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Meet Our Camp Counselors and Find Out Why Kids Love Summer Camp at the Naperville Park District

Stephanie:  Experienced, dedicated counselor at Camp LOL at Seager Park

Arriving at Seager Park early on Friday morning, my goal was to talk with one of the staff to get a snapshot of a typical day at camp. The camp director introduced me to Stephanie, an experienced counselor at Camp LOL, the Naperville Park District’s day camp for kids in grades 1-4.  

Camp staff meeting before campers arrive at Seager Park for the day

Stephanie is a senior at Carthage College, majoring in social work, with 5 years of experience working with kids at the Naperville Park District’s summer camps and programs. Stephanie returns each year because it’s the perfect summer job, offering experience in her chosen field. 

“I love being around kids,” explained Stephanie.  “I like the job; it’s fun to be outside, to go on the field trips, to joke with the kids and get to know them. Some of the kids return each year, and you get to watch them grow.”

Jaqui: Camp Director for Camp F2F at Frontier Sports Complex

Jaqui, who also has 5 years of experience as a camp counselor with the Naperville Park District, was recently promoted to director of Camp F2F, a summer day camp for kids in grades 5-8 at Frontier Sports Complex. A senior at Western Illinois University, majoring in elementary education, Jacqui sees her summer job as excellent preparation for a career in teaching.

F2F campers enjoy field games at Frontier Sports Complex

When asked what keeps her coming back to work at summer camps at the Naperville Park District, Jaqui’s response was, “I love the people and the environment.”

In her new role as director she is responsible for planning the day’s activities and handling the expenses and logistics of field trips, as well as getting to know the kids and supporting the camp counselors.

It’s about the kids

Stephanie, Jaqui and the other camp staff members maintain a friendly, compassionate atmosphere, helping new campers feel welcome and encouraging kids to join in the games and reach out to make new friends.  And their efforts pay off.

Counselor and kids during free play time at Seager Park

“We see positive changes in the kids over the summer.  Some are quiet and shy as new campers.  We’ll introduce them to kids, start to see them open up, and then find out they are really outgoing,” explained Stephanie.

Daily and Weekly Camp Activities

A typical week for the campers begins with a full day at Seager Park or Frontier Sports Complex on Monday, with time for group games, free play, snacks, quiet time, and lunch.  Campers spend Tuesday and Friday afternoons at Centennial Beach, go on a field trip on Thursday and enjoy a pizza lunch on Friday.

Camp LOL and F2F campers and counselors at Seager Park

Field trips this year include Funway,Blackberry Farm, Splash Country and Turtle Splash water parks, Brunswick Zone, and Donley’s Wild West Town.

Benefits for campers

From the camp counselor’s point of view, there are lots of benefits for kids who attend summer day camp. “Camp gets kids to be active and to be outside,” said Stephanie.  “When I was little, playing outside was the thing to do.”  Campers at the Park District summer day camps spend the majority of the day outside, giving kids all of the physical, emotional and intellectual benefits that go with an outdoor experience in a safe, beautiful place like a park.

F2F campers playing at Frontier Sports Complex with prairie in bloom

“Camp gives kids a new start, an opportunity to make new friends over the summer,” added Stephanie. She also mentioned the benefits of camp for working parents.  Drop-off and pick-up hours are flexible, giving parents the peace of mind to know that their kids are having a fun, healthy and memorable summer while their parents are at work.

Register your kids now for remaining openings

Don’t miss the best weeks of summer!  Remaining spots are filling quickly. Register for one, two or more weeks at Camp LOL, Camp F2F at either Seager Park or Frontier Sports Complex. Also, check out the entire Camps Guide for additional summer camps in art, nature, technology and sports.

F2F campers and staff pause for a moment before field games at Frontier Sports Complex

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Your contribution will help Naperville residents in need enjoy the benefits of recreation programs.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
© 2021 Naperville Park District