It is with great sadness that we have decided to cancel our four weeks of in-person BASE (Build A Summer Education) Camp. We’ve consulted with our board, staff, D97 leaders and other community partners, and it has become clear that there will be no way to safely run an in-person camp with hundreds of students gathered in a school building–even with extensive cleaning and public health modifications. 

So what’s next?

For our team, it means we are going to pivot and find another way to serve students and families during this extraordinary summer. We are NOT proposing a replacement to BASE Camp. Rather we would like to offer some activities–both in person and online–that are either free or available for a modest cost to cover supplies. We have to move fast, so we need your help in shaping this vision. You can learn more and help inform the process by clicking here to complete this 4-minute survey.

What about the fees paid so far?

We are offering the option of a full refund. But we hope you will consider a donation that will help the Oak Park Education Foundation survive the financial fallout from the cancellation of both BASE Camp and our annual fundraiser, Bingo Bash–which combined represent the loss of nearly 75 percent of OPEF’s income. 

BASE Camp provides about $100,000 each year to support the free in-school programs that your children love such as arts, robotics, and spoken word. It also provides scholarships for more than 120 children in need to attend BASE Camp free of charge. These scholarships are just one way OPEF is committed to providing equitable enrichment programs for all the children in Oak Park.

We are mindful that countless nonprofits and community organizations are in the same boat, and families are facing unprecedented hardship. We also know our community values BASE Camp and our other  programs–we want to bring them back to our community after this crisis is over.

Any amount that you choose to donate back to OPEF would be 100% tax-deductible, and the CARES Act makes it easier than ever for those of you who do not typically itemize donations to get this deduction. Donating 20 percent of your camp fees would help us rebuild our scholarship fund. Donating back 5 percent of your refund would cover the costs of credit card and registration fees.

For our customers: Next Steps

  • Please CLICK HERE to log in to your account and complete the Refund Option form. 
  • After logging in, click the green “View details” button, then select “Refund Options” under “Forms” on the right side of the account summary page.
  • There will be a separate form for each registered camper, but it is only necessary to fill this form out once for your household.

Refunds will be processed within 60 days, and we request your patience during this time of exceptional demand. If you have questions regarding your current account or need help logging in, please contact BASE Camp Co-Director Amy Struckmeyer.

We will SO miss seeing you all gathered around our camp signs outside our school playgrounds this summer. But we thank you for helping us navigate a new direction during this crisis. And we hope to see you back in force next summer!


Oak Park Education Foundation Board of Directors


Tracy Dell’Angela Barber, Executive Director