The week before Memorial Day is crunch time for summer camp registration. And in mid-Pinellas County, city recreation camps are a popular choice for busy families.
Largo, Seminole and Pinellas Park have an assortment of offerings for kids ranging from sports camps to baking camps to doll camp. All three municipalities will run their camps from June 13 to Aug. 19.
All three are seeing camps swiftly filling up.
In Pinellas Park, 270 campers have already registered, and camps are filled, said Debra Rose, library and recreation services administrator for Pinellas Park, who oversees the program.
For parents who still have hopes to get their child in either Pinellas Park's Playcamp at the Broderick Recreation Center or one of the themed camps at the Forbes Recreation Center, Rose encourages them to call one of the facilities.
"We suggest people who still want to register, check with us,'' she said. "We have a payment deadline this week, and I expect some families who reserved a spot earlier will decide not to go through with it now,'' she said.
Seminole's recreation camp program, which typically has about 250 children participate each year, is also reaching maximum, said Casey Little, a recreation leader for Seminole.
While Seminole's half-day specialty camp program still has slots available, the city's full-day camp program is a different story: Both the preschool and the teen camps are filled, and the Kidsventures, for kindergarteners through fifth-graders, is now open only to Seminole residents. Nonresident registration closed on April 15.
Over in Largo, there's a little more wiggle room.
So far, about 750 families have registered their children for camp and there is still limited availability, said Jennifer McMahon, city of Largo's summer camp program manager.
Unlike the two smaller cities, which operate their summer camps in one or two locations, Largo offers 60 camps based in multiple locations, McMahon said.
"We're everywhere,'' she said.
Here's a sampling of what's offered in Largo:
There's "Naturemania," a camp at McGough Nature Park, which started more than four decades ago.
There's the brand-new "Cake Decorating" camp, which will be at the new Largo Community Center.
And, in its second year, there's "Fit to Read" at the Largo Public Library, which combines book programs with fitness for ages 7-10.
McMahon stresses that parents should not delay registration. Popular camps, like the Highland Cool Kids at the Highland Aquatic Center, have been filled for several weeks.
"And this week, our phones have definitely picked up,'' McMahon said Monday. "It's typically like this. We definitely are hearing from parents who realize it's getting down to the wire.''