BASE Camp 2017

Everything you need to know to have a great experience!


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Arrival & Dismissal

How do drop-off and pick-up work?

You will drop off and pick up your child daily at the same spot.

  • At Longfellow, drop off and pick up will be on the WEST side of the building off of Jackson Boulevard (the blacktop area of the playground).  1st/2nd grade camps will meet on the south side of the blacktop, near the Cuyler Ave turnaround.  3rd/4th/5th grade camps will gather on the north side of the blacktop nearest Jackson.
  • At Brooks, drop off and pick up will be on the EAST side of the building (Kenilworth side)
  • At Julian, drop off and pick up will be at the NORTH entrance of the building  (Washington St side)

At all schools, please remember to observe all posted parking regulations, especially those pertaining to handicap spaces.


Teachers will be outdoors to meet you 10 minutes before the camp’s start time. Look for the sign with the name of your child’s camp and be sure to check in with your child’s teacher or Youth Counselor at drop off.  If, when registering, you selected the option to allow your child to travel to and from camp alone – please remind your child to check in with their teacher immediately upon arrival.  

At the camp’s start time, camp staff and children will walk together into the building. The school doors remain locked all day, and camp staff will only remain near the entrance for a few extra minutes, so please be on time.  If you are more than 10 minutes late to camp, please go to the school’s main entrance and follow the posted instructions to reach BASE Camp staff.

If the weather is bad, camps will gather inside the building. 

At Longfellow
1st-2nd Grade Camps:  Enter through Highland Ave main entrance – bring child to open HALLWAY past auditorium (PKP Hallway); check in child with their camp teacher in hallway.
3rd-5th Grade Camps:  Enter through Jackson Ave or Highland Ave door.  Camps will line up in the GYM (next to Jackson door).  Bring your child into the GYM and check in with teacher.**
PICK UP will be the same locations, same doors.
 **This is a slightly different plan than originally communicated in BASE Camp procedures.  GYM not auditorium for 3rd-5th graders.

Late arrivals and visitors to camp:

You are welcome to visit your child’s camp at any time! Please note, however, the school doors will be locked all day and there may not be staff available at each entrance. If you need access, there will be a message posted on the main entrance door of each camp building with a phone number to call or text. If possible, please let your camp teacher know ahead of time by email so a staff member can meet you at the door when needed (cell phone connections are generally not reliable in school buildings).

Please remember that when a field trip is scheduled, the bus (or walking group) will not wait for late campers.


All campers will be escorted outside to meet the adults picking them up. Please allow the camp to reach their designated pick up site before checking out your child.  Teachers will not ask for identification of adults picking up your child unless you specifically request that in person on the first day of camp; teachers will have your list of approved adults provided at registration and will use it only if there is any question. Release of campers to anyone appearing to be under age 18 must be worked out between the parent and camp teacher on the first day of each camp session.

Campers without permission to leave unaccompanied must be checked out by a parent, guardian or caregiver. Please be sure that you make contact with the teacher or youth counselor before taking your child.

Campers with permission noted on the registration form to leave at dismissal unaccompanied (walking or biking alone, or to meet you off site) will be dismissed by the teacher once outside.

Tardy pick up:

You can depend on the timely dismissal of campers daily by the staff. And the staff will depend on the timely pickup of your child. If you know you will be late, please be sure to call your building manager so that they may alert your child’s teacher (your child will be asked to wait in the office until you arrive).  
Campers not picked up at dismissal will be escorted to the front office where they will wait with BASE Camp staff until a parent/caregiver arrives. Please note that continued tardiness at pick will result in your child being placed in our Extended Camp where charges will apply.

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Your child’s consistent attendance is crucial to allow them to fully engage in their camp’s planned projects, which often involve working as a team and building upon their work over the course of a week or longer.  Please ensure your child attends camp every day.  Of course we understand that illnesses and other unforeseen incidents may prevent their attendance, but we ask that you notify us if this is the case.  If a child misses more than 2 (two) days of any given week, he or she may be asked to leave the program.  Decisions regarding program dismissal will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Director, and no refunds will be given should this occur.  Communicating with us ahead of time if you know your child must miss some camp will help to resolve many situations.


