ST. PETERSBURG - Parents often dread summer break from school as much as kids look forward to it. Power lounging, TV watching and boredom often result, even with a parent's best-laid plans for constructive activities around the house or close to home.
There is a solution. St. Petersburg has a booming industry of day camps that come to life each summer to involve students in learning activities that are fun. There are camps to fit all tastes and budgets. Some just last a week, others all summer. Best thing is that parents don't have to travel far to find them.
Here are 5 great summer camps we found. If you don't see something you like here, check your community center for a list of youth summer activities.
1.) Canterbury School of Florida: Canterbury camps are open to everyone – not just Canterbury students. Programs are available for students ages 4-18, in academics, athletics, arts, crafts, writing and marine studies. They range from grammar or math camps to coastal field trips and digital photography. Most camps are half-day, either morning or afternoon. Some camps are full day. Programs are taught by Canterbury faculty and alumni.
2.) Shorecrest: Shorecrest offers both specialty and recreational camps open to the entire community, from June 6 through mid-August. Students from ages 3 through 13 can attend the recreational day camp. Specialty programs include American Girl, Learning Italian, theater and driver's ed. There are also sports camps that include volleyball, soccer, football and golf.
3.) St. Pete Tennis Center: St. Petersburg Tennis Center provides a well-structured summer camp program where pros give lessons to children of all ages. Students play tennis on well-maintained clay courts in the morning. There are indoor actitivities in the afternoon. The camp focuses on technique. Prices are affordable; ask about income-based scholarships. Slots fill fast.
4.) TASCO: The city’s TASCO (Teen Arts, Sports & Cultural Opportunities) program offers a series of technology camps through the summer. Subjects include videography, graphic arts and photography and digital audio. Students work in a cutting-edge media studio that provides equipment to produce multi-media works of high quality. Programs are open to any St. Petersburg residents in grades 6-12, but they fill quickly. There may be assistance available based on income.
5.) Great Explorations: The Great Explorations children’s museum offers an interesting mix of summer camp opportunities. For teens 13 and older, there is volunteer camp, where the camper works as a museum volunteer teacher assistant, guide or office assistant. Meanwhile, specialty camp subjects include Radical Rainforests, Pirate Academy and Tomb Raiders.