Kid Explorer Camp FAQs

WHERE ARE YOUR KID EXPLORER CAMP LOCATIONS?

Our Kid Explorer Camps are located in Chicago Public Schools or Universities.

WHAT ARE THE KID EXPLORER CAMP HOURS?

Kid Explorer Camp  goes from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, with options of full day or part day for PreK and Kindergarten 9:00 am to 12:00 pm  or 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm available. Extended hours are before camp from 8:00am–9:00 am.

WHAT DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BRING TO PROGRAM?

The program includes all classroom materials needed.  We request that all Kid Explorer campers please clearly label all of your child’s belongings with their full name to ensure that all belongings can find their way home at the end of the day.

DO YOU SEPARATE CHILDREN BY AGE AND GRADE?

Yes. During the registration process, you’ll be asked to enter your camper’s rising grade. This will select their age group and the available programs at that rising grade level. This is to ensure a developmentally-appropriate curriculum and experience for New Kid Explorer campers of all ages.

HOW DO I ENROLL MY CHILDREN IN THE KID EXPLORER CAMP? WHAT IS THE 4-H CLUB?

Just click on ENROLL and you will be taken to Kid Explorer Camp Campsite login and registration.  4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. 4-H-members pledge ” My head to clearer thinking; my heart to greater loyalty; my hands to larger sevice; my health to better living for my club, communication.

SHOULD MY NEW FLYER ENROLL IN MULTIPLE WEEKS OF SUMMER CAMP NOW?

Yes! Kid Explorer Camp  has a wide variety of camps for every interest and our average camper enrolls in 8-10 week sessions per summer. Many of our New Kid Explorer Campers enroll for 9-10 one-week sessions giving them the chance to build long-lasting friendships and develop new skills, such as swimming and the Kid Explorer Camp reading enrichment is also in their daily schedule.. We offer the flexibility one-week sessions to allow families to tailor their summer camp experience to their schedule.

DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS?

Discounts are offered based on time of registration and number of children enrolled. All year long, we offer a sibling discount for families registering more than one camper. Click here for more information.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE?

Please note: Parent must be receiving TANF/RASP or working and/ or in school/training to qualify.
Click on the link below and it will take you to Hello Sign an electronic application, fill out the information that pertains to your family and sign with your e signature. Type N/A ( Not Applicable) in every space that does not apply to you. You will receive a confirmation email upon completion and you will receive a copy in your email. SCAN or take a picture of verification documents needed to complete your application. Examples: School letterhead with days and hours of classes and/ or check stubs dated from the last 30 days. Remember, incomplete applications can add an additional two or more weeks for processing. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
Important: Please email all additional information that is required as an attachment (scanned documents or pictures are acceptable).
Financial Assistance -New Application for Act for Children (If needed)
https://www.hellosign.com/s/4600c75c
Financial Assistance- Change/Add Provider Form for Act for Children (If needed)
https://www.hellosign.com/s/8780d58f

DO YOU ACCEPT “WALK UP” REGISTRATIONS?

We do. Always check the website or call the Kid Explorer Camp customer service for availability as programs do reach capacity for many weeks. We encourage parents to register for programs in advance, but we understand that for unforeseen reasons, parents sometimes need to register at the last minute. If you find yourself in this situation, you can enroll online only up until 7:30am on the Monday before the extended day or summer camp program begins for programs that have availability.

DO I NEED TO COMPLETE ANY HEALTH FORMS FOR MY CHILD TO PARTICIPATE?

All campers will have to complete the necessary forms in order to participate in Kid Explorer Camps before their first week of the program. These forms are required by both the county and the state in all of our camp locations.

WILL I RECEIVE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT CAMP AFTER I REGISTER?

Once you register and pay for your camp program(s), you will receive a confirmation email for your own records.  For those applying for financial assistance you will receive confirmation of receipt of application but approval communications will come from Act for Children.  In addition to that confirmation email, you will receive a pre-program email the week before your session(s) of program. This email will provide you with all necessary information including: what to bring to camp, directions, links to our blogs and more.

HOW DO I UPLOAD THE REQUIRED CAMP FORM(S) TO MY KID EXPLORER CAMP WEB ACCOUNT?

You are able to upload all your campers’ health forms through email and send to hello@kidexplorercamps.com.  Once there, select the “Forms” tab to either fill out or upload the required forms.

CAN WE REQUEST THAT MY ( SUMMER) CAMPER BE PLACED IN A GROUP WITH ANOTHER CAMPER (BUDDY REQUESTS)?

Yes. Buddy requests can be made during the registration process until  June 1. We always do our very best to accommodate buddy requests as we know how important this can be to our campers. The number of buddies that we guarantee varies by both camper age and the program for which you’re enrolling — please see our full Buddy Policy & Philosophy for details.

WHAT IS THE SWIMMING TEST PROCEDURE?

For new campers we administer two tests on Monday.

Swim vest test: This test determines whether your camper needs to wear a vest during recreational swim (Multi-Sport Camp only). The test involves swimming from one end of the pool to the other (typically 25 yards) without touching the pool wall or lap lane.