Please let BASE Camp know about any absences by contacting the building manager  for your child’s camp location, with that information to be passed along to the teacher. No refunds are given for missed days (see our cancellation policy).

Unexpected Absences

If your child unexpectedly does not show up for camp, a staff member will call you (or your emergency contact person if necessary) after camp has begun. The safety of our campers is a high priority! Be sure to inform us of known or coming absences to avoid such calls.

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Families will be notified in advance if any walking or bus field trips are planned for your children’s camps.  Please note all the same rules apply for field trips as for camp.  Please be on time; buses will not wait for campers arriving late.

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What food should my child bring to BASE Camp?

Supervised Lunch Food: If your child is registered for Supervised Lunch, you either selected for them to bring their own lunch, or purchased a boxed lunch. For sack lunches, please include a beverage and send only nut-free foods (that do not need refrigeration) for the safety of our kids at camp with severe nut allergies.

Note: There will not be food available for purchase on-site at any camp location.

Snacks: Children are welcome to bring a snack (optional) in either a disposable container or one labeled clearly with the child’s name. Please send only nut-free foods for the safety of our kids at camp with severe nut allergies.  Children who ordered the boxed lunch option will also receive a morning and afternoon snack.

All camps held at Longfellow Elementary (grades 1-5) will include a short break and (optional) snack time. Camps held at all other locations (grades 6-8) do not include a regular snack time, but children are welcome to bring something nut-free in a labeled or disposable container. Breaks will be available at the teacher’s discretion.

Teachers will not provide any food to campers unless food is already a stated part of the camp program or unless you receive advance notice by email. You may of course send a substitute food if your child is not able to eat the food to be provided.

Water bottles: Please send a reusable water bottle with your child to carry all day during camp. Please label with his or her name and remind your child to keep it at hand as they move through their day.

Allergy Info: If you need to add any information to your child’s camp registration about his/her special dietary needs due to medication, allergies, illness, or special circumstances, please email those details to Amy Struckmeyer at least one week prior to the start of camp. All information submitted is shared with your child’s camp teachers to keep them informed.

Regular hand washing will be practiced before and after snack and lunch to reduce the chance of cross-contamination.

Supervised Lunch:

Campers spend about half of their lunch break eating, and half playing or unwinding outside. Campers are supervised by a mix of BASE Camp staff, teachers and youth counselors at all times.   

1st-5th Grade Lunch Details: At Longfellow, the campers are divided into two groups, with half eating first while the others play outside, and then switch.  At the end of the lunch break, staff members help campers sort into their afternoon camp groups and escort them to check in with their PM camp teachers.

Note: There will not be food available for purchase on-site at any camp location.

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Early Drop Off at Longfellow (grades 1-5 only):

If you registered for Early Drop-Off, you may arrive at Longfellow beginning at 8:00am.  Families registered for Early Drop-Off should enter through the Mini-gym (cafeteria) doors on the playground side nearest Jackson Blvd.  Please use the doorbell and Early Drop-Off staff will answer and assist with check in.


During Early Drop-Off, campers will play games, work on simple art projects, or read until it is time for their AM camp to begin.  Families are welcome to send books or games (no electronic devices) with your camper but please note BASE Camp will not be responsible for any lost, stolen or broken items. Youth Counselors will sign out campers and escort them to their assigned AM camp meet-up location at 8:50am.


Extended Camp at Longfellow (grades 1-5 only):

Campers participating in Extended Camp will be engaged with games, books, and crafts in both structured and unstructured play time, inside and outside. We recommend that you pack your child a nut-free snack for Extended Camp.

Dismissal for Extended Camp will take place in the Mini-gym (cafeteria).  The door is located on the west side (playground side) of the building and is nearest to Jackson Blvd.  Please use the doorbell and Extended Camp staff will answer and assist with check out.  Please do not leave with your child until they have been checked out with staff.  If the doorbell is malfunctioning, contact directions will be clearly posted; please be patient as phone reception in the building can be spotty.

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What else should my child bring to BASE Camp?

