Additional Camp Options

Extended Day
    For the convenience of families, we offer an optional Extended Day program. Morning Extended Day drop-off begins at 7:30am and Afternoon Extended Day pick-up ends at 6:00pm. Our staff put a spin on our usual Arts & Crafts, Sports, Games, and an additional Free Swim (PM only) during the Extended Day time.
    What happens if the campers get hungry during the extra time at camp? Great question! We provide a health snack for our Afternoon Extended Day Campers.
Pre-Camp / Post-Camp
    We offer 2 Additional Weeks of camp: Pre-Camp and Post Camp. Both of these sessions provide the opportunity for campers to enjoy Swimming (including lessons) Sports, Arts & Crafts, Dance, Music, Cook Out, and several other camp activities. Enrollment is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. There is no Bus Service during these weeks. Extended Day is also available (7:30am to 6:00pm).

Dates + Rates

Summer 2024 Rate Sheet & Programs:

Pricing and Available Options are based on a camper’s incoming grade for school year 2024. Click below to create a New Family Account to start an enrollment.
Pricing and Enrollment

Enrollment Questions?
Give us a Call!



Discovery has two options for Transportation: (1) Door-to-Door Bus Service and (2) Carpool.

Door-to-Door Bus Service:  The Discovery day begins the moment your camper boards the bus in the morning and does not end until he/she leaves the bus in the afternoon!  Each bus includes at least two Staff members: (1) a Driver and (2) a Bus Captain. The Bus Captain ensures campers are safe and constantly engaged in fun activities throughout the trip!  While fun is important, safety is priority #1.  All Discovery Bus Drivers are trained and certified.  Each Bus Driver receives additional training from a member of the Discovery transportation staff.  Our vehicles are modern buses equipped with air-conditioning, seat belts, and are meticulously maintained.

Carpool:  Each morning and afternoon, families can drop-off and pick-up campers. No need to leave your vehicle… the Discovery staff will escort your camper safely to and from the car.

For the convenience of families, we offer an optional Extended Day program. Drop-off for Extended Day begins at 7:30am and pick-up ends at 6:00pm.

What’s For Lunch?

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All campers have two choices for lunch… “Brown Bag” from home or our Catered Lunch Program. Discovery provides every camper with lunch on Cookout Thursdays!

Of course, plenty of our camp families elect the “Brown Bag” option and bring lunch from home each morning. Lunches will be placed in coolers upon arrival in the morning.

Catered Lunch is an optional, yet nutritional lunch designed for busy families who are looking for a break from preparing lunches. Orders are placed in advance each week and there is a substitute option available (with notice) should one option not be agreeable with your camper. Catered lunches are nut restricted.


Monday: Grilled chicken on challah roll, chips, crudités/dip, apple slices, and a chocolate chip cookie

Tuesday: Lunchable made with natural turkey, cheese, fruit, pasta with parmesan cheese, crackers, and a sugar cookie

Wednesday: Wrap with sweet barbecue chicken, crudités/dip, grapes, pretzels, and a 7 layer cookie

Thursday: Cookout – burgers, hot dogs, veggie burger, watermelon, and chips (Lunch provided by camp for all campers and staff.)

Friday: Turkey or grilled veggie sandwich on sub roll, potato chips, crudités/dip, fruit salad, and a brownie

Most Catered Lunches include: vegetables with dip, a piece of fresh fruit or a fresh fruit cup, and a “home-baked” cookie or dessert bar. If your camper does not care for a particular sandwich, parents may prearrange for a substitution of bagel and cream cheese.

Our Facilities

Discovery Day Camp is set on almost ten acres of private and secure property. As you walk through campus and pass our 82 ft long swimming pool, camp opens up to the rest of our “playground” with our multiple performing stages, 36 ft tall climbing tower, and acres of athletic fields.

Even though “it never rains at Discovery”, we are prepared for everything from rainy days to 100° temperatures. We have 20,000 sq ft of air-conditioned, indoor space so the fun never stops!

Our camp property includes:

Heated Swimming Pool Secure Locker Rooms 36′ Climbing Wall
Low Ropes Course Arts & Crafts Center Multiple Athletic Fields
Baseball / Softball Diamond Full Basketball Court Full Tennis Court
Sand Volleyball Court Air-conditioned Multipurpose Buildings Gymnastics Pavilion
Gaga Pit Dance Studio Multiple Performance Stages
Archery Range 4,000 sq ft Picnic Pavilion Council Ring (for our special events with camp fires)

Our Staff

Our staff is the most crucial part of a positive and successful summer for our campers.

