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Camper practicing archery at Corbett Preparatory School's CAMP IDS









CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND EDITORIAL MANAGER Laura Byrne ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anu Varma Panchal EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Laura Byrne Anu Varma Panchal Marisa Langford Maggie Rodriguez Jessica Salmond Courtney Cairns Pastor Kelli Biandudi Roberta Richmond Carmyn Samuel Stephen Shoe Julie Nelson Angie Koebel Lalita Llerena Lauren Gay ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez LAYOUT & DESIGN Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Howie Mac Photo Marisa Langford Maggie Rodriguez Laura Byrne Lauren Gay BOOKKEEPING Employee of the Month, LLC TAMPA BAY PARENTING MAGAZINE 320 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 220 Tampa, Florida 33606 Phone 813-949-4400 Fax 813-315-6688 info@tbparenting.com editor@tbparenting.com BECOME A FAN tampabayparentingmagazine @tampabayparenting @TBParenting




4 / TRIED AND TRUE: Staycation ideas at some of our favorite Florida resorts

20 / SLEEP AWAY SUMMER: Thumbs up on deciding to send your kids to camp! Why it’s a good idea and how to prep

7 / SPRING FESTIVAL MUSTDOS AT OUR FAVORITE THEME PARKS: Our top picks at Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and Busch Gardens’ Food & Wine Festival 8 / BACK TO THE BEACH: A day trip to Siesta Key 11 / ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Social distancing-friendly "drivecations" to explore this summer 14 / 8 MUST-DO OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN TAMPA BAY: The Outdoorsy Diva shares her favorite adventures 16 / SAFE SWIMMERS: The YMCA shares the ages and stages of what your child needs to know in the water and how to get there 17 / WATER SAFETY: 10 tips for water safety and 5 myths about drowning 18 / THE POWER OF PLAY: Getting your little ones engaged

Tampa Bay Parenting is published twelve times per year and distributed throughout the Tampa Bay community. Tampa Bay Parenting is not responsible for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or incorrect information (or the consequences related thereto) contained within the magazine or online; readers should not rely on any information contained in the magazine and they should always consult with an appropriate professional for guidance. Tampa Bay Parenting accepts no responsibility for the consequences of error or for any loss or damage suffered by users of any of the information or materials provided by Tampa Bay Parenting. Some content published by Tampa Bay Parenting is sponsored or paid for advertising content, and some individuals quoted or cited in articles have paid for advertising or sponsorships; this content or opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Tampa Bay Parenting.


ON THE COVER: Campers at Camp IDS can try their hand at archery or Lego Robotics in the morning and dabble in painting or photography in the afternoon. More than 100 half- and full-day camps ensure everyone has a great time! View Camp IDS's summer camp listing on page 26.

TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

23 / FIRST TIME AT CAMP: 5 tips for a successful summer 24 / SOCIAL SUCCESS IN SUMMER CAMP: Camp experiences help kids build social skills while beefing up academics. 28 / 7 QUESTIONS PARENTS SHOULD ASK: Get prepared for summer camp 32 / JOY OF CAMPING: Why summer camps are important, especially this year 36 / LIGHTNING MADE HOCKEY: Jassen Cullimore of the Tampa Bay Lightning shares how his team gives back and the programming they have to offer 49 / AWAKEN SUMMER IMAGINATION AT THE YMCA: Get ready for summer and learn easy ways to get your family's health on track 54 / SUMMER FUN AT THE YMCA: Find the perfect summer camp for kids of all ages and have the most memorable summer ever 61 / THE CASE FOR CAMP: Corbett Prep shares the importance of summer camp for kids after COVID-19



*Originally published in TBPM March 2021

TRIED & TRUE: Staycation


for families traveling from Tampa Bay story and photos by Marisa Langford

I absolutely LOVE hotels. Growing up as the daughter of a mariachi band singer, we traveled around the greater Milwaukee area as my Papi toured with his band, singing at hotel brunches and weddings. My sister and I made friends in hotel swimming pools, loved to race in hotel lobbies and loved sleeping in hotel beds on the weekends. The idea of waking up and exploring still fuels my soul, and now with four kids in tow, I’m the first one up on any of our vacations, ready to explore before the sun rises! When my kids were younger and we had more time and fewer obligations, I fell right back into my childhood memories as we traveled all over the state, exploring Florida and beyond and staying in more than 100 hotels all over the country. My love of travel (and a good hotel) was rekindled, and I now consider myself a hotel connoisseur. As resorts add so many amenities that you don’t need to leave the property to have a good time, staycations have become more popular. It’s a nice change of scenery from your home too! Hotels have definitely upped their game in cleanliness, so feel free to ask ANY hotel about how they are keeping guests safe. With Spring Break 2021 upon us and the kids begging for something to do, I’ve put together a list of “tried and true” hotel staycations for any family. You don’t have to travel too far from home, no flights are required, and by having your car, you’ll be able to take short road trips from the hotel to explore something else nearby!

ORLANDO WORLD CENTER MARRIOTT Located slightly off the beaten path in Orlando, The Orlando World Center Marriott stands hidden in between Kissimmee and Disney, close enough to everything yet far enough away to be an escape. As one the world’s largest Marriott hotels, the property has a sprawling array of amenities with restaurants galore, and is close to Disneyworld, Universal Studios and SeaWorld too.


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We LOVED the pools and the water areas that boast slides built by the same designer as the Atlantis resort. Even the toddler play area was enough to entertain my daughter for an entire afternoon. She loved the slide and the shaded LEGOLAND play area during our full days at the pool. My bigger kids loved the space of the pool (the biggest I’ve ever seen at a hotel) and the waterfall grottos.

THE RITZ-CARLTON ORLANDO, GRANDE LAKES If you are searching for the ultimate luxury hotel for your family getaway, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes is THE hotel for you. Every staff member we encountered was more pleasant than the one before, truly setting the mood for our stay. My girls were given blue bracelets and told they could have free ice cream whenever they wanted— even for breakfast. The pools are amazing. Because they share the Grande Lakes property with the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, you’ll also get to enjoy their lazy river pool, one of my favorites in all of Florida. We booked the In-Room Camping Experience for our stay and the girls couldn’t wait to sleep in the tent! The set up comes with books, stuffed animals and lanterns. We also booked an early-morning excursion called Sunrise Safari that allowed us to explore the 500-acre property with a Certified Florida Master Naturalist via a golf cart and see Florida f lora and fauna up close.


TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

WYNDHAM GRAND CLEARWATER BEACH The Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach is perfectly situated across from Pier 60 on Clearwater, steps away from the beach. At night, a sunset show put on by Mother Nature will rival any island sunset you’ve seen. From your balcony view, the pool looks as luxurious and inviting as the waves in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s vacation at its best. Pro Tip: Florida residents always save! Ask when you book!

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS CABANA BAY Universal Studios Cabana Bay Resort is the perfect place to reminisce about your own family vacations from the good ol’ days. The 1960’s vibe carries throughout the entire hotel—you’ll be jammin’ with the Beach Boys as soon as you walk in and watching “I love Lucy” reruns in the Swizzle Lounge while grabbing a cold one. Going bowling with the kids at the retro Galaxy Bowl or trying out the arcade games at Game-o-Rama are great ways to unplug. The spacious suites have room for six, a mini kitchen with microwave, fridge, sink, bar sitting area and coffee maker. The sitting room that can be closed off by an adjoining door made our stay so much more enjoyable because we could watch TV on the 40” f lat screen in the living room after the kids went to sleep. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort guests also enjoy early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ one hour before the theme park opens (of course, valid theme park admission required).



Pro Tip: With dining and entertainment for the whole family, Universal CityWalk is a great place to visit for an afternoon or evening to dine or see a show—and feel like you’re at a theme park without actually being inside one. We loved that Cowfish has a menu that everyone could agree on, with sushi for adults and edamame, sweet potato fries and burgers for the kids. Grab some Voodoo Doughnuts and bring them back to the hotel for breakfast! Don’t forget to stop and buy an inner tube or raft to bring when you visit. You y Ba a can buy them there n a at The Tube Shack for $8. Voodoo Doughnuts

GAYLORD PALMS RESORT AND CONVENTION CENTER We stay here at least three times a year for a mom-and-girls weekend, whether for their Christmas celebration or just for fun. It’s located in the heart of Kissimmee and a hop, skip and a jump from Disney. The indoor atriums are stunning, and there is just something about an “indoor” hotel that is so fun to experience. In the real Florida thematic atriums, you can visit a replica of the Castillo de San Marco in the St. Augustine Atrium, feed the alligators in the Everglades Atrium or “sail away” on a sail boat in the Key West Atrium while you dine at MOOR. You can explore pools, water parks and a wide array of restaurants for poolside snacks or evening fine dining at Old Hickory (another one of my personal favorites). There is literally no reason to leave this resort. And make sure you download the Marriot Bonvoy App before you go to use all the contactless features for check in and Mobile Key features! Pro Tip: Attention all teachers: There is an amazing discount for you when you book your room via the Teacher Appreciation or Military Appreciation codes. Learn more at GaylordPlams.com

THE WATERLINE MARINA AND RESORT Quietly tucked away on Anna Maria Island, the Waterline Marina and Resort puts you in a spacious 2-bedroom villa with plenty of space and quiet rooms to relax in after a full day of sea shell hunting and sun bathing in the sugar sand beaches. A quick ride on the Anna Maria Island Trolley to the SandBar around 6 p.m. gives you time to get a reservation and watch the sunset from beaches while you wait for your table. Guess the right time of the sunset and win a bottle of champagne! Spacious rooms fit up to eight. We loved being able to bring our own food and drinks, which helped save on costs. We were one block from the beach; no parking required! Pro Tip: The more nights you book, the more you save. Inquire when booking a 3-night stay or longer.

For MORE spring break coverage and stories, head to TampaBayParenting.com and look for the "Spring Break" tab in the menu.

DISNEY SPRINGS RESORT AREA HOTELS Disney can be a mammoth of a vacation to plan, but if you want a fun, quick fix, staying in a Disney Springs Resort area hotel might be just what you need. Take advantage of special deals from six neighboring hotels, all within walking distance of Disney Springs. Just by booking, you’ll receive an exclusive savings passport to select Disney Springs merchants and restaurants. Disney Springs has so many unique places! At the new donut shop, Everglazed, you’ll crave more than just their awesome donuts—the Funky Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Fries will blow your socks off! Score some sweet treats from the newly opened M&M store or try the new Gideon’s Bakehouse for a delicious half-pound cookie. Flavors change monthly so it’s a must-do to go back! Grab a fancy custom art latte from Joffery’s, a $5 Margarita on Mondays from Frontera Cocina or a Froscato from Wine Bar George (think Dole Whip frozen cocktail).

PLANTATION ON CRYSTAL RIVER If you are up for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, stay at the Plantation on Crystal River and enjoy swimming with the manatees as these gentle “sea cows” make their way from the cool waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the warm waters of Crystal River’s network of pristine springs. Leave on your excursion from the Plantation Adventure Center and Dive Shop just a short walk from your room. Enjoy the small town of Crystal River or venture out on their abundant waters for an adventure of another kind: paddle boarding, fishing, kayaking or snorkeling. Definitely fun for all ages! Pro Tip: Manatees begin to migrate back in March, so this month will be your last chance to see them until next January!

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


Cypress Springs Water Park with one-of-a-kind slides, aquatic playgrounds, and a brand-new action river is the best way to Spring It On at Gaylord Palms! Inside, explore family-friendly programming and other premium amenities that have all been designed in accordance with our commitment to clean protocols.

Now - May 16th | GaylordPalms.com Designed with enhanced health and safety measures. Learn more at GaylordHotelsClean.com.


TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

Spring Festival Must-Dos at Our Favorite Theme Parks:

story and photos by Laura Byrne

TASTE OF EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL: Just a short drive away from Tampa Bay is one of our favorites: the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival (runs through July 5). We always leave this festival inspired to create our own themed garden! The new Prehistoric Plants garden was a hit, with mini plastic dinosaurs hidden throughout for you to find.

SOME OF OUR TOP PICKS IF YOU GO WITH THE KIDS: Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration Scavenger Hunt: Pick up the card for $7.99 at the gift shops and search for Spike the Bee in the different gardens around the park! Health Full Trail presented by AdventHealth: This area is located near Imagination. Though the playgrounds are closed, kids can play in the plant maze while parents grab a chair and relax. The Goodness Garden Butterfly House presented by GoGo SqueeZ: This festival favorite is back and now located near The Land. Butterflies are everywhere. Enough said. Yummy Treats: With more than 20 outdoor kitchens, there’s a fun treat for everyone, like The Citrus Blossom kitchen’s lemon orange smoothie served in a signature Orange Bird Sipper. The Topiaries: Challenge yourself to spot as many of the 100+ topiaries scattered throughout the park that are snipped to look just like your favorite Disney characters.

photo provided by Busch Gardens

*Originally published in TBPM April 2021

BUSCH GARDENS FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL: The sips, tastes and sounds are back at Busch Gardens! This year’s festival features 110 dishes and drinks, including 22 new menu items like the fivespice duck lettuce wraps with Asian pear coleslaw and plum sauce drizzle to meatless options like the Impossible® slider topped with caramelized balsamic onions and crispy jalapeños. If a cold brew is what you’re after, you can choose from a wide selection of beers, wines and cocktails—even sips from breweries from around Tampa Bay and Florida. One of the best ways to sip and taste your way through the festival is with a sampler lanyard with options of five, 10 or 12-item samplers available for purchase. Perhaps one of the most exciting parts about this festival is that it brings live, outdoor music back after the pandemic silenced many live concerts. With limited capacity, socially distant concerts will take place at 5 and 7 p.m. You can also purchase VIP seating to secure your spot. The lineup includes: ● ● ● ● ●

Friday, April 2: Sugar Ray Saturday, April 3: Sister Hazel Saturday, April 10: LOCASH Saturday, April 17: Tito Nieves Saturday, April 24: Starship featuring Mickey Thomas

Cool Gardens: There’s something inspirational about each of the 20+ gardens in the park. The Miniature Gardens near Germany feature a mini village. See if you can spot the mini Snow White! There’s plenty of activity, including live entertainment and mini character parades.


COMING SOON: BIG NEWS OUT OF EPCOT: The opening date for the new Ratatouille ride in the France pavilion is Oct. 1 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resorts.

The Giraffe Bar recently opened at Serengeti Outlook at Busch Gardens with indoor and outdoor seating options that offer panoramic views of the Serengeti Plain. It’s a great spot to snag some appetizers with the kids while you enjoy a cold drink and keep an eye out for giraffe, zebra or ostrich.

*Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay both require guests to have a ticket or annual pass as well as a reservation for the day they want to attend. Face masks are also required for all guests ages 2 and older.

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


*Originally published in TBPM March 2021



Kicking off beach season with a day trip to the Gulf coast’s most celebrated stretch of sand on Siesta Key story and photos by Maggie Rodriguez

A bold claim spelled out on a colorful sign welcomes us as we arrive at Siesta Beach: #1 Beach in the United States. Stepping onto the sand, it’s as if we’ve just taken a onehour flight to a Caribbean island rather than a one-hour drive from Tampa Bay. The sand looks like sugar and feels like a cloud. The beckoning, blue water sparkles in the distance. “It is, by far, our number one attraction,” says Nancy-Jo Manney of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s Visitor Guide devotes two full pages to “the world’s finest, whitest sand,” explaining that it consists of 99% pure quartz grains that “are fine, without any coral or shell fragments.” The result is soft sand that stays cool, even when the Florida sun is at its strongest. Imagine a beach day where you don’t need to hop onto towels or shadows to protect your bare feet from scalding sand!

Walking along the shore, we meet a friendly lifeguard and discover that “Scooter,” as he’s known, has been manning the green lifeguard station on Siesta Beach for 26 years. “I probably have more footprints on this beach than anyone else,” he tells us with pride. Originally from Illinois, Scooter moved to Florida in 1983 and discovered Siesta Key ten years later. Nearly every day since, he’s worked on the beach and become a local celebrity along the way. Using the handle “Scooter of the beach,” he gives live, daily, beach reports on social media and offers travel tips on his website. “I just love helping people with whatever they need— from getting a hole dug for their umbrella to helping out on the water to come back in,” he says. At Scooter’s suggestion, we head to nearby Siesta Key Village for lunch. Walking distance from the beach, Ocean Boulevard is teeming with beach-inspired shops and restaurants that run the gamut from grab-and-go to fine dining. There are almost too many to choose from. A crowd is gathered outside the Siesta Key Oyster Bar, better known as SKOB. Beautiful trays of fresh oysters f lown in daily from Texas and Louisiana draw oohs and ahhs from diners seated at outdoor tables. But it’s the walls that command our attention. They are covered with dollar bills scribbled with names, dates and personal messages. Restaurant manager Kristin Hale explains why.


“It’s based on an old legend that when fisherman would go into bars and pubs, they would staple a dollar bill onto the wall so that if they didn’t catch any thing, they could come back to the pub and they would have a dollar to buy themselves a drink,” she says. “We adopted the tradition and people started adding notes over the years.” The walls and ceilings fill up so quickly that the restaurant must take down the bills to make room for more. They turn the decorations into donations. During the COVID lockdown last summer, they gave $10,000 to employees. They also sent $14,000 to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Our next stop leads to a mouthwatering discovery: the “Billionaire Burger” at The Cottage restaurant. One of the most popular items on the menu, the juicy cheeseburger is elevated with toppings worthy of the rich and famous: bacon and onion jam, truff le aioli, applewood bacon, tempura avocado and a perfectly-fried, sunnyside-up egg. It cements our belief that nothing is quite as satisf ying as a burger— especially this burger— after a day on the beach. Since there’s always room for dessert, we set out to sample the Village’s myriad options. Locals recommend Meany’s Mini Donut, a tiny building that serves tiny doughnuts ranging from glazed to strawberry cheesecake. We ask doughnut maker, Kieser Luft,

TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

what makes customers line up around the block for these bite-sized treats. “I would say because they’re always coming out fresh,” he replies. Across the street, the island’s most famous ice cream shop, Big Oläf Creamery, is crowded with adorable children, mouths dripping with blue and orange. The company has grown from this small shop 39 years ago to 50 across the state today. Its decadent ice cream is still handmade by local Amish craftsmen. Walking back to the beach, we spot visitors exploring the island on the free trolley, bicycles and “scooter cars”— curious-looking, threewheeled vehicles available for $49 per hour at Robin Hood Rentals. We’re told the most unique way to cap a day on Siesta Key is by attending the Siesta Key Drum Circle. Every Sunday, one hour before sundown, the sound of drums and cowbells fills the beach as free-spirited revelers dance for hours. Since we’re visiting on a weekday, we opt to head to the Patriots Pier instead. As a tribute to our country’s military personnel, crowds gather daily at sunset by the American f lag positioned at the edge of an old fishing pier. Taking in the serene sight over the pristine beach, we are reminded of the sign that greeted us hours earlier. How fortunate we are to have one of the country’s top beaches—not just in our state—but in our own backyard.







COCOA BEACH & CAPE CANAVERAL: 145 MILES EAST CATEGORY: Water Adventure, Outdoor Adventure, Eco-Florida Hop across Florida to Cape Canaveral to see real rocket ships, tour launch pads and learn about space from the experts at NASA. Take a private surfing lesson when you stay at the Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort in Cocoa Beach or hit the waves and boogie board all day. Ride the 335-foot lazy river at Wakulla Falls Water Park or pick up a game of volleyball at the world-famous Cocoa Beach Pier. We loved eating at SeaDogs, but there are many places at the Pier to grab something to eat and drink. Pro Tip: Bring boogie boards for the beach and plan a day trip to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Pick up a map from the visitor center and drive up Black Point Drive or walk the trails to see all the amazing wildlife on the island.

CAPTIVA ISLAND: 176 MILES SOUTH CATEGORY: Water Adventure, Beach Adventure “Florida’s Tahiti” is the jewel in the crown of Gulf coast barrier islands. Enjoy it from the South Seas Island Resort that sits amidst 330-acres of wildlife preserve. Rent a golf cart to take full advantage of the resorts’ 2.5 miles of private beaches, pools, water slides and of course, the majestic Gulf sunsets! For a full day of peace and quiet, pack your beach chair, a good book and cooler and have Captiva Cruises take you to Cayo Costa State Park. Pro Tip: Pack bikes, helmets and fishing rods to save a few bucks on the trip!

ST. AUGUSTINE FLORIDA: 176 MILES NORTHEAST CATEGORY: Beach Adventure, History The oldest city in the United States is only hours away, making this an easy “field trip” that everyone in the family will enjoy! Dive into history at 300-yearold Spanish-built forts like the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas. Climb to the top of St. Augustine Lighthouse, a 165foot tower with spectacular views of the coast. Walk through historic St. George Street and grab a cool treat at Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops before checking out the Lightner Museum, formerly the Alcazar Hotel built by Henry Flagler in 1888. Pro Tip: Stay at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, about 40 miles north on AIA from St. Augustine, or at the Peyton House, which is one step from the Atlantic Ocean beach and close to the resorts’ Surf Club.

FORT LAUDERDALE: 275 MILES SOUTHEAST CATEGORY: Outdoor Adventure, Exploration, Water Adventure Start your vacation before you even arrive by driving across Alligator Alley and taking an Airboat Adventure out of Sawgrass Recreation Park to glimpse the Everglades—a unique habitat of 1.5 million acres of subtropical wetlands. The Lago Mar Beach Resort and Club boasts one of the largest private beaches in Broward County, and the sunrise from this coast are spectacular. Rent a canoe or kayak from Whiskey Creek Hideout at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park and grab a quick bite from the Waterfront Bar and Eatery. With plenty of 2-for-1 LauderDeals happening in Fort Lauderdale now through September (including the Sawgrass Recreation Park Airboat Adventure), you can paddle-board, fish and scuba dive for half the price! Pro Tip: Visit Sunny.org for all the details on their 2-for-1 activities and download the pass book!

MIAMI: 294 MILES SOUTH CATEGORY: Water Adventure, Outdoor Adventure, Exploration, Eco-Florida While soaking up the rays on Miami Beach, take in a few sights that might make you rethink Miami as a family-friendly destination rather than a party scene. Check into The Palms Hotel & Spa and relax with direct access to Miami Beach or rent a private tiki cabana poolside—very Miami style! Take in the murals of Wynwood Walls or panoramic views of Biscayne National Park from the 65foot lighthouse at Key Biscayne and stop in Coconut Grove for dinner at Glass and Vine. After your kids have worked off some energy at Peacock Park, grab a brew from Panther Coffee for the ride back to Miami Beach. Pro Tip: On your way down, take advantage of day trips to see the Everglades or visit Fort Lauderdale.

SOUTH WALTON: 420 MILES NORTHWEST CATEGORY: Beach Adventure, Eco-Florida Take scenic Route 30A west along the emerald coast of Florida’s Panhandle and feel the softest sugar sand beaches beneath your feet. The 16 coastal towns that make up South Walton are each unique in design, each with a different vibe, and some are more budget friendly than others. Rosemary Beach is our family’s favorite costal destination. Bring bikes to explore the farmer’s markets, playgrounds, boardwalks and four state parks in the area. Book a junior suite with a Gulf view at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa and enjoy bunk beds for the kids and sunsets from your private balcony. Pro Tip: If you can, explore the 16 eclectic communities that make up South Walton. Each is unique and you might just find your next idyllic vacation spot. Definitely enjoy lunch at Airstream Row in Seaside, the town where “The Truman Show” was filmed.

PHOTO CREDITS: Blue Ridge Mountains, St. Augustine, Cocoa Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Anna Maria Island: Marisa Langford - Beaufort, SC: Beaufort-Port Royal CVB - Captiva Island: South Seas Island Resort - Westgate River Ranch: Westgate River Ranch - Miami: The Palms Resort and Spa - Reunion Resort: Reunion Resort - Crystal River: Plantation at Crystal River - Rosemary Beach: Visit South Walton Florida - Key West: Cheeca Lodge and Spa - GA Glamping Company: The Wanderpreneurs - Smokey Mountains: Sommer Stiles - Hilton Head: Laura Byrne.

KEY WEST: 422 MILES SOUTH CATEGORY: Beach Adventure, Water Adventure, History, Eco-Florida Begin your stay in paradise when you check in at the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, home to the largest private beach on Key West. Build sand castles and relax in a hammock by the water or enjoy a Barefoot Billy’s dolphin excursion that leaves right from the resort. Take the Old Town Trolley to the Key West Lighthouse and don’t forget to take your picture by the Southernmost Point Buoy. Enjoy dinner on the beach at Salute! On The Beach at Higgs Beach. Break up your drive home with a few nights at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa in Islamorada. Here, you can enjoy a complimentary paddleboard or book a 2-hour snorkeling trip right from the resort to see the second-largest coral reef in the world. Pro Tip: Build in one full day to check off a day excursion to the Dry Tortugas National Park, accessible by charter sea plane or ferry. Spend the day exploring Fort Jefferson and the surrounding natural habitats.

Worth The Drive BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS: 611 MILES NORTHEAST The mountains are calling. VRBO a picturesque mountain cabin on the outskirts of Asheville close to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Pick up a trail guide and choose a few trails that younger kids can do (we hiked Flat Rock and Craggy Gardens). Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop to take pictures or just soak up the view from above. Stroll along Main Street in downtown Hendersonville and enjoy dinner outside at Never Blue. Fresh air and walking are good for the soul! Pro Tip: The Biltmore Estate will never disappoint so add that to your list of things to do before you leave the area.

SMOKY MOUNTAINS: 610 MILES NORTH Drive north for just about a full day to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. Stay off the beaten path by renting a cabin in Bryson City, North Carolina and access the park via Deep Creek. Hike to see the waterfall at Juney Whank Falls, go gem mining in Bryson City, canoe in calm parts of the Nantahala River or level up your adventure by whitewater rafting with the Nantahala Outdoor Adventure Center. Disconnect for a while as you explore one of America’s greatest treasures: our National Parks and all their majestic glory. Pro Tip: Book your cabins early as they get very full in summer months!


HILTON HEAD, SOUTH CAROLINA: 374 MILES NORTHEAST Head for the Lowcountry of South Carolina and settle in at Hilton Head Island. There are several resorts, but a staff favorite is the Sea Pines Resort which features everything from hotel rooms, townhomes and single-family homes with your own pool. This is a great option for families looking to distance themselves from others. Go for a bike ride along the many trails throughout the entire island. There are more than 80 miles of intertwining trails. You can even ride your bikes on the beaches of hard packed sand. Tennis and golf are other popular activities as is a leisurely stroll through Harbour Town in Sea Pines Resort. Pro Tip: Rather than bringing your own bikes, consider renting them from one of the numerous bike rental companies!

LAKE LANIER, CUMMINGS, GEORGIA: 491 MILES NORTH For those who want to camp but haven’t taken the plunge to purchase all the gear, head to Cummings, Georgia, and stay with the Georgia Glamping Company. They have blended all the elements of a family camping trip with the amenities of a luxury hotel to create the perfect mix of an outdoor luxe vacation that will leave your family with all the memories of camp life. Add on extras like a propane grill, fire pit, paddle boards or kayaks to make it easier to just show up and enjoy the time you have together. Pro Tip: Visit GaGlamping.com to book this Glamping destination with gorgeous Lake Lanier views. Spots won’t be available for long!

South Carolina’s second-oldest city is conveniently located between Charleston and Savannah along the Intracoastal Waterway. Check into your room at the Beaufort Inn and head to Blackstone’s Café to enjoy a traditional Southern breakfast. Explore the waters with Beaufort Kayak Tours, then cool off at Hunting Island State Park, which boasts five miles of uncrowded beaches and nature trails as well as the state’s only publicly accessible lighthouse. Use the complimentary bikes from the inn to ride to the 10-mile Spanish Moss Trail, built over an old railroad line. Satisfy your sweet tooth at famed The Chocolate Tree, as seen in “Forrest Gump.” Pro Tip: Jump in your car to find one of Beaufort’s quintessential road-side spots like the Shrimp Shack. The family-owned business has been frying up the best shrimp burgers around for more than 37 years. Chow down on made-to-order fried shrimp, shrimp burgers, crab cakes, f lounder, clams, scallops and even fried chicken. 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


*Originally published in TBPM July 2020

8 Must-Do Outdoor Adventures By Lauren Gay of OutdoorsyDiva.com

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Hillsborough River

This unique watercraft is part surfboard and part bicycle. Enjoy amazing views of downtown Tampa when you rent water bikes and kayaks from the Tampa Bay Water Bike Company near the Tampa Convention Center.

HIKE AT HILLSBOROUGH RIVER STATE PARK Hillsborough River State Park is a scenic park in Thonotosassa with the only natural class II rapids in the state of Florida. There are fun suspension bridges, places to fish and kayaks and canoes to rent.

WALK IN A TREETOP CANOPY AT MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK Myakka River State Park is 58 square miles of gorgeous scenery, known for its lakes, wetlands and meandering waterways. Its true claim to fame is the 25-foot-high Myakka Canopy Walkway, the first public treetop trail in North America. The park also offers camping and kayaking rentals.

