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Summer Camp: Many options for youth in Cape Coral

By CJ HADDAD - | Jun 24, 2021

Lillianna Raphael hits the ball during Junior Summer Camp at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park Tennis Courts. To view more photos from the camps, see the Cape Coral Breeze Facebook page. MICHAEL PISTELLA mpistella@ breezenewspapers.com

Summer camps for Cape Coral youth put on by the city started this week, giving youngsters the chance to have some fun while interacting with peers they’ve missed due to last year’s restrictions.

The city of Cape Coral’s Parks and Recreation Department summer camps for preschool, youth and teens saw a myriad of camps get under way — a welcomed sight for parks and rec staff, many of whom are local high school and college students.

“Kids are very excited, and so are the parents, to give our youth an opportunity to do something other than sit at home for the summer,” said Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Director Kerry Runyon. “I know our staff is very excited about this year and being out with the kids again.”

City-run camps operate on Monday through Friday sessions (with some exceptions) from now until the end of July (some run until the first week of August).

There are countless opportunities for kids of all ages and interests to find something in which they can immerse themselves. Some of the more than 20 different camp themes include different areas of athletics, dance, fishing, junior lifeguard, science, eco-adventures and more.

“We try to be very creative,” Runyon said. “We try to offer a variety of camps, with some that include field trips.”

Runyon added that just bringing the kids together after a tumultuous last 12 months is an added bonus.

“It’s an opportunity for the kids to socialize because it’s been very difficult this past year,” she said. “It also gives them a variety of activities to enjoy throughout the summer. A lot of camps are outside, which is really nice. They can enjoy what we have here in Cape Coral.”

Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Summer Camps are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. Some camps are already filled up for the summer (skate camp, Oasis North and South, Youth Center), while other camps still have slots open.

Camps include:

* Preschool Camps – A.M and P.M. (ages 3-6): At Four Freedoms Park, these weekly camps will be held in preschool classrooms and taught by certified instructors. Children must be self-sufficient in restroom care. Weekly themes will be the same for morning and afternoon camps with different crafts and activities being offered in each time slot. Parents may sign children up for the morning camp, afternoon camp, or both. Themes include ocean life, science and discovery, superheroes, around the world, life in the jungle, and music and movement.

* Tennis Camps (ages 4-14): At the Yacht Club Tennis Courts, there are programs for Tiny Tots (ages 4-6); focus on ground strokes volleys and fun games), Juniors (ages 7-14); includes instruction, all strokes, match play and tournaments), and Advanced Juniors (must be approved by pro; focus on stroke production, fitness, singles and doubles strategy, drills, match play and more).

n Animal Adventure Camp (ages 5-10): Lake Kennedy Center July 26-30

* Camp Neptune (ages 6-9): At the Yacht Club Community Pool, campers will spend their summer days enjoying beach exploration and time at the pool. Activities vary from week to week including arts and crafts, group games, and swimming. The camp provides a safe, fun, and active environment in which children can develop self-esteem and friendships. Themes include stars and stripes, animal planet, Star Wars, video games, and food week.

* Super Science Camp (ages 6-12): At Four Freedoms Park, in partnership with Super Science and Amazing Art, campers will experience amazing themes. They include kitchen chemistry, gamer and robotics engineers unite, and build it (each offered two different weeks).

* Eco Adventure Nature Camp (ages 7-12): At Rotary Park, children will experience tons of fun at this nature camp with plenty of indoor and outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring in the swamp, learning about the creatures that inhabit the park, plus cooperative games, sports and crafts. Themes include reptile week, shark week, STEAM in nature, natives in nature, creature feature and survival week.

* Fine Arts for Kids Camp (ages 7-13): At the Cape Coral Art Center, participants will enjoy hours of productive fun and experience the creative process in fine arts and crafts. Activities include pottery, mixed media crafts, drawing, painting, exhibiting and more.

* Dance Camp (ages 7-15): At the Tony Rotino Center at the Yacht Club, participants of this half-day camp will learn the basics of Jazz, Ballet, Acro and Lyrical Dance by Miss Desirae.

* PAL Camp (ages 8-12): At Lake Kennedy Center July 12-16; 19-23

* Splash Camp (ages 8-12): At Sun Splash, this water-based day camp will see participants enjoy the use of the park, water games and crafts. Campers should bring a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, tennis shoes and socks. Lunch is included with program cost.

* Fishing Camp (ages 8-14): At the Yacht Club Community Park, this camp will be packed with activities such as fishing, swimming, beach games and much more. The fishing camp is great for beginner to advanced youth anglers. Participants will learn basic fishing skills including casting, hook removal, fish identification and how to properly bait their hook.

* Summer Adventure Camp (ages 8-14): At the Yacht Club Community Park, participants will stay active while playing summer camp games, fishing, swimming, playing sports and hearing from fun guest speakers. They will also learn basic kayaking and outdoors/survival skills. Campers will be outside a lot (weather permitting), so be sure to pack the sunscreen.

* Talent Camp (ages 8-14): Lake Kennedy Center Aug. 2-6.

* Beginner Sewing Camp (ages 8-14): Lake Kennedy Center June 28-July 2

* Intermediate Sewing Camp (ages 8-15): Lake Kennedy Center July 6-9; Aug. 2-6

* Creative Chef Camp (ages 10-14): Lake Kennedy Center June 28- July 2

* Jr. Lifeguard Camp at Sun Splash (ages 10-13): This camp is designed to enlighten individuals as to what being a lifeguard is all about. Participants will learn about CPR, basic first aid, lifeguard rescue techniques and proper swimming techniques. Daily lunch and uniform are included with program cost.

* Jr. Lifeguard Camp at Yacht Club Pool (ages 10-15): Campers will learn water rescues, CPR, first aid, fitness training, stroke development, and other skills to help with future employment as a lifeguard. Participants will receive a Jr. Lifeguard T-shirt; however, due to age restrictions, they cannot obtain certifications from this class.

* Sports Conditioning Camp (ages 11-14): At the Tony Rotino Center at the Yacht Club, this half-day camp will show participants different conditioning techniques and drills to benefit performance in sports.

* Special Populations Summer Camp (ages 13-22): At the Kiwanis Building of Cape Coral, this is a weekly camp for children of all abilities with activities including fun trips throughout each week. Children will work on recreational skills and developing social connections all while building relationships and life experiences.

For a full list of camps, times, costs, and availability, visit www.capecoral.net and visit the Parks and Recreation page.

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj