Chicago Comedy Camps FAQs

How do I register? Find the camp you want on our Camps pages, then register online or give us a call at 312-664-3959. You should receive an email confirmation shortly after enrollment.

Can I register in the middle of the summer? Yes! You can register for camp at anytime before the start of a new camp session. Though we recommend registering as early as possible to secure a spot, as some camps will fill up. You cannot register for a camp that is currently in progress.

How can I be sure I will receive all the information and updates I need? Please make sure upon registering that we have the parent or guardian’s current contact information listed as the primary contact under the camper’s name on the student account. This includes both your phone number and your email. If you provide your child’s email or an email that you do not check, you will then miss out on important details, receipts, newsletters, performance video links, etc.

Does The Second City provide housing? Campers are responsible for their own housing. If you are coming in from out of town, please check out our Where to Stay page. This list includes dorms, hotels and hostels that past students have recommended. Prices may vary and it is best to check with the hotels for the most up-to-date rates.

Where can I learn about Chicago commuter information? The CTA website at www.transitchicago.com is a good place to start. The training center is located near the Brown Line Sedgwick stop with several bus routes as well.

How long is the camp day? Camp runs 9:00-4:00 Monday through Friday. A counselor will be on duty for drop-off as early as 8:30am. Extended day Games & Movies runs 4:00-5:00 for an additional fee. Mini-Camp includes Games & Movies.

Does the training center provide lunch? Campers are responsible for bringing their lunch everyday except for performance day. On final performance day we order pizza! If your camper has specific dietary needs, we suggest that they also bring their own lunch on performance day. We have coolers in each classroom where students can place their lunch until the break.

Can the students leave for lunch? No. All students are required to stay in our facility for lunch. The Training Center has a lobby where all students gather and eat their lunches together. All lunches need to be brought in before the start of the day.

Is there anything my camper cannot bring to camp? Yes. Please leave all valuables, or anything dangerous at home. No camper may bring peanut, tobacco or alcoholic products into the building. We also recommend leaving valuables at home.

Can I enroll with a friend? Of course, but keep in mind that there are typically multiple sections of each age group, and there is a chance you will not be in the same class with your friend. Due to the large number of students participating we are not able to honor most pairing requests. You’ll make new friends and still get to see your friend during breaks.

I registered two weeks ago and haven’t heard back yet? In this case we do suggest you should give us a call and follow up on your registration and account information you provided.

Once I register will I receive more information? Yes, we will send out an email about 2 weeks before camp begins with additional camp information.

Which email will you send the information to? The email you have provided on your child’s account. We recommend that this email address belong to a parent or guardian. Please make sure your email address is up to date and one that you routinely check so that you receive all the information we send to you.

Who are your teachers? Our teachers are all performers/instructors that work with us and throughout the city on a regular basis. They have all been trained to teach camps and have a passion for working with kid and teen students. Most of them have taught the camps on several occasions.

Can I take more than one session? Yes, if you wish. There usually are a few campers who do more than one session each year. You will repeat some activities, but the different mix of campers and teachers will guarantee a new experience.

How are campers grouped? Campers are grouped according to age. We find this is the best way to make sure campers are closest to being on equal reading level and at the same development stages.

My child is very mature. Can they be with the older class? Because classes are designed according to student development, we will not place campers into classes with differently aged campers for the benefit of themselves, the other class members and the instructors.

What is the average size of a class? We try to keep classes capped at certain numbers to allow everyone to participate in the class activities and be well represented in the final show. The general size of the classes is as follows: (ages 8-11) – 12 (ages 12-14) – 14 students; (ages 15-18) – 16 students.

Tell me about the performance day. Performance day is held on the final day of camp, for all camps two weeks and longer. Each 8-11 year class will perform their favorite improv games for 15-20 minutes. The older classes will present a show that is approximately 50 minutes long with each show having a combination of improv and sketch. The first round of performances begins at 1:00pm and the final at 4:00pm. Students should be finished by 5:00pm. We will release the final performance schedule on the first Friday of camp. Please consider these times when planning your travel arrangements. There will be no Games & Movies on final performance days.

How do I reserve tickets for the performance? No ticket reservations will be necessary. Yahoo! Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your campers performance in order to seat your entire party. If you are bringing more than six audience members, please email us ahead of time, so that we can ensure there are enough seats for every camper’s friends and family.

Wait, should I have filled out a medical form? As part of the registration process, we ask if there is any situation (medical or otherwise) that we should be aware of. If you click yes it opens up a new field for you to explain. Please be truthful and open with us. This information is confidential and is only to help us work best with your child. We want to help them succeed. Please feel free to reach out to the camp director at any time with any medical concerns.

Where are the classes held? Our Chicago Training Center is located at 1608 N. Wells in the Piper’s Alley building in the Old Town neighborhood.

Is there parking? Piper’s Alley does have a parking garage connected to it. The Second City does not own this garage, and it is pretty expensive. Your best bet is to take public transportation or look for neighborhood parking. Just always watch for parking restriction signs and meters.

Will there be an orientation and does a parent need to be present? Orientation will take place on the first day of camp before classes start. Since a lot of valuable information will be provided it certainly is helpful for a parent to be present.

What if my child doesn’t like camp? Tuition is non-transferable and nonrefundable. We do suggest you discuss enrollment with your child and family before deciding to enroll. Once camp begins if your child is unhappy please encourage them to participate and talk to us to make us aware of the situation.

Can I take Improv in one session and Sketch in another? Unfortunately this type of schedule will not work out. Each session is working towards building a final performance, so full attendance is required.

Do I have to be funny to participate? No, we never ask anyone to be funny. Instead we teach the basics of improv and sketch which, with a little help, usually turns out to be funny.

Do you provide financial assistance? There are a limited number of scholarships available each summer. If you are in need and wish to apply you will find an application on our website. Please follow the directions correctly and comply with all deadlines posted.

I completed the camp what’s next? You are welcome to join our year round kids and teens classes to keep developing your craft. If you live out of town consider starting your own improv club at school, online classes and join us again next summer.

How can I find out about Kids and Teens program activities? We have a monthly newsletter. You can subscribe via the website.

Does Second City scout talent from the camps? Second City is not a talent agency, but rather focuses on training the student in improvisation. This teamwork training can help them whether they decide to pursue a career in theater or accounting.

Do you have a Facebook page? Yes, our Kids & Teens Program page is a closed group so that only those with permission can view pictures from camps and keep up to date on Youth Program happenings.

Will I meet anyone famous? Probably no one currently famous, but some future celebrities surely.

 

If you have any additional questions please call The Training Center at 312-664-3959 or email us at youthprogram@secondcity.com.