As Discovery is an accredited camp by the American Camping Association (ACA), we maintain a 3:1 camper/staff ratio. Many hours during the winter and spring are spent meeting and vetting our summer staff. So where do we find these great folks? Everywhere! Many of our counselors are former campers themselves who are excited to help create special experiences for their camper group they remember at Discovery. We also hire many new counselors each summer who bring a fresh perspective and ideas.

In order to ensure our staff meets the exceptions we set for them, each staff member (even our returners) go through an extensive interview process. Being local, we meet with each staff member prior to offering them a position at camp. As parents ourselves, we ask “do we trust this person with my son or daughter?” which is the most important question. We run a background check on each staff member to confirm they are appropriate individuals to work with children. All counselors participate in a weeklong staff orientation.

Prior to the start of the summer, we have an open house event called “Meet the Staff Day”. Families are invited to come by camp and meet their camp group and counselor for the summer.

Special Events + Field Trips

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Summer is a special time for kids. Beyond our objective based programming, a unique special event is planned for each day! From the Penny Dive to BBQ Cookouts to Field Trips to a Dutch Auction… every day brings something exciting for campers to look forward to doing!

All Special Events and Field Trips (including Round-Up, Boys Late Night, and Girls Late Night) are included in the Discovery Day Camp Registration Rates.

Some camper favorites include:

  • Round Up – Campers stay at camp until 7pm for a third swim, dinner, and fun activity. Bus service will run after Round Up is over.
  • Late Night – We have a Boys Late Night and Girls Late Night. Like Round Up, campers are invited for dinner and we do a special campfire activity at the Council Ring. S’Mores for everyone! Senior campers are invited to spend the night at camp.
  • Carnival – The carnival comes to Discovery once a summer! We have carnival games, treats, and prizes.
  • Camp Jam – At the beginning of summer the Camp Jam is a great way to acquaint campers with their groups, staff, and our beautiful grounds. Each group visits a variety of stations to accept challenges and earn points.

Check out the calendar to see what’s in store for next summer!

Standard Camp Programs

Discovery Day Camp offers programming for campers ages 4-14.  Enroll for 4 weeks or 8 weeks,  plus a Pre-Camp week.

Pioneers – Age: Pre-K (4 year olds)
    The Pioneers program is for campers who will be 4 years old before or during camp, entering their final year of preschool. All campers must be fully potty-trained and ready for a full-day program. Our Pioneers participate in the same activities as all campers, including Swim Lessons and Free Swim daily.  Activities are modified to be developmentally appropriate for preschool aged children. Campers work on group skills that will help them to develop while having fun by blending structured activities during the camp day.
    The Pioneers program is a 5 day/week full-day program.
Junior Camp – Ages: K-2nd grade
    The 5 day a week* Junior Camp program is an enriching experience for campers entering Kindergarten through 2nd grades.  These campers participate in a daily Swim Lesson and Free Swim, Adventure (Climbing Wall, Low Ropes Course, Nature, and Team Initiatives), Creative and Performing Arts (Arts & Crafts, Ceramics, Cooking, Dance, Drama, and Music), Team and Individual Sports (Basketball, Flag Football, Gaga, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Pilo Polo, Roofball, Soccer, Softball/T-ball, Tennis, Tetherball, and Volleyball), Special Events, and Choice Day (campers pick an activity for one hour each week).  The emphasis in all activities is having fun while learning new skills.
    The Junior Program is a 5 day/week full-day program.
Senior Camp – Ages: 3rd-6th grade
    Our exceptional 5 day a week Senior Camp program for campers entering 3rd through 6th grade is enhanced with an additional Specialist-led Activity (Archery) and a weekly Field Trip off-site. Field Trips include activities such as trips to water parks, horseback riding, bowling, miniature golf, gymnastics, and skating. Senior Campers additionally participate in Senior Choice, a time each week when campers pick an activity for one hour. Swimming, Adventure, Creative and Performing Arts, Team and Individual Sports, and Special Events activities are modified to create an optimal experience.
Future Leaders – Ages: 7th-8th grade
    The Future Leaders Program, for 7th through 8th graders, gives tweens the opportunity to be leaders, participate in service, and have peer experiences. Campers spend two to three partial days each week helping at camp. They assist with a young group, help prepare for Special Events, or assist the Specialists at different activities. One to two days are spent participating in various service projects such as packing books to send overseas or visiting a senior center facility. The last day each week is spent on a Field Trip such as kayaking, attending a baseball game or going to the beach. The Future Leaders Program provides campers the opportunity to learn leadership skills and participate in a wide-range of activities.


