FAQ's Summer Camp
What should kids bring or wear to camp?
Children should wear comfortable clothes that allow them to move freely. They will be going upside down on the wheels and aerial equipment so your child may prefer shirts that don’t ride up or that can be tucked in.
They will also need gym shoes, as these are essential for working on the wheels. Any gym shoes will do, but the best for wheel because of the flat heel and snugness to the foot are any brand of the classic canvas (Converse-type) shoes.
Children should not wear jewelry or watches as these things can snag and cause damage to the silks. While working on the silks, children will wear socks or have bare feet.
Please keep in mind that we will be spending some time outdoors, though we do not plan to schedule outdoor time in direct sunlight during the heat of the day. Generally, we will work outside on the track for about 45 minutes before noon. There will also be free time on the playground which has sunlight and shady trees.
As to personal items – please do not allow your child to bring valuables to camp. The children will leave their lunches and personal belongings in a corner on the gym floor. We have never had problems with this arrangement, but please know that staff is not responsible for lost items.
Are lunch and snacks provided or should we pack a lunch?
Children are free to bring their lunches, or on Mondays through Thursdays they can take advantage of the lunches provided by the Summer Food Service program which is federally funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service and administered by Illinois State Board of Education.
On Fridays children are required to bring their own lunches.
Children are encouraged to bring water bottles. There are also drinking fountains at Chase, one in the hallway just outside the gym and another on the playground.
How do you handle food allergies?
Because some campers may have food allergies, we request that children do not share foods with one another. If your child has severe allergies, feel free to contact our head coach, Wolfgang Bientzle (312-375-5264) to discuss.
Where do we meet on the first day of camp?
You will find us inside the Chase Park gym. Come into the gym with your child so that you can meet us and we can make sure all of your paperwork and payment is complete. Paperwork simply consists of a waiver that needs to be fully filled out and signed before your child can participate in camp. If you have already filled out a waiver with us this year, then you don't need to sign an additional one for camp.
If you prefer to fill out the waiver ahead of time (and save a few minutes in the morning) you can download the waiver here, and print it at home.
How do you handle emergencies?
We follow Chicago Park District guidelines for these matters.
“The Chicago Park District strives to provide a safe and healthy environment for your child/children. In the event of an emergency, the staff will adhere to the following procedures:
Park staff will call 911 for medical professionals to handle all serious accidents.
A call will be made to you to inform you of the situation. If a parent is not available, the staff will call the first and second emergency contacts listed in the online account information. Be sure those are the primary numbers to be called. “
Where will the children participate in camp activities throughout the day? Are there field trips?
Most of the camp activities take place in the gym, though children will spend 2-3 hours per day outdoors, wheeling on the running track, and having lunch and free time on the playground, with games occasionally played on the field.
If it rains we will stay indoors, usually in the gym. However, we are sharing the space with other Chase Park camps and so we may occasionally move to one of the rooms upstairs.
There will be no field trips - all camp activities are at Chase Park.
Do the campers use the swimming pool? And what if my child does not know how to swim?
Yes, the campers use the pool, and if your child can't swim - no problem! Your child is not the first camper that can’t swim. This is how swimming works:
We swim for one hour, everyday each week, weather permitting. As long as the lifeguards deem it safe (no lightning) we go to the pool area, though no one is required to go into the pool if they don’t want to swim that day.
The Chase Park pool is 3 feet to 8 feet deep, and there is a divider at the 5 foot mark. In order to enter the deep end, the lifeguards require children to do a swim test in which they must successfully swim to the end of the pool and tread water. If they pass, they get a wristband and are free to play anywhere in the pool. All other children must stay in the shallow end, which is 3 to 5 feet deep.
According to Chase Park, there are three lifeguards at the pool. One on the high seat, and two others that walk around. In the shallow end, children who have not passed the swim test are instructed by the lifeguards to stay in shallow water – no higher than chest-deep.
Additionally, most of our counselors enter the pool area, with at least one counselor in the pool at all times. Children are free to play in the pool or on the deck.
Chase Park does not allow any flotation devices except for Coast Guard certified life vests. They also allow swim goggles in the pool. On swim days, make sure to pack a swimsuit and towel!
If you’re not comfortable with having your child join us in swimming, simply don’t pack a swimsuit. Your child will still be able to join us for free play on the pool deck.
Do camp counselors have emergency contact phone numbers? Do you have a list of phone numbers for us to call?
Our counselors have a binder with all of the contact information/emergency contact information for each camper. Numbers that you can call in order to reach us:
* Wolfgang Bientzle, head coach: 312-375-5264
* Jesse Dascola, lead counselor: 312-810-2796
* Chase Park, front desk: 312-742-7518
What happens if we are running late?
If you are running late, please text Jesse Dascola to let her know. Since all activities are at Chase Park, it is easy to find us when you do arrive. (If you do not see us in the gym, on the track, in the playground or field, we could be in the theater upstairs. If necessary staff at the front desk can help you find us.)
What happens if we are early?
If you arrive 15 minutes early, you’ll find at least one of our counselors in the gym. If you are earlier than that, we offer early care from 9:00 – 10:00 (in the gym) at $7.50 per hour.
Do your counselors have background checks?
All of our counselors are trained and certified to coach the circus arts activities provided in this camp, and have gone through the background checks required by the Chicago Park District.
What is your pickup and drop off routine?
Daily pick up and drop off takes place in the gym. (If the gym is divided, Cirques Experience will be in the east half of the gym.)
When you pick up your child, go to the park’s designated pick-up spot (the gym for Cirques Experience campers), sign the roll sheet and write down the time. When signing in on the first day of camp, you may check the appropriate box if you wish for your child to leave the grounds at dismissal time unescorted.
Also on the first day of camp, please review and make any necessary changes/additions or our roll sheet for people authorized to pick up your child. You may update your preferences at any time by speaking to a counselor at drop-off or pick-up time.
If paying by check, who do I make it out to?
Please make checks payable to: Wolfgang Bientzle or Cirques Experience
Please contact Wolfgang Bientzle if there is anything else you need us to know about your child or your circumstances
(312) 375-5264 //
If you have other logistical questions,please email Christian at
If you have payment questions, please email Christian at
We are looking forward to a spectacular summer with your children!