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Summer Camps

2017 Summer Camp Planner

Camps Planner 2017

Learn to Play Sports Camp

Enjoy an affordable, safe, and fun camp this summer. Children can enjoy a summer outdoors being introduced to a variety of sports in a recreational manner, while learning the important life skills of respect, leadership, responsibility, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Campers will be constantly supervised by our facility’s highest quality instructors trained in child approved activities. Our camps welcome children of all skill levels. Each week, we will introduce children to a multi-sampler of sports, with a special focus on hockey and one other sport. We provide all the equipment at no extra cost to you, and as always, the RPD upholds its recreation satisfaction guarantee.

EXTENDED CARE OPTION: This optional fee allows you to drop your child off between 8:00 and 8:30 am, and/or pick up between 4:30 and 5:00 pm. This fee is $25 (resident)/$30 (non-resident) per camp week.

Location: Jr. IceHogs Training Facility

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Glide and Slide Camp

This unique camp combines skating and swimming lessons. We will take the ice first for lessons and some free skating time, then walk over to the Dolphin Swim Club to participate in a half-hour swim lesson and open swim time. What a great way to spend the summer! Fun daily themed activities, off-ice activities, crafts, etc. Lunch is not provided. Extended Care is available with an additional $25 nonresident fee or $20 resident fee.

Extended Care allows you to drop off your child between 8:00 am and 9:00 am, and to pick up your child between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

Location: Carlson Ice Arena

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Nature Quest

Every week, Nature Quest offers an introductory camp experience with a different theme.

Location: Aldeen Park


Little Buckaroo Pony Camp

Little Buckaroo Pony Camp is geared for the younger camper who is developing an interest in horseback riding.

Location: Lockwood Park


Saddle Up Camp

If your child has always wanted to ride their own horse, this is the camp for them.

Location: Lockwood Park


Blazing Saddles Advanced Camp

This camp is geared towards experienced horseback riders.

Location: Lockwood Park


LLCC Youth Summer Camps

Campers will stay active all summer with friends at the community centers while enjoying indoor sports, arts and crafts, dancing, and video games.

Location: Lewis Lemon Community Center


WPCC Youth Summer Camps

Campers will stay active all summer with friends at the community centers while enjoying indoor sports, arts and crafts, dancing, and video games.

Location: Washington Park Community Center


Summer Blast

Summer Blast is a place for your child to be active both indoors and outdoors, make new friends, and have fun all summer long. Different activities are lead by trained, energetic staff, ensuring the safety of all children. Outdoor activities include various sports, water games, and playing on the playground. Indoor activities will include playing in the gym, board games, and “make-it, take-it” art and crafts projects. Activities and field trips are based around a different theme each week that’s sure to keep campers fascinated. Instructional lessons will be offered in the areas of track, golf, and flag football. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Location: RESA Middle School

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Tween Scene

Tween Scene is a fun, positive place for tweens to hang out this summer. This program packs a variety of activities into every day, so your child won’t be bored all summer long. Some of the daily activities offered are sports, gaming systems, ping pong, foosball tables, indoor and outdoor games, arts, and hanging out with cool, energetic staff. Your tween will develop skills and friendships that will last a lifetime. Lunch and morning/afternoon snack provided.

Location: RESA Middle School

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Jr. Leader Training Camp

Jr. Leader Training Camp is where we find our upcoming recreation leaders for the Time 2 Play Neighborhood Playgrounds Program, Summer Blast Day Camps, Lewis Lemon Community Center, and Washington Park Community Center. Teens will learn leadership skills in the areas of how to lead sports games, recreational games, basic group planning, and communication skills. Campers will get the chance to experience first-hand what it’s like to work as a leader with the Rockford Park District. Teens will be placed at sites based on number of years in camp, performance in camp, and location needs.

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Challenger British Soccer Camp

Challenger Sport’s British Soccer Camp provides young players of all abilities to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international experts. Campers will be exposed to foot skills, technical skills, tactical practices, small sided games, and scrimmages. Your child will receive a free t-shirt, soccer ball, giant fold-out poster, and a personal player evaluation. Campers should bring plenty of water, sunscreen, shin guards, cleats or athletic shoes, and active summer wear. Parents are encouraged to join in for the First Kicks age group.

