ParkTalk Podcast
ParkTalk Blog
  • 630-848-5000
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Park District E-learning Experience Continues Successful Summer Camp Model

This fall, some of the Park District’s recreation classrooms look very much like elementary school classrooms, with children’s artwork displayed on the walls, extra supplies on tables, and rows of children’s desks. A closer look reveals a few differences: only 10 or fewer students are in the classroom, their ages range from 5-11 and they are wearing face coverings.  

The Naperville Park District’s E-Learning Experience began September 1 and runs through October 30 with locations at Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center (ARRCC) and the 95th Street Center. The program was created for families who want or need daytime supervision for their children while they participate in their schools’ remote learning this fall. Families have the option of registering for a 2-day or 3-day program or both.  The program is staffed by experienced assistants who help create a supportive atmosphere for student learning as well as planning fun activities during break times.

Ms. Sue and Mr. George
George and Sue work together in one of the classrooms at the ARRCC in downtown Naperville. Sue previously worked at Lisle Park District for 18 years, teaching a variety of programs including preschool and after-school programs. George is a college student majoring in physical education and has served as a camp counselor for Naperville Park District summer camps. He also coaches Ultimate Frisbee at Naperville Central High School.

Mr. Cyril helping students at his desk
Cyril and Candy work together in the second classroom at the ARRCC. Cyril also teaches at an extra-curricular school, Learn to Write Now. Candy has an associate’s degree in child development and said that she loves working with this age group.
Ms. Candy assisting a student 

Reflections from Camp Seager 2020
This type of small-group experience also was incorporated into the Park District’s summer camps in 2020 to adhere to guidelines related to COVID-19. According to camp counselors and parents, small groups were the key to a great summer of growth and fun for the children.

Campers enjoyed water games each week on Friday

George and Maggie served as co-directors at Camp Seager, which met at Seager Park, a quiet, wooded park with open fields, a large pavilion and Seager Interpretive Center. With the campers divided into groups of 8 or 10, counselors were able to get to know the children better.

“Each counselor could focus on their group,” said Maggie. “Behavior-wise, you get to know your kids a lot better. You know who doesn’t get along with whom. Counselors can work with kids one-on-one and teach them how to talk to someone when they are upset. We saw a lot of growth over the summer.”

One of the high points of the camp from George’s point of view was the contribution of the Inside Out Club. A local nonprofit group, the Inside Out Club aims to help kids develop character. They visited the camp each week, teaching lessons such as the importance of treating others with kindness, and led kids through practical projects like writing letters to military service men and women and making a “worry jar” to help cope with stress.

Worry Jar

“Each week the kids were able to build empathy, kindness, self-awareness, and an increased perspective of their community,” said George. “We as counselors really loved seeing the kids get empowered and learn such amazing values!”

According to Maggie, parents were grateful for the camp, especially after their children had been inside for so long during the stay-at-home order. “Parents said that it’s so nice to come home after work and know that the kids have played outside all day with friends.” 

Kids were able to see a variety of reptiles including this tiny frog

One of the parents expressed her gratitude for the camp as follows:
“This spring was difficult for everyone. I was so happy and relieved when the Park District was able to put safety measures in place that allowed my child to have such a fun, memorable, and enriching experience at Camp Seager this summer. 

In fact, many of the changes that were made to keep the campers and staff healthy were extremely helpful for my son, who has attention and processing disorders that can make it difficult to succeed in large, unstructured groups. The fact that the kids were in small groups with one counselor all day helped him with his impulse control and allowed him to form relationships with both other kids and adults. Plus, even though they were onsite all summer, they had guests with amazing things to share like the Frog Lady with all her reptiles, or the Inside Out Club helping the kids do concrete things to get in touch with their feelings. My son sometimes has trouble expressing his feelings with words but has been able to use his worry jar to write down things that are bothering him which I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Thanks for a great summer!” 

Connect your business’s brand with a well-known and respected one like
the Naperville
Park District’s and reach a large, active and diverse audience.

To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities
contact Stacey Fontechia Sales and Sponsorship Manager at 630-848-3575 or at
Please consider making a donation of any amount to our Fee Assistance Program.
Your contribution will help Naperville residents in need enjoy the benefits of recreation programs.