Lurie Children’s Patients Experience Summertime Joy Thanks to Camp Urban Explorers

Summer kicks off a special time for patients and families at Lurie Children’s thanks to Camp Urban Explorers. Led by our School Services team and generously supported by Slalom Consulting, Camp Urban Explorers provides inpatients and their siblings the chance to experience the best of summer. This summer marks the camp’s sixth year offering eight themed weeks of educational, engaging and fun programing.

“Every child deserves a summer filled with smiles and fun,” mentioned Olivia Weyers, a Slalom senior consultant who joined in with Camp Urban Explorers this year. “Together, Slalom and Lurie Children's sprinkle a bit more joy and warmth in the Chicago community, making summer a bit brighter for everyone.”

From STEAM and Art to the City of Chicago and Pride weeks, our “campers” are never bored exploring new themes. Lurie Children's Teachers Scott and Katie plan unique activities each week that they, along with the help of volunteers, take bedside to families. This summer, campers built working STEM flashlights out of popsicle sticks, created their own Keith Haring-inspired works of art, tie dyed pillowcases, and much more! The James Dyson Foundation joined in on the fun by sponsoring an Innovators Week, which allowed campers to explore and test their engineering skills. One of the highlights of camp this summer was the return of Shedd Aquarium which amazed patients and families with a visit from some of its reptile and amphibian friends.

These camp activities spark imagination, foster problem-solving and critical thinking skills, encourage collaboration, and most importantly, create joy for families hospitalized during summer months. Camp Urban Explorers not only normalizes the hospital experience for patients and families but gives them long-lasting memories of a childhood summer tradition.

“Nothing beats seeing the giant smiles on students’ faces when their popsicle stick flashlight lights up for the first time or the wonder in their eyes when they get to see a green tree snake in real life,” said Teachers Scott and Katie. “It’s always a highlight of our year to provide hospitalized students with experiences that they’ll be eager to share with their non-hospitalized peers.”

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