Location: Mercyhealth Sportscore Two

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Challenger Rookie Rugby Camp

Camp is non-contact, and players play a form of flag rugby to develop a range of ball handling, running, and evasion skills, improving fitness and confidence. Unique training experiences that are demanding and effective will bring all the best training methods from the leading countries in today’s sport. Challenger Sports will provide rugby coaches from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Fee includes a t-shirt and rugby ball. Camp is co-ed.

Location: Mercyhealth Sportscore Two

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Football Camps


Skating Camps


Basketball Camps


Tennis Camps


Volleyball Camps


Harmon Park Project

April 11, 2016

Great Feedback Received on the Harmon Park Improvements Project

In February and March, 2016 the Rockford Park District distributed a proposed design plan and comment card to more than 3,000 residents near Harmon Park seeking their feedback on planned improvements to Harmon Park. We understand that the delivery of the survey was delayed slightly, thus the survey deadline was extended. As of March 18 more than 360 surveys were returned with a wide range of comments and feedback.

In response to a number of comments we would like offer some additional clarification and responses with the hope that we can address residents’ questions and concerns.

The City of Rockford will start construction on the detention basin the week of April 11. The basin, and the grading required to create it, requires tree removal on the west side of the park – along Eastgate Parkway. The City and Park District are sensitive to the loss of the trees, but also understand the benefit that the basin will provide to the neighborhood. City and Park District staff is exploring ways to memorialize the trees that will be removed. New trees will be planted as a part of this project. The detention basin will only hold water during and shortly after a rainfall event. The detention basin will not have standing water long enough to support mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes require 7-10 days in calm, standing water to breed. Approximately 25% of the detention basin will be planted with native plants, with the rest of the basin mowed turf grass. Native plants have numerous benefits including: improving storm water quality, requiring less maintenance, and providing habitat for essential wildlife and pollinating insects.

The Harmon Park improvements will include a new playground (with equipment for 2-5 year olds and 5-12 year olds), spray pad, picnic shelter, drinking fountain, and basketball court. Playground Option 3 was the preferred equipment option, along with the Musical Panel, Standing See Saw, and Merry Go Round. This equipment will be included in the new playground.

Final playground equipment selections:

Playground Option3

Standing See Saw

Music Panel

Merry Go Round

The additional amenities listed above were selected based on Park District program staff input and because they are current amenities within the park. A number of additional amenities were requested in the survey; however, due to spatial limitations and standard Park District practices, they are not included in the plans. Tennis courts, skate parks, volleyball courts, baseball fields, and a full court basketball court are not included due to limited space. Walking paths, lighting, large scale splash pads, ice skating areas, dog parks, and restrooms are not included because they are not typical neighborhood park amenities. Budgetary limitations won’t allow for a poured in place rubber playground surfacing – similar to that at Alpine Park.

There were a number of requests that the Park District will consider adding: tricycle parking area, striping and signage, a bike rack, a grill, and a dog bowl on drinking fountain. These additions will be added as funding permits.

A number of comments focused on fencing. The current playground is surrounded by fencing. While it does have benefits (e.g. preventing little kids from running away from guardians), this is not typical Park District practice and can have detriments (e.g. entrapment). New fencing is proposed in the new park design, but it will have open ends. It will be placed parallel to Idaho Parkway and parallel to the new detention area. The new fence will limit users from running from the playground into the street or the detention basin.

We also have received a number of comments regarding park safety, and traffic concerns. The Park District strives to have safe and secure parks and facilities. We have shared the safety concerns with Park District police, and the traffic concerns with the City of Rockford.

A few miscellaneous comments were also received, including:

- Concerns over park maintenance (trash pick-up, and more picnic tables) have been expressed to park staff.
- Patrons with dogs are required to keep their dogs on a leash and to clean up after them.
- These improvements will not result in an increase in taxes.
- Ash tree removals are planned for Sandy Hollow Golf Course. The removals will be completed with a multi-year commitment.
- Rockford Park District volunteer opportunities are available. More information is available on our website >

The City of Rockford and the Rockford Park District is extremely grateful to everyone who responded and provided feedback. The number of comments and feedback show that Harmon Park is very important to area residents. A summary of the survey results is attached here.

