Friday, January 21, 2022

Summer Activities to Keep Kids Busy



By Noelle H. Lowery

B14-15-CBN-5-16-14-4Summer is almost here, parents. Can’t you just hear the cheers from your children right now?

Okay, now that I have scared you all to death, I am going to fill you in on all of the amazing summertime activities available right here on Marco Island. From the city’s Parks and Recreation programs and the camps at the Greater Marco Family YMCA to the Marco Island Center for the Arts and local dance studios, your kids are covered with a vast array of ways to spend their not-so-lazy days of summer.


City of Marco Island

B14-15-CBN-5-16-14-2“Camp Mackle” is back, and this year’s day camp theme is “WEATHER, We Like It or Not!” Camp runs weekly beginning Thursday, June 5, and ends Friday, Aug. 15 from 7:30 AM-6:00 PM, Monday-Friday. Cost is $20 per day, $80 per week or $700 for the full summer, if paid by June 4. Camp Mackle field trips include Sun and Fun Lagoon, Woodside Bowling Alley, Miniature Golf, the movies, South Beach for beach day and the Marco Island Police Department. Field trip days have been changed to Tuesdays from Thursdays, and campers will be creating a new science project and conducting experiments each week to go along with each weekly theme.

If your children want a more focused camp experience, the city also has a variety of specialty enrichment camps. This summer, the city will provide “Big Red” van transportation for all off-campus enrichment camps. Caught in a bind at work and cannot drop off or pick up a camper, let Parks and Recreation help out. “The 2014 Mackle Park summer enrichment camps are as follows:


Police/Fire Academy: Interested in law enforcement, firefighting or crime scene investigation? The Marco Island Police and Fire–Rescue departments host a one-week camp on law enforcement, fire



service, emergency medical response, marine patrol and much more. This is a hands-on camp, so wear closed toed shoes and bring a packed lunch and plenty of drinking water. Pre-registration is required.

Grade Level: Rising 6th-8th graders. Dates: June 9-13, 9 AM-2 PM at Police Department EOC Room. Cost: $40/Resident, $48/Non-Resident.


Gator Fitness Camp: Gator Kids is a fun-filled summer camp program held at Mackle Park focused on group fitness, games, drills and heart-healthy activities. It’s also a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle while having fun with others. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 6-12 years. Dates: June 23-27, 9 AM-12 PM at Mackle Park. Cost: $80/Resident, $96/Non-Resident.


B14-15-CBN-5-16-14-1Paddle Boarding Camp: This unique camp teaches campers the basics and proper techniques of paddle boarding. Kids also will get up close and personal with nature, while learning the importance of our precious eco-system. The curriculum incorporates relay races, obstacles and games to improve children’s coordination and skills. Please wear sunscreen and bathing suit, and bring a towel and drinking water. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 10 years and older. Dates: July 7-11, 12-3 PM at Isle of Capri Paddle Craft Park (located at the corner of Capri Blvd. and Collier Blvd.) Cost: $100/Resident, $120/Non-Resident.


Jr. Chefs Camp–Soulful Flavors of the South: A fun-filled week of southern cooking, which incorporates many influences from English cookery to Cajun and Creole make the possibilities endless. On the menu: Southern fried chicken, Cajun catfish, homemade buttermilk biscuits, Grandma’s red velvet cake and side dishes so fine. Cold southern beverages too. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 8-13 years. Dates: July 7-11, 9 AM-12PM at Marco Island Racquet Center. Cost: $90/Resident, $108/Non-Resident.


Fishing Camp 101: This camps covers the basics of casting, knot tying, tackle gear, identification of types of fish and how to properly handle fish. Campers will fish each day, and on the final day, everyone will be at Tigertail Beach



to put their fishing skills to the ultimate test. Please bring snacks and bottled water, and apply sunscreen before the start of camp. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 9-13 years. Dates: July 14-18, 9 AM-1PM at Mackle Park Teen Center. Cost: $85/Resident, $102/Non-Resident.


Jewelry Making Camp–Intro to Clay & Pendant Molds: This is an introduction to the creation of pendants from clay by sculpting and the use of molds. Participants will create necklaces, bracelets and earrings from an assortment of gems, pearls, glass beads, leather, wire, ribbon and findings. Snacks and drinks will be provided. All tools and materials are included. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 7 years and older. Dates: July 14-18, 9-11:30 AM at Marco Island Racquet Center. Cost: $80/Resident, $96/Non-Resident.


