Build A Summer Education for kids grades 1-8.


Explore your community and make new friends.


Engaging programs that integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.


Hands-on camps help teach problem solving and boost confidence.

Camp Update: Summer 2021

Dates & Locations
  • We expect to launch our registration on Wednesday April 7 at noon (after Spring Break). Camp details will be available on our website at least two weeks in advance, per usual, to allow parents time to review our offerings. This is two months later than usual, but allows us plenty of time to finalize details and ensure no major public health setbacks.  
  • We will hold four weeks of BASE Camp, with AM and PM sessions, starting June 21 and running through July 16.
  • We will host BASE Camp at one or two D97 schools (although the exact location(s) will not be assigned until March or April)


What We'll Offer
  • The diverse range of hands-on, fun, STEAM oriented camps taught by rock-star educators that you love will still be at the forefront of our planning, achieved through the evolving lens of COVID.
  • We expect prices to increase modestly to allow for lower numbers of campers per camp.
  • We expect to offer more scholarships to families who need additional support.
  • We will continue to offer many of our top-selling camps, and offer more camps with an outdoor focus/component and fewer camps with a heavy screentime emphasis. New options we’re working on:
    • CSI Oak Park 
    • Social Justice Art mural 
    • Speedometry (Hot Wheels physics camp for younger kids)
    • Girls Biker 
    • Music Engineers (middle grades)
    • Technology and Social Justice Activism (older)
    • The Science of Ultimate Frisbee
    • Urban Survival (a wilderness camp focused on tracking/habitats/outdoor science)
  • We expect to offer 4-5 camps in both the AM and PM slots. There are likely to be fewer camps for the older grades of 5&6 and 7&8.
  • We will limit field trips.
  • We will develop many unexpected new traditions and program opportunities based on our new reality.
Safety Concerns

We know safety remains at the top of everyone’s priorities. We do not have all the details of our safety plans but can tell you this:

  • COVID will continue to impact many of our programs, policies, and operations through the summer. This includes remaining physically distanced, staying outdoors as much as possible, and wearing masks.
  • Our D97 teachers and our onsite staff will likely have vaccines before camp starts. Of course this is not a certainty, but it is likely given the expected Feb. 15 start of vaccinations for teachers and day care workers offered by the Oak Park Health Department.
  • We do not expect to require vaccines for our campers. This is based on current guidance from the CDC, American Camp Association, and public health experts. 
  • Individual camp group sizes, and the overall camp population, will likely be reduced to increase physical distancing between campers and staff. We expect further guidance on whether exact ratios will be enforced as we get closer to camp planning. We are planning our registration numbers based on conservative ratios, which will give us the flexibility to add students off the waitlist if ratios are relaxed.

BASE Camp 2021 is still very much a work in progress. We are adapting our plans and protocols as new information becomes available. Please send questions to OPEF Executive Director Tracy Dell’Angela Barber.

Have questions? See our list of frequently asked questions to learn more about OPEF and BASE Camp.

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