• Announcement: Our Fall 2021 Digital Only Program Guide is now available under the Program Guide tab!

Welcome to Special Recreation

Our Mission

To serve as an integral partner with our cooperative districts and villages to positively impact individuals with disabilities through diverse recreation opportunities and community services

Special Recreation offers a wide range of programs throughout the year, for youth through seniors of all ability levels. Program descriptions and registration information are available in the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer brochures. Brochures are available at member park district or city recreation department offices and the Special Recreation office at 4625 W. 110th St. Oak Lawn, IL 60453 or you can call us at (708) 857-2200 and we will gladly put you on a mailing list.

Special Recreation Summer Camp

Summer 2021

Camp registration begins online & in-person on Monday, April 26th

Limited spots are available so register early!

While the Oak Lawn Park District is excited to offer a summer camp program this summer we understand that the program we are offering does not include all of our past camp participants.  Please understand that we look forward to more inclusive guidelines in the future.

Eligibility for participation:

Due to continued restrictions for safety there are specific eligibility requirements campers must meet in order to attend camp this summer. Staff will assess each camper’s ability to participate in camp while following these guidelines. Staff will continue to assess each camper’s ability as needed throughout camp. At any point if a camper cannot follow these guidelines, staff will reassess their eligibility for camp.

·         Ability to participate within a ratio of one staff to four participants

·         Ability to participate in camp activities with minimal visual and verbal prompting.

·         Ability to maintain a 6-foot physical distance from other participants and staff.

·         Ability to properly put on, wear, and take off a face covering when necessary, for the duration of the program.

·         Ability to adapt to changes in camp schedule.

·         Ability to provide their own face covering.

·         Ability to independently attend to personal care (i.e. toileting, feeding, hygiene, and hand washing/using sanitizer).

·         Ability to maneuver wheelchair without assistance.

·         Ability to be responsible for own personal items with verbal prompts or reminders.

·         Ability to stay in safe proximity to group and refrain from elopement or wandering.

·         Ability to refrain from physically aggressive behaviors such as biting, spitting, scratching, hitting, kicking, etc. or behaviors that require direct or close proximity intervention from staff.

If you answered “Yes” to all the statements above, you are eligible for Summer Day Camp. If you answered “No” to any of the statements above, you will not be eligible for Day Camp this summer. If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact Jacqueline Canty at jcanty@olparks.com

Dates:  Monday, June 14-Friday, July 30             NOTE:  NO camp Monday, July 5th

Youth Camp:  6-12 years old

Teen/Adult Camp:  13 years old & up

Our summer camp program is designed to keep children, teens & adults both physically & mentally active throughout the summer.  Friendships will be formed, new experiences will be had, and each camper will have an unforgettable summer full of fun.  Some local field trips will occur & swimming during the week will also occur pending pool availability & ever-changing mitigations.  Camp will NOT be swimming 4 afternoons per week this year.

Each camper will be provided with a snack & lemonade/water each afternoon.  If your child has certain dietary restrictions, you may send your own snack.

Camp times:

Full day:  Monday-Friday, 9am-2:30pm

Half day:  Monday-Thursday, 12pm-2:30pm & Fridays, 9am-2:30pm


Full Day, Per Week:

$118 (less than $25/day) (Residents/Coop)  $175 (Non-Resident)

Week of July 5th (4 days vs. 5 days):

$95 (Residents/Coop)  $140 (Non-Resident)

OLPD Transportation is available on a first-come, first-served basis to Oak Lawn & Cooperative members.  NO transportation for non-residents is available.  Also, transportation is ONLY available to campers who sign up for ALL seven weeks.  The ONE-time fee for transportation for full-day, seven-week camp is $225 per camper.  Code:  #117551-10

 (NOTE:  NO transportation through the park district is available for half day campers… If your child is in summer school through a local school district/cooperative, it is your responsibility to ensure bussing is available from summer school.  If it isn’t, you are responsible for your camper’s transportation.)

Half Day, Per Week:

$95 (Residents/Coop)  $142.50 (Non-Resident)

Week of July 5th (4 days vs. 5 days):

$76 (Residents/Coop)  $114 (Non-Resident)

Week 1:  June 14-June 18th

Full day:  #117551-01

Half Day:  #117552-01

Week 2:  June 21- June 25th

Full day:  #117551-02

Half Day:  #117552-02

Week 3:  June 28-July 2nd

Full day:  #117551-03

Half Day:  #117552-03

Week 4:  July 6-July 9th (NO camp on Monday, July 5th)

Full day:  #117551-04

Half Day:  #117552-04

Week 5:  July 12-July 16th

Full day:  #117551-05

Half Day:  #117552-05

Week 6:  July 19 to July 23rd

Full day:  #117551-06

Half Day:  #117552-06

Week 7:  July 26 to July 30th

Full day:  #117551-07

Half Day:  #117552-07

ALL 7 weeks of FULL Day Special Recreation Summer Camp:


Fee:  $803 (Residents/Coop)  $1190 (Non-Residents) 

(Transportation is an additional $225)


All 7 weeks of HALF day Special Recreation Summer Camp:


Fee:  $646 (Residents/Coop)  $969 (Non-Resident)


Important Information:

*Special Recreation Camp registration begins on Monday, April 26th.

*A minimum of 15% of the total camp fees is due at the time of registration (no exceptions) to hold your camper’s spot.

*The registration deadline for the 2021 Special Recreation Camps is Friday, May 28th.  NO registrations for camp will be accepted after that date due to staffing requirements.