Aquatics level test: (Kindergarten Camp and Pre K Day Camp ONLY): This test determines the aquatics level of your camper, and it involves measuring level-specific skills and comfort in the pool.

WILL I RECEIVE FEEDBACK ABOUT MY CAMPER’S SWIMMING?

Yes — over the course of the summer, we’ll distribute (via email) Swim Logs for all campers in programs with instructional swimming that have updates for the skills that your camper worked on as well as notes on their proficiency and progress. These reports are meant to provide feedback to both campers and parents to aid campers along their developmental journey as swimmers. The swim log will also touch on the Kid Explorer Camp EX-Ten, and each camper’s growth and progress with these in the context of swimming, along with the swim-specific skills that they work on at camp.

WHAT IS THE STAFF TO "Campers" RATIO AT KID EXPLORER CAMP SUMMER CAMPS?

In each Kid Explorer Camp program we provide a unique environment where campers are able to benefit from individual and small group learning and instruction. Each individual program is supervised and run by a leadership team member (Program Leader) to ensure consistency and proper supervision. For our younger campers, we aim to maintain a counselor to camper ratio of approximately 1:6. For our older rising grades 1 through 3, that ratio is 1:8.  Pre K and Kindergarten groups are limited to 20 and 24 campers respectively to ensure both an appropriate ratio and also facilitate camper interaction and development.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE INCLEMENT WEATHER?

Safety is our number one priority at all times, and we are extremely mindful of the weather. If we see or hear a thunderstorm approaching, outdoor camp programs are immediately brought inside as we take extreme precaution to ensure that all outdoor camp programs are safe.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO YOU TAKE TO HANDLE THE SUMMER HEAT?

We’re well aware that the summer heat can drain a camper throughout the day and week. Water is always available for each camp program and campers are encouraged to take water breaks approximately every 15-20 minutes. We take the heat, the humidity index, and the air quality index seriously. Daily, the Executive Director of Kid Explorer Camps communicates with the Site Directors at each camp location to discuss the heat and air index. On extremely hot days (Code Red) and for those campers spending the majority of their time playing outdoors, participants will take mandatory and extended breaks throughout the day, an extended lunch break, plenty of water and misting fan breaks, and lower impact activities during the day.

In addition, we ensure that sunscreen is re-applied on your camper multiple times throughout the day. We typically plan to re-apply sunscreen at 9:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm. We always have sunscreen on-site if your camper forgets or loses their sunscreen. All sunscreen applications are logged in our Sunscreen Log Book so that we can easily monitor all campers. Please see our sunscreen for more information.

CAN KID EXPLORER CAMP ACCOMMODATE CHILDREN WITH PEANUT OR LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGIES?

Families with children who have peanut or nut allergies can feel safe and comfortable at Kid Explorer Camp programs. We are well aware of the dangers and concerns with severe allergies and take our allergy procedures and systems very seriously. 

Our Process:
If your child requires an EpiPen at camp, we ask you to place the EpiPen in a clear plastic bag along with a head shot photo of your child, noting the name of your child on the outside of the bag. This bag (and any necessary instructions) should be presented to the Kid Explorer Camp Safety and Staff Coordinator on location, upon check-in on Monday morning. Upon registration (and in the morning of each camp day), Kid Explorer Camp  Safety Specialists take special note of our campers with allergies by placing a mandatory, but inconspicuous, colored bracelet around each child’s wrist, as well as placing their EpiPen or other medication in a bag that stays on their counselor at all times throughout the camp day. We highly recommend that all EpiPens and any additional medication stay on location throughout the week. Our counselors in charge of campers with life-threatening allergies wear a first-aid fanny pack at all times containing their campers EpiPen. Any additional medication and necessary instructions for that medication stays with your child at all times.

Our Nut-Free Policy:
During both lunch and snack breaks, to prevent contact with any nut products, we have a designated nut-free area. We require our campers who have nut allergies, peanut or tree nut, to eat meals in our nut-free area during lunch and snack. We take special care not to make the campers with allergies feel alienated during our eating breaks, and we encourage these campers to invite a friend to sit with them at lunch, provided their friend’s lunch is also nut-free. At least one Kid Explorer Camp staff/counselor is seated at each nut-free area for the duration of the lunch period, and these counselors take care to not bring an item to the table that could cause an allergic reaction. If you would prefer your child to sit at a non nut-free area please complete our Allergy-Free Table Waiver* prior to attending camp. To ensure that our campers with allergies at our nut-free area have a safe lunch experience at camp, we ask that absolutely no nuts, nut related products or alternative nut products, such as soy, cashew, pistachio, walnut, almond or sun butters be permitted. At the end of each eating period, we require all campers to wash their hands with soap and warm water to ensure they thoroughly clean their hands prior to their next activity.

If you have any questions about our policies, please feel free to contact the Kid Explorer Camp Customer Service Team at (773) 967-5882.

*Allergy-Free Table: Release Waiver > Submit Via Online Form:
Click here for the form for all Kid Explorer Camp Program sites.

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