You can stay up to date with the project by visiting 

If you have any questions or comments please contact Tom Lind, Park District Landscape Architect at 815-987-1649 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Highland Park Project

May 11, 2016

Despite the rainy weather site work and the playground work at Highland Park are progressing. Look for the playground structure to be completed soon, along with new tennis court fencing and the final concrete pavement installation. Once that work is completed you’ll see the asphalt paving, new playground surfacing (artificial turf grass), final site grading, and landscaping work.

Construction is still on schedule to be completed before the Park District’s Playground Camps begin. A formal dedication ceremony is planned for June 30. Stay tuned for additional details.

Highland Park Progress 05 11 16 Highland Park Progress 05 11 16 B

April 11, 2016

Look for the construction work that started last fall will be ramping up in the coming weeks. The majority of the work to date has been demolition, removals, and site preparation. A very wet spring hasn’t allowed for an early start on the construction of the new park, but we hope the weather will be more cooperative and you’ll start to see the new park taking shape. We fully expect the work to be completed this spring before the summer playground camp programming begins on site.

September 23, 2015

The Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners has approved a construction contract to Stenstrom Blacktop & Excavation Group for the Highland Park Improvements. Construction will begin in the fall and be completed in the spring of 2016 before the summer season. Stay tuned for construction updates.

August 17, 2015

In the summer of 2014 the Rockford Park District applied for an Illinois Department of Natural Resources OSLAD Grant. In the spring of 2015 the District was notified by IDNR that, while the application was strong, the grant would not be awarded. On July 9 District staff met with the Palmwood Neighborhood Association to share that the project will still move forward, even without the grant funding. All of the originally designed amenities remain within the scope of the project.

The District will bid the Park Improvements project in late August and open bids in early September. The District anticipates receiving competitive bids and construction starting in fall of 2015. Construction will finish in the spring before the 2016 summer season.

The updated plan and playground equipment rendering can be seen by clicking the links.

May 30, 2014

Great Feedback Received on Highland Park Improvements Project

In early April, 2014 the Rockford Park District distributed a concept plan and comment card to residents near Highland Park seeking their feedback on planned improvements to Highland Park. Approximately 600 surveys were distributed and over 180 were returned with a wide range of comments and feedback.

The District is extremely grateful to everyone who responded and provided feedback. The 30% return rate is very high and demonstrates how important Highland Park is to the area residents. The vast majority of the comments were positive and supportive of the project. A summary of the survey results is enclosed here for your reference.

Survey Results >

The District will on apply for an Illinois Department of Natural Resources OSLAD Grant by the end of June, with a grant award announcement in 2015.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Tom Lind, Park District Landscape Architect, at 815.987.1649 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

April 8, 2014

The Rockford Park District (District) has an opportunity to obtain an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) OSLAD Grant which will leverage tax dollars to aid in the renovation of Highland Park. The project would address the repair and replacement and the program enhancement of existing equipment and amenities that are approaching the end of their serviceable life. The useful life of a playground is typically 15-20 years. This playground is identified on the priority list for replacement to enhance accessibility and bring the equipment into current standards. In addition, there will be additional amenities to improve the park patrons' experience.

The grant application will be submitted this June, with a grant award announcement in 2015.

Based on the information communicated in the District's citizen survey responses, the Board of Commissioners has placed a high priority upon repairing and replacing existing assets. Highland Park is atop the District's replacement priority list due to the age of the structure and the need to keep in step with current standards. The Board also recently approved the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Transition Plan which places a high priority on the renovation of Highland Park. Also, the summer camp programming and high resident usage at Highland Park also drives the need for updating the park amenities.

Highland Park Playground PictureUpon receipt of a favorable grant application, potential improvements include the following:

  • Replacing the existing playground equipment
  • Renovating the existing tennis courts
  • Replacing the existing drinking fountain
  • Installing a new spray pad (similar to the pad at Beattie Playground)
  • Installing a new ball field backstop
  • Adding new seating and activity areas
  • Adding new accessible paths to link all amenities

This project may be phased, depending upon available funding.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Tom Lind, Park District Landscape Architect, at 815-987-1649 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please check back often for project updates.

View the Concept Plan >

Highland Park Map

Operation Recreation

Operation Recreation allows members of the military to receive special discounts on select Rockford Park District admissions, program registrations, and more.

Read more ...

Emerald Ash Borer

The Rockford Park District is committed to providing well-maintained facilities and assets that are clean and attractive, in good repair, preserved, and positioned for long-term use and sustainability.

Rockford Park District has 177 parks and facilities, 4,939 total acres of land that includes 938 acres of forested natural areas containing hundreds of thousands of various trees and the remaining open park acres that contain 24,373 trees of varying species. In 2013, the Rockford Board of Commissioners approved a Sustainability policy, which embraces the principles and practices of sustainability to insure that Rockford Park District assets will remain and be preserved for future generations. Sustainability means to use resources (money, staff, materials, land, programs, partnerships, etc.) more efficiently, and in ways which benefit the environment, along with social and economic aspects of our community. Rockford Park District staff implements the principles and concepts of the District’s sustainability policy into daily decisions.

From 2009 to 2014, District staff completed an inventory of all natural areas, started a tree inventory, and worked with WinGIS to host the data. During that timeframe, the District was impacted by the invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and initiated a pro-active plan, which was implemented in 2015, to address any damage caused by the highly destructive, tree-killing insect. “We have identified approximately 3,500 ash trees which would cost the District nearly $1.7 million to remove. EAB, a major microburst in 2003, and storm damage over the years has significantly altered the District’s tree canopy and is also a very costly problem to fix,” said Rockford Park District Executive Director Tim Dimke.

Staff has prepared an EAB management plan that recommends a multi-year approach to remove the trees that are dead or in significant decline and replace them with new tree plantings. “Our community trees and forests clean our air and water, reduce summer temperatures, provide wildlife habitat, reduce flooding, and increase property values. We are planning and managing these tree resources to ensure these benefits are there for future generations,” said Rockford Park District Horticulture and Natural Areas Supervisor Nathan Hill. It is the goal of the District to replant trees within one year of an ash tree removal with a 2 to 1 ratio. Removals are prioritized using GIS spatial data based on tree size, condition, and proximity to park amenities, as well as RPD staff input. To date, the District has removed approximately 500 ash trees.

The Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners recently approved a contract with Wilson Custom Tree in the amount of $50,922 to remove identified ash trees from four golf courses. In all, 109 trees will be removed and will include: 11 trees at Elliot Golf Course, 12 trees at Ingersoll Golf Course, 73 trees at Sandy Hollow Golf Course, and 13 trees at Sinnissippi Golf Course. The trees to be removed will be wrapped with tape identifying them as emerald ash borer infested trees. Golf staff has requested that the removal be completed before the golf courses open for the season. Additional ash trees need to be removed at select parks and will be completed later in 2016.

In 2015, the District began developing an Urban Tree Management Plan and Forest Resource Management Plan which included many community partners in the planning process. The plan could include an environmentally friendly, alternative revenue opportunity to repurpose trees at the end of their life cycle to fund the planting of hundreds of new, diverse tree species. As a pilot project, and being one of the largest parks in the District, staff identified Atwood Park to begin the effort to create a healthier tree population. “The removal of end-of-life, dead, and dying trees, by a contracted professional arborist minimizes the risk of injury of both users and staff, and curtails liability of the District,” said Dimke. The District worked with a vendor to harvest 28 designated trees, and the District procured $24,915 that will be used to purchase 150 trees to be planted in 2016. Other forested areas could be considered for a similar harvest of selected damaged and aged trees in the future. Staff is in the process of developing a natural areas tree harvest plan which will be reviewed by the Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners at a future meeting.

EAB Tree Wrap





For the Rockford Park District to be the best urban park and recreation system in North America, as measured by national standards and the citizens we serve.


To 'help people enjoy life' by providing a quality park and recreation system.

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