B14-15-CBN-5-16-14-5Theater Camp–Production of “Frozen”: Theater Camp allows everyone to be a part of the production. Casting is held the first day, so it is crucial campers attend on time; no roles are saved in order to be fair. Campers are immersed in all aspects of theater, including acting, singing, dancing, backstage and improvisation games. The goal is to build self-confidence, skill sets and have a great time. This year’s production is “Frozen.” Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 8-18 years. Dates: Monday-Friday, July 28-Aug. 8, 10 AM-4PM at Marco Players Theater. Cost: $165/Resident, $198/Non-Resident. Show: Saturday, Aug. 9, 3 PM and 7 PM


Face Painting 101: An introductory course, this camp is designed to teach those who have never painted a face. Detailed instructions will be given for getting started, application techniques and outlines of patterns. By the end of the week, campers will create face painting like they have been doing it for years, and on Aug 8, they will have the opportunity to test their skills. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 7 years and older. Dates: Aug. 5 – 7 (9-11:30 AM) and Aug. 8 (10 AM-3 PM) at Mackle Park. Cost: $45/Resident,





Summer sailing camps also will be available through the Marco Island Community Sailing Center. For more information, call Marco Island Parks and Recreation at 239-642-0575.

B14-15-CBN-5-16-14-6Greater Marco Family YMCA

At the Greater Marco Family YMCA Day Camp, kids have fun while they learn how to make friends, build new friends, build new skills and grow in self-reliance. Camps run Monday, June 9-Friday, Aug. 15, 7 AM-6 PM. Full-summer tuition is $700, if paid by May 31. Weekly rates are $80 for Y members and $90 for the community. Daily rates are $20 for Y members and $25 for the community. Campers participate in weekly field trips and recreational swimming.


Weekly themes include:

• Week 1-The Amazing Race Around the World

• Week 2-Camp YMCA’s Got Talent

• Week 3-Survivor Challenge Week

• Week 4-Party in the USA

• Week 5-Goin’ Green

• Week 6-Mad Science & Inventions

• Week 7-Private Island Adventure

• Week 8-I Love the 80’s

• Week 9-Sports Extravaganza

• Week 10-The Un-Birthday Party


The Y also has a number of specialty camps for kids to choose from:


B14-15-CBN-5-16-14-8British Challenger Soccer Camp: This summer camp features the new 1,000 Touches Curriculum, with new drills and practices designed to improve individual ball control, foot skills, fakes and moves. Camps run June 16-20, July 14-18 and August 4-8. Groups will be split on age and ability, and all camps will be held at Marco Island Charter Middle School. Campers should bring water and sport towel, and should wear shorts, shirt, socks and comfortable tennis shoes.

Sign up on line at There is a $40 cancellation fee at least 10 days prior to camp, and there are no refunds for cancellation within 10 days of camp. Applications received less than 10 days prior to camp will be charged an additional $10 late sign up fee.

First Kicks: 9-10 AM, ages 3-4,



$100. Mini Soccer: 10 AM-12 PM, ages 4-5, $115

Half day ages 6-9: 9 AM-12 PM, $155. Half Day ages 10-14: 9 AM-12 PM, $155


Football Camp: For fans of American football, the YMCA offers a week-long football skills and conditioning camp. It will prepare all potential football players in proper technique, workouts, conditioning exercises and more. Camp will extremely detailed and will have numerous training station.

Ages: 7-15 years. Dates: June 23-27 (session 1) and July 28-Aug. 1 (session 2), 9 AM-12 PM at MICMS Football Field. Cost: Y Members $100/Community $125.


B14-15-CBN-5-16-14-7Girls Volleyball Camp: The Y will hold two sessions of this week-long volleyball camp, focusing on conditioning, technique skills and development. Campers should bring water and knee pads, and should wear gym clothes and sneakers. No Converse shoes.

Ages: Girls grades K-5 and 6-9. Dates: June16-20 (session 1) and July 28-Aug. 1 (session 2), 9-10:30 AM (grades K-5) and 11 AM-1 PM (grades 6-9) at Greater Marco Family YMCA Airnasium. Cost: Y Members $90/Community $110


Gymnastics Camp: The one-week session will focus on strengthening, flexibility, balance and confidence. Campers will learn basic gymnastics through mat work, beam, vault, spring board and dance. Kids should come dressed in dance or gymnastics leotard or shorts and a shirt, and they should bring water.

Ages: Youth grades K-5. Date: July 21-25, 9-11 AM at Greater Marco Family YMCA Airnasium. Cost: Y members $50/Community $65


Marco Island Charter Middle School Camp: The Y offers local, summer day camps for middle schoolers (grades 6-8) which help foster character development and team building in teenagers and pre-teens. Campers enjoy a variety of activities, including games, sports, arts and crafts, swimming and leadership skills training. Campers also take field trips and engage in community service projects. Campers should bring a swimsuit, water bottle, sneakers, change of clothes and healthy sack lunch.

Ages: Grades 6-8. Monday-Friday, 9 AM-4 PM at



Greater Marco Family YMCA. Cost: $120 for entire summer (paid in full by May 31) or $20 per week


B14-15-CBN-5-16-14-14Dates and Weekly Themes:

June 9-13-The Amazing Race Around the World

June 16-20-Camp YMCA’s Got Talent

June 23-27-Survivor Challenge Week

June 30-July 3-Party in the USA

July 7-11-Goin’ Green

July 14-18-Mad Science & Inventions

July 21-25-Private Island Adventures

July 28-August 1-I Love the 80’s


Scott Stewart Basketball Camp: Coach Stewart is a former international professional basketball player and Varsity Head Coach for First Baptist Academy. The week-long camp focuses on basketball skills, drills, conditioning, strength training and scrimmage games. Groups are divided by age, and campers should bring water and where gym shorts, shirt and tennis shoes.

