2023 Tampa Bay Summer Camps

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2023 R T I S I N G S E C T I O N O F T H E T A M P A B A Y

Tampa Bay Summer Camps!

One thing that makes summer epic is the right summer camp. And you might be thinking But where do I start? How do I determine what’s “right?” There are so many camps! And so many factors to consider!

All true. And we feel your pain. So we’ve assembled a handy guide to make preparing for camp go more smoothly, so your kids can have the best summer ever and you can stay relaxed.

Follow these 5 steps to put your child on the path to a safe, more-amazing-than-ever summer camp experience:

1. BE REALISTIC when choosing a camp. Every child is different, so the “perfect camp” for them will vary quite a bit. Consider your child’s comfort level with strangers and new experiences before choosing a camp; ideally, camp will challenge and inspire your child, not terrify them. If this will

be your child’s first camp experience, it might be better to choose a camp with a wide range of activities. A summer intensive in, say, soccer or theater might sound great to your child in March, but interest might have waned by July A wellrounded camp program might be a safer first-time bet. Finally, be honest with yourself about the costs and commute. Affordability is an important factor for many families, and if camp start times just don’t mesh with your work schedule, cross it off your list.

2. Register ASAP

Some camps fill up by spring, so don’t wait until late May to start researching summer camps. With that said, if you waited this long, don’t worry – many local camps don’t even start their registration process until spring. Some parks and recreation department camps even let you register children in person the day of camp. (Call ahead to find out.)

3. BE SMART about money matters

Camps vary widely in price. Some residential programs might cost thousands per week, but day camp could be as little as $50 a week. Do some research before assuming you can’t afford a great camp for your child. Most camps offer discounts, so find out which ones you qualify for Many offer discounted rates for multiple kids, alumni and military families as well as early bird registration discounts. Parents who are members of, for example, a sailing club or arts council, might receive discounts if their kids attend the organization’s summer camp, so be sure to ask. Financial

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assistance is also a possibility at many camps, so find out if you qualify. You might also qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which could get you 20 to 35 percent of camp costs back when you file your tax return. (Residential camps won’t qualify, however, and having a caregiver at home during the day is also disqualifying; learn more at IRS.gov.) Don’t assume camp deposits are refundable; many are not, and you could be out a few hundred dollars if your child doesn’t end up attending that camp.

the counselor-to-camper ratio and how many are experienced adult counselors vs. teens/counselorsin-training.

What’s your staff retention rate?

It’s usually an excellent sign if counselors return to work at a camp year after year, because it indicates that the camp is wellorganized and takes care that the staff is well trained and that

they’re given the tools they need to do their jobs well.

How do you screen your counselors?

Criminal background checks should be part of the hiring process for people working with kids, even if local laws don’t require it. Ask whether applicants’ references are thoroughly checked.



Get your child’s PAPER WORK IN ORDER

The registration process will go more smoothly if you start gathering the forms your child will need to register for camp now rather than scrambling at the last minute. Camps typically require proof of vaccinations and health insurance coverage. In addition, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the emergency facilities your policy covers and communicate that to the camp, so they don’t take your child somewhere not covered by your insurance. You might want to consider additional accident insurance specifically for kids away at camp as well. Finally, if you’re applying for financial assistance, camps are likely to ask for proof of your income and tax returns as part of their evaluation process, so have those handy

5. GET THE 411 from camp directors. Once you have a camp in mind, tour the site if possible; but if that’s not an option, ask camp directors these questions via phone or email before you make a commitment:

What’s a typical day at camp like?

Consider whether the response sounds too loosey-goosey or too rigid for your child to thrive.

How do you ensure kids’ safety?

More specifically, find out whether there’s a full-time nurse on staff and whether counselors are certified in CPR. Also important:

WRITERS: Sally Moe & Erin Feitsma

DESIGNER: Patricia Tatum-Evans

Scan the QR code to view more camp opportunities.

2023 Summer Camps Tampa Bay was designed and produced by the Marketing department of the Tampa Bay Times. It is a sampling of area camps and summer activities and not intended to be a comprehensive listing.
Guide | Tampa Bay Times 3
Summer Camp


Pinellas County

It’s all about creativity at the Dunedin Fine Center’s Art Academy camp, with campers exploring drawing painting, pottery more. Kids ages 4½ to 14 will en weekly themes like Dragons vs. Doughnuts, Sloths and Snakes Under

Sea, “Star Wars” and more. Registration starts March 1. Extended care is available. The first week of camp begins May 30, and the last week of camp starts on July 31. dfac.org/kidscorner/summer-camp.

