Summer@IMSA Program Information

We will be prepared to put health and safety protocols in place that match the current state of COVID-19 and the pandemic.

Our team will be working within State of Illinois, CDC, and American Camp Association recommendations to provide a COVID-Careful camp experience.  We will keep registered families updated as to what our policies and expectations will be as we get closer to summer. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our campers, guests, and staff. 

Friend Requests

For select programs, there may be more than 1 pod (classroom) for each program. IMSA will do its best to honor one mutual friend-request to pair two students in the same program pod. PLEASE NOTE ONLY ONE MUTUAL FRIEND REQUEST TO BE PLACED IN THE SAME POD— THE FIRST ONE WE RECEIVE–WILL BE HONORED. NO EXCEPTIONS. DUE TO THE SMALL POD SIZE, WE WILL NOT HONOR REQUESTS TO PUT GROUPS OF 3 OR MORE STUDENTS TOGETHER. Friends will still need to maintain masking and social distancing measures.

Participants must request each other for the request to be fulfilled. Requested parties must be registered for the same program (i.e. a participant in the 3-4 program cannot be grouped with a participant in the 5-6 program).  The form must be completed again for multiple events/registrations. The form is due 2 weeks before the program starts. We cannot accommodate requests made after this date. Please note we reserve the right to separate friends if their pairing results in disruptive behavior. This form can be filled out online by logging in to your account after completing registration. This information will also be communicated in the confirmation email you will receive right after you register.

Camper Expectations

Summer@IMSA encourages the highest standards of conduct, civility, and a sense of fair play as is consistent with the student standards of behavior at IMSA. Students enrolled in Summer@IMSA are expected to be polite to their fellow campers, counselors, and other camp or school personnel, to follow all safety rules, and to respect the property of others and the school. Campers are not to leave the building on their own, and they are expected to be with their assigned pod at all times. Summer@IMSA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to deny any camper the opportunity to participate in camp if the student’s conduct or behavior is deemed unsatisfactory by the camp administration.


All of IMSA’s programs are directed and supervised by IMSA staff. IMSA teachers, program coordinators, and curriculum specialists have bachelors, masters, and even doctorate degrees in education, biology, museum education, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering, just to name a few— and these diverse backgrounds help us create outstanding experiences for our campers. Portions of our programs in Aurora are taught by members of IMSA’s SITE program. SITE (Summer Internships for Tomorrow’s Educators) are exemplary college or graduate students interested in pursuing a career in STEM education, and receive training prior to the start of summer programs. IMSA ALLIES students also serve as group leaders (counselors) in our programs.


Participants must bring their lunch for all program locations. Refrigerated facilities are not provided. An insulated lunch box with an ice pack is recommended.


Students must wear closed-toed shoes that fully enclose the foot (sneakers, boots, etc.) for safety in a lab environment. Students should be able to tie back long hair.  Please wear comfortable clothes that are appropriate for the weather – we do go outside! You may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket as the AC is stronger in some areas of the building.


For virtual programs, a suggested materials list will be provided in your confirmation email from Active and is also linked with the description of each program on the website. For in-person programs, all materials and equipment are provided. 


State government policy prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, age and ancestry, sexual orientation, political affiliation or disability. We will make reasonable accommodations for disabilities in accordance with law. Summer@IMSA programs are designed for independent learners who work well with others. IMSA will provide reasonable accommodations so activities can be adapted to individual needs and abilities. Please call us to discuss your child’s needs.

Equity and Diversity

IMSA’s summer programs aim to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive place for all students and their families, and if that environment is compromised by a camper, staff, or volunteer, we will address the issue to the best of our abilities. Becoming an inclusive and anti-discriminatory organization is a process, and we appreciate your understanding, support, and allyship in this effort.

In order to be inclusive and equitable as possible during our programs, we will work with our participants to ensure that diversity is valued and that participants receive the support they need. This might take the form of:

  • Group agreements that emphasize treating people well in terms of our differences
  • Using pronouns or nicknames that affirm someone’s self-proclaimed gender identity
  • Normalizing appropriate exploration around these topics
Phone and Device Policy

Phones are not allowed out during the program day except at lunch (for all students) and if a specific activity calls for their use. Camp staff may confiscate phones if they are being used inappropriately.

Lost & Found

If you think an item of yours was left behind at camp, ask your camper’s group leader or check the lost & found box. Please do not wait until the last day to start your search as all unclaimed items will be donated or disposed of promptly after the final day of camp. We are not responsible for personal items left or lost at camp!

Late Pick-up Fee

We understand that unforeseen challenges may cause you to be late for the designated pick-up. Please realize this causes complications in the smooth running of camp. Camp ends at 3:00 p.m. every day. IMSA provides a 15-minute grace period after which our mandatory late pick up fee process begins at 3:15 pm.. Any parent/guardian picking up a child late will be assessed a mandatory fee of $15 for any pickup 15 minutes late and $5 per 5-minute increment thereafter (i.e. 15-19 min late = $15, 20-24 min late = $20, etc.) Late fees are due on the child’s next day of camp, and can be paid by check made out to IMSA, or cash.

Pre-Program Email

Approximately a week before the start of each program, you will receive an email from us through Active, our registration system,  with detailed information specific to your program. Please read this email carefully as it will contain information about your child’s pod/cohort, pick-up and drop-off procedures, and other important details that may change from week to week.

Registration, Payment, Cancellation, Refund, and Scholarship Policies

Early registration is advised. Because each program has limited capacity, registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Registration remains open until two weeks before a program begins, or when it fills. If programs fill, there will be a waiting list that you will be placed on in chronological order when you attempt to register. There is no cost to be placed on the waitlist. If spots open, or if we are able to open up an additional section of the program, we will contact whoever is next on the list.


  • No camper/student will be allowed to participate in Summer@IMSA who has any tuition outstanding.
Refund Policy:

Please choose your programs carefully. Full tuition refunds (less the non-refundable $50 registration fee for in-person programs) will be honored through May 1. Any cancellations after May 1 and through June 1 will receive a refund of 50% of the tuition (less the $50 non-refundable registration fee for in-person programs). No refund requests whatsoever will be granted after June 1. Requests for tuition refunds (less the $50 non-refundable registration fee for in-person programs) must be made in writing by sending an email to Please include the program name and date, your child’s name, and your name. Phone call requests for refunds will not be accepted.

  • No refunds will be made to a camper/student who, for disciplinary reasons, is asked to leave Summer@IMSA
  • Refunds and credits will not be issued for any partial or missed days
Program Cancellation:

If insufficient students register for a program, IMSA reserves the right to cancel that program. Participants will be notified and a full refund will be given. If space allows you may elect to apply previously paid fees as credit toward another Summer@IMSA program.

Registration Tips

IMSA uses the online ACTIVE platform for its program registrations, program applications, and scholarship applications. We suggest you check your ACTIVE login credentials in advance of registration opening.

Scholarship Information

A limited number of financial-needs-based scholarships are available for all of our programs. Look for the “Apply for a Scholarship” button.

To qualify for a scholarship, the student’s family is required to submit evidence of their financial need. If a family qualifies for SNAP or Free/Reduced lunch, they are eligible for an IMSA scholarship. If you do not have a document in your possession showing SNAP/Free/reduced lunch participation, or have difficulty getting it from your school or IDHS, you may submit a screenshot showing eligibility. Alternatively, a 2020 or 2021 federal tax return showing proof of family income may be submitted. Please contact us at if you have difficulty with this requirement. 

Applying and qualifying for a scholarship does not guarantee you will receive a scholarship award nor does it hold a spot for you in the programs, since our scholarships are limited. Award recipients will be notified via email and must reply to the scholarship offer (In-person programs require a scholarship administrative fee of $30.00 to reserve the spot for your child) within the time period indicated in the email. WATCH YOUR EMAIL and CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER!

You may choose to either pay for program registration OR apply for a scholarship and await award notification. Your scholarship application will not be considered if you also complete a paid registration.