Western Springs summer camp Blue Moose Sports Camp is running twelve sessions over six weeks this summer in Field Park and Spring Rock Park, with a focus on friendly team games, minimal structure and light competition.
The camp was started almost a decade ago by Field Park Elementary teachers Ryan McLaughlin and Scott Elder, and their wives Nicole McLaughlin and Jen Elder. (Its name derives from a nickname Ryan picked up for wearing a T-shirt from a similarly-named Colorado pizza joint.) This year, the organization is expanding to cover basketball and after-school camps as well.
Ryan McLaughlin called the Blue Moose summer experience a way for kids to make friends and re-learn how to play simple games with minimal equipment in free time, as a contrast to highly-structured and scheduled competitive sport.
“You see that a lot of these kids don’t know how to play games—all they do is sports, travel baseball, travel basketball, travel soccer,” McLaughlin said. “The idea is that these kids get the idea that whether you have two or twenty people, you can get a game going, as simple as it might be.”
Patch dropped by a session of a Blue Moose camp on Tuesday with a camera; check out our photos above!