VISIT THREE SISTERS SPRINGS Three Sisters Springs is a paradise in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge system and only an hour and half drive north of Tampa. The amazing turquoise lagoon can be explored from above via the boardwalk or by kayak via the King’s Bay inlet.

Myakka River State Park Three Sisters Springs

EXPLORE EGMONT KEY STATE PARK Egmont Key is an island just off the coast from Fort DeSoto State Park that can be accessed by ferry or private boat. The beautiful and pristine turquoise waters off the western shore of the island will have you thinking you have run away to a Caribbean Island! Aside from the amazing beach, there are old forts to explore, a lighthouse and nature trails.

HUNT FOR SHELLS AT SHELL KEY NATURE PRESERVE Shell Key is a small barrier island just off Tierra Verde. It is only accessible by private boat or ferry from the Fort DeSoto boat ramp. This small island is a shell lover’s dream. It is kid-friendly too, with clear water and countless whole unbroken shells to collect.

Shell Key

ZIP LINE THROUGH THE TREES TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure park is the largest zip line aerial adventure park in Central Florida. It’s a great place for views from the trees and fresh air.

VISIT WEEDON ISLAND PRESERVE Take a guided hike or a stroll on your own through preserve trails and boardwalks to see shorebirds and aquatic life of Tampa Bay. Kayaks may be rented to explore the mangrove tunnels and see dolphins and manatees.

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www.outdoorsydiva.com Instagram: @OutdoorsyDiva Pinterest: Outdoorsy Diva Twitter: @Outdoorsy_Diva

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*Originally published in TBPM June 2019

By Lalita Llerena

There’s no question summer is here, and if you had any doubt, just step outside. As you look for ways your family can escape the heat and humidity, remember to keep safety at the top of your mind. Jumping into a pool is the perfect antidote to the sticky heat of a summer day, but drowning can happen nearly anywhere with standing water. As a parent or caregiver, you can equip children with the tools they need to be confident in and around water.

“It’s best to get your child in the pool as early as possible,” says YMCA of the Suncoast Aquatics Advisor Lisa Warren. “The more comfortable they are in the water the easier it is to teach them the skills. Swimming skills can also be practiced in the bath by blowing bubbles, getting their face wet or f loating on their back.”

Preschoolers ages 3-5 may be ready for Swim Basics but kids ages 5-12, or anyone 13 and older, may need to start here as well. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.

The Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming. In fact, did you know the Y introduced the country to the concept of group swim lessons more than 110 years ago? The YMCAs of Tampa Bay offer a swim lesson program designed to help participants reach their goals under the guidance of nationally-certified swim instructors. You can register for one of eight stages under three swim categories depending upon age and current swim ability.

School age kids, teens and adults who can already swim comfortably for 15 yards or more can sign up for Swim Strokes. Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique. Instructors cover front crawl, back crawl,

Is your little swimmer between 6 months to 3 years old? Then, you and your child can take the Swim Starters classes which develop water enrichment and aquatic readiness. Accompanied by a parent, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn how to supervise children in the water, prevent accidents and plan for emergencies.


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breaststroke kick and butterf ly kick. More advanced swimmers will learn the major competitive strokes. The chart below may help you decide which class to register for. You can also take your child to a nearby Y to complete a free swim test and talk to an aquatics associate. Find the Y closest to you at www. ymcatampabay.org. Whatever stage your child fits in, swim lessons at the Y provide the health benefits of exercise, opportunities to bond with family and friends and the sense of accomplishment when learning new skills. So, jump in and swim safely!

*Originally published in TBPM June 2019

Water Safety

10 Tips for Water Safety and 5 Myths About Drowning By Anu Varma Panchal

istockphoto.com/ FamVeld

Florida is Numero Uno in so many ways—beaches, Disney, gorgeous weather, the oldest city, the Space Coast, and so much more. But here’s one distinction we wish we didn’t have: In Florida, drowning rates for children under age 5 are more than double the national average and higher than any other state in the nation.

Every year, as the temperatures rise and pools and open water beckon, babies and toddlers enter the water unsupervised and drown. For every child who drowns, four more are hospitalized for near-drowning. These are preventable tragedies. Michelle Sterling, St. Joseph’s Children’s Wellness and Safety Specialist, has these 10 suggestions for parents to ensure that families make the good kind of memories around water this summer.




Designate a water watcher when you’re at a pool gathering. In a crowd, people often assume someone else is watching the kids; never make that assumption. Instead, choose one adult to put their phone away and do nothing but keep their eye on the kids in the pool. After 10 minutes, trade the job with another adult. Install a pool fence with a self-closing gate and door alarms that will sound if a child gets into the pool area or leaves the house, particularly by the door that takes them directly outside to the pool area. Test the alarms to make sure that they are working properly. Teach children to swim. If money is a barrier to swimming lessons, consider that children ages 6 months and above are eligible to receive a swim lesson voucher in St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s Safety Store. Criteria are that they must be Hillsborough County residents enrolled in one of the following: Medicaid, Hillsborough County School’s Free Lunch Program or SNAP-Food Assistance Program.


Learn CPR so that if an emergency does occur, you can help stabilize the child until help arrives. People can register for infant and child CPR classes at www.BayCare.org/Events.


If you are out on open water, make sure that everyone on board is wearing a U.S. Coastguard-approved lifejacket. Visit https://www.uscgboating.org/ to get detailed instructions on how to choose a lifejacket.


Empty kiddie pools and buckets when not in use and turn them upside down. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water. For this reason, install toilet lid locks if you have a new walker and make sure bathtubs are drained.


Teach children to ask permission to swim.


If a toddler or young child is missing, head immediately to your pool (or any ponds or open water around your house) to check there first.


Fish toys and rafts out of your pool when you’re done swimming so that a young child won’t feel tempted to jump in and retrieve a favorite item.

10. If you vacation in a relative’s home or Airbnb this summer, ensure that the same rules apply. Be extra vigilant if you are in a place where the pool has not been enclosed.


A drowning child will be loud. Drowning is absolutely silent. There is often no sound or splashing at all. You must always have eyes on the child.


Drowning takes time, so it’s OK to dash inside and fix a quick sandwich. Drowning is quick. Two minutes following submersion, a child will lose consciousness, and irreversible brain damage can occur after just four to six minutes.


If there’s a lifeguard around, my child is safe. A lifeguard is scanning the entire area, not just watching your child. You still need to have a pair of eyeballs on your child.


Floats and water wings will keep my child safe. They may keep your child temporarily afloat, but they also give a young child an illusion of safety and may lead them to think they can just step into the pool at any time and they’ll be fine. These devices don’t substitute for learning how to swim.


If there’s a fence, my child is safe. Many pool fences are not installed properly or are left unlocked. Especially if you are visiting someone else’s house or public property, be aware the safety measures may not be the same as in your home.

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


*Originally published in TBPM January 2021




by Jessica Salmond, communications and outreach coordinator, photos provided by the Early Learning Coalition of HIllsborough County

When you watch your child play, it sure looks like a lot of fun, right? It is! But play is much more than young children having fun. It’s actually hard work, too. Children use play to learn lots of different concepts and skills that form the building blocks of their life. Play gives children an opportunity to be creative “while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength,” according to a study on play and development from the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. When they play, children learn confidence and resiliency while practicing adult roles and skills in an environment they can control.

If you peek into the classroom of voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) 4- and 5-year-olds, or even younger age groups, you probably won’t see rows of desks with a teacher up front at a white board. Instead, you’ll most likely see early childhood educators engaging with students in activities such as circle time, shared reading or free choice learning centers. Often, teachers intentionally place play items in these areas that match the week’s lessons, tying in new words and ideas to the theme. These educators guide play to incorporate literacy, math, social emotional and other skills into the activities. How can you work guided play into at-home playing and learning? With a bit of grown-up help, your child’s natural inclinations to explore the world around them through play can be paired with their love of learning new things.

Let’s return to the tower game. If you see your child wants to A child building a tower out of blocks or shapes may seem build a tower, you might offer to help. Learning to work with engaged in a simple task, but they are intrinsically learning others and take turns is a social emotional skill. While buildscience, technology, engineering and math skills. How many ing the tower, you might talk about the blocks to work in early blocks can she stack before it topples over? If she lays a horiliteracy skills. Are the blocks long or square, heav y zontal block on a vertical block, where must she balance or light? What colors are they? Add science and the block, so her tower doesn’t come crashing engineering skills: How many blocks do you down? If you watch your child doing a task like have to work with? When the tower falls, this, you can see the careful scientific conwhat else can you and your child make sideration and development of motor skills with blocks? she uses to slowly place that final piece to DO YOU WANT TO Children are natural-born scithe tower. More than likely, your child FIND AN EARLY LEARNING entists. They love to learn, ask has already experimented with other PROGRAM NEAR YOUR HOME questions, experiment and see methods of stacking blocks, learning OR WORK? what happens. Why not join in what does and doesn’t work. their fun? Children learn through play. If your The Child Care Resource & child is enrolled in an early learning Referral team at the Early Learning program before kindergarten, most VISIT ELCHC.ORG OR Coalition can help. We can create likely they are spending their time CALL 813-515-2340 TO a list of childcare providers in the in childcare in play-based learning.

zip codes you request. This is a free service for all Hillsborough County families.


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JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


If your child is celebrating 4 before Sept. 2, 2021 it’s time to start thinking about VPK!

Voluntary Prekinderg arten (VPK ) is an early learning program th at helps prepare yo ur child for kinderg arten!

Smaller class sizes Free for 4-year-olds Easy, online enrollment! Credentialled instructors Developmentallyappropriate curriculum


The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County is funded in part by the Florida Office of Early Learning. 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


*Originally published in TBPM April 2018


Thumbs up on deciding to send your kids to camp! Why it’s a good idea and how to prep. by Roberta Richmond

Camp is one of the best investments one can make for their child. It is not just a destination, it is a fun-filled educational process where children grow socially, physically, emotionally, individually, spiritually and intellectually, preparing them for an enriched life ahead. Camp offers a structured environment where children interact with positive role-models who have time to listen, talk, relax, teach and reflect with children. Kids learn to work together at camp, make wise choices, take responsibility, develop creative skills, build independence and become self-reliant as well as gain confidence in themselves. Schools often don’t have time to help kids discover and explore their talents, interests and values. At camp children learn to problem–solve and make social adjustments to new and different people while gaining new skills to increase their own self–esteem and leadership skills. Often children sit at home in the summer time watching T.V., snacking, playing video games, texting and not getting enough physical exercise. Camp not only gives children something to look forward to for the summer, but also gives kids a fun-filled setting where their camp curriculum serves as a catalyst to stimulate individual growth.


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Camp does require some preparation. Here are a few tips to make the summer smooth and enjoyable for both parents and child. IF POSSIBLE, VISIT THE CAMP AHEAD OF TIME or call families who have been to the same camp to talk about their experiences. Check to see if the camp is accredited and how long the camp has been established. SET GOALS FOR CAMP: If taking horseback riding, aim to learn how to saddle a horse, post at a trot, groom a horse or go on a trail ride. In archery, decide you want to hit the target. Help your child plan to sign up for new activities like tennis, drama and photography. BEFORE CAMP, HAVE YOUR CHILD PRACTICE BEING AWAY FROM HOME, especially if it is their first time away from home. Have your child spend the night with grandparents or another close friend.

DON’T MAKE PROMISES YOU CAN’T KEEP, like “It won’t rain at camp” or “there won’t be bugs.” Don’t tell them you will come pick them up if they don’t like camp or you will be there on Family Day if you know you can’t make it. For sure, don’t give them a cell phone and tell them you are only a phone call away. This sets them up for failure. Tell them you are excited about the many things they will learn. You look forward to hearing about the new friends they will make as well as hear about the horses they have ridden, cool counselors and even what they saw at talent night. They may want to practice a song, or dance for talent night before coming to camp. WRITE YOUR CHILD UPBEAT LETTERS while they are at camp and give them postcards already addressed and stamped. PUT YOUR CHILD’S NAME IN THEIR CLOTHES and any items they may bring to camp like tennis rackets, cameras or riding helmets.

Your child is going to have an amazing time at camp. They will grow and develop life-long skills. Camps provide the right instruction, equipment and facilities for kids to enhance their sports abilities, their artistic talents and their adventure skills. The sheer variety of activities offered at camp makes it easy for children to discover and develop what they like to do.





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5 Tips for a Successful Summer By Courtney Cairns Pastor

Your kids can spend their summer painting masterpieces, designing apps, learning languages, singing on stage, conducting experiments or trying new sports. With so many options, is it any wonder you are overwhelmed when trying to select a summer camp? Parents have many factors to consider when choosing a summer camp, and the planning and registration process can seem especially complicated to families who are new to the camp scene. Here are some tips to make your children’s first time at summer camp so fun that you’ll look forward to signing them up again next year. Think about the kind of summer camp experience you want. Are you looking for academic challenges or does your student need physical activity to balance out screen time? Do you have a little one you want to prepare for prekindergarten or kindergarten? Is your child considering a sport but unsure about committing to a team? Once you know the type of camp you need, you can begin researching what is available. You may prefer a half-day option that gives families more variety. At CAMP IDS, parents can mix and match morning and afternoon camps to design a day that suits their children. You can choose a reading camp in the morning and pair it with archery in the afternoon, for instance, to satisfy a need for academic review and outdoor activity. CAMP IDS offers more than 100 camps during seven weeks of sessions. Full-day camps also have advantages. Field trip camps for all ages span a full day, allowing time to visit fun locations throughout the Tampa Bay area. Other camps choose the full-day format to give students time to pursue their interests in depth. CAMP IDS musical theatre camps for third through 12th graders require a two-week commitment because the students need the time to rehearse a play they perform when the camp ends. Be aware when you look at camp descriptions that the grade level often refers to the grade the child will enter in the fall. Check with your camp to confirm. Examine your hours. Many parents rely on summer camp for child care when school is out. Make sure camp hours align with your work schedule. CAMP IDS offers free morning care before sessions begin from 7:15-8:30 a.m. to make dropoff less stressful. Extended care from 3-6 p.m. is available at a small cost. Bus transportation is an option in several neighborhoods to help save parents a trip. Take a tour. If your child is going to spend the better part of a summer somewhere, it only makes sense that you’d want to learn a little about the facility and its programs. Ask the camp directors if you can visit for a tour.

*Originally published in TBPM April 2019. *See our 2021 Summer Camp Directory for current Camp IDS offerings.


