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Take heart, procrastinators: Pasco still has plenty of summer camp options

So you've procrastinated. It's mid-May, with the end of school just around the corner, and you still haven't signed up the kids for camp.

Not to worry.

While some summer programs have already filled up, there are numerous arts, athletic and special interest camps still taking registrations. Whether your child enjoys reading or dancing, fine art or martial arts, sports or swimming, you have plenty of choices to keep your child learning, growing and having fun during the summer months.

Music Matters in New Port Richey will host no fewer than five music and performing arts camps: MusiCamp, Guitar Camp, RocKamp, PopCamp and ShowTime drama and music summer camp.

"In these camps students can study all musical styles from pop to rock, as well as all aspects of performing with other people as opposed to playing at home by themselves," said store owner Kevin Abendroth. "They will learn what it's like to perform on stage, and hopefully will decide to play an instrument and pursue music."

Several martial arts studios — including Ingram's Professional Karate in New Port Richey and Shotokan Karate-Do, Keiko Shin Karate Academy in Wesley Chapel — offer camps with a mix of karate, games and even movie-making activities.

"We have a family-oriented camp that offers karate every day, plus field trips that involve everything from roller skating to dolphin encounters," said Shotokan Karate-Do owner Sensei Ernesto Fuentes. "And kids will get the chance to film their own movies, whether they want to play Harry Potter or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

Summer is the perfect time to try something new — or continue to hone the skills cultivated during the school year. Marsha Jones, co-owner of Happy Tunes music store in Lutz, said it's vital for performing arts students to keep up with their craft over the summer.

"I can't stress enough the importance of continuing lessons throughout the summer," said Jones, whose store offers vocal and instrumental classes throughout the vacation months, as it has been doing for more than 20 years. "Otherwise kids fall behind and lost what they've learned during the school year."

The Times has compiled a hearty sampling of the countless summer camps still out there. What will your summer bring?

It's a bargain, after all

There are still dozens of spots available in the summer camp at the New Port Richey Recreation Complex, 6630 Van Buren St., which offers an eight-week program for ages 6-12. The camp runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays from June 18-Aug. 10. The cost for city residents is $400 per child for all eight weeks or $120 per child for any two consecutive weeks; for non-residents, $480 for all eight weeks or $140 for any two consecutive weeks.

Normally the camp sells out early, but this year officials considered raising the prices, which scared many families off. Officials decided earlier this month to return to last year's prices, making the camp more affordable for local families.

Take heart, procrastinators: Pasco still has plenty of summer camp options 05/12/12 [Last modified: Saturday, May 12, 2012 1:53pm]
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