2017 Summer Activities for Ages 3-6

Adventure Club

Even though it’s summer, the preschool fun and learning doesn’t have to end!  Sign up your 3-6 year old for some fun in the sun at the Forest Preserve.  We meet two days per week from 9-11 am.  Sign up for one or all eight sessions.  The sessions will promote socialization and structured learning activities at the Keller Education Center, the playground, and the prairie and woodlands of the Jarrett Prairie Preserve.  Join Miss Crystal, Mrs. Tara, and Mrs. Crystal for a great summer!
Where:    Keller Education Center (near Jarrett Prairie Center)
Days:       Tuesday & Thursday
Dates:     Week #1 - June 6 & 8       Week #2 - June 13 & 15
                 Week #3 - June 20 & 22   Week #4 - June 27 & 29
                 No Sessions July 4 & 6
                 Week #5 - July 11 & 12     Week #6 - July 18 & 20
                 Week #7 - July 25 & 27     Week #8 - August 1 & 3
Time:      9 - 11 am or Noon - 2 pm
Cost:       $20 / child / week
Register by the Thursday before each session begins.


Cheerleading / Tumbling Summer Club - NEW!

Cheerleading and tumbling skills will be taught including the importance of fitness fun!  All of the basic cheerleading components will be taught including motions, cheers, dance, and tumbling skills.  Miss Crystal has 17 years of experience with competitive cheerleading and judging.  To register, call 815.234.8535 x200.
Where:   Keller Education Center
Days: Tuesday & Thursday
Dates:    June 6, 8, 13, 15, & 20
Time:      2 - 4 pm
Cost: $55 / child
Register by June 3.

Intro to Phonics Summer Club - NEW!

In our Phonics Club, we will focus on school readiness skills including a review of letters and letter sounds, vowels and blending, handwriting practice, sight words and reading.  This club will progress at a quick pace and children should already have most letters and sounds mastered.  To register, call 815.234.8535 x200.
Where:    Keller Education Center
Days:  Tuesday & Thursday
Dates:   June 22, 27, 29, and July 11 & 13
Time:  2 - 4 pm
Cost:  $55 / child
Register by June 19.

Making and Tinkering

STEM Summer Club - NEW!

Children tinker as they take things apart, put things together, figure out how things work, and attempt to build and make creations using tools.  Making and Tinkering Club will develop skills for maker education--tinkering, making, and engineering.  All three are valuable experiences in early STEM education.  To register, call 815.234.8535 x200.
Where:     Keller Education Center
Days:   Tuesday/Thursday
Dates:   July 18, 20, 25, 27, & Aug. 1
Time:    2 - 4 pm
Cost:   $55 / child
Register by July 15.

Back to School Boot Camp Summer Club - NEW!

Back to School Boot Camp is a 3-day session designed to prepare your child for a successful transition back to school.  We will spend time reviewing our names, handwriting, and basics of colors, numbers, letters, sounds, school rules, and routines.  To register, call 815.234.8535 x200.
Where:    Keller Education Center
Days:  Monday, Wednesday, & Friday
Dates:  July 31 and August 2 & 4
Time:  9 - 11 am or Noon - 2 pm
Cost: $30 / child
Register by July 29.

Summer Camp 2017 (Ages 6-12)

At the Byron Forest Preserve day camp, we actively encourage and facilitate the growth of children by offering activities that are engaging, stimulating, and challenging. Our goal is to keep kids active while promoting essential skills such as communication, creativity, decision-making, and self-confidence.  Activities are designed with these outcomes in mind, as well as the simple need to play and have fun. 
Weekly fees include all activities and field trips (field trips may change due to unforeseen circumstances).
Ages: 6-12
Dates: Mondays-Fridays June 5th- August 11th  (see themes at right)
Times: 9 am-4 pm
Cost: $110/week 
Sibling discount: $90/week
7am- 9 am  $10/week
4 pm- 6 pm  $10/week

