Life Tools Campers Explore Evanston

August 12,  2015

No summer is complete without a camp experience. At Center for Independent Futures’ Life Tools Camp, canoeing and archery are replaced by cooking and riding public transportation, and campers leave with more than a sunburn and a lanyard.

Every summer, CIF collaborates with Evanston Township High School to host a weeklong day camp at the school’s Transition House, where campers learn how to access community resources, practice independent living skills, and make new friends. Six campers joined CIF staff at camp this year, beginning with a pre-camp meeting where campers worked with family members to write short-term and long-term goals. The group started the week with a clear vision of the skills they need to develop to achieve these goals.

On Monday, the week kicked off with a tour of Evanston Hospital, including lunch in the bustling cafeteria. Then, the group walked from the hospital to the Central Street ‘L’ station to purchase Ventra cards for the week’s travel.

Tuesday began with meal planning, budgeting, and grocery shopping. After making sandwiches for lunch, the campers took the bus to the Evanston Public Library. One of the campers works at the library and gave the group a thorough tour. 

On Wednesday, the group took a basic first aid class from the American Red Cross. They practiced bandaging their fellow campers, learned about fire safety, and talked about the importance of knowing their personal information. After the class, everyone prepared his or her own lunch and then took the bus to Evanston’s McGaw YMCA for a tour.

Thursday included a service project to support the City of Evanston’s “Think Outside the Bag” campaign, which promotes reusable bags as an alternative to the recently banned plastic bags. In the afternoon, the group navigated north on the bus to Central Street for ice cream at Hartigan’s, a local favorite.

On Friday, campers enjoyed the sunshine on a long walk to the Evanston Ecology Center where they observed the wildlife on display. The week wrapped up with a pizza picnic and games in the park.

We are grateful to the Evanston community resources that welcomed our campers throughout the week, including Evanston Hospital, Evanston Public Library, the McGaw YMCA, the City of Evanston, and the Ecology Center. Thanks to the support of these organizations, as well as Evanston’s local businesses, campers enjoyed fun week of new experiences and new connections!


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