Thursday, January 27, 2022

Marco’s youngsters go on world adventures

Camp Mackle Olympic Games. Submitted photos

Camp Mackle Olympic Games. Submitted photos

Did you know that this summer many local kids have embarked on a World Tour? For Camp Mackle’s inaugural summer, camp coordinators, Mindy Matusiak and Amber Prange, have planned the “Life Needs Adventure World Tour.” Each week campers explore a new and exciting country or continent, featuring special guest speakers and presentations, field trips, specialty craft projects, games, athletics, and other culturally significant experiences— activities led by trained and motivated counseling staff.

The first week of summer, the kids ahd fin down south when Camp Mackle “traveled” to Mexico. They created a Mayan pyramid out of cardboard boxes, learned Spanish and practiced dancing to different Latin rhythms during the camp-wide Zumba instruction. The week culminated in a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.

The following week, Camp Mackle “ventured” to Brazil.  Art projects worked to transform the Mackle Park Community Center into a luscious rainforest. The campers decorated Carnival masks and were introduced to the art of Capoeira, Brazilian martial arts. The Oficina da Capoeira team demonstrated how to play Capoeira, taught the campers some Portuguese, A World Cup-style soccer tournament and a field trip to Rookery Bay were other highlights of the week.

While at Rookery Bay, the campers learned about the significance of our local estuary ecosystem, about conservation strategies, about the local wildlife, and about

Fun Down South in Mexico.

Fun Down South in Mexico.

the impact of the Deep Horizon Oil Spill. Camp Mackle is partnering with 7-11 to collect donations for Sarasota’s Save Our Seabirds, Inc. (S.O.S.) that rescues and rehabilitates native and migratory birds.

Camp Mackle celebrated the Fourth of July by “visiting” the United States of America. Special guest presentations were given by Collier-Seminole State Park, the Marco Island Police Department, and the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department. Campers wrote letters of support and appreciation to American troops stationed overseas which the Marco Lutheran Church shipped to Afghanistan along with other donations collected by the Church. Campers enjoyed some of America’s favorite pastimes by playing in a baseball tournament, racing hand-made Nascars, baking apple pies, singing in an American Idol competition, competing in a battle of wits in a game of Jeopardy, catching flying pancakes, and indulging in an All-American BBQ.

Next stop…the Caribbean. Campers and counselors donned pirate bandanas, eye patches, skull rings, and floral leis throughout the week. They painted treasure boxes, created treasure maps, and ventured on treasure hunts throughout the park. Camper-painted flags for the countries of Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica were added to the Mackle Park Community Center to represent the Caribbean.

The following week, Camp Mackle “traveled across to pond” to Europe where they explored the countries of Ireland, Norway, France,

Let the Pasta Wars begin - campers go to Europe.

Let the Pasta Wars begin – campers go to Europe.

England, and Italy. Campers also had fun making French pastries and pizzas, visiting the Marco Historical Museum, and battling it out in Camp Mackle’s first-ever Pasta Wars. Oh, yes, in Italy the kids had “lottsa” fun with pasta.

In “Greece” the 2010 Camp Mackle Summer Olympic Games were held. Campers created countries to represent at the opening and closing ceremonies. Each team went through a series of relay races, athletics, and challenges throughout the week. Events included; a flag football game, soccer tournament, obstacle relays, wrestling and bowling competitions, tennis events, and much more.  Coach Thompson and his Lely Varsity wrestling team introduced campers on the fundamentals of the wrestling world.

During Greece week campers learned about Greek gods and goddesses, Greek mythology and the art of traditional Greek dancing.

Upcoming weeks:

  • Africa Week – July 26 – 30, special guest speakers Shy Wolf Sanctuary and the Critter Man Show
  • Asia Week – August 2 – 6
  • Australia Week – August 9 – 13
  • Antarctica Week – August 16 – 20

Camp Mackle is the City’s first summer day camp for children 6 – 11 years of age that runs from 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information about Camp Mackle please call Mackle Park at 642-0575 or visit us on the web at

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