Discovery also offers exciting Specialty Programs for incoming 4th-6th graders, as well as Additional Camp Options, including a Pre-camp week and Extended Day camp hours in the AM and PM.


Discovery Day Camp’s program offers Adventure, Creative and Performing Arts, Swimming (twice daily), and Team and Individual Sports.  Campers follow a daily schedule with their groups.  Our program aims to allow campers to enjoy activities they already love, while also encouraging them to try new experiences.

Activities focus on each camper’s level of development and skill.  Each week, campers will also have the opportunity to choose activities that excite them during Interest Groups (Junior Campers) or Senior Choice (Senior Campers).

Please take a look at the program areas more in depth by navigating using the links below.

Meet the Directors

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Sisters Sara Blumberg and Laura Harres, along with their husbands Michael Blumberg and Nate Harres, have long dreamed of owning and directing a camp. Being a part of Discovery is a dream come true for them!

Sara has worked in camping since she was 15 years old. She is a former day camp Counselor, Head Counselor, Dance Specialist, Assistant Director, and Camp Director. Sara has her degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Masters in Social Work with a School concentration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sara worked for 9 years at Northwood Junior High School in Highland Park as a Bilingual Social Worker. She also coached the poms team!  Her husband, Michael, is a former Discovery Day Camp camper himself, in addition to attending and working on the Admin Staff at North Star Camp in Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Sara and Michael are the proud parents of Scott, Reed, and Oscar, the dog.

Laura also has a background in camping for many years. She is a former day camp Counselor, which included working as a 1-on-1 companion for the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA). Laura is presently on the American Camping Association Illinois Board of Directors helping craft camp standards and best practices within the industry. She is a Licensed Architect with her degree and Masters in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her husband, Nate, is also a Licensed Architect and a former college baseball pitcher at Knox College. He earned his Masters from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Laura and Nate are the proud parents of Logan, Mason, and Evelyn (Evie).

Oscar is a very important part of the Discovery program! As Discovery’s camp dog, Oscar is at camp all summer long. He is a cuddly Goldendoodle who loves spending time with his Discovery friends.

Directors Emeritus

Discovery Day Camp was founded in 1984 by Ilise and David Schwartzwald to meet the needs of their three young children. Ilise and David originally rented property for the camp and later purchased property in unincorporated Lake County. Discovery has been at its current location in Indian Creek since 1992.

Ilise worked in camping year-round beginning in 1974. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan, taught high school in Highland Park and Deerfield District 113 where she also coached gymnastics, and developed a number of preschools. Ilise was a member of the American Camp Association (ACA) and is a former ACA-IL Section Executive Board Member and Midwest Association of Independent Camps (MAIC) Co-President. Ilise has been a certified WSI, lifeguard, first aide, and lifeguard instructor since 1967. She was also certified as a Starfish Instructor trainer by the Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI).

David was involved in camp from the beginning while he worked in other professions. David graduated from Loyola University and is a Certified Public Accountant who worked in the accounting field, as well as in private industry. David joined Discovery full time in 1990. David was the Co-President of the MAIC and the Treasurer of the Illinois section of the ACA for a number of years.

The Discovery Difference

Discovery Day Camp has been providing a fantastic experience for campers since 1984. Our focus is creating an environment in which campers have fun while growing as individuals and as members of a group through participation in a wide variety of activities. Through the wide array of activities, events, and field trips offered, our program focuses on skill development, team building, sportsmanship, and an appreciation of the outdoors. Campers explore, learn, and grow while surrounded by encouragement, friendship, and acceptance. Our priority is making sure campers and staff feel safe, comfortable, and happy! Discovery Day Camp is an accredited camp by the American Camping Association.

The circle of Discovery speaks for itself… Many of our longtime Discovery campers have joined our staff. Former staff members are now sending their children to Discovery so that they can be a part of the Discovery experience, too!

From our amazing staff and our outstanding programs to our terrific facilities, come find out why DISCOVERY IS THE DIFFERENCE!