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Tampa Bay summer camps offer fun, variety

We know that the long summer break is just around the corner. (Okay, spring break is first, but come on, you've made those plans, right?) Now's the time to figure out what your children will be doing this summer. Well, here's some help. Find a long list of camps on our Web site at or on our page at And if you don't find what you are looking for now, keep checking back because we are updating the list as more camps make plans. If you're still deciding, here's a sampling of 10 camps that offer different activities, depending on your child's interest. You'll find sports, animals, even a camp that lets adventurous kids ride roller coasters. But act fast because one popular camp in the online list has been filled up — since January.

Sherry Robinson and Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writers and Whoa, Momma! bloggers

City camps

We can't list them all here but just about every city in the bay area sponsors summer camps for residents and nonresidents alike. Check out our Web site to get a look at what cities are offering. Two of the best are the St. Pete Beach WAVE and TWEEN Summer Camps. General camp includes arts and crafts, field trips, sports, free play, swimming and more. WAVE is for grades 1-5. TWEEN is for grades 6-8, and participants will go on a variety of field trips such as Fort De Soto Park, arcades, skating, the beach, Adventure Island and more. Registration begins April 1. Specialty camps available in basketball, art and skateboarding. June 14-Aug. 20. 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Residents pay $700 for full 10 weeks; $900 for nonresidents; cost includes all field trips. Extra care available. St. Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-9245,

Tampa Bay Rays Baseball and Softball Camp

Players will work on hand-eye coordination drills, infield play, pitching, catching, batting practice and opposite field hitting, and visit with special guest speakers. All camps 9 a.m. to noon. Tropicana Field Camps: baseball camp, ages 6-13, June 28-Aug. 20 ($225); senior advanced camp, ages 14-17, July 12-16 ($250); junior advanced camp, ages 6-13, June 14-18 ($200); senior advanced showcase camp, ages 14-17, July 12-16 ($250); softball camp, ages 6-13, Aug. 9-13 ($200); satellite hitting clinics, ages 6-13 ($150) in Port Charlotte, June 21-25; Bradenton, July 19-23; and Orlando, Aug. 16-20. All campers get a T-shirt, baseball cap, a ticket to four Rays games. Discounts for teams available. All camps except satellite camps at Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 825-3306 for details on satellite camps and for more information;

Busch Gardens Summer Camps

Up-close animal encounters, theme-park rides and educational activities. Preschool to eighth grade. Rates are $240 per camper per week (some passholder discounts) and the camps run June 14-Aug. 20. Lunch, snack and juice are provided. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Toll-free 1-877-248-2267; camps.

Tampa Theatre Film Camp 2010

Students will create live action and stop motion animation movies on Mac computers using programs like iMovie and Garage Band and footage they shoot with digital cameras. Each student will premiere his or her film on Tampa Theatre's big screen (Film Camp Film Festival is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 28) and receive a copy on DVD. Grades 3-12. Morning and afternoon camps broken into grade level. Live Action Camp: June 21-25, July 12-16 and July 19-23. Stop Motion Animation Camp: July 26-30 and Aug. 2-6. Members register through March 31; nonmembers registration begins April 1. $165. 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8981;

Science Center of Pinellas Summer Camps: We wonder what this camp could be about. Of course it's all about science, from studying animals and reptiles to looking at the science of our waterways and physics. Grades K-12. June 14-Aug. 20. Weekly classes; prices vary by camp for members and nonmembers. Full- and half-day sessions available in mornings and afternoon. Extra care available. 7701 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 384-0027;

University of South Florida Preschool for Creative Learning: Immersion in outdoor settings, field trips and activities helping children to understand different environments and developing a respect and love of nature. Kindergarten to age 9. $360/three-week session, snacks provided; must bring lunch. June 14-Aug. 13. 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Extra care available. 11811 Bull Run Road, Tampa. (813) 974-5142;

YMCA of the Suncoast Aquatic Programs and Summer Camps; Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA Summer Programs: Summer programs are available for ages 3 and up and include day camp, sports, music, arts, swim lesson and more. YMCA of the Suncoast programs are in Citrus, Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Financial assistance available. (727) 477-9622; ymca Tampa Metropolitan programs are in Hillsborough County;

USF College of Marine Science Oceanography Camp for Girls: This unique opportunity for girls in Pinellas County who are completing the eighth grade gives them a day at sea aboard a research vessel, coastal marine field trips, work on research projects, career interviews and visits to local marine attractions. Applications must be postmarked by March 31 for girls to be included in the interview process. There is no cost for the camp except for daily transportation. Get your applications in now (teacher recommendation also needed); camp is limited to 30 girls. The three-week camp is June 28-July 16, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. USF St. Petersburg campus, 140 Seventh Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 553-3921;

Pier Aquarium Summer-ful of Fish and Fun in the Sun: Eleven camps are offered during the summer session combining a basic marine education with arts and crafts activities, field trips and more. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 9-Aug. 6 with three- and five-day camps for students entering grades 1-6. $125-250. 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-7437, Ext. 205;

Wellspring Florida Summer Weight Loss Camp: Wellspring Florida campers will participate in a range of outdoor water sports, as well as a variety of climate-controlled athletic facilities, including swimming pools, athletic fields, fitness centers, weight rooms, cardio rooms and gyms. Ages 11-18. Sessions run four, six and eight weeks, with start dates of June 20, July 4, and July 18. Tuition before reimbursement by health insurance is $6,490 for four weeks, $8,290 for six weeks, $9,490 for eight weeks, $10,490 for 10 weeks or $11,490 for 12 weeks. Register before April 1 to save $500. Admiral Farragut Academy, 501 Park St. N, St. Petersburg. Toll free 1-866-364-0808;

Tampa Bay summer camps offer fun, variety 03/21/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 21, 2010 10:22pm]
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