Nothing! Please don’t send your child with money or valuables (monetary or sentimental). OPEF will not be responsible for any lost, stolen or broken items.

No weapons of any kind, real, look-alike or toy, are allowed at BASE Camp. Additionally, for those BASE camps that take place on Oak Park School District 97 property, having weapons on school property violates District 97 Board policy as well.

A weapon means: Any kind of gun or knife (real or toy), camping tools (real or toy), axes, light sabers, grenades (real or toy), and even squirt guns. This list is not all-inclusive. OPEF reserves the right to decide what is and isn’t a weapon.  Other items that are prohibited from camp include lighters and matches, fireworks, tobacco products and controlled substances, including alcohol. This list is not all inclusive. If you are in doubt about an object, please ask the camp teacher or leave it at home.

Can my child bring and use a cell phone or other electronic device at camp?

In order to ensure that campers are fully involved with planned activities, we don’t allow use of personal electronic devices during BASE Camp. In addition, we will not be responsible for lost/stolen devices. If you send your child to camp with a cell phone for use before or after camp, he/she is responsible for its whereabouts at all times. We reserve the right to collect and hold cell phones and other devices during camp time if they are a distraction from camp activities.  Campers will receive one warning from teachers or staff to put their phone away and then it will be collected until camp is done for the day.

What should my child wear to camp?

Please dress your child in comfortable, appropriate clothes and sneakers or sandals (no flip flops). Please note that all our school rooms used for camp are air conditioned. Please send a raincoat or jacket if needed for weather (please avoid umbrellas), and put sunscreen on your child before camp (our staff is not allowed to apply lotion or sunscreen).

Camps in which clothing can be permanently damaged by art materials, we state this in the camp description and ask that you send your camper in clothes that can be ruined.

Each camper is given one BASE Camp t-shirt each summer on the first day of their first camp session. We love seeing campers in BASE Camp t-shirts at any time, and strongly recommend they are worn on field trip days for easy identification with our group.

Do you have a Lost and Found?

Yes. Please have your child start by checking with the camp teacher for a lost item. After a few days or so, the item will be moved to a central Lost and Found location. If the item is labeled, you will be contacted. If it is not labeled, please send a description by email to, to see if it has been turned in. Items not collected by their owners by the end of BASE Camp are donated to charity.

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What should I do if my child has issues adjusting at camp?

We want our campers to feel safe, have fun and enjoy new learning opportunities! Before the first day, consider showing your child the teacher’s photo and bio from the website and photos from previous summers. An encouraging conversation using these resources might help your child feel more comfortable coming to camp.

If your child is having a problem adjusting at camp for whatever reason, please contact your child’s teacher in person or via email first. Our teachers are professionals, skilled in supporting each child’s situation. If the issue is still not resolved, please contact your BASE Camp building manager.

What are the behavior expectations for my child at camp?

In an effort to provide the most meaningful, positive, and appropriate experience at BASE camp, we expect all children participating in camp to be able to do the following:

• Follow simple directions and be able to communicate their interests and needs.
• Treat staff and other children with respect and be willing to participate in activities with other children.
• Participate in camp activities without needing significant behavioral support.

What will happen if my child is not meeting BASE Camp’s behavior expectations?

We will work with each child and family to ensure a successful BASE camp experience for every child.  Additionally, our staff strives to be as proactive as possible through positive behavioral management strategies such as guidance, redirection to more acceptable behavior and encouragement of appropriate behavior rather than comparison, competition or criticism.  Consistent and clear rules are established and staff members encourage children to respect each other and to cooperate and communicate in order to solve problems.

Should a behavior issue arise, BASE Camp teachers and staff will address the situation considering the child’s skills, developmental stage and the circumstances. If a camper’s unacceptable behavior persists, parent/guardian will be contacted for a conference (by phone or in person) to discuss the issue and establish a mutually agreeable solution for continued participation in the program. If your child’s behavior threatens the well-being of other children, staff or themselves, your child may be removed from the situation in order to maintain a safe environment and staff will immediately contact a parent/guardian.

BASE camp rarely sends children home for disciplinary reasons. However, we reserve the right to require a child to be picked up from camp immediately, stay home for a period of time and/or to dismiss the child from the program completely.  This will occur without a refund (full or partial) or credit toward a future program.

What should I do if my child needs a special accommodation or support?

BASE Camp provides an inclusive environment for children with and without disabilities and we strive to have campers with special needs participate fully with their peers. We believe that the inclusive environment at BASE Camp enhances the experience for all children.

However, it is important to note that while the Oak Park Education Foundation strives to work collaboratively with Oak Park School District 97, we are a separate entity and independent from the school district. If your child receives special services or accommodations through District 97 or any other school district (i.e., an IEP, behavior plan, etc.), we do not have access to those records or documents.

If there are specific strategies or accommodations that have helped your child succeed in a school or recreational setting, please feel free to share those specific requests with us.  During the BASE Camp registration process, there was a space to request any accommodation your child may need. If you did not do so during registration, please contact Director Lindsay Bruce at to make an accommodation request. We ask that you make any request prior to the beginning of BASE Camp so that we have sufficient time to review the request and follow up with you if necessary.
All special accommodation requests will be evaluated and determined on a case-by-case basis.  If it is determined that we are unable to accommodate your child, we will refund your registration fee to you in full.

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What should I do if my child is ill?

So that we can maintain a safe, healthy environment for all at BASE Camp, please keep at home children with any of the following symptoms: temperature of 101 degrees or higher, persistent coughing, very runny nose (especially if mucous is thick and/or green), diarrhea, rashes or scratching for unknown reasons with or without fever, or red and/or watery eyes that are crusted upon awakening. Children may return to camp once they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

Please text or call your building manager (link here), if your child will be absent from camp. No refunds are given for missed days (see our cancellation policy).

What will you do if my child is sick or injured at camp?

BASE Camp does not have professional healthcare providers on staff at any camp location.  

For minor bumps, scrapes, splinters, or cuts, BASE Camp staff will provide basic first aid with supplies on hand. The camp teacher will speak to the parent at the end of camp where possible, or may call, with information about the incident.

If your child becomes ill during camp, BASE Camp staff will contact you to come pick up your child from camp.

For emergencies, BASE Camp staff will call 9-1-1 and seek emergency medical treatment as well as notify the parent or guardian. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached, camp staff will notify the emergency contact named in the camp registration form. Staff will fill out an accident/injury report form, and will provide the parent/guardian a copy of the report.

So that we may be prepared, please be sure we have up-to-date emergency phone numbers for all parents, guardians and emergency contacts!
If you have an emergency and need to contact your child(ren) or camp staff members, please text or call the building manager for your child’s camp location.

Will your staff administer medication?

No. We do not have medical personnel on staff to administer or store medication. We do keep ice packs, bandages, etc. on hand for small issues. Your child’s teacher will be aware of all health information you include on your camp registration form.

What about epi-pens and inhalers?

Epi-pens and inhalers should be carried by each child on their person (fanny pack) throughout the camp day and will not be stored by staff. Our teaching staff is trained to administer epi-pens brought to camp daily by children with allergies and can assist where needed.

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What’s your cancellation policy?

Refunds, less $25 per camper per session, must be requested at least 14 days before the start of the camp session. No refunds will be issued after that date. When the full registration amount is forfeited, those funds will be converted to a tax-deductible donation to OPEF (provided no services were actually received). The cancellation fee for scholarship camps is a flat $10.

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Before BASE Camp begins:

Registration, information changes, scholarship questions: Amy Struckmeyer

General Questions: Lindsay Bruce

During BASE Camp Hours (Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:00pm):

Please contact each location’s building manager regarding attendance, questions/comments about your camper’s experience or needs, and any changes to your contact information.

Longfellow Building Manager (grades 1-5)

Angie Hawkins –


Brooks Building Manager (grades 6-8)

Paul Manus –


Contact for Julian VEX Camps (grades 6-8)

Lindsay Bruce –


After Hours

For any issues/attendance calls after regular camp hours or on the weekend, please email BASE Camp Director Lindsay Bruce at or leave a voicemail at 708-524-3026.  Messages will be checked regularly and responded to in a timely fashion.