(727) 298-3322. kidstuff@ dfac.org

Beach Art Center Located Indian Rocks Beach, the art

’s Creative Kids Camp will be filled with creative fun and friends for 7 weeks in June and July. Fourteen themed camps will explore painting, pottery, mixed media, claymation, drawing and more! Online gistration begins March 13; a flyer with the schedule camps will be ilable for download from the website. beachartcenter.org, 727-596-4331

Delphi Academy Located in Clearwater, Delphi Academy offers two 3-week camp sessions for six age ranges in June and July Age-appropriate activities and field trips keep kids active and stimulated. Visit delphifl.org/ summer/ or call 727-447-6385 for details about the camps, costs and discounts, and registration.

Summer Adventures with Grace Grace Lutheran provides a Christ-centered summer camp for 2-year-olds through fifth graders. Campers enjoy hands-on science, technology, engineering, art and math activities as well as chapel, a water day and field trips. This year’s themes include Glamping at Grace, Aquatic Adventures, Food Scientists and more. Registration opened Feb. 8. The first week of camp begins on June 12 and the last week of camp starts on July 17. gracestpete.org. (727) 5276213. nclifton@grace-lutheran. com

fun-filled, hands-on learning adventure focused on marine ecology. Camps are available for campers ages 6-15. There is Sea Monkey Camp for ages 6-8, Osprey Camp for ages 9-12 and Ocean Expedition Camp for ages 13-15. Campers go on snorkeling excursions, complete marine science labs and more. Tampa Bay Watch members percent off camp registration. A limited number also available. Registration begins March 6. tampaba education-main/camps/. Contact Sabrina Bahre sbahre@tampabaywatch.org or (727) 867-8166 Katie Mastenbrook at kmastenbrook@tampabaywatch.or or (727) 867-8166 ext. 246.

Summer Art Camp Rising first through sixth graders enjoy a creative weeklong camp held in The James Museum. Campers enjoy hands-on activities, make their own art and get to showcase their work in an exhibition at the end of the week. A professional art educator leads the camps. Campers are divided into groups of first-third graders and fourthsixth graders. Registration

opened limited.

summe ext. 1010. stacy.stockdale@ thejamesmuseum.org.

Camp Cubber Camp Cubber at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church has served local families for over 30 years. This year’s theme is Tales of Wonder, centered around

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the art of storytelling. Rising kindergartners to eighth graders enjoy field trips and hands-on science, art, creative writing and reading activities, among others. Free extended care is available. Registration dates vary; check the website for more information. cubber.org. (727) 781-6343.

Summer Waterspo Camp

Campers enjoy the wonderful world of water sports at this fun-in-thesun camp offered College. Campers enjoy classes gear their individual age and explore paddleboar kayaking, fishing, marine life and mor Registration begins March 13. A limited number of scholarships are available. eckerd.edu/waterfront/camp/. (727) 864-8288.

Camp Wai Lani Girl Scouts

Camp Girls ages 6-17 can enjoy adventures, develop new skills and build new relationships at Palm Harbor’s Camp Wai Lani. Activities include swimming, boating, arts and crafts, outdoor living skills, archery, marine exploration and more. This is open to nonScouts with the chase of a $25 Girl membership fee. ernight and day camp are available. Camp ation opened Feb. gswcf.org/en/camps/ summer-camp.html.

(813) 262-1806

Girls Inc. Science is Olympic Sport Summer Camp: Girls Inc. aims to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. This year’s camp runs from June 5 to July 28 with the theme Power of Production. Full scholarships are available for military families, while

scholarships based on income are limited. girlsinc-pinellas. org/s-c/. (727) 544-6230.

Camp Dunedin Camp Dunedin offers full- and half-day camps for kids ages 4-17. Camps include age-specific programs, including Pre-K Camp, Kids Camp, Tweens & Teens Camp, plus specialty camps for baseball, dodgeball, acting, golf, theater and more. Registration opens March 8. Space is limited. Scholarships are available. dunedingov.com/citydepartments/parks-recreation/ programs/camps-days-offschool. (727) 812-4530. dunedinrecreation@dunedinfl. net.

