The following is the most recent communication around the planning and status of BASE Camp. This letter was sent to our community April 17 after the governor’s announcement about the closure of school buildings and extension of remote learning through the end of the school year. Stay tuned for further updates.

Dear BASE Camp Families:

We wanted to reach out today in light of our governor’s announcement that in-person classes in Illinois will be suspended for the rest of the academic year because of the pandemic. This decision, while expected, is a sad one for families and students. It also begs the inevitable question: What is going to happen this summer?

We don’t yet know if and how BASE camp will operate this summer. The answer to that question is complex and evolving daily. We know we must put the safety of our campers and staff first, and that we need expert scientific guidance to help drive the decision-making process.

We do want to reassure you that we have been working hard over the past month on a number of scenarios, in consultation with our school district and community partners, including the Park District, Hephzibah, CAST, BRAVO, and others who also serve our community’s students with summer programs. We also have sought collaboration and fresh ideas from a range of summer camp and enrichment providers across the nation– we are all facing this extraordinary challenge together.

If we can run camp safely, we will. We also will consider changes that could offer our campers a meaningful and valuable experience, possibly by delaying the start of camp or exploring creative ways to deliver the camp experience.

BASE Camp is an important part of the summer for more than 900 children in our area, and this commitment to quality summer enrichment lies at the heart of OPEF’s mission and values. We want to do everything we can to make this work, so we appreciate your patience as we work towards a final decision in the coming few weeks.

As a reminder, our current cancellation policy allows for a full refund, excluding a $25 non-refundable registration fee per camp session, as long as registrations are cancelled 14 days prior to your child’s camp session start date. If we need to cancel camp due to any government mandates or continued pandemic concerns, we will waive cancellation fees and offer a 100% refund option.

Please reach out to me personally via cell or email if you have any questions, concerns or ideas you would like to share. As always, thank you for your patience, understanding, and your support of BASE Camp and the Oak Park Education Foundation.

Be well,

Tracy Dell’Angela Barber

Executive Director, Oak Park Education Foundation