For 74 years, The Center has provided children with a place to camp under
the stars, catch frogs, and play in the mud – an experience no child is
likely ever to forget. Four different sessions start June 20th, with the
last session starting August 1st. Camp runs two weeks per session.
Spaces are available for boys grades 4 through 12 and for girls in grades
4-5 and 10-12. For more information, please contact Megan Maricle or visit
www.thecenterpalos.org. The Center, 12700 Southwest Hwy, Palos Park.
The Center rests on seventy-eight acres of woods and open farmland featuring
rustic buildings and nature trails. The Center is a nonprofit organization
that hosts a variety of programs serving the needs of our community. We divide our programs into five
An environmental program
featuring two residential summer camps, school camps, 4-H, and a farm
with an educational emphasis
A religious program centered
around the Wayside Chapel, which hosts interdenominational weddings,
baptisms, memorial services, and Sunday after-noon vespers services
A social service program
which includes Pathway to Sobriety, a holistic recovery program that
heals mind, body, and spirit
An art program for adults
and children including classes in painting, pottery, basket-making, and
other folk crafts
An education program for
children 3-5 years old at our Farm and Nature Discovery Preschool
If you would like more details
on any of these programs please stop by the lodge or call (708) 361-3650 for
more information. We also offer a newsletter; please call to be included on
the mailing list.
A real working farm where chickens lay eggs, sheep grow wool, goats
give milk, fields grow hay & pumpkins, and ponies give rides!
For more information or
reservations, please call The Children's Farm at the Center, (708)
Group Farm Tours
Tours for school classes, youth groups and private parties, weekdays
throughout the year
A guide will lead your group and teach the children about each of
the animals, then invite the children into the animal pens for a
closer look. Tours last approximately one hour, and we have a picnic
By Reservation Only
Family Farm Tours
Open for the public Saturdays & Sundays
1 to 4 p.m., March through November Guides invite the public into
each animal pen and are happy to answer questions for a laid-back
afternoon’s fun. Complimentary pony rides are offered for children,
except in October, when free hayrack rides are offered to all our
Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patch visitors. No Reservations Needed
Weekday classes for children 4-8 years old throughout the year
featuring farm animal care By Reservation Only.
Farm and Nature
The Center’s Preschool is a lively hands-on learning
community that gives children the opportunity to become creative
learners using natural resources. Our classroom is designed to
foster learning through the exploration and discovery of the woods,
fields, farm, and animals that are outside or within walking
distance of our classroom door. For more information please call
Center for the Arts
Painting in Watercolor
Painting in Oil
Pen & Ink Drawing
Poetry & Creative Writing
Seasonal Folk Arts
The Wayside Chapel can
accommodate up to seventy-two guests for a variety of
- Vespers on Sunday afternoons at
4:30, with special holiday services
- Baptisms on weekend mornings
- Weddings in our cozy chapel and
in our gorgeous garden
- Renewal of Wedding Vows
- Memorial Services
Please call today
at (708) 361-3650 for more information and for reservations.
Resident Camp Programs
Farm and Ranch
Live in bunk houses with meals professionally cooked and served at
the Cen-ter dining hall. Everyone learns to know and love horses as
well as small farm animals. Experience creek walks, farm life,
camp-outs and an end-of-camp ro-deo. This is a two week overnight
camp featuring nature, animals, and horseback riding for ages 9 to
15. Scholarships available.
Delivering the message of environmental responsibility at a 3-day,
2-night educational camp, Sunship Earth gives 5th graders a new
perspective on the Earth. Students learn that our planet is a ship
on which we sail through the universe and come away with a new
respect for all forms of living things that surround us. Teachers
are invited to accompany their students.
For more information and reservations please call (708) 361-3650.
Pathway to Sobriety
Pathway to Sobriety at the Center is an AA-based long-term recovery
program that guides addicts to reclaim positive attributes of body,
mind, and spirit—mislaid during active addiction but inherent in
humans—through hard work, counseling, fellowship, and spirituality.
For more information please call (708) 361-3650.
The Center currently sponsors and leads
various retreats. Many are specifically focused on personal and
spiritual growth. Additionally, we host recreational horseback
Outside Retreat Groups
Many outside organizations use the meeting facilities at the Center.
Recently, church groups, corporate executives, and recovery programs
have been our guests. Our twelve retreat rooms, singles and doubles,
can accommodate seven-teen guests. Our kitchen staff prepares
delicious home-style meals. Please call
(708) 361-3650 to book a retreat.
Tuesday Luncheon Program
Every Tuesday (except during summer months) the Center features a
noon-time lunch with a specially selected program. Luncheons are
open to the general public. Reservations required
Please call (708)
361-3650 for current program information.