Central Park Performing Arts

Center Summer Theater Camps

This year, three summer camps are available for theater-minded kids. Broadway Bootcamp, for kids ages 13-18, focuses on strengthening kids’ acting and

Kids Art Camps

Practically Pikasso offers creative and playful that teach kids how to create their own art. This year’s camp Lost in Space, Down on the Farm, Prehistoric Pa Travel and more. The first week of camp begins last week of camp starts Aug. 7. Extended car practicallypikasso.com/camps. (727) 822-5204.

vocal skills in preparation for a production in July. Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr., for kids ages 9-13, is an introduction to musical theater. Technical Theater Production Camp, for kids ages

12-18, teaches kids how to work with scenery, rigging, audio, sound and more. Registration opened on Feb. 1 for residents


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and Feb. 15 for non-residents. Need- and talent-based scholarships are available, as is aftercare. largoarts.com/ children/summer_camps.php. Call 727-587-6751.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium offers educational programs for all ages throughout the summer Campers enjoy creative classroom activities and have fun learning about marine life in the aquarium and out on the water. Register online. Each summer camp program is a one-week session and runs Monday through Friday. The 2023 Summer Camp season

begins June 5 and ends on Aug. 18. cmaquarium.org, 727-4411790, x2270.

St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation Summer Camps

This popular summer camp is designed to offer rising first through sixth graders a fun, engaging and memorable experience while vacationing from school. Through creative planned activities, indoor and outdoor rotating activities, special events and field trips, campers can play, learn and explore with friends under the supervision of well-trained staff. Fee assistance is available; call (727) 548-1439. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 30 to

(727) 893-7441.

Largo Summer Camps

This year’s Summer Camp theme, Peace, Love, Play, includes over 60 full- and half-day summer camps for preschool, elementary, middle school, and teens. Mix and match summer camps and locations to plan a fun and exciting summer for your kiddo. Choices include sports, aquatics, specialty, golf & tennis, theater and full-day camps. Email largocamps@ largo.com or visit playlargo. com/summer_camp/index.php to learn more.

Aug. 4. stpeteparksrec.org/
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Hillsborough Count

Girls & Boys With Confidence Camps: Staff at Girls & Boys

With Confidence camps help children develop good selfesteem and confidence at a young age. The organization provides camps in Tampa, Lutz, Riverview, Lithia and Apollo Beach for rising kindergarten-seventh grade kids. Camps include discussions, activities, games and creative projects. Full- and half-day options are available.

girlswithconfidence.com/ summer_camps-logistics. (813) 571-2002.

CAMP IDS operates for six weeks in June and July, offering more than 100 half- and full-day camps for students in PreK3 through high school. (Closed the week of July 3-7.) Full- and half-day sessions are available. corbettprep.com/community/ camp-ids. (813) 961-3087. campids@corbettprep.com.

The Tampa Bay History Center offers three themed camps in separate one-week sessions in Tampa during June and July During these fun and educational camps, kids 7 to 11 years old get hands-on with history through games, crafts, activities, gallery time, and guest speakers, in full-day sessions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Extended care is available. There’s a 10% discount for members. tampabayhistorycenter.org/ camps/, email ahoffman@ tampabayhistorycenter.org or call 813-228-0097

Summer at Ms. Lisa’s Dance

Between May 31 and Aug. 11, potty-trained tiny dancers (3 to 6 years old) and girls up to 13 learn ballet, hip-hop, jazz, acrobatics and musical theater routines at Ms. Lisa’s Dance camp in South Tampa. Campers also enjoy arts and crafts and face painting, and


Day campers of all ages during June and July at Busch Gardens in Tampa. Kids entering 5th grade and up who are interested in careers in zoology or veterinary science can register for the residential camp program. Register on their website. Handbooks with all the details on the 2023 day and residential camp experience are available for download on their website buschgardens.com/tampa/summercamps/day-camps/, buschgardens.com/tampa/summer-camps/ overnight-camps/, 813-884-4FUN (4386)

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are given time to shine on performance Fridays. See website for details about camps for tweens/ teens. mslisasdancestudio.com/, 813-253-5472

Patel Conservatory Summer Programs

Between May 30 and Aug. 4, youths ages 3 to college age can immerse themselves in dance, music, and theater productions or intensives range of camps at Patel Conservatory in downt Tampa. Download the free Summer 2023 progr for all the details. Call to make an appointment to register, 813-222-1040. admissions@ strazcenter.org, patelconservatory. asapconnected.com/

MOSI 2023 Summer Science Camps

From launching rockets and building robots to designing video games and extracting DNA, re science is coupled with exciting experiments, simulations, explorations, and inventions to help kids discover their inner innovator. For rising through ninth graders. MOSI members get 25% off. Camps span from May 30 to Aug. 4. mosi.o summer-camp/. 813-987-6000

Summer Film Camp

Film buffs are in for an unforgettable summe Tampa Theatre’s film camp. Kids in third through 12th grades dive into moviemaking, and learn about storyboarding, filming and editing. Full- and halfday camps are available. Equipment is provided and campers leave with a completed three- to five-minute film. June and July tampatheatre.org/ education-outreach/film-camp/

