyart.org. skyart.org

SkyART, the South Chicago community arts center for young people, has its own teaching method it calls SkyWAY, which focuses on hands-on, creative projects instead of “lesson plans or set projects.” This summer’s eight-week session, free for everyone, will engage participants in a variety of activities—everything from cooking to 3D printing. (Christian Belanger)

The Revival Summer Camps

The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St. Week-long camps: June and July are full, weeks 5–8 held from August 5–August 30. Monday–Friday, 9am–3pm. Ages 6–12. $299. (Financial assistance available; email theater@the-revival.com for information.) classes@the-revival.com. the-revival.com/camps

The Revival, the two-year-old comedy club in Hyde Park, is offering week-long camps all summer. Attendees will participate in improv and music–related activities at The Revival’s theater, the nearby church, and neighborhood parks. Each week will culminate in a Friday performance in front of friends and family; for shyer campers, participation is “encouraged but not mandatory.” (Christian Belanger)

ASM Newsroom @ Urban Prep Academy-Englewood

Urban Prep Academy, 6201 S. Stewart Ave. June 24–August 13. MondayThursday, various times; Fridays 9am–1pm. Teens ages 14+. Free and paid. (312) 742-4182. Apply on afterschoolmatters.org (no deadline; applicants accepted on rolling basis)

After School Matters is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing teens with opportunities in the arts. The ASM Newsroom is a great opportunity for teens to get hands-on journalism experience and to explore how the media works within their own communities. Teens will explore their interest in media through photography, writing, and journalism. Teens will create a weblog as a final project and will receive a stipend. (Roderick Sawyer)

Intonation Rock and Pop Band

Walter H. Dyett High School for the Arts, 555 E. 51st St. July 1–August 8, Monday–Thursday, 10am–2pm. (312) 469-0554. Apply at afterschoolmatters.org or visit intonationmusic.org for more information.

Encourage your teen to join Intonation’s Rock and Pop Band to let them flex their inner rock star. This camp gives participants the opportunity to learn how to play music by picking up the instruments themselves—and will conclude with a showcase performance downtown in Millenium Park. (Michael Wasney)

KLEO: Performing Arts and Music Production

KLEO Community Family Life Center, 119 E Garfield Blvd. July 1–August 8. Monday–Thursday 9am–1pm. Ages 13–18. Free. (773) 363-6941. Apply at afterschoolmatters.org or visit kleocenter.org for more information.

Washington Park’s community-focused KLEO Center will become a hub for teen creativity once this program kicks off. Whether they take to the stage, the catwalk, or the mixing board, participants will gain firsthand experience with producing theatre and live shows. Opportunities for collaboration and live performance only sweeten the deal. (Christopher Good)

Praize Productions Performing Arts Summer Camp & Dance Intensive

Congregational Church of Park Manor, 7000 S. King Dr. July 1July 26, MondayFriday, 8:30am3:30pm. Ages 416. $300 with a $50 registration fee. Before and after-care services available for $5 per day or a $75 flat rate. Discounts for families enrolling multiple children. Breakfast and lunch provided. (312) 775-2046. praizeproductions.com/summer

Students enroll in intensive courses in dance, and an elective course, in this professionally-taught performing arts camp. The summer will culminate in a showcase of students’ acquired skills for friends and family. (Sam Stecklow)

After School Matters Youth Radio

Gallery37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph St. July 1–August 8. Monday–Thursday, 9am–1pm. Free; stipends provided to eligible participants. Ages 14+. (312) 742-4182. Apply on afterschoolmatters.org

This camp offers students interested in radio or storytelling the opportunity to create their own radio shows and podcasts from start to finish, including the processes of writing, producing, editing, and broadcasting. (Rachel Schastok)

Young Chicago Authors Write to the City

UIC School of Art & Art History, 400 S. Peoria St. July 8–12. $200. (773) 486-4331. bit.ly/WriteToTheCity

A group of more than 100 young poets, artists, and activists will take field trips to a wide variety arts and culture institutions across Chicago. They’ll also build up their body of work through a series of workshops led by poets and artists. (Rachel Schastok)


Forward Momentum Summer Camp

Two locations: Hamilton Park Cultural Center, Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd Street, and a second camp in Avondale. More details forthcoming.  June 24–August 8, 9am–1pm. Girls ages 5-14. (312) 425-3875. bit.ly/ForwardMomentum

Calling all dancers interested in learning everything from Ballet to Hip-Hop! Over the course of six weeks, dancers of all skill levels will join the talented instructors at Forward Momentum for a summer of dancing, performances, and fun weekly field trips around Chicago. Campers will showcase all of their hard work at an end-of-summer camp performance for family and friends. (Amy Qin)

Release! AfroFuturism Dance Therapy

Hirsch High School, 7740 S. Ingleside Ave. July 1–August 8. Monday-Thursday, 1pm-5pm. Ages 14+. Apply on afterschoolmatters.org

Join this dance therapy class in Avalon Park that promises to “create your own language through dance.” Combining the practices of hip-hop, modern, lyrical, and jazz dance, Release! AfroFuturism Dance Therapy will allow students to “dance their ideas into existence.” (Rachel Kim)

South Shore International Dance and Performing Arts Program

South Shore College Preparatory High School, 1955 E. 75th St. July 1–August 8. Monday–Thursday, 9am–1pm. Free. Ages 14+. (312) 742-4182. Apply on afterschoolmatters.org

Teens will take to the stage in this dance and performing art apprenticeship, with the opportunity to try everything from ballet and hip-hop dancing to acting and public speaking. Teens can apply regardless of experience level—the apprenticeship is ready to accommodate those who have years of dancing experience alongside those who’ve never busted a move in their life. (Michael Wasney)


Pilsen Urban Garden Project: The Art of Community

Dvorak Park, 1119 W. Cullerton St. July 1–August 8. Monday–Wednesday, 9:30am–12:30pm; Thursday 4pm–8pm. Stipends available. SSN not required for application. Ages 14+. Must be enrolled in high school. Apply on afterschoolmatters.org. (312) 226-7767. elevarte.org

Art and gardening go hand in hand. That’s the leading conviction behind this summer program for high schoolers run by the Pilsen-based arts education studio ElevArte. Four days a week, students will learn how to grow, compost, build, and curate. To round out the 6-week program, students will invite family and friends for performances, exhibitions, and a presentation of the work they’ve done in the garden. (Emeline Posner)



Student Voice and Activism Fellowship

Monday–Friday, 10am–3pm. Location and exact dates to be determined. $1200 stipend, lunch, and Ventra cards provided. For more information, contact Hilda Franco, hfranco1@cps.edu. bit.ly/SVAFellowship

This paid internship will help students learn about organizing, policy, research, multimedia—everything that will let them “be heard in the decision-making processes that impact their lives.” During the summer, students will attend a six-week research institute; during the school year, they’ll participate in Student Voice Committee, which gives students power in tackling problems at their schools. (Christian Belanger)

Free Spirit Media Flash Forward Internship

Nichols Tower, 906 S. Homan Ave. Floor 5. Sessions run June 26August 10. Ages 1624. Paid $10.25/hr. Applications due April 30 at 5pm. (312) 444-0562. bit.ly/FlashForwardInternship

Free Spirit media is providing paid internships, fellowships, and assistant positions to young adults this summer through their program Flash Forward. Students will have the chance to participate in film production, audio casting, work with casting agencies & local news stations, and much more. Did we mention that the three positions all come with a stipend? Apply today! (Roderick Sawyer)


Summer Boat Building Camp

Southern Shore Yacht Club, 6401 S. Richards Dr. June 19–July 2. Monday–Friday, 10am–3pm. Boat Launch Day, Saturday, July 2, 9:30–noon. Ages 11–15. bit.ly/BoatBuilding19

At this two-week boat-building class, campers will assemble a plywood Bevin’s skiff, the boat specifically designed for first-time constructors. (And named after inventor Joe Youcha’s dog, a “Philadelphia alley mutt.”) Parents and friends welcome to jump in as builders, though not ballast. (Christian Belanger)

Chicago Housing Authority Summer Youth Opportunities

Locations and age requirements vary depending on program. Apply at onesummerchicago.org. Applications for most programs due by May 20. Stipends provided through One Summer Chicago. SSN and DOB required for application. For questions, contact youthopportunities@thecha.org. (312) 786-6930.

