Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael P. Kelly and Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. today announced that summer camp enrollment for 2014 has reached new heights, with a record-breaking 41,468 kids enrolled in summer camp this year. This figure represents an increase of 10,000 kids over the past five years.
“It is important that youth have access to positive activities in space places to learn, play and discover new interests during the summer months, which is why I’m thrilled that a record number of Chicago kids participated in Park District camps this summer,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From One Summer Chicago to City of Learning to summer camps, we are committed to providing a variety of opportunities for kids of all ages to have a productive and fun summer so they start the school year right.”
Each summer, the Chicago Park District provides campers aged six to 12 with a season of supervised activity at more than 230 parks around the City. Children attend field trips; explore nature, arts and culture; engage in sports and recreation; and enjoy time in the water. A video of summer camp activities can be seen here. The total enrollment for all summer Park District programming also hit a record high of 74,665, an increase of six percent as compared to the summer of 2013.
“This benchmark is a reflection of the continued growth of Chicago Park District’s impact on communities,” said Superintendent Kelly. “We are committed to providing quality programs, affordable prices and convenient locations to serve as many patrons as possible.”
Now in its second year, Mayor Emanuel’s City of Learning initiative impacted youth in these programs this year, as each Park District summer camp included 20 minutes of dedicated reading time. City of Learning represents a dedicated approach for youth in every neighborhood to access high-quality programs that will help them continue to learn, even while school is out.
“Summer camp provides children with the opportunity to be with old friends and make new friends while keeping children engaged and happy throughout the summer,” said Alderman Burnett. “In addition, campers get the opportunity to partake in indoor and outdoor sports, recreational, cultural and environmental programs offered across the city.”
Summer day camp hours vary by park location, with typical camps held for about six hours per day from either 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Standard day camps ran for six weeks from June 23 through August 1, and a variety of specialty camp programs were available from August 4 through August 15. Many parks also offered early morning and late-day sessions. Fees varied depending on location, offerings and hours. The Park District works with residents to ensure that no child is turned away due to their inability to pay, and financial assistance is available.
Fall registration is currently in progress. Programs run from the week of Sept. 15 to the week of Dec. 1 (unless otherwise noted) and offer something for everyone, regardless of age. In addition to after-school and arts programming, fitness and recreational opportunities are offered as well.
For more information, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312.742.PLAY, 312.747.2001 (TTY).
For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,100 acres of parkland, more than 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312.742.PLAY or 312.747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312.742.PLAY.