Camp Imagination at Glazer Children’s Museum

At Camp Imagination from June 5 – July 28, kids ages 5-10 imagine, discover, and connect to the world around them during 8 different camps. Themes include storytelling, the wild world, mad science; new this year is Dinosaur Invasion. Let your kids embrace their curiosity this summer at Glazer Children’s Museum Two weeks in July are autism-affirming. glazermuseum.org/ summercamps, 813-443-3861

LaFleur’s Gymnastics Club’s Summer Break Camp

The goal at LaFleur’s is to get kids moving and keep them moving! Their unique camp structure allows kids to work integrated, age- and genderappropriate groups that rotate to new stations around the facility every 15 minutes. Your child will work on agility, strength, hand-eye-coordination, swimming, sportsmanship and more. Half days, June through August, ages

11. lafleurstampa.com/gymnastics-camps, email office@lafleurstampa.com or call 813-264-5000

Cedarkirk Residential Summer Camp

Traveling Day Camps and weeklong residential camps are designed to provide faith-building fun, community building, and growth at this Christian sleepaway camp on the Alafia River in entering the second through ades canoe, swim, zip line and between June and August. more at cedarkirk.org/summerinfo@cedarkirk.org, or call 813-685-4224, ext.7

Soccer Camps

ouped by age range and gender, 5-19 improve their ball control and technical training sessions

professional coaches

University of South Soccer Camps

Programs accommodat all skill levels, a separate fut soccer with fiv team) for ages day camps and residential programs available in June and July Register yo at usfsoccercamps.com. usfsoccerc com

The First Tee Summer Golf Camp Beginner and advanced young golfers skills and learn to be better people at Summer Golf Camp in Tampa. Campers participate in games and contests and time to reflect during this Tampa Met YMCA camp. Golf clubs are provided assistance is available. May 30-Aug. begins April 3. firstteetampabay.org/informationsummer-camps/, thefirstteetampabay@ tampaymca.org, 813-238-7320

Rockatar Music Academy & Studios Camp

and Aug. 4, ages 4-13 learn singing, play a variety of instruments, jam, create music, write bands and have fun! Each of sessions ends with an exciting for friends and relatives.

8:30 a.m. – 1p.m., Mon.-F academy.com/summer-camp, michael@rockatar.com or call 404-9194

Camp Idlewild In Land

Camp Idlewild welcomes special-needs campers 6-17 and 18-30.

Programs enable campers to explore new interests, strengthen their skills and expand their comfort zones through adapted activities such as nature walks, swimming, arts and crafts, sports and games, treasure-hunting adventures, hiking, and much more! Eight weeklong camps begin June 4; the last one starts July 30. wneal@campidlewildofflorida. com, campidlewildofflorida.com, 813-9961226


In various locations in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. From May 30 to Aug. 7, weeklong creative LEGO® camps Explore the Multiverse, along with Power Up, Let’s Build Tampa and Everything is Awesome Mashup. Campers 4½ to 12 years old explore a different them half and full days. bric

Florida Aquarium Aqua Camps

The Florida Aquarium’s science-themed Aquacamps feature hands-on learning, animal encounters, aquarium tours, field trips, and lots more for kids ages 3-14. Every week throughout the summer, campers can experience a different theme! Early drop-off and late extra cost. Camps span options; register on the flaquarium.org/camps, flaquarium.org or call

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Pasco County

Career-themed summer camps for students entering 7th or 8th grade. This year, camps focus on building your own computer and understanding how it works, and crime scene/ forensics. Four-day camps start in June and July; register online. phsc.edu/academics/kids. Call Pasco Hernando State College at 727-816-3342 for more details.

eative World School astic!

CampTastic is all about new friends, laughs, games and crafts, explorations and experiments, virtual field trips full of imagination and everything campers love! Every day of each weeklong camp brings campers ages 6 to 12 new and exciting activities and learning adventures. four Pasco locations include two in Land O’Lakes, one in Odessa and one in Wesley Chapel. Save a spot at creativeworldcamp.com or call 813-996-3100 or 813-803-7500 (LOL), 813-780-1415 (WC), and 813-497-1100 (OD).

