This post is in partnership with Banner Day Camp located in Lake Forest, IL. As always, all opinions are 100% honest, my own, and never influenced by the company. Thank you for supporting brands that make I Adore What I Love possible =)9 Reasons Why We're Sending Brody to Banner Day Camp This Summer :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatiloveIt’s official!!! Brody is going to Banner Day Camp this summer, the very same camp that I went to for 7 years of my childhood! While I have only the best memories of each of my summers spent on the Banner grounds, when it came to choosing a camp for Brody {that’s my almost 4-year-old son, if you didn’t know!} I wanted to look at all the camps in our area. Because in all reality, just because I went somewhere and loved it, my son and I are different people! What worked for little me might not be what works for him. I knew Banner still had a phenomenal reputation but my husband and I wanted to choose a camp that we felt was 100% the perfect choice for our son, and not just send him somewhere that mommy went.

So, this past summer, we did our due diligence and toured a few camps in our surrounding area. Banner was actually the last camp that we toured and BOTH of us got in the car afterward giddy with excitement. IT WAS A NO BRAINER. We felt the magic! Banner Day Camp exceeded our expectations in every way!

Here are 9 reasons {in no particular order} why we’re sending Brody to Banner Day Camp this summer: 

1. It’s family owned and operated and the owner, Stacy, is hands on with every aspect of camp.

Stacy just so happened to be our tour guide when Isaiah and I came to Banner this past summer. We were impressed that the owner was giving tours!  Immediately, we could feel her excitement over camp! I mean, it has literally been apart of her life ever since she could remember. I actually knew who she was the second I saw her from when I was a camper – crazy, right?! Her parents, Allen and Helen Schwartz, opened Banner in 1964 and Stacy has truly maintained it as the magical place it always was.

Knowing that the owner of the camp where we’ll be sending our child is someone who my husband and I truly like and admire is huge for us. Stacy is incredibly warm, caring, and genuine. I totally believe that one of the main reasons Banner has continued to impress families all these years is because of Stacy and the staff members she employs. Case in point for how wonderful she is: when my family attended the Banner Halloween Walk event back in October, I completely forgot a jacket for Levi, my 20-month-old, and when she saw us, she didn’t just offer, but she insisted on giving him a blanket from her office! It was such a nice gesture that we all REALLY appreciated!! {especially Levi because it was chilly outside that night!! Ugh, total mom fail but Stacy to the rescue!!!}

2. The grounds are big, but make no mistake, the community feel is REAL.

Banner is huge, with over 55 acres of state-of-the-art camping facilities. This is a GOOD thing! Because of it, there are so many awesome things to do on their authentic {and absolutely beautiful} camp grounds and each area has a purpose. Something Isaiah and I loved was that there are designated areas of the camp grounds made purposely for each age level attending. So Brody, who will be in the Banner Beginnings level {which has a 3-1 camper to counselor ratio, by the way!} has their own equipment and playing fields appropriate for his age.

Community comes in with all camp facilitated activities like Bannerama {morning and afternoon sing-a-longs} and Fantastic Fridays {celebrations where the camp literally gets transformed according to the theme that day}. Plus, you see it AND feel it with the many events that take place during the summer for the whole family, like their huge 4th of July celebration!! {which I vividly remember being my absolute favorite as a child!!}

3. Communication between camp and parents is made a huge priority to Banner.

Out of all the camps we visited, Banner was literally the ONLY one that told me they make it a priority to call home each week to talk to you about your child. I asked this question everywhere because I wasn’t a huge fan of the little communication we got at the camp Brody was at last year. So I knew it was important to me! The fact that they understand the importance of this towards parents pretty much sold me right then and there! SO HUGE.

4. Teaching kids about 21st Century Skills is one of their prime goals and core visions of camp.

As their website points out: “teaching children empathy, resiliency, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity is and always has been the central goal in all that we do at Banner.” I love this! As schools focus on academics, the camp you choose for your children should focus on the social and emotional aspect of growth, and Banner doesn’t only understand this, they ACT ON IT. 

One thing that Stacy told us about during our tour was their STARFISH program, which teaches campers that through their actions, they can make a positive difference. Each week brings a new goal {like teamwork and honesty} that they work towards. In the end, the goals spell out the word STARFISH and kids are recognized for honoring these values with STARFISH tags that they carry on their backpacks. How awesome is that?!

5. Wearing a Banner Day Camp shirt everyday = SO MUCH MONEY SAVED. 

You guys, as first I saw this as a negative {just being honest here!} but then I realized that I don’t have to think about what my child will wear each day!!!!!!! And I don’t have to worry about buying him separate camp clothes for the summer! The camp gives you 3 free shirts at the beginning of the summer and of course you can buy your own too but they just have to say Banner Day Camp on it! I think if I bought 2 on top of the 3, then I’m really saving myself a ton of money in the camp clothing department!!!! Woohoo!

