Summer’s Coming and You Know the Hottest Place to Be is Summer Camp Music Festival 2016

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Summer Camp logo

The 16th annual Summer Camp Music Festival is going to be one amazing weekend of music and fun.  Each year, I fall a little more in love with my Summer Camp family.  Yes the people in my family change from time to time but I can always be certain that it is going to be a good time.  As a mom, I have found that festivals are no longer the same that they were without kids….but that does not mean that I still can not go and have an amazing time.  Actually, when my children go with me, it becomes a magical family experience that is honestly one of our children’s favorites.

The 2016 Summer Camp Music Festival Line Up

Of course one of the first things that you are going to want to check out is the line up for this year’s festival.  The bands that are coming this year include old favorites as well as new bands that I want to check out and bands that I have always wanted to see.

Summer Camp blog post 1

Get Your Tickets Now….Before It’s Too Late

Of course, you are going to want to pick up your tickets so that you can see all of the amazing talent that will be at Summer Camp Music Festival 2016.  You can get your tickets here.


Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Feeding Your Kids at Summer Camp @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

“Mom, I’m hungry.”


“Hey mom, I need a snack!”

Anyone else dread these words from their children’s mouths?  If so, I will promise you that you are not alone.  I HATE hearing from my children that they need a snack and are hungry because if it were up to them they would never eat a meal and would live completely off of crappy snacks.  (Sadly they like all of the bad stuff that I HATE buying for them.)

When it comes to being at Summer Camp Music Festival I will admit that I like to plan ahead for my kids.  For one they are not going to eat a meal sized snack so vendors are generally out when it is snack time.  For another they are kids so, while there is tons of kid friendly foods (more about that keep reading!!), there are times that they just want their favorite.

I try to choose goods that are not going to have damaging effects on the environment and most of the time we use BPA free containers and such for everything but sometimes I need to be more convenient.  I also like to feed them whole foods or organic snacks but sometimes I relax and just pick up their favorites.  Festival time is one of those times when I let them choose what they want and let them have all of their favorites.

Suggestions for Feeding Kids at Summer Camp

Feeding your kids at Summer Camp is a necessity.  How you do it is up to you.  90% of the time in life we eat whole healthy foods.  90% of time we choose snacks that we can put in recyclable bags and containers.  Summer Camp is not one of those times for us.  I am all about convenience when it comes to Summer Camp and feeding my children.  I want it to be easy.  So I choose a lot of convenience based products.

I am a list person so for those of you are like me, creating lists is going to help you stay on top of things.  If you are not a list person the following “lists” might annoy you.  I prefer to group my lists into categories.  Then I prefer to list the things that I need to buy and pack.  I will admit that I do allow the kids to eat some of their less than healthy favorites (so please no judgements!).  These are not foods that they get to eat often.


*Mini Cereal Boxes (For some reason these are one of my kids most exciting things about camping…weird, huh?)

*Fruit (I will have a big bowl of cut up watermelon and a big bowl of mixed berries and grapes this weekend!)


*Lunchables (I know, I know…these are awful but my kids have honestly not had one in over three months so I don’t feel bad letting them have a few this weekend!)

*Pasta Salad

*Veggies and Dip


*Sandwich stuff


We eat dinner at the festival because that means that we do not have to pack grills or anything to cook on.  This is one thing that we take a little extra money for.  The convenience alone is worth spending a bit and one great thing about Summer Camp is that there is a wide variety of foods that are healthy and affordable.


*Snack Packs (I get the small cracker and cookie snack packs because they are easy to throw in the kids’ bags and take with us anywhere in the festival.)  Remember to teach your kids not to litter.

*Small Bags of Chips (Yes I bought a big box of the small bags of chips as well.)

*Goldfish (I know that these are not that healthy either buy all four of my children love them and I try to avoid buying them as a general rule of thumb but this time they are a special treat for them.)


*Gallons of Water (my kids each have a few water bottles and a Camelbak that we will take with us)

*Gatorade/Powerade/Sports Drink (each kiddo will have a water bottle that is dedicated to Gatorade throughout the festival)

*Juice (I prefer to take in jugs and use the Gatorade bottles for this.  I do pick out bottles without a straw because I do not want to have to clean out a straw or mouthpiece that has been used for anything but water.)

*Sprite (My kids do not get soda very often but they love it so why not offer them a little special treat each day that we are enjoying the festival.)

Remember that it is very important that your kids stay hydrated.  Keep them drinking all day long and make sure that they are getting enough to drink.