PROtential Sports – Teaching Life Through Sports

Action-packed, full-day summer camps rotate between multiple

sporting activities, including swimming, which is offered daily Your child is given the opportunit to participate in many engaging and fun-filled field trips including lazer tag, roller skating, bowling, waterskiing, horseback riding, and more! They also offer a children’s favorite – a trip to Busch Gardens theme park, which always promises a full day of fun for ages 5 to 15. Camps start May 30; and operate out of multiple locations throughout Pasco and Hillsborough counties. Register online. protentialsports.com/ summer, 813-843-9460

New Port Richey Recreation & Aquatic Center Summer Camp

An engaging camp experience keeps kids active and entertained June 12 to July 28 with fun indoor and outdoor activities including arts and crafts, guest speakers, games, swimming, demonstrations and field trips (at additional fees). This affordable camp runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30


An active summer awaits and summer school programs at Academy at the Lakes. camps include arts and crafts, robotics, sports, games, survival camp, and more; academic classes are available as well. Parents may choose half or full days, and one or all eight weeks. Schedule of camps is posted online March 1. summeratthelakes.com, enrichment@academyatthelakes.org,

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field trips (at additional fees). This affordable camp runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Registration begins in April. Questions? Go to Facebook.com/ nprparksandrec or call 727-841-4560

Gymnastics Academy Camp

Seal Swim School


A residential, faith-based camp, Word of setting in Hudson. Days will be full of high-ener music, speakers and games. The schedule between activities for students to reflect they’re learning, leaving them with a deeper and stronger faith. Weeklong sessions begin June 4; final session starts July 23. Ages 6-18. Camps.wol.org/youth-camps/the-coast/, email flregistrar@wol.org or call 727-379-5005

trampoline playtime children active and tained at Suncoast Gymnastics camp in Odessa. ograms are organized themes such as Splash, Ninja Warrior Gymnastics. Limited camp ilable for potty-trained 3-4 year olds, and kids 5 and older can attend for half or full days. First camp starts May 30; last camp begins July 30. Late pickup available. suncoastgymnastics.com, office@suncoastgymnastics.com 727-372-2211

Swimming lessons are the backbone of Seal Swim School’s summer sessions in Tarpon Springs and New Port Richey, but attendees get so much more. Instructors certified in water safety lead kids of all ages in games, arts and crafts, and other fun activities throughout the summer (4-week or 6-week sessions April through September). thesealswimschool. com, info@sealswimschoolnp. com, 727-943-8782

East Pasco Family YMCA Summer Camp

Kids 6-12 make friends and memories to last a lifetime as well as learn team-building skills at the East Pasco YMCA’s 10 weeks of summer camp in Zephyrhills. Starting May 30, activities include swimming, STEM, arts and crafts, sports, games, and learning about the outdoors. Camp hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. are convenient for working parents. Check schedule online at https://www. tampaymca.org/sites/default/ files/2023-01/CAMP-S_CentersWeb_FLYER_TPA_v4.pdf. tampaymca.org, 813-780-9622

Pin Chasers East Pasco

Designed for ages 5 through 15, 11 M-F camps cater to beginners and more advanced bowlers alike, with plenty of other fun to be had! Kids learn to bowl, work on arts & crafts with friends, and have fun in our arcades. This camp is great for developing a competitive spirit, as well as teamwork and social skills. Camps start June 5; final camp starts July 24. Register online. pinchasers. net/fun/summer-camps/, 813782-5511

Premier Gymnastics Club Summer Camp

Kids 5 and up can learn or improve skills on the vault, floor, bars, balance beam and trampoline in morning or afternoon camp sessions in Wesley Chapel. Themes change each week – and campers play organized games, watch movies, get trampoline and foam pit time, and work on

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arts and crafts. Camps begin June 5 to Aug. 4; no camp July 3-7. premiergymnasticsfl. com/summer-camp, info@ premiergymnasticsclub.com or call 813-973-9920

Life Skills in ACTion – Around the World in 70 Days

Summer camp and academics meet in one place to help your child build the skills needed to succeed in life – skills like self-care, stress management, banking, cooking, social awareness, changing a tire and more. From May 30 to Aug. 4, weeklong camps visit new area every week. Ten different camps. Located In Wesley Chapel. lifeskillsinaction.com or call 813-575-9100

Suncoast Stables and Riding Academy Summer Camps

Eight mini and regular summer camps teach riding and horsemanship to ages 5-8 and 9-12 between May 31 and July 24. Culminates in a horse show for parents on Friday. Water activities as well. Themes include Pirates/ Mermaids, Candy Land, Under the Sea and Fantasy Land. In Odessa. Registration form is online. suncoaststable.com, contactus@suncoaststable.com, 813-368-0666


In various locations in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. From May 30 to Aug. 7, weeklong creative LEGO® camps Explore the Multiverse, along with Power Up, Let’s Build Tampa and Everything is Awesome Mashup. Campers 4½ to 12 years old explore a different theme each day, half and full days. bricks4kidz.com, 813-545-4282

Summer Fun Word Search

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12S | Sunday, March 5, 2023 | Tampa Bay Times

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