Evanston Safety Town is a summer day camp program based on the National Safety Town, formerly of Dayton, Ohio. Sine it started in 1977, several thousand young people have participated in the program. We have second generation campers attending, following the lead of their parents. We have even had a third generation campers whose grandmother was one of the founders and whose father attended as a child in the 1980s.
Camp is held at Lincolnwood School in the kindergarten rooms at the west end of the building. There is a parking lot on the south side of the building at 2600 Grant and parking on Colfax on the north side. Please be aware of parking restrictions for street cleaning. The City tickets and tows. There is no residency requirement for campers. We welcome residents of neighboring communities.
We are fortunate to have Sonja Bruggeman, who is a pre-school teacher and has been with the program for 4 years. She is assisted in the camp room by a young adult.
Due to the prevalence of allergies, no food is allowed in the classroom. Please inform us about allergies on the registration form and provide appropriate medication in a plastic bag with the name of the camper and a phone number for a parent or emergency contact. Sunscreen should be applied before the camp begins each day. Sunglasses and hats or visors are welcome. The room has 2 bathrooms and a water fountain.
The camp tries to entertain as it educates. Safety topics covered include crossing the street, what to do in am emergency and when to call 911. Also included are how to approach a strange animal, fire and water safety rules, bike safety rules, good touch/bad touch (created with the help of a child psychologist), and safe driving practices. Expect to have your driving critiqued by your child! A copy of the topics is available online. A schedule of topics and visitors for each session will be posted in the room.
Teen volunteers are an essential part of the program. They work in small groups with the campers to explain and reinforce the daily topics, create and color materials that are collected in a booklet for each camper. Videos, puzzles, and books are also provided to reinforce the rules. Disabled campers requiring more supervision cam be assigned to just one teen. Please notify of this requirement on the registration form. Teens earn community service hours with the contribution of their time.
The safety rules are reinforced daily (weather permitting) on the "town" painted on the playground in 2016 by a local Boy Scout for his community service badge for Eagle Scout status. Thank you, Jasper, Davidoff.
The camp was founded in 1977 by the Evanston/Skokie District 65 Council of PTAs as a standing committee and operated that way until late 2017. The camp is in the process of incorporating as an Illinois not-for-profit organization and will seek 501c3 status. Because of this change, the camp is being required to provide its own liability insurance. Thus the fee is being increased to $125 after almost a decade at $110.
Emily Guthrie, director, has been with the program since 1984. Her own children are now in their late 30s but she loves the program and enjoys pulling it together every year as a contribution to the community.