Kids Comedy Camps

The Second City Kids Comedy Camps are a place to exercise your creative energies in our improvisation and comedy writing camps! Campers play fun improv games to help access creativity, boost self-confidence and develop spontaneity and playfulness.

Summer Comedy Camps

Summer Comedy Camps

  • Ages 5-18

How fun does a Comedy Camp sound? Spend part of your summer at The Second City in our improv and comedy writing camps. Campers exercise their sense of play through improv games and exercises that are the foundation of The Second City’s unique brand of comedy. Our teachers will work with these young improvisers to help enhance their ability to communicate with others and develop confidence in their own creativity while working as part of an ensemble.

Summer camps are one or two weeks long with classes Monday through Friday each week. One-week camps will have an informal end-of-camp demonstration during the last 30 minutes on the last day of camp. Parents and guardians are invited to attend. At the end of two-week camps, campers present a show for their family and friends on one of the Second City stages. Two-week campers are also treated to a special performance by The Second City National Touring Company and an end-of-camp pizza party.

Students ages 15-18 who have previously attended two or more camps may be interested in our Advanced Comedy Camp, July 22-August 9! Additionally, students ages 11-19 who are interested in learning more about filmmaking may be interested in the one-week Harold Ramis Film School Camps.

HOW TO REGISTER When registering a student online, the parent/guardian must create a profile for themselves first and then add the student as a family member before completing the registration. If the student has previously attended Training Center classes, please use the existing student profile. We strongly recommend that the parent or guardian’s email address is listed on the student’s profile. Please note all tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable. Students are grouped by age, and there are generally multiple sections of each age group.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Please check out our Comedy Camp Frequently Asked Questions. The answers to most questions can be found on the FAQ, but if you need more information please email youthprogram@secondcity.com.

SCHOLARSHIPS The Second City Training Center has a limited number of full and partial scholarships available. Applications for 2019 camps are accepted through this online form and are due by April 19, 2019. All applicants will be notified of a decision by May 10—no phone calls or emails please.

WHERE TO STAY Coming from out of town? The Second City Training Center does not provide housing for camp students. See our “Where To Stay” page for recommended hotels, hostels, and dormitories in the Chicago area.

Comedy Camp ages 12-18

Improv (9am–11:30am) – Explore the fundamentals of improv as taught and performed at The Second City. Develop skills like creative thinking, self-confidence, listening, brainstorming, team building, empathy, and communication, while having loads of fun and laughs.

Sketch Comedy (12pm–2:30pm) – Learn the basics of sketch comedy scenes, the building blocks of any Second City show. Study classic Second City scenes, use improv to develop scenes, and create original sketches.

Stand-Up & Storytelling (2:45pm–4:00pm) – Come develop your personal style as a stand-up comedian or storyteller as we focus on developing material, stage presence, and delivery. Our oldest campers may present their material in an optional open mic on the final Friday of two-week camps.

The optional Games & Movies session is available to those who would like to continue to 5:00pm.

Comedy Camp ages 7-11

Improv (9am–10:30am) – Explore the fundamentals of improv as taught and performed at The Second City. Develop skills like creative thinking, self-confidence, listening, brainstorming, team building, empathy, and communication, while having loads of fun and laughs.

Writing & Storytelling (10:50am–12:20pm) – Learn basic scene structure, the art of storytelling, and character development through the study of classic Second City scenes and other written materials.

Clowning & Physical Comedy (12:50pm–2:20pm) – Clowning is 50% physicality, 50% silliness, and 100% fun. Yes, that doesn’t make sense, but when it comes to clowning and comedy, it doesn’t need to! Kids will have the freedom of movement and self-expression in this class, while also learning about slapstick comedy and how to theatrically control their gestures.

Theater Arts and Crafts (2:30pm–4:00pm) – A fun guided-play experience for students to work on projects with classmates, design and create props and costumes, some of which will be used in their final productions. Everyday is an exciting new activity!

The optional Games & Movies session is available to those who would like to continue to 5:00pm.

Mini Camp ages 5-6

Mini Camp is a chance for our youngest comedians to get a taste of camp. Campers 5-6 years old will spend each day in four classes: improv, storytelling, clowning, and theater crafts. Mini Camp also has a rotating workshop so that every day is totally different. Workshops can include touring a theater, music, arts and crafts, fun activities, and more! This is a great chance for new campers to see what a full day of fun at The Second City is all about!

You can sign your camper up for the Morning Camp, the Afternoon Camp or both! Students doing a full day of camp will have lunch and counselor-led activities from Noon-1pm.

Morning Camp (9am-Noon)

Afternoon Camp (1-4pm)

S.H.E. Camp ages 13-18

Sisterhood. Humor. Empowerment.

