PALM HARBOR, FL – With summer inching closer and closer each day, the staff with CSA Palm Harbor’s Parks & Recreation Office have been hard at work since November creating a calendar of offerings, including a brand-new, all-day camp.
With the cost of living on a steady rise and parents cutting back on child care, the Parks & Recreation office sought to offer a low-cost way for parents to keep working in the summer, while affording their children a place to grow, learn and experience what summer camp is all about.
“Many other cities have lengthy registration processes – extra fees, extra hours, this policy and that policy; it takes away from the ‘fun factor’ that a camp can have,” according to Mathew Eberius, the agency’s recreation specialist and camps coordinator. Eberius grew up in local parks and recreation programming, benefiting from what the camps taught him while growing up. “It was a place to be with friends, with mentors, and to learn valuable social skills that would come in handy later in life. I owe who I am today to parks and recreation in the Tampa Bay area. We wanted to re-create that here in Palm Harbor and offer that experience – one like none other.”
With that vision in mind, recreation staffers began the process back in November and sought to find out what parents in the community wanted. The top answer from parents was an all-day, low-cost camp.
“We set out to give the parents (and kids) exactly what they wanted,” according to Eberius, “and we came up with ‘Camp Adventure’ run out of our community center.” The all-day camp will run from 8:30AM to 5:30PM to accommodate working parents. The cost to members of the department will only be $100 a week. For non-members, it’s $120. Unlike local municipalities, memberships are not offered to only residents. Anyone can join and include the whole family for only $50, offering discounts on camps and year-round programs at the agency. Camp Adventure will have kids age 5-12 in a structured camp setting, with trips, treats and more scheduled each week. “It’s a great camp, aimed at letting kids be kids, but focusing on keeping them safe and active.”
Along with the day camp, the agency will also be offering nearly two dozen other opportunities for kids to be involved. Among them are the popular kayaking and boat fishing camps. They have also added several new programs this summer, including “Back to Basics,” a camp focused on building survival and outdoor skills lost to modern technology, Dance Camps for girls looking to learn ballet and lyrical dancing, and several sports camps in CSA Palm Harbor’s multi-sport complexes. Local baseball coach Jim Felce also returns this year, offering his popular “Jimmy the Bat” camps, a popular among boys looking to get into the baseball world.
Camp registration begins on Monday, March 11, and is open to members and non-members. Camp offerings will be announced this Friday on www.csapalmharbor.org, as well as through LEAP! Magazine. A copy can be picked up at The Centre of Palm Harbor, 1500 16th Street. For more information, contact The Centre at 727-771-6000 or email email@example.com.