It’s especially nice for parents of preschool-aged children who may be new to a school setting entirely. Camp directors can show families the classrooms children will use, the playground, the lunch area and more. Seeing first hand where you check in, where you drop off your child and where you pick them up also helps soothe first-day jitters for parents and kids at a new camp. You can have your questions about lunches, supervision, dress codes and the daily routine answered in person. Coordinate with a friend. Campers at CAMP IDS come from many different schools, making it an easy environment for meeting new friends. But some kids need the security of exploring a new camp with a buddy. Share your camp plans with other parents and try to coordinate weeks or activities that will make the transition to a new setting a little easier. Pack a bag. The night before camp starts, pack a small backpack for camp essentials. A refillable water bottle is a necessity in the hot summer. You may also need sunscreen and mosquito repellent as well as snacks and a packed lunch or cash to buy food. Certain camps, such as sports or dance, may require special shoes. Art camps suggest bringing oversized paint shirts. The backpack is also nice for students to have to bring home all their treasures – science experiments, crafts, worksheets and other projects. Enrolling students in summer camp provides them with opportunities to pursue their interests, make new friends and prepare for the upcoming school year in a relaxed but engaging environment. With a little planning, it can be a successful experience for parents as well.

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


by Carmyn Samuel and Stephen Shoe, photos provided by Camp IDS

The rhythm of drums fills the room as campers play in unison, speeding up, slowing down and increasing volume at a leader’s direction. The drum circle is the culmination to a week of “Warrior Games” at CAMP IDS, a series of challenges such as obstacle courses, scavenger hunts and races that transform fifththrough eighth-grade students from a variety of schools into a team. A few classrooms away, campers watch with excitement as video games they designed come to life on computer screens. In the cafeteria, young bakers huddle to discuss their team’s decorating strategy to wow judges in a cupcake competition. On stage, musical theatre campers are rehearsing choreography they learned just days earlier, laughing and joking with new friends who share their love of theatre. Summer camp benefits students in many ways, keeping kids’ bodies and brains busy in the months before school starts up again. But attending camp helps students socially as well. Camp programs can build confidence, teach team-building and spark new friendships.

*Originally published in TBPM March 2019. *See our 2021 Summer Camp Directory for current Camp IDS offerings.

Social Success in Summer Camp

Ninety-six percent of students surveyed in an American Camp Association study said that camp helped them make new friends. Almost as many campers said camp helped them get to know students who were different from them. And 70 percent of parents said they noticed their children gained confidence at camp.




CAMP IDS annually draws more than 1,000 students from across the Tampa Bay area, which makes it likely that campers will meet new people whether they attend one week or all seven.

Camp provides students with the chance to work cooperatively with others to meet a common goal. Students learn how to balance responsibilities on projects and take turns demonstrating leadership, skills they will continue to draw from in school and the workplace.

Three-quarters of campers surveyed in the American Camp Association study said summer camp gave them the chance to try activities they were afraid to do at first. And 63 percent of parents said their children continued those activities after camp ended.

Though it is hosted at Corbett Prep – a private school for PreK3-8th grade – CAMP IDS attracts students from many different schools, including high schools. High school students enjoy the chance to delve deeper into their interests, learning volleyball from Olympian Keba Phipps, for example, or auditioning for challenging musicals such as “Rent,” “Into the Woods” or “Pippin.” Many of the same families return year after year, and students look forward to reuniting with their “camp friends.” New students may experience first-day jitters but quickly find other like-minded friends, especially when their camps ref lect their hobbies and interests. Enrolling in a Star Wars camp or Lego engineering immediately connects students to other campers who enjoy the same activities.


In Claymation and Lego Movie-Making, for instance, campers divide into small teams to storyboard movie ideas, build characters and sets to film and edit short movies. Broadcasting, Newspaper and Teen Magazine camps split up important roles so all students contribute to the final product. Cooking camp creates a balanced menu each morning, and every camper assumes responsibility for a different portion of a gourmet lunch. In sports and recreation camps, campers must balance their roles for the sake of their team or group – after all, if everyone tries to go separate ways in canoeing, they’ll only succeed in turning in circles.

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Camp can spark an interest in coding, fishing, painting, dancing and so much more. CAMP IDS offers different choices each week with the option to take full- or half-day camps for more variety. Under the guidance of experienced and supportive counselors, students see progress in a short time. They cheer their successful rocket launches, share books they write and illustrate, perform music mastered in band and display intricate figures designed and built in 3D printing. Summer camp is an important place and time for kids to grow. Fun activities in a low-pressure environment give campers the chance to stretch as they form friendships and uncover new interests. Throughout the summer, they even wind up making discoveries about themselves.

Camp Imagination: June 7-July 30 At Camp Imagination, your little learners imagine, discover, and connect to the world around them. With imaginative weekly themes, there’s a camp for every kid! Register your kids to play with purpose and embrace curiosity this Summer at GlazerMuseum.org/camps

Weekly Themes: June 7-11 Outside In | June 14-18 Wild World | June 21-25 Time Travel June 28-July 2 Magical Tales | July 5-9 Autism-Friendly (AF) Make a Masterpiece July 12-16 AF Maker Mania | July 19-23 AF Expedition Unknown JulyISSUE 26-30 Mad Science 25 2021 SUMMER |CAMP TampaBayParenting.com

your 2021 guide to Tampa Bay Area Featured listings

Berkeley Preparatory Summer Programs 4811 Kelly Road, Tampa 33615 813-885-1673; berkeleyprep.org/summer Berkeley has an enormous summer catalog of over 120 camps and classes on a beautiful 80-acre campus. There’s something for everyone at Berkeley Summer Programs: swim lessons, tech camps, fine arts, volleyball, baseball, football, LEGO, basketball, rock climbing, skateboard design, reading skills, lacrosse, tennis, chess, marine science, math review and so much more! *Online registration; half-day and full-day camps, early/ after care, and lunch options! Cost: prices vary per camp Dates: June 7 - July 30 Times: Times vary

Summer Camps

Camp Bayshore


3909 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33611 813-839-4297; bayshorechristianschool.org/ student-life/camp-bayshore.cfm

12015 Orange Grove Drive, Tampa 33618

Camp Bayshore is a fun, Christian-centered program for campers ages 3 through rising 6th grade. Children from all around the Tampa Bay area are provided an exciting and safe family atmosphere to learn, grow, play and make memories that last a lifetime.

Campers can try their hand at archery or Lego Robotics in the morning and dabble in painting or photography in the afternoon. More than 100 half- and full-day camps ensure everyone has a great time! Academic camps include math, science, reading, writing and engineering. Performing arts, music, recreation and sports camps last all summer. Chinese and Spanish language camps are also available. Sessions run weekly for six weeks from June 14-July 23. Free morning drop-off at 7:15 am. After-care (3-6 p.m.) and bus transportation are available for a fee. Open to all students entering PreK3-8. Located on Corbett Prep’s beautiful lakeside campus.

Cost: $225-$250/week plus a one-time non-refundable registration fee. Dates: June 1 - July 30, M-F *Registration opens March 1 Times: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ages: 3 years through rising 6th graders, Coed

Ages: 4-17, Coed and single sex camps

813-961-3087; corbettprep.com/campids

Cost: $120-$360/week Dates: 6 weeks, June 14 - July 23 Times: 8:30-11:30 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m. Ages: PreK3-grade 8, Coed

Camp Imagination at the Glazer Children's Museum 110 W. Gasparilla Place, Tampa 33602 813-443-3861; glazermuseum.org/camps At Camp Imagination, your little learner will imagine, discover and connect to the world around them. With unique weekly themes, there’s a camp for every kid: from Wild World to Time Travel, Maker Mania, Magical Tales and more. Children need play now more than ever and the Glazer Children’s Museum’s play-based approach sparks imagination and curiosity. This inclusive camp even features select autism-friendly weeks with additional specially trained staff, a quiet space for campers who need a break and orientation so they know what to expect. Register your kids to play with purpose and embrace curiosity this Summer! Cost: $240/week before May 1, $265/week after May 1 *GCM Members save 15% Dates: June 7 - July 30 Ages: 5-10, Coed


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istockphoto.com/ Nadezda_Grapes

History Adventure Camps

The Coder School CODE CAMPS

Delphi Academy of Florida Summer Camp

Tampa Bay History Center 801 Water St., Tampa 33602 813-228-0097; tampabayhistorycenter.org

New Tampa | 8632 Hunters Village Road, Tampa 33647 813-422-5566; newtampa.thecoderschool.com

1831 Drew St., Clearwater 33765 727-447-6385; delphifl.org

Unmask the myths behind pirates, learn the ins-and-outs of archeology or journey to three different periods in history with American Girls Felicity, Kirsten and Nanea at the Tampa Bay History Center. History Adventure Camps include in-gallery activities, hand-on learning, guest speakers and outdoor activities. Camps are offered with reduced capacities and social distancing protocols in place. Cost: $230 for History Center Members Dates: beginning June 7 Times: times vary Ages 7-11, Coed

Our camps provide coding lessons for kids as well as fun offline activities. Kids code throughout the week and then demo their week's creations on the last day of camp. Register online and use the code EARLY100 (for in-person camps) and EARLY50 (for online camps) at checkout!

Summer Camp is the perfect time to give Delphi a try. Most of our regular school year curriculum is available to students, but we spend a lot of our time during the weeks just having lots of summer fun. Summer at Delphi is available for students from the age of 2 through 17. With day trips and jampacked adventures, explorations in the sciences and arts, kids are definitely happy campers! We also have a half day “Get Ahead, Stay Ahead” academic booster for your high schooler. Come tour today and sign up for the fun.

Cost: $299-$499/week

Cost: $260/week

South Tampa | 1730 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa 33629 813-466-1411; southtampa.thecoderschool.com

Dates: June 1 - Aug. 2 Times: in-person 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; online 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. *early drop off and late pick up available.

Dates: June 14 - July 23 Times: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ages: 2 to 17, Coed

Dunedin Fine Art Center Summer ART Academy 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin 34698 727-298-3322; dfac.org/kidscorner/summer-camp DFAC’s Summer Art Academy proudly offers over 30 years of summer art enrichment fun. Todd Still, director of youth education, is excited about heading up his 22nd year at one of the premier summer programs in the Tampa Bay area. Seven different art camps feature the best artists and art educators in the region, including multi-media experts with skills from painting to clay to drawing to dreamin’! Cost: $170-$215 Dates: Weekly sessions June 14 Aug. 6 Times: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. *before and aftercare available Ages: 4.5-14, Coed

Ages: 7-15, Coed

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


Ask to Prepare for Summer Camp by Julie Nelson, photos provided by Camp IDS

The calendar may say spring, but for parents who like to plan ahead, March is summer camp season. Registering for summer camp early gives families the most flexibility and the highest number of choices. Camps fill up fast. The longer you wait, the harder it is to coordinate camps with friends or work around vacation. How do you know what camp to pick? A little research will help you determine which program is right for your family. CAMP IDS welcomes more than 1,000 students to its campus at Corbett Prep every summer, and these seven questions are the most popular ones we hear from our new families.



You tour a new school before enrolling your child; it’s natural to want to see where your kids will spend their summer! Arrange a tour and ask to see the classrooms as well as the areas where campers eat and play. Visiting in advance will also give you a better idea of how drop-off and pick-up works so you can have a stress-free first day.

Many families rely on summer camp because they work outside the home. A camp with a late start time or early pickup can cause scheduling problems for parents. You’ll want to find out how early you can drop off your child, whether the camp has extended care in the afternoon and the costs of each.



We love our CAMP IDS counselors, and the relationships they build with the students are one of the reasons students return year after year. A good counselor knows how to connect with students and handle conf licts while teaching engaging lessons. CAMP IDS assigns veteran teachers to each camp as well as assistants and volunteers to provide extra supervision and gain experience under the lead counselor.

Round-trip bus transportation in the mornings and afternoons makes life much easier for busy families. If you are struggling with how to get your child to the camp of your choice, a summer camp with bus service can make a huge difference.


You can pack a lunch all summer if you’d like, or you can let your camp handle it for you! The Warriors Oasis stays busy all summer at CAMP IDS with breakfast, lunch and snacks available for purchase.

It can be hard to find quality camps for 3- and 4-year-olds. The popular Pre-Rec, Bookworms and Fun with Numbers camps at CAMP IDS combine learning, play and crafts in weeklong programs that prepare our littlest campers for prekindergarten in fun and creative ways.


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*Originally published in TBPM March 2020. *See our 2021 Summer Camp Directory for current Camp IDS offerings.

7 QUESTIONS Parents Should

WHAT CAMP IS RIGHT FOR MY FAMILY? This is the hardest question to answer and the most important. It’s all about what you want your child to experience, and the answers differ for every family. Are you looking for academics to stop the summer slide? Recreation to counter screen time? Enrichment to explore a hobby or passion? The half-day camps at CAMP IDS allow students to mix and match options and experience twice as many sessions, while full-day sessions provide additional opportunities for a more in-depth experience.

CAMP IDS started more than 20 years ago at Corbett Prep and offers six weeks of sessions every June and July. Students choose from more than 100 technology, academic, arts, language, field trips, recreation and sports camps.

SUMMER 2021 6 Weeks of Options June 14 - July 23

Over 100 Full & Half Day Camps PreK3 - 8th Grade Before & After Care

813.961.3087 corbettprep.com Bus Service Available

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


your 2021 guide to Tampa Bay Area Featured listings

Summer Camps

The James Museum Summer Art Camp

MOSI Summer Science Camps

150 Central Ave., St. Petersburg 33701 727-892-4200 ext. 1010; thejamesmuseum.org/ summercamp

4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa 34639 813-987-6000; mosi.org

Unleash your inner artist this summer at The James Museum. Our week-long summer day camps encourage children to get messy as they explore a variety of art-making processes. Inspired by our collection of paintings and sculptures, campers will bring their own ideas to life in our children’s art studio. Art camp offers opportunities for hands-on learning, creative thinking and collaboration. Cost: $95; $85 for members (per half-day session) Dates: Select weeks June 14 - July 30 Times: 8:30 a.m. to noon or 1-4:30 p.m. Ages: 6-11, Coed

MOSI’s Summer Science Camps bring science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) alive through hands-on experiments and building projects. From launching rockets, building robots and extracting DNA, we are about creating the experiences that expand interests and make dreams a reality. Doing real science with the tools and technologies used by industry professionals is just one way MOSI Summer Science Camps inspire our campers with a can-do attitude that will last a lifetime. Real science coupled with exciting experiments, simulations, explorations and inventions will help you discover the innovator within. Cost: Starting at $168/week Dates: June 1 - Aug. 6, M-F (except holiday weeks) Times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., *extended care available: 7-9 a.m. $15 members/$20 non-members. 4-6 p.m. $15 members/$20 non-members Ages: For children who have completed K-8, Coed


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Patel Conservatory 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa 33602 813-222-1040; patelconservatory.org At the Patel Conservatory, every student deserves the opportunity to discover their creative potential. Our summer programs provide training in dance, theater and music. Camps and classes vary by length, age and skill level. Patel Conservatory summer camps require active learning participation by campers and result in a performance. Cost: Varies *scholarships available Dates: June 1 - Aug. 6 Ages: 3 through adult, Coed

Summer at Shorecrest 5101 1st St. NE, St. Petersburg 33703 727-409-1668; shorecrest.org/summer Summer at Shorecrest offers affordable, educational and FUN summer programs for students in preschool-12th grade including Drones & Robotics, STEAM options, musical theatre training, specialty sports clinics, academic enrichment/college prep and so much more. Programs run June 7-Aug. 6. View the full catalog and register at www.shorecrest. org/summer. Cost: Varies by session, $125$550/week. Prices range from $125 for a 20-hour program to $350 for a 40-hour program (contact for travel camp pricing) Dates: June 7 - Aug. 6 Times: Full day and half day camps available Ages: Preschool-grade 12, Coed

istockphoto.com/ Nadezda_Grapes

Tampa Prep Summer Programs 727 W. Cass St., Tampa 33606 813-251-8481; tampaprep.org/summer Camp Terrapin is Tampa Prep’s well-known coeducational, sports and fine arts camp for students entering grades 1-8. Structured activities and theme days provide friendship and fun in downtown Tampa. Additional summer programs include a variety of sports camps and courses in robotics, academics and enrichment. This summertime extension of our award-winning day school program offers something for everyone. Cost: $175-$280 for camps and enrichment Dates: June 1 – July 23 Times: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. *before and after care provided weeks 6/7-7/23 Ages: Various camps, enrichment courses and or-credit courses are offered for students entering grades 1-12, Coed

Wakesurf Tampa Watersports Summer Camp 2200 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor 34685 804-300-1683; wakesurftampabay.com Welcome to Wakesurf Tampa’s kids summer camps. Our trained staff will ensure your child has a rewarding summer learning a multitude of watersports during our 4-day camps Monday through Thursday. We accommodate all levels from beginner to advanced and ages 5 to 16 years old. Each child will receive personal oneon-one training each time they ride. Staff members and captains are CPR and First Aid-certified. Aside from constructive training in the water, we also allow campers to swim and tube, making it easy for your child to make irreplaceable summer memories. Cost: $495/week

YMCA Summer Camp

ZooTampa Summer Camps

Multiple locations 813-224-9622; tampaymca.org 727-467-9622; ymcasuncoast.org

1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa 33604 813-935-8552; zootampa.org/summer-camps

Y Summer Camp offers children a day camp curriculum full of fun educational activities infused with the Y’s character values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Campers experience a variety of activities including swimming, science, high ropes, outdoor education, nature encounters, horseback riding, canoeing, visual arts and more! The fun and unique experiences give Y campers an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime. In Y Summer Camp, kids are in a safe and welcoming environment where they can belong, build relationships, develop character and discover their potential.

Your kids can explore the Zoo like never before! Campers will get VIP behind-the-scenes access to the Zoo, get up-close to our amazing animals from across the globe and learn directly from the teams that care for these animals every day about what it takes to become a zoo veterinarian or animal care expert. Plus, they’ll get plenty of splashes on our water adventure, Roaring Springs! #GetWildSafely this summer at ZooTampa!

Dates: May 31 - Aug. 12

Cost: Starting at $129/week (Tampa Y) and $95/week (Suncoast Y)

Ages: 5-16, Coed

Dates: begins June 1

Cost: Starting at $290 Dates: June 7-Aug. 6 Times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: Rising K-8, Coed

Times: times vary by location Ages: 6-15 (Tampa Y), 3-17 (Suncoast Y), Coed


2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


*Originally published in TBPM March 2021

Summer Camps are Important,

Especially this Year by Angie Koebel, director of Strategic Growth & Initiatives and summer camp coordinator at Admiral Farragut Academy, photo provided by Admiral Farragut Academy

After a long year of lockdowns, quarantines, online learning and reduced activities, our children need something to look forward to. It has been shown that children are likely to have worries, fears, anxieties and other signs of stress since schools are operating in different ways. Many children have had fewer opportunities to be with their peers—something that is vital for maintaining good mental well-being. Sending your child to summer camp offers that opportunity to be with friends and get that social support.

Additionally, some students have experienced a learning slide because of a lack of consistent instruction. While summer camps are not purely academic, it takes the hands-on and experiential learning experience to the next level, helping children keep skills sharp so that upon return to the classroom, they are ready to go. Summer camps also represent normalcy and allow children to be children. While Admiral Farragut Academy’s summer camps follow COVID-19 safety protocols necessary to protect campers and staff, they also focus on fun, friends and experiences that campers will remember for a lifetime.



● Each week, campers explore various themes through fun, creative and educational activities as well as boat rides, pool time and water slides on Farragut’s 40-acre waterfront campus. ● This year’s weekly themes are Save the Planet, Super Heroes, Jurassic Park, Abra-cadabra Magic, Bug World, Gross Science, Rainforest Cafe, Treasure Hunters, Shark Week and Wacky Water. ● Camp is led by Farragut faculty and their staff of counselors, counselors-in-training (CIT), and junior counselors (JC). ● Camp is open to rising kindergarten through eleventh graders. Students sixth grade and above can gain experience as a JC or CIT.

● Basketball: Two-week camp for rising third through eighth graders, led by Farragut Varsity Basketball Coach Julian Allen. ● Volleyball: Two separate evening clinics for grades 6-8 and 9-12 led by Farragut Varsity Volleyball Coach Kasey Reynolds.

SUMMER SIGNATURE SERIES (SSS) ● Boarding camp runs for five weeks and serves rising eighth through twelfth-grade students. ● The first four weeks of SSS will highlight and immerse the campers into one or two of Farragut’s signature programs including STEM, Leadership/ Sailing, Marine Science/Scuba and Aviation. During the fifth week, campers will explore the wonderful things that Florida has to offer, including our many springs, historic sites and local attractions. ● Campers will also complete a weekly team challenge based on a real-life issue. They will work with fellow team members to discover solutions while also developing a sense of community and skills associated with teamwork.

LEARN MORE AT WWW.FARRAGUT.ORG/SUMMER Admiral Farragut Academy is a K-12 private, college-prep, day and boarding school located in St. Petersburg, Florida.


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Summer camps History Adventure Camps are created for children ages 7 to 11. Campers get hands-on with history through games, crafts, activities, gallery time and guest speakers.

Swashbuckling Summer June 7 - 11 or July 5 - 9

New! Archaeology Camp will focus on the new, natural history exhibit Tusks to Tails: A Fossil History of Florida.

June 14 - 18

American Girl©

June 21 - 25 or July 19 - 23 Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Before care and after care available. Register online at tampabayhistorycenter.org/camps For Summer Camp COVID-19 Policies and Procedures, visit tampabayhistorycenter.org/camps Scholarships granted based on need and availability. *Cannot be combined with other discounts.


Tampa Riverwalk | 801 Water St., Tampa, FL | 813.228.0097 Smithsonian Affiliate


2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


your 2021 guide to Tampa Bay Area

Summer Camps

ACADEMY OF THE HOLY NAMES SUMMER ON BAYSHORE 3319 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa 33629 813-839-5371; holynamestpa.org/summer

Fun-loving kids ages 3 and up may choose from themed day camps, STEM, technology, sports and enrichment camps at the Academy of the Holy Names’ ever-popular Summer on Bayshore. From LEGO to lacrosse and cooking to cartooning, Summer on Bayshore has something for everyone. Complete session information and online registration are available at holynamestpa.org/summer. Full- and half-day weekly sessions run from June 7-July 30.

Cost: $150 (half-day) to $325 (full-day specialty camps) Dates: June 7-July 30, weekly Ages: PreK3-grade 8, Coed

ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY 501 Park St. N., St. Petersburg 33710 727-384-4555; farragut.org/summer

Whether you’re looking for fun weekly-themed activities or sports camps, Farragut’s day camps will entertain and educate your rising kindergartener to 12th grader. Our boarding Summer Signature Series is available to rising 8th-12th graders. Each week offers campers the opportunity to explore one or two of our signature programs.

Cost: varies per camp Dates/Times: June 1 – Aug. 14, dates and times vary per camp Ages: grades K-12, Coed

ALLIGATOR & WILDLIFE DISCOVERY CENTER (Summer Fun Activity) 12973 Village Blvd., Madeira Beach 33708 727-329-8751; kissagator.com

Our Center provides humane, professional care for pet surrenders that cannot be returned safely to the wild. The facility is home to a little over 200 animals including alligators, lizards, mammals, marine life and more. Our animal family comes to us from places such as the SPCA, wildlife rescues or individual owners who can no longer care for their pet.

Details: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Children $8 (2 and under free). Group rate of five or more all get in for $8 per guest. Open every day, all summer long!


Admiral Farragut Academy: 501 Park St. N., St. Petersburg 33710 727-823-1600 x 212; americanstage.org/summer

Cost: $225/week (financial aid available)

American Stage provides a quality performing arts education in a positive and empowering environment, giving young people the tools to be fearless, focused and flexible on stage and in life. All experience levels are welcome! We believe in fostering an accessible environment that encourages a sense of belonging, curiosity and collaboration.

Dates/Times: June 21 Aug 6., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ages: grades K-12, Coed


3741 Canoga Park Dr., Brandon, FL 33511 813-651-0779; villageelc.com/programs/summer-program Arts, nature, technology and Spanish are key areas of investigation at ANTS Camp. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to this hands-on experience where they can explore STEAM/STEM topics, practice cooperation and develop friendships. A nutritious lunch and snacks are provided at no extra cost. Field trips are offered with a coach-to-student ratio of 1:10 (additional fee applies). Drop off between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and pick up your student by 6 p.m.

Cost: $155/week Dates/Times: June 1-Aug. 5, 7-9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ages: grades K-5, Coed


1846 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg 33712 727-825-0515; creativeclay.org Creative Clay’s 2021 inclusive Art Around the World camp focuses on four cultures—Scotland, Zimbabwe, Laos and New Zealand--and will incorporate art history lessons into each class. The camp classroom environment has a 6:1 camper/teacher ratio and is designed to provide individually-paced learning, freedom of expression and sensitivity to learning differences. All children will have one painting per week on exhibit at the St. Petersburg Museum of History located at the St. Pete Pier.


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Cost: $200/week Dates/Times: June 21July 30, M-F, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ages: 6-12, Coed, *Inclusive--accepts at least two children with disabilities each week

Unleash your inner artist and make friends this summer at The James Museum!

COLOR EXPLOSION June 14-18 Ages 6-8

UPCYCLED ART July 12-16 Ages 6-8

S.T.E.A.M. SPECTACULAR June 28-July 2 Ages 9-11

ART ADVENTURES July 26-30 Ages 9-11

thejamesmuseum.org/summercamp 150 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 727-892-4200 x1010

We can’t wait to see you again this summer! Camp Terrapin (grades 1–8) Special Interest Camps (6 years to grade 12) • • • •

Robotics LEGOs Programming Cheer

• • • •

Rowing Volleyball Arts Chess


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*Originally published in TBPM February 2021


Lightning Made Hockey by Laura Byrne, photos provided by The Tampa Bay Lightning

Photos in this column taken by Howie Mac Photo

For Tampa Bay’s beloved Lightning, being the hometown team has always transcended a love for the sport. Their true winning comes from giving back. We recently met up with Jassen Cullimore for a socially-distant interview outside Amalie Arena. A former player, Cullimore now helps lead the Lightning Made Hockey program. As we sat next to the Stanley Cup, which he helped bring home as part of the team in 2004, we talked about how the team is not only winning big on the ice, but making an impact on the lives of children in families in our community. BYRNE: First—let’s talk about the Stanley Cup since it’s right here on the table next to us! You were part of the team when the Lightning brought it home in 2004—you know from personal experience the work and determination it takes. CULLIMORE: It takes a lot to win this. When we won in 2004—I mean…I was here in the lean times when we were losing 50 games a year, so to go through the process that we went through and the changes the team made in personnel—to win it, it’s tough.

BYRNE: Team sports teach you a lot on and off the field…or ice. What life lessons did you learn as a player that you’ve been able to share with your children and the kids you meet through the Lighting Made Program?

Cullimore at our 2021 cover shoot

CULLIMORE: You keep at it. If you have a goal in mind, you figure out what you need to do to reach that goal and no matter what, you just keep working at it. It’s funny—we were talking before—I have my three daughters at home e-learning and right now I’m working with my youngest. She’s in grade 6, and we’re trying to get her caught up since it’s the end of the

quarter. I’ve been sitting with her the last couple of nights doing grade 6 math and world history. That's the thing, to let her know this is what we need to do... you have to sacrifice a little bit... put in the work to get the mark you want.

BYRNE: There’s a picture of you with one of your daughters after the Stanley Cup win in 2004. What is that moment like for you all as players and as parents? CULLIMORE: That’s the great part. When they’re coming up to the plane, the kids, especially the young ones, they don’t really care about this (Stanley Cup). They just want to see their dad. It’s a special moment. She’s 17 now—we have that picture up and she walks by it every day. It’s one of those things you never forget and eventually the kids will realize the importance of it.

BYRNE: We’ve all made the so-called pandemic pivots. The Lightning Made Program is no different, producing virtual programming for kids. CULLIMORE: We were trying to think of stuff we can do. I know ThunderBug had his thing with fitness he was sending out. We sort of jumped on that. We put together some videos. We put together virtual clinics on Saturday mornings and were averaging 40 or 50 kids. We also have videos up there and it just shows stuff you can do with regular household items at home—if you are stuck at home and can’t go anywhere, you don’t necessarily have all of the equipment you need.

Cullimore and his family over the years


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Lightning Made Hockey programming takes the sport out into schools and the community.