Our program is dedicated to empowering girls and young women to make confident and powerful choices in their lives. Participants will develop the skills they need to express their own unique voices, encourage a positive self image and the formation of healthy relationships. Through improv, dance, crafts, storytelling, group discussion, and plenty of laughs, participants will gain tools they need to achieve full self expression.

S.H.E. Camp is for female-identifying students ages 13-18. It meets Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm each day.

S.H.E. Camp is only offered in selected camp sessions. For 2019, S.H.E Camp will be available during the Camp 3 session, June 24-July 3.

Improv for Anxiety Camp ages 12-18

Improv for Anxiety Camp is a week-long camp version of the Training Center’s innovative Improv for Anxiety class that helps students overcome the fear and avoidance associated with social anxiety. Second city instructors create a space where teens can break the cycle of avoidance in a supportive, non-judgmental, and affirming environment. No prior improv experience necessary.

An experienced Second City instructor will lead the class, accompanied by one of our trained camp counselors. The class is led at a pace that is sensitive to the needs of the students.

Improv for Anxiety Camp is for students ages 12-18. It meets Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm each day. A pre-registration consultation is recommended prior to enrollment. Contact Becca Barish, LCSW at 312-880-9406 or email bbarish@secondcity.com.

Improv for Anxiety Camp is only offered in selected camp sessions. For 2019, Improv for Anxiety Camp will be available during the first week of Camp 3, June 24-28.

Improv for Anxiety Camp: Back to School Edition

Returning back to school on a Monday after the weekend is hard enough, let alone needing to return back to school after a full summer away. Improv for Anxiety Camp: Back to School Edition helps teens overcome the fear and avoidance associated with re-engaging with a set social routine after the summer break. Second city instructors create a space where teens can break the cycle of avoidance in a supportive, non-judgmental, and affirming environment. Students will get used to re-integrating with other teens, engaging in fun exercises, socializing, and having fun! No prior improv experience necessary.

Improv for Anxiety Camp is for students ages 12-18. It meets Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm each day. A pre-registration consultation is recommended prior to enrollment. Contact Becca Barish, LCSW at 312-880-9406 or email bbarish@secondcity.com.

Improv for Anxiety Camp: Back to School Edition is only offered in selected camp sessions. For 2019, Improv for Anxiety Camp: Back to School Edition will be available during the second week of Camp 6, August 12-16.

Games & Movies

After a day of improv and sketch comedy, it’s time to relax and hang out! Students are allowed to watch a movie or join one another in a Connect Four tournament. This optional activity time lasts from 4:00-6:00pm, and meets each day except for the final day of two-week camps and the 8-day prorated camp. If a student wants to attend Games & Movies for a shorter number of days instead of the full camp session, please contact youthprogram@secondcity.com to set up arrangements to attend.

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Summer Advanced Comedy Camps

Summer Advanced Comedy Camps

The Second City Advanced Comedy Camp is a fully comprehensive program that dives deep into the skills required to present a Second City-style revue. Curriculum includes training in advanced scenework and long form improv as well as additional lessons in clowning, stand-up, and music improv. Students will also receive a special jacket as a souvenir of their summer with The Second City.

Advanced Comedy Camps meet Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm each day for three weeks.

APPLICATION Advanced Comedy Camps are for students ages 15-18 who have completed at least four terms of improv training at The Second City or at least two sessions in our summer camp program. Students must submit this online application, which includes submitting an essay on the following topic: “Aside from your family and friends, who or what makes you laugh, and why? Feel free to reference specific comedians, shows, writers, etc.” If you have questions about the training prerequisites or eligibility, please email youthprogram@secondcity.com. Application deadline: The deadline for 2019 camps is May 1, 2019.

PERFORMANCES Students will present their stand-up material on the second Friday of the program and a one-act sketch revue on the final day.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Please check out our Comedy Camp Frequently Asked Questions. The answers to most questions can be found on the FAQ, but if you need more information please email youthprogram@secondcity.com.

SCHOLARSHIPS The Second City Training Center has a limited number of full and partial scholarships available. Applications for 2019 camps are accepted through this online form and are due by April 1, 2019. All applicants will be notified of a decision by May 10—no phone calls or emails please.

WHERE TO STAY Coming from out of town? The Second City Training Center does not provide housing for camp students. See our “Where To Stay” page for recommended hotels, hostels, and dormitories in the Chicago area.

Advanced Comedy Camp ages 15-18

Improv (9:00am–11:30am) – Explore the fundamentals of improv as taught and performed at The Second City. Develop skills like creative thinking, self-confidence, listening, brainstorming, team building, empathy, and communication, while having loads of fun and laughs.

Sketch Comedy (12:00pm–2:30pm) – Learn the basics of sketch comedy scenes, the building blocks of any Second City show. Study classic Second City scenes, use improv to develop scenes, and create original sketches.