Okay, so who doesn’t love a treat every once in a while?!?  I know that I still enjoy a treat from time to time.  These are the treats that I take for my kiddos.  Keep in mind that you do not want to take treats that could melt so that is a lot of the reason for the specific treats that I choose.


*Chewy Sweet Tarts

*Blow Pops

*Tootsie Roll Pops

*Caramel Apple Pops

*Tootsie Rolls

I will admit that mommy really likes candy after having a few drinks, so on my late night some of these might be mommy treats too!

Tips for Parents of Kids with Allergies

I am hoping to publish an allergy guide that can serve not only for this festival but that I can pull from for pre-festival coverage in the future.  I attempted to figure this out beforehand but it was kind of impossible.  I will be walking around to food vendors on Thursday night and Friday so that I can get this allergy guide posted and linked up to the social media feeds.  This should help parents who are worried about allergies and you can access it from your phone to have on hand.

Know What is Being Served

*If your child has severe allergies you might want to ask if that food is served from the vendor.  Cross contamination at a festival is very likely and no parent wants to deal with an epi-pen level emergency at a festival.  So it is my opinion that if a food is served by a vendor that you choose to not feed your child food from that vendor.

Don’t Forget to Ask About How It Is Cooked

*Ask how the items are cooked.  If your child has a peanut allergy there is a chance that foods could still be cooked in peanut oil (actually our zoo cooks all fried foods in peanut oil so it is something real that you have to be aware of!).  This is a HUGE lesson that you should learn now to avoid issues in the future.

Ask Staff if They Have Eaten the Allergen in Question

*This is a question that might feel odd and will feel unnatural to you.  When it comes to figuring out how to avoid your child having an allergic reaction at the festival you have to be proactive.  You have to be willing to figure out everything that you can about the food being cross contaminated with something else.  Taking this extra step is really going to minimize any issues that you might have.

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Festival Time is Near So It Is Time For Parents to Start Thinking @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Summer Camp Music Festival is just around the corner.  If you are a parent and you love music then there is a good chance that you will be taking your kids along with you to the festival.  Well this is where I come in.  I am a parent and I have been attending Summer Camp for 12 years with children in tow.  That’s right for nearly all of the past 12 years of Summer Camps I have had at least one child with me.  There are a few things that I have picked up along the way and lots of information that I would have loved to have at my finger tips before I attended the festival for the first time.

Summer Camp logo

First things first, taking kids to Summer Camp is more work than traveling alone.  However if you prepare yourself right you are going to have a much better time and a time that is not nearly as stressful.  I am going to try and compile a great guide for all of you parents out there that are looking to go to Summer Camp with their children.


(My daughter Althea and I @ Summer camp 2014)

I feel honored to be included among the media team at the festival.  I am excited to be able to share some of my favorite Summer Camp memories with my own children with you.  I am also excited to help you have a fun experience so that you will continue coming back to Summer Camp!


(Me with Adeline even though she was too tired to walk, she was still having fun! @ Summer Camp 2014)

Here are some of the blogs that I will be writing in the near future:

A Comprehensive Guide to Summer Camp with Children


(Althea loves everything about being in Kids Camp @ Summer Camp 2014)

Bands to Take the Kiddos To

Special Activities for Families and Children


(My girls, Adeline and Althea, having fun at Kids Camp @ Summer Camp 2014)

Emergency Information Every Parent Needs to Know

Special Considerations for Those with Disabilities

The Ultimate Summer Camp Packing List — Packing with Kids


(Adeline hanging out in the wagon — hint: the wagon is a must! @ Summer Camp 2014)

Things That Come In Handy at Summer Camp with Kids


(Adeline hanging out with her stroller @ Summer Camp 2014)

What to Talk to Your Kids About Before Attending Summer Camp

Some Questions Your Kids Might Ask While Attending Summer Camp

The Top Ten Things to Do at Kids Camp

Ten Things You Must Remember When Attending Summer Camp with Kids


(Daddy relaxing with Huxley and Adeline while they drink some water and wait for some music to start @ Summer Camp 2014)

Ten Things Althea Says You Should Pack in Your Child’s Backpack (That’s right my 6 year old is going to help me tell you what other little kids her age should be packing.)

Ten Things Huxley Says You Should Pack in Your Child’s Backpack (Huxley will be giving you his picks for what to include in your child’s backpack.)

