Chicon 7 logoChicon 7 skyline graphic
Membership rate through the convention.
Young Adult (17-21)US$$100
The 70th World Science Fiction Convention
August 30-September 3, 2012   Hyatt Regency   Chicago

ChiKidz - Information for Parents

This page provides the answers to questions that you might have about ChiKidz. If you have a question that is not dealt with here, please contact the ChiKidz staff directly.

  1. ChiKidz is part of Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, Chicago, IL - August 30 to September 3, 2012. Our postal address is Chicon 7, P.O. Box 13, Skokie, IL 60076.

    • Alissa McKersie and James Bacon are in charge of ChiKidz.

    • Alissa manages and owns the Cave Creek Black Belt Academy in Arizona and works professionally with children. James worked on the children's program in various capacities for the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, and 2011 Worldcons. He is a train driver.

    • Any concern or issue that cannot be resolved by Alissa and James will automatically be escalated through the Bobbie DuFault, the head of the Program department and, if necessary, up the chain of reporting.

    • In addition to the ChiKidz program, Chicon 7 is offering professional childcare for children aged 0-10 years old as part of member services. This service is not party of the ChiKidz program.

    • ChiKidz is the children's program aimed at 6-to-12 year olds.

    • All children in this age group should have parental details on a sticker on the reverse of their badges.

    • Parents are expected and required to volunteer time to spend with their children and to assist ChiKidz. We are NOT a child-minding service.

    • Parents must be with children in ChiKidz (and identified as such with a ribbon), unless the children have gotten a special ribbon ("Comet" - come and go), which indicates that parents have indicated that their children can be unaccompanied, and can leave and enter ChiKidz of their own volition. This permission level will start at about 8 years of age, but will be in consultation and agreement with the ChiKidz Core Team.

    • Parents are expected to come back to check on their children every few hours, and to hydrate and feed their children.

    • The "Comet" ChiKidz privilege can be rescinded.

  2. Recruitment of volunteers working with ChiKidz will require referral and confirmation. We will be using volunteers with a record of childcare as the core volunteer team.

  3. Information on the ChiKidz Core Team is online, including a photo. It consists of James and Alissa as well as Irish Lego ambassador James Shields and educator and mom Davinia Saylor. We urge parents to get to know the ChiKidz team, and welcome contact from parents.

  4. ChiKidz will begin at midday on Thursday, August 30.

    • Activities will cease at 5:45 p.m. and the rooms will close at 6 p.m. sharp, so please ensure you keep this schedule in mind. It's a long day for us, so please make sure that your children are picked up by that time.

    • Our Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, program will begin at 10 a.m., and again close by 6 p.m. On Monday, the program will finish at 3 p.m., in time for the Closing Ceremony.

    • There is no extra charge for Chicon 7 members to be part of ChiKidz.

    • Our schedule might also include a lunch break to clear the room and have some time to reset things if necessary.

  5. We welcome parents and hope they will volunteer and get involved. This helps ensure that programming is fun for everyone. No real skills are required -- all we ask for is a desire to enjoy and nurture creativity. Parents who have to accompany their children or who decide they want to get involved will be given a special Parent ChiKidz ribbon.

    • Some program items will require parental supervision and help, such as making or taking apart items where hand tools may be used. Note that glue guns available for crafts can only be used under the supervision of the ChiKidz team or a parent.

  6. Two ChiKidz adult Core Team members will be on hand at all times in each room, with at least one female and male to provide a gender balance.

  7. Please read the Code of Conduct for the ChiKidz Core Team and Volunteers so that you know what standards of behavior to expect from us.

  8. Chicon 7 has a formal constitution setting out its aims. Chicon 7 has a significant number of financial procedures, in accordance with WSFS rules. Chicon 7 is a non-profit organisation run wholly by volunteers.

  9. Parents are welcome to visit ChiKidz at any time.

    • Parents and all adults must identify themselves as such to the ChiKidz team upon their entry to the ChiKidz area. Parents will receive ribbons if they are staying.