Stand-Up & Musical Improv (2:45pm-4:00pm) – Come develop your personal style as a stand-up comedian or storyteller as we focus on developing material, stage presence, and delivery. Campers may present their material in an optional open mic on the second Friday of camp. During the final week of camp, advanced campers will study musical improv and songwriting. These lessons focus on vocal technique, musicianship, learning to rhyme, and applying existing improv skills to songs, so that campers feel comfortable presenting original songs during their final showcase.

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Harold Ramis Film School Summer Camps

Harold Ramis Film School Summer Camps

Kids & Teen students can now join us for camps led by the alumni of the Harold Ramis Film School, the only film school in the world focused entirely on comedy! Students ages 11-19 collaborate on creating short films and seeing their completed works on screen. Each camp runs from 9:00am-4:00pm each day.

HOW TO REGISTER When registering a student online, the parent/guardian must create a profile for themselves first and then add the student as a family member before completing the registration. If the student has previously attended Training Center classes, please use the existing student profile. We strongly recommend that the parent or guardian’s email address is listed on the student’s profile. Please note all tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Please check out our Comedy Camp Frequently Asked Questions. The answers to most questions can be found on the FAQ, but if you need more information please email youthprogram@secondcity.com.

SCHOLARSHIPS The Second City Training Center has a limited number of full and partial scholarships available. Applications for 2019 camps are accepted through this online form and are due by April 1, 2019. All applicants will be notified of a decision by May 10—no phone calls or emails please.

WHERE TO STAY Coming from out of town? The Second City Training Center does not provide housing for camp students. See our “Where To Stay” page for recommended hotels, hostels, and dormitories in the Chicago area.

Comedic Storytelling and Filmmaking for Teens ages 16-19

In this one-week course you will be taken through a miniature version of the yearlong filmmaker program at The Harold Ramis Film School. You will begin the class by learning how to use improv to create content for the screen and to build your confidence and refine your skills on both sides of the lens. Next you will hone your comedic voice through writing a short film in a group to generate material in the Second City tradition. The last three days is an immersive hands-on learning experience when you shoot the sketch you wrote in the first two days. You will learn the basics of film production by doing it. The class concludes with a screening of the finished videos on the final day.

Making the Improvised Movie ages 11-15

In this one-week class you get a chance to do one of the most fun and unique classroom assignments we offer at the yearlong filmmaker program at The Harold Ramis Film School – the improvised movie! You will learn the improv basics like creating from abundance, collaboration, and how to use improv to create content for the screen. Working in groups, you will then shoot short films that you are improvising from start to finish. No script. Just filmmaking at its most fun and challenging. Through this process you will learn the basics of production and editing. The week concludes with a screening of the finished films on the final day.

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Winter Break Camps

Winter Break Camps

  • Ages 6-18

Spend part of your school break working out your creative energies in our Winter Break Camps. Learn new skills, meet new friends and enjoy hanging out at The Second City during the holiday season. No previous experience is necessary. Each camp runs from 9:00am-4:00pm each day with an optional Games & Movies session available until 6:00. Students are grouped by age.

HOW TO REGISTER When registering a student online, the parent/guardian must create a profile for themselves first and then add the student as a family member before completing the registration. If the student has previously attended Training Center classes, please use the existing student profile. We strongly recommend that the parent or guardian’s email address is listed on the student’s profile. Please note all tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable. Students are grouped by age, and there are generally multiple sections of each age group.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Please check out our Comedy Camp Frequently Asked Questions. The answers to most questions can be found on the FAQ, but if you need more information please email youthprogram@secondcity.com.

WHERE TO STAY Coming from out of town? The Second City Training Center does not provide housing for camp students. See our “Where To Stay” page for recommended hotels, hostels, and dormitories in the Chicago area.

Winter Break Camp ages 12-18: Improv & Stand-Up

Improv – Study the fundamentals of improvisation through exercises that help to develop strong ensemble and character work. Develop stage presence as well as patience, self confidence, good communication skills, and a respect for other performers and their creativity.

Stand-up – Come develop your personal style as a stand-up comedian as we focus on developing original material, stage presence, delivery and honing in on your sense of humor.

Winter Break Camp ages 8-11: Improv & Clowning

Improv – Study the fundamentals of improvisation through exercises that help to develop strong ensemble and character work. Develop stage presence as well as patience, self confidence, good communication skills, and a respect for other performers and their creativity.

Clowning – Clowning is 50% physicality, 50% silliness, and 100% fun. Yes, that doesn’t make sense, but when it comes to clowning and comedy, it doesn’t need to! Kids will have the freedom of movement and self-expression in this class, while also learning about slapstick comedy and how to theatrically control their gestures. It’s all about maintaining control while retaining musicality in a performance.

Winter Break Mini Camp ages 6-7

Mini Camp is a chance for our youngest comedians to get a taste of camp. Campers 6-7 years old will spend each day in four classes: improv, storytelling, clowning, and theater crafts. Mini Camp also has a rotating workshop so that every day is totally different. Workshops can include seeing a show, touring a theater, music, the camp talent show, and more! This is a great chance for new campers to see what a full day of fun at The Second City is all about!

Winter Break Camp ages 11-18: Making the Improvised Movie

In the Spring Break version of our Harold Ramis Film School Summer Camp you get a chance to do one of the most fun and unique classroom assignments we offer at the yearlong filmmaker program at The Harold Ramis Film School – the improvised movie! You will learn the improv basics like creating from abundance, collaboration, and how to use improv to create content for the screen. Working in groups, you will then shoot short films that you are improvising from start to finish. No script. Just filmmaking at its most fun and challenging. Through this process you will learn the basics of production and editing.

There are two age groups for this camp: ages 11-13 and ages 14-18. Please select the correct age group when registering.

Spring Break Camp: Games & Movies

After a day of improv and sketch comedy, it’s time to relax and hang out! Students are allowed to watch a movie or join one another in a Connect Four tournament. This optional activity time lasts from 4:00-6:00pm.

More Details

Spring Break Camps

Spring Break Camps

  • Ages 6-18

Spend your Spring Break working out your creative energies in our Spring Break Camps. Learn new skills, meet new friends and enjoy hanging out at The Second City during the break from school. No previous experience is required. Each five-day camp runs from 9:00am-4:00pm each day with an optional Games & Movies session available until 6:00. Students are grouped by age.

HOW TO REGISTER When registering a student online, the parent/guardian must create a profile for themselves first and then add the student as a family member before completing the registration. If the student has previously attended Training Center classes, please use the existing student profile. We strongly recommend that the parent or guardian’s email address is listed on the student’s profile. Please note all tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable. Students are grouped by age, and there are generally multiple sections of each age group.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Please check out our Comedy Camp Frequently Asked Questions. The answers to most questions can be found on the FAQ, but if you need more information please email youthprogram@secondcity.com.

WHERE TO STAY Coming from out of town? The Second City Training Center does not provide housing for camp students. See our “Where To Stay” page for recommended hotels, hostels, and dormitories in the Chicago area.

Spring Break Camp ages 12-18: Improv & Stand-Up

Improv – Study the fundamentals of improvisation through exercises that help to develop strong ensemble and character work. Develop stage presence as well as patience, self confidence, good communication skills, and a respect for other performers and their creativity.

Stand-up – Come develop your personal style as a stand-up comedian as we focus on developing original material, stage presence, delivery and honing in on your sense of humor.

Spring Break Camp ages 8-11: Improv & Clowning

Improv – Study the fundamentals of improvisation through exercises that help to develop strong ensemble and character work. Develop stage presence as well as patience, self confidence, good communication skills, and a respect for other performers and their creativity.

Clowning – Clowning is 50% physicality, 50% silliness, and 100% fun. Yes, that doesn’t make sense, but when it comes to clowning and comedy, it doesn’t need to! Kids will have the freedom of movement and self-expression in this class, while also learning about slapstick comedy and how to theatrically control their gestures. It’s all about maintaining control while retaining musicality in a performance.

Spring Break Mini Camp ages 6-7

Mini Camp is a chance for our youngest comedians to get a taste of camp. Campers 6-7 years old will spend each day in four classes: improv, storytelling, clowning, and theater crafts. Mini Camp also has a rotating workshop so that every day is totally different. Workshops can include seeing a show, touring a theater, music, the camp talent show, and more! This is a great chance for new campers to see what a full day of fun at The Second City is all about!

Spring Break Camp ages 11-18: Making the Improvised Movie

In the Spring Break version of our Harold Ramis Film School Summer Camp you get a chance to do one of the most fun and unique classroom assignments we offer at the yearlong filmmaker program at The Harold Ramis Film School – the improvised movie! You will learn the improv basics like creating from abundance, collaboration, and how to use improv to create content for the screen. Working in groups, you will then shoot short films that you are improvising from start to finish. No script. Just filmmaking at its most fun and challenging. Through this process you will learn the basics of production and editing.

There are two age groups for this camp: ages 11-13 and ages 14-18. Please select the correct age group when registering.

Spring Break Camp: Games & Movies

After a day of improv and sketch comedy, it’s time to relax and hang out! Students are allowed to watch a movie or join one another in a Connect Four tournament. This optional activity time lasts from 4:00-6:00pm.

More Details

One-Day Camps

One-Day Camps (ages 5-18)

Spend your day off of school having FUN at The Second City in our one-day camps! Get out of the classroom for a day and explore improv and sketch comedy. Campers cultivate their sense of play through improv games and exercises that are the foundation of The Second City’s unique…

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