BYRNE: The Lightning Made Hockey programming offers something for everyone, from little kids to adults. Can you talk about some of the programming available? CULLIMORE: We just started up our Heroes League program which is a great program. We have firemen, police officers, doctors, teachers, veterans, wounded warriors…I believe we have 50 or 60 players. We just had our first game. We’ve been running the High School Hockey League throughout the whole thing. There’s a lot going on. We have our Sled Program (adapted version of ice hockey for athletes whose disability may inhibit them from playing stand-up hockey) and we’re trying to introduce games to girls as much as we can. It’s all run by Jay Feaster—he was the general manager when we won this thing (Stanley Cup) in 2004. We’re trying to stay safe and keep everybody else safe. The ice rinks are open, so we are doing stuff there. The Learn to Play program (8-week program for kids ages 5-10), if you’re a beginner, it’s a great deal. You get to learn from alumni such as myself, Mathieu Garon, Brian Bradley—all sorts of guys. We have a diversification program ‘Guide the Thunder’ where we bring middle school kids who haven’t been out playing hockey. That group, we’ve had a few graduate to high school, and now they [are] a JV team that plays in our high school league. We have our spring camp coming up in March and then we’ll be looking to the summer. We usually do anywhere from three to six summer camps.

BYRNE: School visits are a big part of the team’s commitment to Tampa Bay. Why is it so important for the team to connect with kids and families? CULLIMORE: For everyone that’s around here that follows hockey, they know that Jeff Vinik is one of the best owners in all of sports. He gives back to the community, he gives checks out every home game, so it’s important for him to get out in the community. What we’re doing is trying to get young kids involved because we know that R' DE UN 'BUILD THE TH once we : RS BE M BY THE NU get them hooked, During the first opr once they e th of e as ph ed have the gram, they hand . passion for ks ic st 0 00 out 120, the game, ent rr cu e th r, fa So they’ll n ve gi s program ha be fans 00 ,0 60 r he ot away an for life. e os cl sticks, getting Hopefully . al go 0 to the 100,00 Lightning fans.

Follow along with the Hockey Hall of Fame's Keeper of the Cup, Philip Pritchard, and see his adventures while in Tampa Bay.

We just want to share some of the knowledge we have from playing with those who might not take a look at hockey as an option as a sport for them. The school visits which we call ‘Build the Thunder’—we take over their PE class for the day—we teach the kids how to play street hockey or ball hockey and when we leave, we leave equipment. We leave nets, sticks, balls, jerseys for the school and the kids each get a stick and ball to take home. We started that program five years ago and we completed our first program. Right now, we’re in the middle of our second program, which is grades 1-3, so the young kids. We’ve done over 800 school visits in the five years I’ve been here and it’s quite amazing that we’ve been able to go out and see that many kids and introduce them to the game.

BYRNE: Lightning Made Hockey has also made a commitment to open 10 outdoor street hockey rinks in the five-county Tampa Bay area. CULLIMORE: We go out there and we run clinics at the outdoor rinks, run tournaments. It’s really great to see the tour-

TWITTER @keeperofthecup INSTAGRAM @travelswithstanley TIKTOK @keeperofthecup

naments where you see the kids where we’ve gone to the schools to visit them and they’ve actually put a team together and then we go to the outdoor rinks... and we see them play and compete. If you have inline skates, you can try that out there at the outdoor rinks. You can just take a stick and a ball and have fun with the kids. Some of them are really done up with a cover, so if it’s hot out you stay cool. Check out the local one that’s nearest to you.

BYRNE: We always ask this question—what are your favorite things to do as a family in Tampa Bay and what is it about this area you all love so much? CULLIMORE: When I finished playing, we were going to go back to Chicago because I played there and we just decided with the weather here, being able to be out like this even though for Tampa this is cool weather—70 or 72—that’s the reason we came back. Just being outside with the kids, with family, going to go walk the dogs, especially now with the pandemic (our dogs are pretty exhausted!).…it’s just being able to get outside with them.


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Grades K-12 Little Captains Fun Weekly Themes Sports Basketball Volleyball Wrestling REGISTER NOW


Waterfront Campus St. Petersburg, Florida 727-384-4555

Grades 8-12 Summer Signature Series with a new Farragut signature program featured each session STEM Leadership & Sailing Marine Science & Scuba Aviation Explore Florida

the sky’s the limit at junior docent art camp Create | Explore | Express The Dalí Museum offers weeklong surreal summer experiences for kids 9-14 to explore art & express themselves. Sessions include instruction from awardwinning teachers & guest presenters, creative writing and art making. Online and face-to-face options are available.

Camps start at $65

Learn more at



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JUNE & JU = =



OF SUMMER FUN! www.CanterburyFlorida.org/Summer camps@canterburyflorida.org 727-521-5914

Dance Friends are Forever Friends!

text DJ to 484848

m www.thebeatmusicacademy.co





Summer Registration Going on Now at Ms. Lisa's Dance! Visit www.mslisasdancestudio.com

Learn Dj & Music production skills with The Beat Music Academy red By EZ Texting

Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Powe

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*scholarships available.

255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg 33701 727-896-2667; mfastpete.org

Unleash your inner artist at the MFA's art camps and workshops. This July, the MFA is hosting THREE summer camps: two week-long art and science camps for grades 1-5 and one week-long art and empowerment workshop for female students in grades 6-9. Join us as we explore the world through art!

Cost: $190 for members; $250 for not-yet-members Dates/Times: July 12-16, July 19-23, July 26-30; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: Grades 1-5, Coed; and 6-9, Female

BARRETT SCHOOL OF MUSIC SUMMER CAMPS Various Locations 813-285-5091; musicschoolintampa.com

Cost: $110-$200

This summer, the Barrett School of Music is offering camps for anyone and everyone. Whether your child is a passionate string player, a musical theater fanatic, or a music tech enthusiast, we have the camp for them. And if they're just getting started, our Brandon Music Camp will make for the perfect start to their musical journey. No matter the age or interest, the Barrett School of Music is your one-stop for musical summer fun.

Ages: 4-17, Coed


Dates/Times: July 19-30, Times vary, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*extended care available

4400 34th St. N., Suite E, St. Petersburg 33714 727-258-4981; baysidesportsacademy.org/camps

At Bayside's Limitless Summer Camp, we encourage children to love being active. Let your children enjoy a variety of camps this summer and have great experiences they will never forget! Early bird discount pricing is available. Attend eight full weeks, get all post-camp days FREE! Weekly and daily rates available.

Cost: Starting at $45/half -day up to $340/week Dates/Times: June 10Aug. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: 5-13 on or before Sept. 1, 2021, Coed


5956 54th Ave. N., Kenneth City 33709 727-266-2852; thebeatmusicacademy.com

Cost: $99-$699

The Beat Music Academy is a unique learning experience that aims to provide students with the foundations needed to become a successful DJ. Courses are put together and taught by local professional instructors for students of all ages. Classes are offered one-on-one and in groups.

Ages: All ages welcome

Dates/Times: Enrollment by request

BEST HORSE CAMP AT WEST COAST MORGANS 17126 Boy Scout Road, Odessa 33556 813-920-9870; westcoastmorgans.com

Cost: $80-$100/day, $400-$500/week

WCM has adjusted the 2021 BEST Horse Camp to include social distancing, more riding and outside time, lots of disinfection and camper separation protocols to protect everyone as best as possible! Spaces are limited due to logistical changes but the camp experience will be amazing! Offering half and full days, single weeks and bulk weeks over summer and winter breaks, and family discounts! Riders of all levels can enjoy weekly themes, tons of hands-on horse activities, guest speakers and MORE!

Dates/Times: June 1 – Aug. 6, half and full day options, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: 6+, Coed

BRICKS 4 KIDZ LEGO® SUMMER CAMPS 3713 W. Dale Ave., Tampa 33609 813-545-4282; bricks4kidz.com/florida-tampa

Cost: $125-$285, halfand full-day camps

Bricks 4 Kidz is back with a whole new summer of LEGO® camps. With over 50 different camps at several locations and brand new camp themes, we are sure to have an awesome camp your child will enjoy! Sign up today!

Dates/Times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: 4.5-12, Coed


23221 101st Road, O’Brien 32071 386-209-1908 or 386-935-0863; campdovewood.org

Cost: $725-$1,225

Camp Dovewood celebrates 44 years of dynamic Christian camping for girls 7-17 in North Florida. We have an outstanding equestrian program with certified instructors: huntseat, rodeo, dressage, grooming, vet care and trail rides. We also offer swimming instruction, tennis, cheerleading, art, drama, archery, Bible, volleyball, softball, cooking, gymnastics, music and baton. ACA and CHA accredited.

Ages: 7-17, Girls Only

Dates/Times: June 6-July 17, 1-2 week sessions

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Jr. Adventure Camp 5 - 9 year olds

Summer will never

Adventure Camp 10 - 15 year olds

be the

SAME! Summer is coming, and Jr. Adventure Camp is the place to be. Join us for a summer of crazy games, fun field trips, awesome crafts and our annual food fight! Our weekly camps offer a fun and exciting alternative for summer. Energetic camp counselors will keep your child active during our fun-filled weeks. Campers will participate in activities such as rock climbing, bounce houses, sports, water games, crafts, and much, much more! Join us for a summer adventure! Soul Adventures is located at 129 North Belcher Rd, Clearwater.

Let the adventure begin


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“Mom, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.” If you’ve ever heard your child say that, then we have an adventure for you! “Bored” is never heard at Soul Adventures, a summer camp for 10-15 year-olds. Imagine these experiences: • Rope courses • Kayaking • Paddle boarding • Fishing • Mountain biking • Snorkeling Combine these exploits with a powerful daily devotion time, and you have the recipe for an adventure that might just last a lifetime.


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Camp Bayshore A ministry of Bayshore Christian School

Campers 3 years old to rising 6th graders

SUMMER FUN AT CAMP BAYSHORE BAYSHORECHRISTIANSCHOOL.ORG (813) 839-4297 Ext. 300 3909 South MacDill Avenue Tampa, FL 33611

Registration Opens March 1st June 1st-July 30th

“Our family loves Camp Bayshore! My son feels safe and has the best time. He always shares about his exciting days. We are beyond grateful that Camp Bayshore is our second home every summer.” -Camp Bayshore Parent

ART & ARCHAEOLOGY WILD CREATIONS ART CAMP & EMPOWERMENT Dig up some history and travel back in WORKSHOP time with the exhibition Antioch Reclaimed, and learn about the art and science of archaeology. Discover how archaeologists piece together the past from Ancient Greece, to Mesoamerica, and even right here in Tampa Bay.

JULY 12–16 (grades 1-5)


Calling all nature enthusiasts! Dive into the environmentally-focused exhibition Skyway 20/21, and meet local artists inspired by the beauty of Tampa Bay. Learn about our unique environment, create your own nature artworks and enjoy a field trip to the new St. Pete Pier.

JULY 19–23 (grades 1–5)


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During this week rising 6th to 9th graders who identify as female learn about historical and contemporary female artists from the women of the MFA Curatorial staff. We’ll explore different ways of selfexpression through mind, body and art.

JULY 26–30 (grades 6–9)

Price: $190 members, $250 not-yet-members Scholarships available Camp times: 9 am–4 pm Due to safety precautions, camp sizes will be limited. All guests will be required to wear a face mask, observe social distancing and adhere to the additional safety protocols of the MFA.

SUMMER Largo Recreation, Parks & Arts






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Come explore Mars through the sights, sounds and discoveries of NASA’s Perseverance Rover as it searches for signs of life and prepares the way for future human missions.

Going on now at MOSI!

4 8 0 1 E A S T F O W L E R AV E • TA M P A • 8 1 3 - 9 8 7 - 6 0 0 0 • M O S I . O R G MOSI’s mission is to be the intersection of science, technology and innovation in the Tampa Bay region where conversations and learning happen, knowledge is exchanged and new ideas are celebrated.


TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE


*extended care available

The French American School of Tampa Bay 2100 62nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg 33702 727-800-2159; fastb.org/camp-fastb

If you are looking for a safe place for your kids to enjoy the summer and learn some French, please join us! Mornings will include fun French activities and afternoons will be filled with arts and crafts, games and plenty of time for free play. The co-ed camp is open to children ages 3-12, and no prior French instruction is required. Extended Care is available at $10/hour or $40/week morning and $75/week afternoons if paid in advance.

Cost: Full-day $300$325/week; half-day $200-$225/week Dates/Times: June 21Aug. 2, weekly. 9 a.m. to noon or 3 p.m. Ages: 3-12, Coed


7602 Henry Drive, Land O' Lakes 34638 813-996-1226; campidlewildofflorida.com Camp Idlewild’s program model was developed for children ages 6-17 who have the following superpowers: autism spectrum disorders (including Asperger's Syndrome), sensory processing disorders, Down syndrome and developmental delays. We are also offering Young Adult Camp (YAC) programs for 18-30 year-olds on select dates. Check our website for more information.

Cost: Weekend camp $250/Weekend; summer camp $700/Week Dates: Weekend camp: April 9-11, 23-25; summer camp: June 20-July 30 Ages: 6-17; young adults ages 18-30, Coed


Turner/Bartels K-8 School, 9020 Imperial Oak Blvd., Tampa 33647 800-968-4332; invent.org/camp

Cost: $235

Spark your kid’s creativity and confidence with our new Camp Invention® program! At Turner/Bartels K-8 School the week of June 7, campers in grades K-6 will collaborate in hands-on activities exploring fun STEM concepts by taking apart their own microphone, exploring solar-powered crickets and more. Visit invent.org/local to secure your spot and save.

Ages: K-grade 6, Coed

Dates: June 7-10


18050 US Highway 301 S., Wimauma 33598 941-928-6860; camposprey.com

Cost: $250-$525

Camp Osprey Kid’s Day / Overnight Adventure Camp is located on 204 acres that meander along the Little Manatee River. Horseback riding, zipline, giant swing, paintball, BB guns, archery, kayaking, paddleboards, swimming, fishing and art and crafts are offered in a Christian-based environment of family fun. Make a lifetime of memories in just one summer.

Dates/Times: Day Camp M-F, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Overnight Camp Sun. 4 p.m. to Sat. 9:30 a.m. Ages: 7-15, Coed


381 Moonlight Drive, Cloudland, GA 30731 423-472-6070; campwoodmont.com

Cost: $1,025/week or $1,595/2 weeks

Imagine a home away from home where your child feels secure, welcome and reassured—that’s Camp Woodmont! Just two-and-a-half hours from Atlanta, this ACA-accredited camp boasts two generations of family management. Overnight camp for boys & girls ages 6 to 14. Activities include archery, climbing, horseback riding, crafts, games, sports and more! Oneand two-week sessions available.

Dates/Times: May 30July 30, Overnight 1- and 2-week sessions Ages: 6-14, Coed


990 62nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg 33702 727-525-5419; canterburyflorida.org/summer Canterbury's Summer Programs will provide your camper with a variety of exciting options to promote adventure, a love of learning, and a playful spirit. Summer camp is not only a place where memories are made, but a place that will inspire your camper to grow intellectually, physically and socially.