    • The ChiKidz team may ask any person to leave the ChiKidz area, and withdraw the invitation to be in that area without giving a reason.

    • Any person refusing to leave the ChiKidz area when asked risks being asked to leave the convention.

    • The ChiKidz team are volunteers and will not tolerate any misbehavior from any adults. Due courtesy must be shown at all times. We ask parents to be considerate and not jeopardize their invitation to be at Chicon 7 by being discourteous or unreasonable.

    • In turn, we beg patience and understanding. We will be busy helping YOUR children to have as good experience as possible. We really need you to work with us, and we will be as prompt and courteous as possible with you.

    • As a rule, adults who are not participating with their children and who do not have a legitimate reason to be present, or who are not there at the request of the ChiKidz Core Team, should not loiter in or enter the area and will be asked to leave.

  10. Chicon 7 is fully insured. We have two first aiders (Type of Cert TBC) in the ChiKidz team, and have access via Chicon 7 Operations to other first aiders should these ChiKidz members be unavailable.

  11. There is a fantastic crèche facility available for kids aged 10 and under, if parents are unable to accompany their children and they are not allowed to be untethered. This service is provided by Kiddie Corp.

  12. All children must register and should receive a sticker for their back of their badges with all parental details filled in. This is mandatory. We must be able to contact a parent, and we ask parents to leave their mobile phones on.

    • The ChiKidz Core Team members will have a special ChiKidz ribbon so that they can be easily identified.

  13. Should an issue or complaint arise, immediately bring it to the attention of the ChiKidz staff member present. Should satisfaction not be gained, request to speak to Alissa McKersie or, if unavailable, request that the staff member contact James Bacon. Please raise any issues before leaving the ChiKidz area. If any member is unhappy with this response, we will raise the issue up the levels or reporting.

    Reporting Structure:

    1. Parents and ChiKidz volunteers
    2. ChiKidz Core Team: James Shields, Davinia Saylor
    3. Area Heads: Alissa McKersie and James Bacon
    4. Division Head, Program: Bobbie DuFault
    5. Flying Monkee (Chair's staff): Steven Silver
    6. Chair: Dave McCarty

  14. Parents should encourage their children to tell a ChiKidz Core Team member if there are any occurrences about which they are unhappy or uncomfortable. Parents who are informed of an uncomfortable situation by their child need to inform the correct level of authority within the ChiKidz and Chicon 7 structure immediately.

  15. When discipline is used, it is with the clear intention of teaching or reinforcing appropriate behavior. It will not be used impulsively, to gain power, or to embarrass or humiliate a young person. Two people must be present to explain what was unacceptable. Discipline is used to develop a sense of responsibility for behavior, respect for others and their property, reinforce positive behavior or attitudes; and reinforce awareness of health and safety aspects of the activity.

  16. We will have a "chill chair" and quiet space to assist in calming down any upset.

    • Parents will be informed if a ChiKidz participant is to be spoken to over inappropriate behavior.

    • ChiKidz has a "3 strikes and you're out" policy. Given the nature of young people, we will allow two minor incidences of bad behavior before Alissa and James, in consultation with the relevant ChiKidz staff, will make a decision to withdraw a welcome to an individual.

  17. ChiKidz builds on the ideas and work and experience from seven years of Worldcons. with both new and experienced people.

  18. Please look through the program, discuss it with your children, and prepare. Consider packing spare or old clothes and the right pieces of kit to heighten involvement for your children, which can make all the difference. However, we will have ample material and equipment for everyone.

  19. If your child has special needs of any kind, we encourage you to remain with your child. We are not professionals educated in their care and, in case of an emergency, we feel that a parent would know how to respond best to their child's needs. Because we are likely to have a lot of children participating in the activities, we are unfortunately unable to provide special attention for any individual child.

    • We encourage creativity and imagination. Through activities, sometimes exciting ones, we want to help learning and understanding and, of course, an appreciation for science fiction in all its forms. We do this in a safe, friendly, and fun environment for all.

    • Contact us at
      for more information or even just to say hello.