This summer, the Chicago Housing Authority will offer courses on everything from documentary filmmaking, public art design, game and graphic design, and screenwriting, to a course geared toward career exploration and a course on being a “peace ambassador” for your neighborhood. There is one essay prompt (150-825 words) for each program application, so make sure you pick your program(s) wisely! (Emeline Posner)

Morgan Park Academy’s Summer Camp

Morgan Park Academy, 2153 W. 111th St. For students Pre-K to 8th grade. June 10–August 2, dates and times vary by camp. Tuition varies by camp ($98–$1,653). After & before care provided for an extra fee. (773) 881-6700. Apply on mpasummercamp.org

Morgan Park Academy is offering a multitude of week-long programs for any student to explore their interests. Prior offerings include Drone Flying Missions, MasterChef camp, Filmmaking Camp, and Harry Potter Young Wizards Camp—but no matter what camp your child opts for, Morgan Park promises to expand their horizons in a unique way. (Rachel Kim)

Project Pipeline Architecture Summer Camp

Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology, 3360 S. State St. July 31–August 4, times vary. Incoming sixth graders through recently-graduated eighth graders. $75; lunch provided. i-noma.org/project-pipeline-summer-camp

Enroll your junior architect in this short five-day course from the Illinois chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects, hosted at IIT, a school famous for innovative design, both in its students and throughout its campus. There they will be guided through all stages of design by real-world architects and planners. (Sam Stecklow)


A Knock at Midnight

A Knock at Midnight. 400 W. 76th St., Suite 206. For more information, contact (773) 488-2960. akamworks.org

This community-based nonprofit offers summer programs to teach students how to build a portfolio of web application coding and infrastructure. Their Plus Program prepares students for employment by teaching customer service, inventory and apparel display through partnerships with Marshalls and Walgreens. (Amelia Diehl)

Youth Connections Pathways Robotics Challenge

New Beginnings Church of Chicago, 6620 S. King Dr. July 1–August 8. Monday–Thursday, 9am-1pm. Ages 14+. Apply on afterschoolmatters.org

If your student is obsessed with robots, this camp held in West Woodlawn will be perfect for them. Students will be able to be participate in a collaborative team atmosphere in order to take part of every step in the process of making a robot: from designing, assembling, programming, and operating. (Rachel Kim)

Adler Kids

Adler Planetarium. 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. Age requirements vary by camp; for students K-5. Register at adlerplanetarium.org/summer-camps. Tuition varies by camp ($150-325); members receive discount. For questions, contact summercamp@adlerplanetarium.org. (312) 322.0329. adlerplanetarium.org/summer-camps

Adler Planetarium offers a variety of half-day, full-day and weeklong camps throughout the season for kids interested in space exploration and technology. Astro Camp focuses on the moon; Astro-biotics teaches students about telescope viewing and robotics; Sky Show explores sky show visualization; Mission Near Space Camp lets students learn from balloon launch fieldwork; Summer Worlds Tour brings students to Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and The Field Museum. (Amelia Diehl)

heART of Science Camp

South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S. Michigan Ave. Two one-week sessions, August 19–23 or 26–30. Early Day Camp from 9am–2pm, ages 5–12, $55/day or $225/week. Afternoon Camp from 2pm–5pm, ages 4–12, $35/day or $150/week. Full day camp from 9am–5pm, ages 5–12, $75/day, $350/week. Sibling discount available. Referral discount available. Bring a lunch with no nuts. Registration closes July 27. (708) 733-2936. bit.ly/heARTprogram

Dionne Victoria Studios, INC. is hosting the heART of Science Camp in Bronzeville with an integrated curriculum focused on biology and the physical sciences. Students will be able to study the Earth, its physical features, rocks, resources, climates, and populations. Activities include art classes, outdoor/indoor games, and community service. (Rachel Kim)


Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *