Summer Camp

Chester Bowl Summer Camp registration for 2020 will open in March. Returning families (participating in summer or fall camp in 2019 or 2018 will receive an email with a registration link the evening of March 9th, after 5pm. If a returning family does not receive an email by the 10th, please contact sam@chesterbowl.org to request one.

Registration for new families will open at 5pm on Monday, March 16th. A registration link will be provided in the text below at that time.

Please read on for more information on our summer camp; information will continue to be updated as we get closer to the opening of registration.

The Chester Bowl Summer Day Camp is based on a philosophy of nature play, positive social interaction with peers, teen mentors, and adult staff, and immersion in nature. We see campers thrive in an environment where they are given age-appropriate amounts of choice, responsibility, and risk. A typical day may include unstructured play time on the playground, group games and activities with both the full group and smaller groups, arts and crafts, hiking through Chester on the way to a local field trip destination (or taking the DTA or other bus for a farther trip), fort building, making boats from natural materials, playing in the creek, smiling, laughing, making new friends, and asking “do I really need to go home now?” at the end of the day.  Our promise to parents is to return your camper each day tired, dirty, and happy!

DAYS AND TIMES:  We offer programming four days a week, Monday through Thursday.  Children can be dropped off between 8:00 and 9:00, with the day’s structured activities starting at 9 AM.  All children must be picked up by 5:00 PM.  Camp will run Monday through Thursday from June 8th, 2020 through August 20th, 2020. As always, you can sign up for as many or as few days as you want, and only the days that you want, with no minimum or maximum. Please note that this year there is an extra week of summer vacation, so there are TWO weeks between the end of our camp programming and the start of school after Labor Day.

CAMP ACTIVITIES: Each day at camp we spend nearly the entire day outside, taking advantage of the beautiful park and the trails and creek.  Daily activities in the park can include nature exploration and hikes, group games like gaga, dodgeball, and capture the flag, arts and crafts, fort building, playground time, obstacle courses, and playing in the creek. We also take many field trips off site by foot, by DTA bus, and by Voyager Bus.  Anticipated trips this summer may include the Mount Royal Library, the Lakewalk and Canal Park, many of the various city parks including Leif Erickson, Enger Tower, and Twin Ponds, Bagley Nature Area, Jay Cooke State Park, Great Lakes Aquarium, Park Point, and many more! Our tentative schedule will be added at a link found here closer to registration opening, and will also be added in picture form. Please note that this will be our planned schedule, but it is likely to shift as the summer progresses.  The schedule of activities can change due to shifts in availability and weather.

AGES: Camp is open to children who are at least 6 years old OR have completed Kindergarten, up to 12 years old.  Older children (13+) may be interested in volunteering through the St. Louis County 4-H Incredible Exchange Program.  More information can be found here.

PROGRAM COST: The program cost is $30.00 per child per day.  There is also a non-refundable $50 family registration fee.  Payment is processed upon registration; you can also choose a payment plan system, with up to three installments. There are also scholarships available, so please do not let the cost keep you from enjoying camp! You can request a partial or full scholarship during registration. Our scholarships are funded by donations at Fall Fest, our Skis, Suds, & Slices event, and through grants from the Minnesota Power Foundation and Rotary Club 25.

REGISTRATION: All applications are through an online system, and are processed through two waves. Registration occurs directly through the online portal; there will be no paper registration option this year. A registration guide will be posted here prior to registration opening for returning families, and the online registration link for new families will be posted on March 16th at 5pm. We strongly encourage families registering to read through the registration guide before beginning registration!

All applications are processed immediately on a first come-first served basis through the online system. You will know immediately what availability there is for your campers this summer. Registration is open until filled and then names are added to a waitlist. To ensure camp quality and the appropriate staff/camper ratio, we have a registration cap for each day of camp. The days that are full will have the word “Waitlist” listed in blue text on the grey bar next to the daily price.

If you do not have access to a computer for registration, or would otherwise like assistance, you can come to the Chester Bowl Chalet to use a Chester computer for registration. Please make an appointment in advance with staff for assistance by calling 218-724-9832 or emailing sam@chesterbowl.org.

SCHEDULE CHANGES AND REFUNDS: No refunds will be given after April 1st. Changes made prior to April 1st to the days in which your camper is registered for are subject to an administrative fee of $5 for each day cancelled. The registration fee is non-refundable. A payment plan will be available upon checkout with part due during registration, part due on April 1, and part due on May 1. Camp should be paid in full by May 1. If needed, you can contact Chester Bowl about an extended payment plan.

Additional days may become available throughout the summer due to other campers cancelling. These are first filled through the waitlist, but if there is no waitlist for that particular day, registration is through the online system as usual. If you want to add days as the summer progresses, check the registration software periodically to see if desired days have opened up.

If you have any questions, please email Sam at sam@chesterbowl.org or call Chester Bowl at 724-9832.

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