Creating with clay. Working on your acting chops. Building robots. Summer camps in Pinellas are not your regular after-school snooze fest, and there’s something for just about every interest and age level. From three-month-long coastal camps, to programs themed around the bugs, kids have a world of options this summer.
Now is the time to sign up! Availability goes fast, and waitlists are constantly changing and reopening. Contact the camp of your choosing directly for more, including costs, aftercare COVID-19 protocols and other requirements.
Gulfport Recreation Center Summer Program runs from June 14 to July 27 and caters to campers that have completed kindergarten to 14 years of age. Located on the water at the Gulfport Recreation Center, 5730 Shore Blvd. S., students get to participate in field trips, make a mess with crafts, hulk out in outdoor games and more. Register at mygulfport.us/recreation-rec-summer.
Camp Summer Quest introduces a love of learning and literacy development to campers from June 7 to August 6 at Bay Point Christian Church, 2001 62nd Ave. S. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., school-aged kids will open doors through reading and vocabulary. This is a Christian-based camp and focuses on each child’s relationship with god. More at campsummerquest.org.
Summer Camp at the Y offers activities that allow campers to take a break from school, but not from learning. This eight-week program runs from June 14 to August 16 at 70 35th St. S. for students aged 5 to 14. The YMCA summer program includes STEM-based activities, sports, field trips and fun-filled play time. More at stpeteymca.org/childcare/summer-camp.
Madeira Beach Summer Camp, a coastal tradition, allows campers from kindergarten to 8th grade to run the beach from June 14 to August 16, or June 12 to August 6. Right by the water at 200 Rex Pl., this camp gives kids the chance to go on field trips, including Busch Gardens, play by the water and engage in weekly themes. More at madeirabeachfl.gov/summer-camp.
For the Performers
American Stage Theater Company opens its doors to young performers, K-2 to 12th grade. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., campers get the chance to hone their skills on stage and nurture their budding theatrical star. The program offers an option of one to two weeks of a variable of camps, including muppets, hiphop, comedy, and more from June 21 to August 6 at the Admiral Farragut Academy, 501 Park St. N. More at americanstage.org/youth-summer-camp.
Songs and Sounds, a St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation summer program invites young music lovers, ages 6 to 12 to sit under the trees and pull music and art from native Florida life. “We’re really popular and honestly, affordable,” said Andrea Anderson, who works for St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation. From July 5 to 9, kids meet at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S. from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More at stpeteparksrec.org/naturecamp.
Page to Stage, a Summer at Shorecrest camp runs from June 7 to August 6 and brings young readers a chance to learn scriptwriting, acting and the classic story arch. Times vary from half to full days, at 5101 1st St. NE, and are open to kids in 1st through 5th grade. More at shorecrest.org/student-life/summer-programs.
For the Techies
Summer Teen Technology Camp combines photography and video production in an educational summer-long program – or at least the important months, June through August. The Center for Teen Technology, a state-of-the-art facility at 1320 5th St. N., is accepting limited spots for techies entering grades 7 through 10. Apply for scholarships and more at stpeteparksrec.org/ctt.
StemQuest: Robot X Games through Drobots is a futuristic take on summer camp from June 7 to August 6, with varying days based on prices and availability. Creators from 4th to 8th grade get to build, test and race robots in the X Games competitions. Science-minded campers compete while honing their STEM skills at Shorecrest’s facility at 5101 1st St. NE. More at shorecrest.org/student-life/summer-programs.
For Nature Lovers
Bug Camp, hosted by St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation. From July 5 to 9, kids meet at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S. to learn about the insects in Boyd Hill and how to identify them. Bug enthusiasts aged 7 to 10 will get their fill at this weeklong class. Register or get on the wait list at stpeteparksrec.org/naturecamp.
Summer Youth Camp with the Garden Club of St. Petersburg teaches young gardeners about pollinators and the flowers that complement them. From June 14 through June 18, the Garden Club invites little planters ages 7 to 10 to create life at 500 Sunset Dr., on the water side of the garden. “The theme is pollination, so we’re learning about caterpillars, butterflies and doing arts and crafts all week,” Garden Club Sally Farr said. More at facebook.com/gardenclubstpetersburg.
Raptor Camp combines birds of prey with outdoor summer fun at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve from June 14 to 18 and June 21 to 25. Campers aged 8 to 12 get a close-up look at owls, hawks, vultures and a bald eagle while learning the importance of these animals in the environment. More at stpeteparksrec.org/naturecamp.
For the Athletes
Little Captains Each week campers in kindergarten through 5th grade explore a different theme from June 1 through August 8 with fun, creative and educational activities, boat rides, pool time, and water slides from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Admiral Farragut Academy. More at farragut.org/summer/day-summer-camps-st-petersburg.
Sailing Camp at Clearwater Community Sailing Center puts kids ages 5 to 17 on the waves to form bonds and explore the Gulf of Mexico. “Each camp focuses on a different type of camp,” said Melissa Isaacs, a sailing center staff member. “Across the board all kids are going to be learning how to sail and be out on the water for most of the day.” Campers meet, sunscreen ready, at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, 1001 Gulf Boulevard every weekday from June 14 through August 6. All experience levels are welcome. More at clearwatercommunitysailing.org/summer-camp-program.
Basketball Camp will inspire athletes, rising 3rd to 8th graders, to hit the courts from either June 7 to 11 or June 14 to 18. Located at Admiral Farragut Academy, 501 Park St. N., campers will shoot hoops with other young athletes while dribbling the house down. More at farragut.org/summer/day-summer-camps-st-petersburg.
Lifeguard Camp with the American Red Cross Junior Lifeguarding program prepares kids ages 11 to 14 to keep others safe. Swimmers will perfect their skills June 21 to 25 or July 12 to 16. Located at the North Shore Aquatics Complex at 901 North Shore Dr. NE – don’t forget the sunscreen. More at stpeteparksrec.org/aquatics.
For the Artists
Art Around the World summer program, hosted by Creative Clay, focuses on four cultures’ – Scotland, Zimbabwe, Laos and New Zealand – art and style weekly from June 21 to July 30. Children ages 6 to 12 display their art at an exhibit in the St. Petersburg Museum of History at the St. Pete Pier. Students explore cultures, create and perform at Creative Clay’s studio, 1846 1st Ave. S. More at creativeclay.org/summer-camp.
Art & Clay Camps, at either the Morean Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. S., or the Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., helps emerging young artists create and learn techniques while crafting their pieces. Campers aged 5 to 16 will be in age-appropriate groups while diving into their creative side, exploring the local gardens and completing projects. More at moreanartscenter.org/2018/02/summer-camp-2018-registration-is-now-open.
Art All Summer at the MFA St. Petersburg’s Museum of Fine Arts offers three different programs in July, along with their regular weekend programs, all with different takes on art, from archeology and nature, to female empowerment. There’s something for every grade level, from 1st to 9th. More, including scholarships, at mfastpete.org/programs/youth-programs.