Costs: Half-day starting at $165; full-day starting at $350 Dates: June 7-July 23 Ages: PreK4-grade 12, Coed

*extended care available

4537 Lowell Road, Tampa 33618 813-922-8167; carrollwoodcenter.org/camp-activities

At the Carrollwood Cultural Center, artistic expression, belting it out, busting a move and getting into character are all encouraged! Through art, music, dance and drama, campers ages 4-10 will explore a different theme each week, while campers ages 11-13 use the theme to create an original staged production. *We are offering a 15% Early Bird Discount for registrations received by April 30, 2021.

Cost: ages 4-10: $90$230/week, ages 11-13: $390-$500/three weeks Dates/Times: M-F, June 7-Aug. 6, 9 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. Ages: 4-13, Coed

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com



TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

istockphoto.com/ Panuwat Srijantawong

Awaken Summer Imagination at the YMCA

*Originally published in TBPM March 2019. *See our 2021 Summer Camp Directory for current YMCA offerings.

by Lalita Llerena, photos provided by the YMCA

How did this happen? Just when your family got into the grove of the school routine for the New Year…the kids will soon be out for the summer. It seems the age-old question still stumps many of us parents around this time of year: “What am I going to do with the kids this summer?” Turns out, the answer is more important than you may think. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, plan ahead so your children aren’t idling away their summer days. Instead, the YMCAs of Tampa Bay want families to focus on helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer. When a child is healthy, happy and supported, they can make great things happen. The Y strives to help kids find that potential within themselves. In addition to offering an enhanced summer camp curriculum to keep kids active in spirit, mind and body, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect: HIGH FIVE THE FRUITS AND VEGGIES – Make sure kids get at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month. READ TOGETHER – The summer is a great time to enjoy books, and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well. GET MOVING! – Activities that require movement also help kids f lex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask kids to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes. PLAY TOGETHER – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong. MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory and learning. It just so happens that Y Summer Camp incorporates all these health habits in their camp programs: healthy snacks & meals, reading, physical activity and coming home so worn out from all the fun adventures that a good night’s rest is never a problem! You can find the Y camp most convenient to you at www.ymcatampabay.org/find-your-y/. Camp scholarships are available to qualified families, giving all kids access to learning new skills, developing character and making new friends.

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com









TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

Camp Dovewood Celebrates 44 years of Dynamic Christian Camping Dovewood is an Awesome Interdenominational Christian Camp £or Girls in North Florida: Ages 7-17 Activities: Horseback Riding Instruction (Hunt Seat, Dressage, Western Pleasure, Rodeo Riding, Horse Shows, Overnight Trail Rides, Vet Care Seminar, Stable Management), Swimming Instruction, Water Ballet, Dance, Gymnastics, Cooking, Cheerleading, Baton, Archery, Drama, Art, Softball, River Rafting, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Tennis, Board Games, Great Books, Christian Leadership (ages 15-17) and Bible Classes.

1st Session: 2 weeks Sun June 6th - Sat June 19th: $1,225 2nd Session: 1 week Sun June 20th - Sat June 26th: $725 3rd Session: 2 weeks Sun June 27th - Sat July 10th: $1,225 4th Session: 1 week Sun July 11th - Sat July 17th: $725

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Accredited: American Camping Association, Camp Horsemanship Association & We are a member of Christian Camp and Conference Association.


Our website: www.campdovewood.org Ph: (386) 935-0863 or (386) 209-1908

� � Email:campdovewood@windstream.net

This Summer At Mary Jo's! It's So Much More Than Dance!


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2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com



1515 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa 33613 and 12606 Casey Road, Tampa 33618 813-920-2288; carrollwooddayschool.org/summer-programs Carrollwood Day School is pleased to offer both our regular day and enrichment camps this summer to age 3 through grade 8, starting June 1 and running through July 23. Additionally, CDS has created a new Educational Enrichment summer program offering the opportunity to help students get a head start for fall with mastery learning in language arts and math, research methods and forensic science.

Cost: $150-$250 Dates/Times: ages 3-6: June 1-July 16 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., grades 1-8: June 1-July 23 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Ages: age 3-grade 8, Coed


6204 Interbay Blvd., Tampa 33611 813-831-8429; ccranchacademy.com

Cost: Full-time $240, half day $180

We have Summer Camp and Summer VPK available with many activities! Camp activities include horseback riding, swimming, art, sports including archery, canteen snack hut, outdoor exploration and bounce house. Come join us for all the fun outdoors!

Dates/Times: June 1 – Aug. 2, Closed July 5, full day 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., half day 8 a.m. to noon Ages: 1-12, Coed

CITY OF LARGO SUMMER CAMPS 201 Highland Ave., Largo 33770 727-587-6720; largocamps.com

Cost: $25-$450 *limited scholarships available

Join us for City of Largo Summer Camps. From full day camps, to sports and specialty camps for PreK through high school, you’ll find the best options in Largo for your child this summer! Register today, as spots are sure to fill up. Visit LargoCamps.com for more information.

Dates/Times: June 1 Aug. 10, times vary from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ages: PreK to high school, Coed

CLEARWATER COMMUNITY SAILING CENTER 1001 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater 33767 727-517-7776; clearwatercommunitysailing.org

Cost: $178-$298

Clearwater Community Sailing Center is the place for kids to spend summer in the fresh air and on the water. We have sailing, windsurfing and paddling camps for all experience levels. Sign up and join the fun!

Ages: 5-17, Coed

Dates: June 14 – Aug. 6


180th St., Live Oak 32060 352-641-0350; earthimmersion.com/scuba-diving-summer-camp.html

Cost: $1,850-$3,250/ session

Earth Immersion is a SCUBA, adventure and outdoor education camp for teens (13-17 years old) looking for an unmatched experience exploring North Florida's crystal-clear springs. Activities include earning SCUBA certifications, snorkeling, canoeing, hiking, fishing, tubing, community service hours and learning about freshwater/marine biology. We offer 7- or 13-day overnight programs.

Dates: June 20 - July 31, 7- or 13-day sessions Ages: 13-17, Coed

ECKERD COLLEGE SUMMER WATERSPORTS CAMP 4200 54th Ave. S., St. Petersburg 33711 727-864-8288; eckerd.edu/waterfront/camp

The Eckerd College Summer Watersports Camp offers classes in Exploring Watersports, Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Saltwater Fishing, Little Mariners, Exploring Marine Life and more for students ages 5-17. This camp is taught in the perfect environment for learning watersports and gives campers exciting and unforgettable experiences.

Cost: $175-$195 Dates/Times: June 7 – July 30, weekly, 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Ages: 5-17, Coed

THE FLORIDA ACADEMY OF THE PERFORMING ARTS Music Showcase, 402 Oakfield Drive, Brandon 33511 813-490-ARTS; faopa.org

The Florida Academy of Performing Arts offers two types of camps. Music and More camps are weekly and let campers explore instruments, singing and art. Musical theatre camps meet for 2-3 weeks offering students an opportunity to sing, memorize lines, work on character development and perform in live shows.


TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

Cost: varies Dates/Times: June – August, full and half-day options Ages: 5+, Coed


June 14 through July 30 | 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. | Monday-Friday All school age children, ages 5-11 St. Raphael’s Catholic Church | 1376 Snell Isle Blvd. NE $175 per week or $45 per day, per child for part time $50 registration fee per family bhaire@st-raphaels.com | 727-823-7969 or 727-709-0060

* * * * *

Daily scheduled educational activities Low staff to child ratio; experienced staff Grassy field for sports and water play Shaded & fenced in playground Gym for group activities, classrooms, kitchen, cafeteria and restrooms * Secure waterfront campus Be a part of our summer of colors at the ‘cool’ place for the ‘hot’ summer!

Be a Happy Camper DELPHI 2021 SUMMER CAMP

6 Weeks of Incredible Fun! June 14th - July 23rd, each week filled with age appropriate activities for: Preschool - Ages 2-3 • Lower School - Ages 4-8 Elementary School - Ages 8-12 • Middle & High School - Ages 13-17

727-447-6385 www.delphifl.org 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


Summer Fun AT THE YMCA by Kelli Biandudi, photos provided by the YMCA

Whether you have a little one or a teenager, the YMCA has a camp that will give your child a summer they will never forget! Like last summer, the Y plans on keeping extra precautions in place. Camp leaders and counselors have been trained on safety protocols based on recommendations from the American Camp Association, Centers for Disease and Control Prevention and local health officials. Camp starts June 1, 2021.

*Originally published in TBPM March 2021

“We are looking forward to another terrific summer of camp,” says Bart Cape, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA vice president of operations. “We were able to safely serve over 12,000 campers in the summer of 2020 with our enhanced protocols and anticipate an even stronger summer this year.” When schools switched to virtual learning due to COVID-19, Liva Rivera says she just wanted her son, Michael, 13, to get out of the house. “He was just home 24 hours a day and not really socializing, sitting in front of the TV playing video games,” Rivera says. “It was depressing. I just wanted him to get out of the house and be around people, so I didn’t have a whole lot of fear about it.” Despite camp looking a little different last summer, Rivera says it was the best experience of her son’s life.

Fun themed activities like “Dinosaur Day” helped boost Michael Rivera’s confidence during Y Summer Camp.

“He loved it so much he wanted to be there every single day of sum-

mer,” she says. “He came out of his shell and his confidence is through the roof. Everyone has a different perspective about all of this going on, but I felt like he was going to be just fine at the Y. And thankfully, he was.” Rivera says her son looks forward to returning this year. “We’re all hoping things are going to be a little bit more normal now with a lot of people starting to get the (coronavirus) vaccine, so I have no reservations about sending him back this summer,” she says. “It was an awesome experience, it really was.” “Some families missed the experience of summer camp for their children last summer and we are already starting to see elevated registrations as we enter into the early spring,” Bart says. “Camp is such an impactful and life-changing experience for children and it will be great to see our families again soon.”


Hillsborough and East Pasco counties here: www.tampaymca.org/programs/camp/summer-camp Pinellas, West Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties here: www.ymcasuncoast.org/summercamp


TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

*Originally published March 2021 on TampaBayParenting.com

“They made my first time 5-year-old old camper feel comfortable and stay active during her two weeks at Day Camp. She got to experience a variety of camp activities and make new friends,” she says, which wasn’t always the case at school. “She had previously had some trouble with other kids making fun of her and had told me how much she liked camp because no one gave her problems about the way she looked,” Jen says. “As a parent, but more importantly, as a person who went through similar problems as a child, I couldn’t have been happier to hear that.”

Tameka Craw ford (far lef t) had a blast earning a “Camper of the Week” title last summer at the YMCA .

*Originally published in TBPM March 2020. See our 2021 Summer Camp Directory for current YMCA offerings.

Whitney Crawford knows where her daughter will be going to camp this summer. “We’ll be at the YMCA, of course,” laughs Crawford, a single mom, who moved two years ago to Tampa Bay from St. Louis, Missouri, after falling in love with the area while on vacation. Crawford’s first experience with the YMCAs of Tampa Bay was through an afterschool program for her 8-year-old daughter, Tameka. “They had different things every day. They would go outside. They rotated with different activities like gymnastics and kickball. They have talent shows, art and she loves art. One time, they had an event where different vendors came out. They had crazy sock day, rainbow day, super hero day,” she recalls. So, it was a no brainer for her to enroll Tameka in Y Summer Camp too. “Tameka loves to stay busy because if she wasn’t in the camp I wouldn’t have anything else for her to do,” explains Crawford. “Camp keeps her occupied where she’s interacting with other kids, she’s interacting with other counselors and they’re great. She’s learning a lot in sports like how to work with others, conflict resolution, all of those things. She really looks forward to it.” While Tameka had a blast earning the “Camper of the Week” title last summer, her mom enjoyed the Y’s Parents’ Night Out. “It’s really beneficial for parents. I think I did it two times and the first time I needed a little me time so I went to the spa and I got a pedicure and manicure. Another time I saw a movie by myself and went to the mall and picked up a few little outfits,” Crawford recalls. “Just that amount of time makes a difference … especially as a single parent. When you feel like you need that extra time, that resource is there, and I love that at the YMCA.”

Camping, like many Y programs, is about learning skills, developing character and making friends. But few environments are as special as camp, where kids become a community as they learn both how to be more independent and how to contribute to a group as they engage in physical, social and educational activities. “Emily had such a better school year,” Jen says. “Her behavior problems — which I believe was a combo of maturity, confidence and the bullying issues — greatly improved. We saw huge academic progress. She gained so much confidence at camp, being able to interact in a group, follow directions and participate in ‘cool’ things. Her favorites were the zipline and canoeing in the lake.” Camping teaches self-reliance, a love for nature and the outdoors and the development of attitudes and practices that build character and leadership — all amidst the fun of campfires, canoeing, archery, talent shows and meaningful relationships. Y counselors are dedicated to making sure camp is an amazing experience for every camper. “I am so proud of my daughter for learning to be daring on her own and I know that camp helped build her confidence and self-esteem this year,” says Jen, an essential care worker. She says she and her husband have no safety concerns. “I was not worried last year, in fact quite grateful the Y still held camp, because I originally had her signed up for (another) camp, but they canceled. Emily was so upset, as was I, so we were so thankful for the Y keeping facilities open for summer camp,” shares Jen. “It was Emily’s first camp experience and I’m so happy it was a great experience for her. I am not any more concerned this year as far as COVID is concerned. Our kids desperately need these important social interactions way more than they need to be afraid.” “Emily is most definitely returning this summer! She can’t wait and her little brother is excited to be able to join her this year,” says Jen.

Crawford feels lucky she was referred to the Y. “There’s a lot of people who relocate out here who are in the same situation—where you’re not really quite sure where to turn,” says Crawford, whose family still resides in Missouri. “Without the YMCA in my corner, I wouldn’t know what to do, to be honest with you.” 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com



Various locations: Lithia-Main Center, Riverview, Apollo Beach, Brandon, Tampa, Lutz 813-571-2002; girlswithconfidence.com

Cost: Half- and full-day, $149-$249 for early registration through March 31

Girls With Confidence offers several unique, creative and fun camps for girls in grades K-12. Every camp day we focus on a new “confidence building” theme where we have meaningful discussions, activities and games and work on creative art projects and crafts. We are confident your girls will LOVE our camps. Come check out our new center located in Lithia. We have a little petting farm with goats and chickens.

Dates/Times: June 1 Aug. 6, times vary from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ages: 4-14, girls only

HILLEL ACADEMY PRESCHOOL SUMMER CAMP 2020 W. Fletcher Ave., Tampa 33612 813-963-2242; hillelacademytampa.com

Cost: $225-$275/week (8 weeks available)

Hillel’s preschool camp will be held in our brand new state-of-the-art Early Learning Center building. This includes a large multi-purpose room, teaching kitchen and 5,000-square-foot outdoor playground. During themed weeks, campers have fun while working towards their social-emotional developmental milestones with centers, water play, hands-on activities, outdoor time and individualized attention.

Dates/Times: June 9 – July 30 Ages: 1-4 years, Coed

IN THE BREEZE HORSEBACK RIDING RANCH & CHILDREN’S CAMP 7539 Gardner Road, Tampa 33625 813-264-1919; inthebreezeranch.com

In The Breeze

Rated the number one horseback riding ranch and children’s camp in the southeastern United States, we rent our lovely horses to the general public daily. We offer horse camp any day there is no school. Swimming with the horses is big. We swim in our creek that stays 72 degrees all year round or out to our island in our 62-acre lake. We have custom parties, pony rides, photo shoots, lessons, boarding, hayrides/bonfires and much more. Fun for all ages!

Cost: $60/day Dates/Times: MondayFriday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ages: 10 and up, Coed


One Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg 33701 727-823-3767; thedali.org

Cost: In-person $200$225; Online $65-$85

Discover new ways to interpret and create art, meet new friends and have fun. This year’s theme will focus on surreal inventions. The Museum offers week-long camps in both face-to-face and online versions.

Dates/Times: In-person June 14-18, July 12-16, 9:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.; Online June 28-July 2, July 2630, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ages: 9-14, Coed

LASER OPS EXTREME GAMING ARCADE - (Summer Fun Activity) 6283 W. Waters Ave., Tampa 33634 813-443-6509; laserops.com

Laser Ops is a 24,000-square-foot entertainment center featuring a game arcade with more than 60 games, virtual reality gaming, tactical laser tag, archery tag and Bazooka Ball. The venue also features a large sports bar and grill, including a full liquor bar. Laser Ops is great for friends and family fun.

Cost: Varies Summer-Hours: M-Th 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fri. 4-11 p.m. Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ages: All ages, Coed


6520 Richies Way, Apollo Beach 33572 813-641-1922; abkidscamp.com Life Academy emphasizes hands-on life skills lessons. Our programs and activities encourage critical thinking and problem solving. STEM, swimming, horse experience, canoeing, bike track, food forest, gardens, fishing, tennis, karate, sports, crafts, cooking and more. Campers utilize our 7-acre facility and go home sweaty, dirty and tired every day.

Cost: Registration $125, full-time campers $145/ week, drop in $175/week Dates/Times: May 30 Aug. 10, M-F 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Ages: 5-13, Coed

MARY JO’S PERFORMING ARTS ACADEMY SUMMER CAMP 15906 Mapledale Blvd., Tampa 33624 813-969-0240; mjpaa.com

The arts are a perfect avenue to allow your child to explore their creativity, tap into their imagination and discover their potential. Students will develop self-expression, build confidence, learn to work with peers, foster problem solving skills and stimulate curiosity. From classics to pop culture, your children will unfold the wonderful world of the performing arts.


TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

Cost: $125-225 Dates/Times: June-Aug., M-F, 9 a.m. to noon, 3, or 4 p.m. Ages: 3+, Coed

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


June 7-August 6

Camps for students of all ages, from preschool to 12th grade.

Purposeful Preschool Play American Sign Language Drones & Robotics Fine Arts Musical Theatre Training Specialty Sports Clinics STEM & Video Game Creation Academic Enrichment/College Prep...and so much more!

5101 First Street NE St. Petersburg, FL 33703 727-522-2111

Register Now at www.shorecrest.org/summer Summer at Shorecrest offers academic enrichment camps, recreational camps, athletic camps and so much more! Affordable full and half day camp options for students in preschool through 12th grade. OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY. 58

TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

MS. LISA'S DANCE CAMP & ACROBATIC/TUMBLING WORKSHOPS Dance Camps: 3805 W. San Miguel St., Tampa 33629 Acro/Tumbling Workshops: 4535 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa 33611 813-326-8466; mslisasdancestudio.com

Cost: Classes $60-$70/ month, Camps/Workshops $165-$290/week

Ms. Lisa's Dance offers camps for ages 3-6 and acrobatic/tumbling & Dance workshops for ages 6-13. Some of the dance camps are Hip Hop Minion Madness, Elsa's Frozen Adventure and Fancy Nancy. Some of the acrobatic workshops are Cartwheels and Cupcakes, Handstands and Headstands and Pom Poms and Cheer. There are also Dance Workshops such as Cinderella, High school Musical, and Jojo Jazz and Pop.

Dates: June 7 - Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ages: 3-13, Coed

PRACTICALLY PIKASSO ART CAMP 1912 4th St. N., St Petersburg 33704 727-822-5204; practicallypikasso.com

Unleash your imagination, make friends and create art this summer. Fulland half-day summer camps offer a variety of fun, hands-on activities that encourage creative thinking, bold art-making and playful collaboration. Campers will enjoy art-filled experiences based on weekly themes as well as stories, songs and games. Children will explore various art mediums, such as pottery painting, watercolor, oil pastels, tempera paints, collage and clay sculpture in both guided and self-guided experiences.

Cost: Full-day $275/ week, half-day $175/ week Dates/Times: M-F, June 14 – Aug. 13, full-day 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., half-day 9:30 a.m. to noon Ages: 6-12, Coed


10137 E. Adamo Dr., #800b, Tampa 33619 813-833-1740; skyzone.com/tampa/programs/skycamp Sky Camp for ages 5-13 includes days of active play at Sky Zone on our Ninja Warrior Course, Free Climb, Sea of Trampolines and so much more. Accompanied by Sky Zone camp counselors, kids enjoy healthy physical fitness and fun including crafts, movies and science experiments. It’s hassle-free for parents. Drop off the kids and we’ll make sure they have the best time ever. Full-, half-day and full-week options and sibling discounts are available.

Cost: $35.99-$45.99/ day, $139.99-$179.99/ week Dates/Times: Every day school is out from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ages: 5-13, Coed


Skycrest Christian School, 129 N. Belcher Road, Clearwater 33765 727-797-1186; souladventures.us Every day is a new adventure at Soul Adventures summer camp, which offers two exciting summer options. Adventure Camp for 10-15-year-olds includes off-campus outdoor activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, biking and fishing. Jr. Adventure Camp for 5-9-year-olds will keep your child active during our fun-filled weeks.

Cost: Adventure Camp $285/week, Jr. Adventure Camp $168/week Date/Time: May 24-Aug. 6, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ages: Adventure Camp 10-15 and Jr. Adventure Camp 5-9, Coed


1376 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg 33704 727-823-7969 or 727-709-0060; straphaelschool.net Structured activities throughout the day keep minds and bodies active with experienced staff at a 1:10 ratio. We have a grassy field for sports and water play, shaded and fenced playground, air conditioned gym for group activities and snacks and meals, all on a secure waterfront campus. Fulltime and part-time attendance is offered and fees are all inclusive at the ‘cool’ place to spend the ‘hot’ summer!

Cost: Full-time $175/ week, Part-time $45/day, $50 registration fee Date/Time: June 14 - July 30, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., M-F Ages: 5-11, Coed


AR Workshop St. Petersburg, 2807 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg 33704 727-803-0189; arworkshop.com/stpetersburg This morning session camp is $195 per registrant and runs Monday-Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day. Our camps are designed for girls and boys ages 7-14. Kids will create 4 DIY youth projects and a DIY camp t-shirt over the course of the camp. We also offer an optional Friday halfday camp. Check our calendar to register!


Cost: $195 Dates/Times: June 14 – Aug. 12, M-Th, 9:30 a.m. to noon Ages: 7-14, Coed

*Private lessons available

6585 Simons Road, Zephyrhills 33541 813-361-6660; svbtenniscenter.com/summer-camps Regardless of your level, come and join our international team of coaches at the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Center. From 6-year-old beginners to high performance players, we are here for your specific needs!

Cost: Recreational: $400-$600/week, Competition Group: $600-$850/week Dates/Times: May 31 – Aug. 6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., M-F, Full and Half Days Ages: 6 and older, Coed

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


TAMPA MUSEUM OF ART – SUMMER ART CAMP Tampa Museum of Art, Cornelia Corbett Center 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa 33602 813-421-8373; tampamuseum.org/summerartcamp

Children and teens exercise their creativity and imagination with hands-on activities themed around the Tampa Museum of Art’s permanent collection of antiquities, modern and contemporary art. With a variety of 2D and 3D mediums to choose from, campers connect with the art on view and create unique works of art.

Cost: $150-$175 Dates/Times: May 31 July 2, 9 a.m. to noon or 1-4 p.m. Ages: 6-17, Coed

TRADITIONAL TAEKWON-DO CENTER OF SOUTH TAMPA 3617 Henderson Blvd., Tampa 33609 813-350-9400; southtampataekwondo.com

Who wants to be a Ninja this summer? Kick, spin, jump and learn martial arts with our amazing black belt instructors. Other activities include fun field trips, arts and crafts, enrichment classes, Lego play, water slides, obstacle course fun and much more.

Cost: $175.00 per week, no registration and free uniform Dates/Times: May 31Aug. 6, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ages: 5-15, Coed


606 Valley View Ranch Road, Cloudland, GA 30731 706-862-2231; valleyviewranch.com Since 1954, this horse lovers’ paradise on top of Lookout Mountain offers 600 acres of scenic trails and panoramic views where all levels of riders will learn English and Western. Enrollment is limited to 50 girls and is open to ages 8-17. Spend up to six hours a day riding and caring for your OWN camp horse.

Cost: $2,050-$3,600 Dates/Times: Overnight, June 6 - Aug. 6 Ages: 8-17, Female

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Register today by visiting: berkeleyprep.org/summer


Summer TampaBayParenting.com Programs 21 Print TB Parenting.indd 2021 1SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

3/4/21 2:38 PM


*Originally published in TBPM April 2021

by Julie Nelson, CAMP IDS Director, photos provided by Corbett Preparatory School of IDS

After nearly a year and a half of classes on a computer screen, shaken-up in-person routines and postponed traditions, it’s clear students need to accomplish one major task this summer. Have fun. Lots of fun. As we enter our second summer of COVID-19, it may be tempting to fill your kids’ vacation time with tutoring or extra academics to make up lost ground or get ready for the coming school year. But students have worked hard this year under confusing and challenging circumstances. They deserve time to play, run, imagine, create, laugh, explore and discover. That’s where summer camp can help. The American Camp Association found that 90% of parents they surveyed planned in 2020 to send their children to summer camp but only 40% did. During that summer, parents said, their families attended fewer sporting events and in-person get-togethers, took fewer trips to museums, parks and zoos and reduced their family vacation time. What increased? Time spent in virtual hangouts, watching TV and playing video games. Summer camp offers the chance for kids to break out of COVID-19 ruts, safely try different activities, re-establish social connections and enjoy relief from the stress of the past year. Paddle around a lake, practice archery, write a song, build a sculpture, play Quidditch, train for a sport or cook a delicious meal. At CAMP IDS, parents can choose from more than 100 half- and full-day camps to customize a program that fits their needs and interests. Campers can play around with different dance styles in a morning session and conduct science experiments in an afternoon session. They can choose chess

for the morning and golf in the afternoon or balance a morning of 3D printing with an afternoon of tie-dying shirts, toasting marshmallows and racing in Red Rover. Full-day camps, on the other hand, make planning simple for parents. Counselors handle the scheduling, setting up a week of field trips or other activities for older kids or a day filled with crafts, gym time, water games, free play and stories for prekindergarten. Camp this summer can also allow students to resume activities their schools may have put on hold. A weeklong camp can be the perfect time to ease back into a sports or dance program or practice a musical instrument. Aspiring actors will return to the stage during two musical theatre camps at CAMP IDS. Students will spend two weeks rehearsing for “Shrek the Musical Jr.” or “Les Misérables School Edition” to perform live in front of audiences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that because of the challenges of the 2020-21 school year, the changes in home and school routine could affect students’ social and emotional wellbeing. But with friendly counselors, campers who share similar interests and lots of outdoor activities to counterbalance an overload of screen time, summer camp in 2021 provides ample avenues for much-needed fun. Enrolling in summer camp can give kids new experiences to look forward to and help them find their spark again.

2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE TampaBayParenting.com


VIOLINS 4 JOY SUMMER VIOLIN CAMPS 1189 NE Cleveland St., Clearwater 33755 727-285-8535; violins4joy.com

Cost: $100-$225/week

Offered for school-aged children of all musical ability levels, the camps provide an opportunity for children to come together and grow as musicians and leaders. The programming is innovative, the repertoire is diverse and teachers are experienced educators who are experts in their musical instrument. As a bonus, the camp’s location is near one of America’s “Best Beaches.” Each camp will offer students opportunities to perform as soloists and as a group. For more details and to register, visit our website.

Ages: 5-14, Coed

Dates: June 7-11


330 Pauls Drive, Brandon 33511 813-417-5867; vosleryoungartistsstudio.com This workshop will introduce the young artist to a classical atelier program of instruction. Students will learn to draw through direct observation. Kerry Vosler, master instructor, will do frequent demonstrations and give regular instruction at the artist's easel. See website for more details about the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and McLean, Virginia workshops. Supplies included.

Cost: $320-$395/week Dates: March 15-18, June 7-11 and June 14-18 Ages: 12-18, Coed

WEB OF WISDOM SUMMER SCIENCE CAMP 5238 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday 34690 727-389-4750; wowschools.org

At WOW science camp, children will learn about the Florida ecosystem through hands-on science labs and outdoor adventures. Students learn basic skills such as fishing, boating safety and animal identification. Field trip activities include snorkeling, fish sampling, kayaking and more.

Cost: $150/week Dates/Times: June 1 July 30, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (camp activities 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Ages: K-8, Coed

YMCA OF GREATER ST. PETERSBURG SUMMER CAMP Multiple Locations 727-895-9622; stpeteymca.org/childcare/summer-camp

Summer Day Camp at the Y is an 8-week program that integrates exercise, play, STEM-based activities, field trips and more. Children can explore their favorite interests with our Specialty Camps featuring sports, outdoor adventures, cooking and more. Pair a one-week Specialty Camp with Day Camp for a full 8-week summer of fun and exploration at the Y!

Cost/Ages: Starting at $150, ages 5-14 (Bardmoor, Jim & Heather Gills Y). Starting at $125, ages 5-12 (Childs Park Y, Lealman Exchange), Coed Dates: June 14 – Aug. 6



TampaBayParenting.com 2021 SUMMER CAMP ISSUE

Profile for Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

Special Edition: 2021 Summer Camp Guide  

Special Edition: 2021 Summer Camp Guide