6. Lunch is served inside in their air-conditioned dining hall. 

Summer days can get HOT and on those scorching hot weather days, I feel better knowing my child is catching a break from the heat with a mid-day air-conditioned cool-down. Seriously, this was a huge sell for me. This goes for rainy days too – somewhere to eat indoors is a MUST when it’s wet outside!! 

7. Door to door bus transportation + professionally trained and certified school bus drivers make the difference.

Banner prides itself on safety, and that starts with making sure their campers get to camp {and home} flawlessly, without a hitch! On top of being certified by the state, their drivers undergo Banner’s own intensive bus training program. With that, all bus drivers are also counselors at the camp, so you can be assured that your children are riding with quality people :) 

I remember my bus experience to and from Banner as a kid and it was one of the most special part of my summers. On top of the driver, there are counselors who ride the bus with your kids to ensure safety guidelines are followed while also making the ride fun with sing-a-longs, bus games, and chants! It’s also another way for your children to get to know other kids attending camp as well as other counselors besides for their own. Brody is soooo excited to ride a bus for the first time this summer and I know he’s going to have the best experience ever!

8. The days consist of a little of everything: art, sports, aquatics, and adventure!

Each group literally does a little of everything during the week! Their art programs include crafts in the art studio, dancing, drama, nature and SO MUCH MORE. Sports opportunities are that of archery {my fave as camper!!!!!!!}, gymnastics, sand volleyball, tennis and SO MUCH MORE. Aquatics include activities at the Banner beach and fishing pond. Campers get to try paddle boats, canoeing and SO MUCH MORE. Plus, all kids get swim lessons each day too! Adventure lies with the use of their bumper boats, zip lines, climbing wall and SO MUCH MORE! The opportunities to learn and grow at Banner are tremendous and it’s truly impressive!

9. Banner goes beyond summer: they put on different themed events throughout the year for all Banner Day Camp families and they send campers special gifts, too! 

My family has already witnessed the awesomeness that is these events as we attended their Halloween Walk in October! If you watch my Instagram Stories, you might have remembered me being WOWed by the whole thing! Brody had the best time and it was such a great glimpse as what was to come over the summer. Now he is basically THE MOST excited for Banner Day Camp!!!! It was obvious from just attending Banner’s Halloween Walk that all their events are put on with such thought, detail, and perfection. They truly know what they’re doing.

Just the other day, we were super surprised and super excited when there was a package for Brody in the mail. Unbeknownst to us it was a package from Banner!!!!! They sent him the cutest and warmest winter hat we ever did see!!!!!! {it’s the hat that he’s wearing in the top photo!!} He loves it so much he’s been rocking it everywhere we go! What a fun, thoughtful, and exciting surprise!

9 Reasons Why We're Sending Brody to Banner Day Camp This Summer :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

Check out my friend Traci and I during our Banner days! Could you die? How about me rocking that Banner t-shirt like a proud camper?! LOLLLLLLL {and if you’re wondering, Traci was one of my best friends then and is still one of my best friends today – we have the most amazing Banner memories together!}

I’ll leave you with this: I wanted to write this post because ever since we made the decision to send Brody there, I feel the need to share the Banner amazingness with all of the North Shore and all of you! There truly is nothing like it! And I know this is a huge family decision but I can say in full confidence, that if you want to give your children the gift of the ultimate camp experience this holiday season, Banner Day Camp is the most wonderful present of all!!! To enroll now, CLICK HERE{Don’t forget that if you sign up sooner than later, you can take advantage of going to their events that they put on throughout the year! I’d LOVE to see you there!!!!}

[bctt tweet=”Calling all #NorthShoreChicago Families!! Check out the 9 Reasons Why We’re Sending Brody to @bannerdaycamp This Summer – the Banner Amazingness is REAL. #bannerdaycamp” username=”iadorewhatilove”]

Banner Day Camp is located at 1225 Riverwoods Rd in Lake Forest, IL. 60045. Camp tours are given year round! You can call to set up an appointment at 847.295.4900. Also – go follow them on Instagram HERE!

Comments +

  1. […] if you didn’t know that than go ahead and read all about the 9 reasons that convinced us HERE} Today, I bring to you a phone conversation that I recently had with Owner/Executive Director, […]

  2. […] blog posts about Banner, you can check them out after reading this one! The first post I wrote was 9 Reasons Why We’re Sending Brody to Banner Day Camp this Summer and the second was more of a podcast episode {so fun, right?!} where I talked to Stacy […]

  3. […] if you didn’t know that than go ahead and read all about the 9 reasons that convinced us HERE} Today, I bring to you a phone conversation that I recently had with Owner/Executive Director, […]

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