Weather Precautions to Take at Summer Camp

What to Leave at Home — A Look at the Items You Will Not Be Getting Through the Gates

Cloth Diapers and Festivals — What You Need to Know

Feeding your Kids at Summer Camp

Babywearing Vs Strollers — The Good and the Bad That You Should Know


??  Please feel free to let me know questions that you have about Summer Camp.

Plus you will get to check out some awesome highlights and features about some of my favorite bands that are going to be at Summer Camp.

Another exciting thing about the Summer Camp Music Festival is that my husband will be joining me and will be writing as well.  He is going to offer you a few preview posts including:

A Dad’s Favorite Summer Camp Memories with His Kids

Dad’s Ultimate Guide to Summer Camp


Everything Dad Needs in His Backpack When Attending Summer Camp with Kids

So what do I want to start with?

Well, I will tell you some basic information about Summer Camp Music Festival.

The When and Where

Summer Camp Music Festival takes place in Chillicothe, IL on May 22, 23, and 24, 2015.

The Music Basics

During the three days of music more than 100 bands will grace the stages.  Bands range from regional artists to bands that are known around the world.  In my many years of Summer Camp attendance I have never been disappointed with the line up or bands that I was able to see.


(Althea got to dance the night away at Trey @ Summer Camp 2014)

Get Your Tickets

You can pick up tickets for the festival now before the price goes up again.  Right now they are at the 3rd level price point which is $224.50.  The total price with fees is $247.  Do keep in mind that once the tickets allotted for this level have sold out that they will go up in price so it is a good idea to buy your tickets now if you have not already purchased them.

To Pre-Party or Not to Pre-Party?  — That is the Question

There are some additional ticket add ons that you might want to take advantage of as well.  If you are interested in getting into the campground earlier than Friday morning than you can pick up a Thursday pre-party ticket for just $35 (it is required that you have a 3 day pass before you can use the pre-party ticket).  This year’s Thursday pre-party includes performances by the following:  The Infamous Stringdusters, Manic Science (Manic Focus and Break Science), Floodwood, Future Rock, Dopapod, The Werks, The Nth Power, Turbo Suit (previously known as Cosby Sweater), Sun Stereo, DJ NODJ, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Family Groove Company, Artifakts, Blake Gardner & the Farmers, Business as Usual, Chicago Funk Mafia, Dead Language, DJ Amplifi, Earphoric, Fanny Pack, Fox Valley Harvest, Hog Magundy, Home Stretch Ride, Hyryder, Ifdakar, Little Pizza, Moontang, The Dawn, and Yojimbo.

VIP Basics

As with all festivals there are VIP upgrades available.  I have attended Summer Camp as both VIP and general admission and I will stand behind the VIP experience here.  It is pretty amazing.  The check in procedure and the fact that you are parked so close to the camping area are the two big selling points for me.  If you have the extra $200 for the basic VIP upgrade per person then I would highly recommend it.  In addition to the special parking and camping there are special seating areas at the bigger stages, Thursday pre-party access, a VIP bar in the campground and at a few of the stages, your own special VIP poster, and entrance to one of the late night shows (more about this in a minute).  For $300 you also get deluxe parking, 2 late night shows, a case of Goose Island beer, and an official event t-shirt.  The $420 upgrade also includes all 3 late night shows, Super Deluxe parking (yes this means a whole lot less walking!!), and an official event sweatshirt.  For $1000 you can live the experience of being a rock star during the entire event with rockstar parking, and an all access backstage pass which allows you to get into the green room where you can rub elbows with the artists and enjoy some free beer and snacks.


If you love Umphrey’s McGee there are also some amazing Umphrey’s VIP packages available.  These include a picnic with the band, complete with food and beverages; a private Umphrey’s set in the church; special access to the Golden Ticket Merch Event, free downloads of all of the UM shows for the weekend, a commemorative laminate, special dedicated staff available to you throughout the weekend, and an exclusive umVIP merchandise item.  You can view these special packages to learn all of the details and additional information.

More Options

Not a tent camper??  Well if you purchase the VIP access you can take advantage of these special hotel and shuttle packages.  You can also pick up tickets for RVs but hurry only primitive and VIP upgrades are available now.

One Day

Plus if you can not attend the whole weekend you can grab a Sunday one day pass for just $75, so there is really no reason to not attend at least the one day of fun.


(You don’t want to miss out on the fun!  Where else could Huxley have found the inspiration needed to make his own rocket shoes out of glow sticks? @ Summer Camp 2014)


Keep in mind that if money is an issue that there are still volunteer opportunities that are available for you to be able to work and get your price of admission refunded to you.  Just check out the ticketing page for more details.