*Both full day & half day camps begin on Monday, June 14th

*ALL brand new campers must have an in-person assessment meeting with the day camp director & the Special Recreation Supervisor (J. Canty) before the start of camp.  You will be contacted by J. Canty to set up the meeting AFTER you enroll your camper in the program.

*Each camper must have a parent/caretaker/guardian attend our Camp Informational sessions. It will be held at the Dream Center NOT the Oak View Center from 6-7pm on Wednesday, June 9th.  This informational session is for your benefit.  ALL of the camps policies, procedures, schedules, and questions will be reviewed & answered. 

*There is NO camp on Monday, July 5th.

*ALL camp registration fees must be paid for by Monday, June 7th for your camper to participate in the 2021 camp season.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

*Each camper must bring a labeled, non-perishable lunch & water bottle daily.

*On swim days, each camper must bring a labeled bathing suit, towel & sunblock (spray is preferred).

*Once a camper is enrolled for camp, fees will not be adjusted or refunded due to vacation time, planned absences, suspension or expulsion of camp program, etc.

Requirements Prior to Attending Each Program:


Guardians must confirm that participants have not exhibited any of the following symptoms prior to arriving to the program each day:


·         Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

·         Shortness of breath

·         Cough

·         Sore throat

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Diarrhea

·         Chills

·         Unexplained muscle aches

·         Headaches

·         Unexplained fatigue

·         Abdominal pain

·         New loss of smell or taste


OLPD Safety Precautions:


Although recreation programs always have an inherent risk, OLPD has taken several measures to promote safety and wellness in our programs.

·         Programs will have maximum capacities to ensure limited, smaller group sizes.

·         Participants and staff must wear face coverings at all times.

–        The only exception to this is when the program is outside, and staff and participants can maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet.

·         Staff will develop a pickup and drop off system for each program to ensure proper physical distancing.

·         Staff will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (tabletops, door handles, etc.) before and after activities and in between uses of different individuals. 

·         OLPD will take measures to promote 6-foot physical distancing like seat assignments, outdoor activities, barriers, and traffic flow patterns.

·         Only registered participants and staff will be allowed to attend programs.

·         To protect the participant and those they interact with, participants who do not adhere to program rules and the above guidelines may be removed from the program.

Cooperative Agencies 

Situated in the South suburban Chicago, Illinois, Oak Lawn Park District Special Recreation serves communities in Cook counties.

The park districts and cities that form the Oak Lawn Park District Special Recreation cooperative are:

  • Clyde Park District
  • Bridgeview Park District
  • Burbank Park District
  • Chicago Ridge Park District
  • Village of Crestwood
  • Evergreen Park Recreation Department
  • Justice Park District
  • Village of Hometown
  • Palos Hills Recreation Center
  • Summit Park District


Oak Lawn welcomes participants of all ages and various ability levels in programs. Preschoolers, children, teens, adults and senior adults can realize the benefits of involvement in recreation activities. Programs are designed with a close staff-to-participant ratio to assist people with disabilities in achieving their greatest success. Program adaptations to accommodate a physical limitation are common in our adapted sports and fitness programs. Many programs for people with mental disabilities enhance socialization and foster independence. Activities for youth-at-risk promote cooperation and social skills in a therapeutic and challenging setting. In keeping with the goals of each program, our #1 objective is to offer fun!


Special Recreation offers a wide range of programs throughout the year, for youth through seniors of various ability levels. Program descriptions and registration information are available in the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer brochures. Brochures are available at member park district or city recreation department offices, and the Special Recreation office at 4625 W. 110th St. Oak Lawn, IL 60453 Or you can call us at (708)857-2200 and we will gladly put you on a mailing list.

Weekly Programs

Sports, cultural, outdoor, social and motor development programs are offered each season for sessions ranging from eight to twelve weeks in length.

Special Events

One day outings to local and regional sites offer fun on holidays, school days off, and other days throughout the year. Special Recreation staff and participants explore many of Chicagoland's newest recreation attractions.


Trips for groups of varying ages and abilities provide experiences ranging from camping to hotel stays, regionally and nationally.


Summer day camps give children and teens a chance to make new friends, try new activities and enjoy the summer season. Full day camps are offered, along with half day camps in conjunction with some summer school programs.


We at the Oak Lawn Park District understand that not every person with a special need or disability condition requires Special Recreation programming. We will be happy to advise or assist residents who wish to participate in the Oak Lawn Park District recreation department programs. We strongly encourage integration, as this inclusive recreation environment provides our residents with even greater options for their leisure time. We want to make each and every experience you share with our park district, safe and positive. Support Services may include, but are not limited to:

  • One-to-one consultation
  • In-service training with park district and recreation department staff
  • Assistance through the use of Inclusion Aide
  • Provisions of community resources

Note: These services are provided at no cost, but we do ask that you fill out the Inclusion Request Form (Available at Oak View Center) two weeks prior to the beginning of the program. That is to ensure we are able to find an inclusion aide to assist you or your child. We are committed to doing everything possible to make your inclusion experience a successful one.

Special Olympics

Special Recreation provides quality Special Olympics training programs in several sports for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Individual athletes and teams compete locally, and in Illinois Special Olympics competition in Region E and at the state level.

Oak Lawn Special Recreation offers training and competition opportunities in these sports:

  • Aquatics
  • Alpine skiing
  • Basketball
  • Bocce Ball
  • Bowling
  • Floor Hockey
  • Golf (Unified)
  • Power Lifting
  • Gymnastics
  • Snowshoeing 
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball (Unified)

Over 150 athletes benefit from proper instruction and training, physical conditioning, socializing and being part of the team. The sports are coached by professional staff and/or highly experienced or Special Olympics certified part-time staff and volunteers.

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