Hands Together, Heart to Art™
Celebrating the healing power of creative play!™

Who is HTHTA for? Camp is designed for children 7-14 years old who have experienced the death of one or both parents.

How long has HTHTA been running? HTHTA started in 2005. Summer 2017 marks our 13th Anniversary!

When is camp? HTHTA holds two sessions over the summer at Roosevelt University (425 S Wabash) in Chicago. Each session runs for two weeks from 9AM – 4PM.

Does HTHTA accept children experiencing non-parental loss, like a sibling or grandparent? Hands Together, Heart to Art specializes in working with children experiencing the loss of a parent. Please explore our additional resources for other programs and camps that may be better suited to your child’s needs.

How many campers will be accepted? Enrollment is limited to 45 campers per session. Campers will be grouped by age. Each session will offer age appropriate programming.

What is achieved at HTHTA? Using several different areas of the performing arts, HTHTA encourages communication, fosters emotional growth, and provides the consolation of friendship and compassion. Camp activities encourage team building, self-esteem, consciousness and problem solving. Through interaction with other children who have experienced a similar loss, campers understand that they are not alone in their situation.

What are some camp activities? Campers develop skills in acting, movement, improvisation, singing, juggling, mime and stage direction through fun and exciting classes in drama, music, and dance. Campers also rehearse and stage a final showcase performance for family and friends! Click here to view a sample schedule.

Does my camper have an opportunity to talk about his or her loss? Small group creative activities are facilitated by professional healing counselors. This provides campers a safe time and place to express and share their feelings with peers. There is also a counselor on site throughout the duration of camp.

Does HTHTA have a program for teens? Our Junior Counselor program is designed for previous campers ages 15-18 who want to remain connected and give back to camp. Junior Counselors are accepted for both sessions of camp, however only Junior Counselors 16-18 years old will be considered for Session 2. Junior Counselors who are 15 are only eligible to volunteer for Session 1.

What about lunch and snacks? Due to the generous support of our sponsors, we are able to offer free daily lunch for all campers. Snacks and bottled water are also provided throughout the day.

Does HTHTA offer extended care? For the convenience of our campers’ caregivers, child care is available one hour before and after the regular camp day for a small fee.

What is the HTHTA payment policy? While our expenses exceed $1200 per camper, sponsorship allows us to keep tuition at $50 per child – just $5 a day! All camp payments must be made in full at the time of registration by check or major credit card. The deadline for all applications is  June 27, 2016 or until all spots are filled.

Does HTHTA offer scholarships? We are committed to assisting all families in participating in HTHTA, regardless of their financial situation. Scholarship applicants must provide documentation of financial need such as a letter of verification or a copy of school records regarding eligibility for free or reduced lunch and/or tuition assistance from a school official (principal, counselor, social worker, or other authorized personnel).

If I withdraw my application before camp starts, can I get a refund? If an application is withdrawn for any reason up until June 22, you will receive a refund. NO REFUNDS will be issued after June 29.

Does HTHTA provide transportation for campers? Depending on funding, HTHTA may be able to assist families with transportation to camp. Please contact us at 312.341.2353 for more information.

NEW THIS YEAR: For families in need of transportation, there will be a FREE bus service available. Exact location will be announced soon! Contact us for more information.

Is HTHTA a suitable environment for a child with special needs? While we are not specifically a special needs camp, our staff is trained to handle special circumstances to a limited extent. We have found that if students are able to function without an aide at school, they generally do very well at camp. If your child does require an aide at school, you must ensure that an aide accompanies your child to camp.

Who are the camp instructors? Camp counselors are professional teaching artists and students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees at Roosevelt University and other accredited institutions. Previous staff members hold degrees in education, music, dance and theatre performance, social work, and counseling. Our healing counselors are professional therapists and/or social workers with experience in grief counseling. Several members of our staff have experienced the death of one or both parents.

What is the ratio of adults to students? To ensure a fun, safe and supportive camp, we keep a high ratio of caring adults to campers at HTHTA. Along with dance, theatre and music teaching artists, our staff includes healing (grief) counselors, camp group leaders (who are with the campers throughout the entire day), volunteers and administrative staff.

How do I apply? Forms are available online now, or you can call 312.341.2353. Application Deadline:  June 23, 2017 or once all spots are filled. A letter of reference and support from a teacher, counselor, etc. detailing how your child can benefit from this specific program must accompany new camper applications. We encourage you to send your application in as soon as possible. If camp has been filled prior to receipt of a camper’s application, we will place the camper on a waiting list and contact you immediately should a space become available.

Who can I contact for additional information? For questions regarding enrollment please call Colt Neidhardt, Camp Director, at 312.341.2353 or email him at atru-education@auditoriumtheatre.org.