Our Summer Camp Philosophy

Janet Dahlberg, Summer Camp Director

I first worked in outdoor education in 1994 when I was hired to run a summer day camp for the Miami Metrozoo in Florida. Though the environment has changed, I still adhere to the principles I learned back then: children are naturally inquisitive about the world around them, and opportunities for both structured and unstructured play encourage learning, curiosity, decision making, and creativity. Through many years of school, experience working with kids, and attendance at camp and environmental education conferences, I have expanded that philosophy and have learned to program with intent. That means there’s always more going on below the surface. “What are we doing today?” isn’t only about concrete skills such as learning to shoot a recurve bow or making a better paper airplane; it’s also about building confidence, learning it’s okay to fail and try again, developing empathy, encouraging and helping others, and a myriad of other “skills” that can’t be easily measured. So what does this look like on a day-to-day basis? Here are a few typical activities during day camp and some of the underlying outcomes we work on:

 Mondays start with introductions and group teambuilding games. One of our favorite name games involves one camper who is “it” and another who is the detective. Campers move around the group, shaking hands and introducing themselves to each other. “It” removes campers from the game though a given signal—usually a wink or a special handshake—until either the detective has identified “it” or most of the players are out. Kids love this game and think it’s a blast, while the counselors know that shy campers are being approached by the more outgoing ones and encouraged to speak, names are repeated and learned, and kids are practicing introducing themselves and shaking hands. That might sound silly, but think about what an important social skill that is!

 On Tuesdays we break into groups and head inside for something called “Makerspace.” This is free play time where we throw open the cupboards and campers can choose from a variety of activities. We have Legos, K’Nex, board and card games, scrapbooking and craft supplies, paints and canvas, science kits, blocks, karaoke, and often a special activity that relates to the theme of the week. Kids can experiment in a pressure-free environment with no expectations to produce a perfect cookie-cutter craft, and counselors will answer requests for help by encouraging campers to try different solutions for themselves. We know the process is more important for children than the end result—that’s how they learn. Makerspace is a great way to encourage that process! Last year a group of campers built boats from bottles, tiny motors and batteries, and a variety of propellers and would take them to Lake Louise on Wednesday, try them out, then refine them the next week. That’s the kind of experimentation we love.

 Wednesdays are for trips to Lake Louise. Kids can swim, boat, fish, and play on the beach throughout the day. We love it when campers get to try something new, such as kayaking for the first time or catching their first fish! We work on other skills, too… “I can’t find my shoes!” becomes less and less common as the summer progresses; that camper who caught a fish gets over his fear of putting a worm on the hook by himself; an older camper teaches a younger one how to balance on a paddle board.

 On some Thursdays we will travel to local playgrounds. Severson Dells is one of our favorites since it’s so unique! Kids need variety in climbing and balancing to develop those motor skills, and Severson Dells sure has that. They also may play with musical instruments, water, bark and other natural materials. We hike and explore, find geocaches, catch frogs…all in a day’s fun. Blackhawk Park in Byron, Belvidere Park, Alpine Park, and Anna Paige Park are our other options for these days, and each has its own awesome facilities to keep us entertained and engaged.  Behind the scenes, of course, we’re working on group and social skills, encouraging success, and growing confidence.

 Our field trips tend to be on Fridays. Not all of them are strictly educational, but a trampoline park simply offers a chance to work on a different set of skills than a science museum—both are great! We also like to end the week on a super positive and fun note, not only to retain campers but also because it helps campers hold on to positive memories and experiences from the week and feel even better about what they did and accomplished.

 And the rest of the time--? Follow ByronSummerCamp on Twitter for daily and hourly updates with photos of our campers playing group games, sports, scavenger hunts, going on hikes, riding scooters, filming with our GoPros, catching insects and frogs, flying kites, exploring the woods, and all of the other things we do! And hey—any time this summer when you’re dropping off or picking up your campers, feel free to ask, “What are you doing today?”




7993 North River Road
Byron, Illinois
Phone 815-234-8535


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All Rights Reserved.