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Summer Camp FAQ

For a complete description of Camp Discovery and Explorers Camp policies, please refer to the Parent/Guardian Handbook


How much do Camp Discovery and Explorers Camp cost?

The base rate for camps at HPNC is $380 per week or $2,888 for all eight weeks (June 17th-August 9th). The base rate does not include additional charges for early drop-off ($10 per day) or extended care ($15 or $30 per day). Families may register for individual weeks as best fits their schedules.

If I want to sign up for extended care, do I have to sign up for all days my child is registered?

No. While we ask that parents not pick up campers to the end of the camp day at 3PM, extended day is optional and can be selected on a per-day basis at registration. This summer, we are offering two extended day options: 3-4:30PM for $15/day or 3-6PM for $30/day. The 3-4:30PM extended day is labeled “After School Pickup” but is just another extended day option. If you are interested in extended care, please register for only one of these options.

Is there a price difference for four-day holiday weeks?

HPNC is closed on June 19th (Juneteenth) and July 4th (Independence Day). As such, Camp Discovery and Explorers Camp will only be in session for four days those weeks. In order to cover for our staff’s holiday pay expense, those holiday weeks are not prorated for registrants who do not qualify for financial aid. Rates for families who receive financial aid are calculated individually and do not include charges for these two holidays listed.

What options do you have for financial aid? 

HPNC does not turn any family away from summer camp due to inability to pay and we reserve a portion of all slots for families requiring financial assistance. Visit our Financial Aid page for details about how to use your Illinois Action for Children (IAC) childcare subsidy at HPNC or instructions about applying for sliding scale pricing. 

I currently have Illinois Action for Children (IAC). What do I need to provide HPNC in order to register for summer camp?  

In order to enroll your child in summer camp, HPNC requires an approval letter from IAC that designates Hyde Park Neighborhood Club as the childcare provider. Please note that in cases where a change of provider form needs to be filed with IAC, it may take up to 6 weeks to be processed. In cases of pending approval, HPNC is not able to reserve a spot, but can provide all the information needed to facilitate this process. Email for additional assistance. 

Is there a payment plan for weekly enrollment? 

When enrolling on a weekly basis you may pay the full enrollment cost at check out or choose to pay a 10% non-refundable deposit per week. As noted on the registration page please note that if selecting this option the remaining balance will be charged all at once on June 3rd, 2024. All balances must be settled before the first day of camp. If you need additional support regarding payments or would like to explore our financial aid options please email

Is there a sibling discount? 

Yes, there is a 10% sibling discount applied at registration check out. 


My child is in preschool. Can they participate? 

Children must be at least 5 and have completed a year of kindergarten by the first day of camp to participate. This is a requirement of HPNC’s license to operate and we cannot make any exceptions. 

If my child is too young for summer camp is there any other opportunities they can join?

Children ages birth to 5 are invited to join our early childhood programs. All early childhood programming is caregiver-and-me style with adult participation required. Details about summer early childhood programs will be available in late April on our Early Childhood page. 


What does a typical day at summer camp look like?

Campers start each morning with self-directed play as their peers arrive. Groups begin the day with an overview of the schedule and expectations as well as icebreakers. On field trip days, group leaders provide campers with camp t-shirts & name tags before heading out. Days onsite at HPNC include recreational sports, arts & crafts, gardening & hands-on environmental education, cooking class, and/or swimming. Field trips include visits to neighborhood parks, trips to Cook County Forest Preserves, and beach days at 57th beach. Groups travel to field trip sites on foot or via HPNC vans as needed. Indoor and focused activities are punctuated with movement breaks, lunch, snacks, and outdoor open play.

How are groups structured?

We have three groups with two dedicated group leaders each. Group capacity is 22; campers will be distributed by age. Campers enrolled for all weeks of Camp Discovery will remain in the same group for the duration of camp. We will do our best to have groups stay consistent for campers attending on a weekly basis, but they may need to be moved around. 

How many campers will there be?

Our capacity for Camp Discovery is 66 campers. There will be two group leaders per group, 22 campers per group.

Is lunch provided?

Lunch is not provided by HPNC and campers are expected to bring their own lunch each day. Morning and afternoon snack is provided to all campers courtesy of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. 

Please note that HPNC is a nut-free facility and no nut products can be brought to camp. If a camper has nuts or nut products in their lunch we will call home to ask that a substitute lunch be brought for the day. 

Will there be swimming?

All Camp Discovery campers will have a minimum of one hour of swim lessons each week. Details regarding frequency and location are being finalized, but updates will be made as they become available. We are still determining whether Explorers Camp will have regular swim instruction, but they will participate in weekly beach day field trips. 

Can I see a detailed schedule for Camp Discovery?

Our staff is still planning out the details of each week of camp. An hour-by-hour schedule will be posted to our website and shared with all families participating in Camp Discovery.

What are the options if my child is past Camp Discovery Age?

Outdoor Explorers Camp (Rising 4th-8th grade)

June 17th - July 12th

Outdoor Explorers Camp is for rising 4th-8th graders who love to spend time adventuring outdoors and exploring the natural world. Camp will take place entirely outdoors and will grow their confidence, curiosity, and skills in navigating the natural world. Please see the camp’s registration page for more details.

L.I.T. Camp (Rising 6th-8th grade)

July 15th - August 9th

Leaders in Training (LIT) Camp sets rising 6th-8th graders on the path to reach their full potential as student and community leaders. LIT Campers will learn important life skills and discover their own strengths and passions while taking on community leadership, service learning, and entrepreneurship projects. Please see the camp’s registration page for more details.

Both camps are weekly registration priced at $380/week but we encourage campers to attend all four weeks of each camp. There are the options of before care and aftercare available.

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