Ages: Youth ages 7-15 years. Date: July 21-25, 9 AM-12 PM at MICMS gymnasium. Cost: Y Members $100/Community $125


Seibukan Karate Camp: The YMCA Karate School teaches an Okinawan-style of Karate called Seibukan Shorin Ryu. Sensei Nick will teach discipline, character, confidence, physical and mental strength and self-defense. Campers should bring water, a bag lunch and comfortable clothes to workout in.

Ages: Youth 6 years and up. Date: June 23-27 (session 1), July 7-11 (session 2) and Aug. 11-15 (session 3), 9 AM-3 PM at Family Church at 1450 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island. Cost: Y Members $80/Community $95


Tennis ’n’ Splash Camp: The Y is making a splash this summer with the return of Sport ’n’ Splash Camp. Half of each day will be spent on the Y tennis courts with Coach Raul as campers will learn and have fun with the sport of tennis. Campers will then hit the pool for a refreshing late morning full of pool games and other aquatic adventures. Campers should bring water, a bag lunch, dry clothes, sneakers, swimsuit, deck shoes for pool area, towel, sunscreen, hat/visor and goggles.

Ages: Youth ages 6-10. Date: July 7-11, 9 AM-1 PM at Greater Marco Family YMCA. Cost: Y Members $80/Community





Tim Cain Baseball Camp: This week-long baseball camp will focus on the fundamentals of baseball with skill development in throwing, fielding, hitting and base running. Groups will be divided by ability. Campers should bring water, snack and baseball glove, and should wear shorts, shirt and sneakers.

Ages: Youth ages 7-16. Dates: June 16-20 (session 1), July 14-18 (session 2) and Aug. 4-8 (session 3), 9:30 AM-1:30 PM at Tommie Barfield Elementary baseball field. Cost: Y Members $100/Community $125.


For more information on any YMCA camp, please contact Steve Reynolds, youth sports coordinator at 239-394-YMCA (9622) ext. 228, or email him at


Marco Island Center for the Arts

This year, the Marco Island Center for the Arts is offering seven art camps for kids. All workshops will be held at the Marco Island Center for the Arts at 1010 Winterberry Drive, and “Big Red” transportation is available for all classes to and from the Art Center.

Artists taking classes from June 16-July 18 will be asked to leave at least one piece of their work (if possible) at the Art Center for display in the main gallery. The gallery will become a growing special exhibit of the young artists’ work. On July 25 at 5:30 PM, a Youth Summer Arts Reception will be held for family and friends at the Marco Island Center for the Arts to celebrate the work of the summer artists programs. Light snacks will be offered with performances from our students of “Strut Your Stuff” and “Make and Learn to Play Your Own Guitar” workshops.


Acrylic Collage: Students will work with modeling paste, sand, wood chips, glass and plastic beads, and self-leveling gel. The emphasis will be on exploring the art form and understanding the artistic process. Cost for all supplies included in the workshop fee. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 9-13 years. Dates: June 16-20, 9 AM-12 PM at Marco Island Center for the Arts. Cost: $110/Resident $120/Non-Resident. Instructor: Mary



Kane & Linda Kropp


Play with Clay: Campers will decorate their slump and hump mold bowls with sprigs and clay and wood stamps, fashioning adorable pinch pot animals and whistles, making delightful animal- and toy-shaped ornaments and make small bowls with press molds. If time allows, they will even do some coil building. Cost of all supplies included in the workshop fee. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 8-12 years. Dates: June 16-20, 9 AM-12 PM at Marco Island Center for the Arts. Cost: $110/Resident, $120/Non-Resident. Instructor: Ginny Mueller


Mythical, Magical Creatures: Unicorns and dragons — these fantastical creatures will be made using recycled materials and Paper Mache. The workshop will combine elements of design, construction, painting and decorating. Cost for all supplies included in the workshop fee. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 9-13 years. Dates: June 23 – 27, 9 AM-12 PM at Marco Island Center for the Art. Cost: $110/Resident, $120/Non-Resident. Instructor: Mary Kane & Linda Kropp


Creating Art with Nature: Hunt for various items around the island, including shells, palm fronds, leaves, flowers, pebbles and more. By combining these materials, students will use Marco Island as their inspiration to create boats, beach scenes, houses and hotels. Cost for all supplies included in the workshop fee. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 9-13 years. Dates: July 7 – 11, 9 AM-12 PM at Marco Island Center for the Arts. Cost: $115/Resident, $125/Non-Resident. Instructor: Miriam Jacobs


iPhone Photography: This class will cover the basics of the iPhones Camera and settings. Approximately 10 different apps, including a video app, will be reviewed, and students will learn how to take great photos with their phones, iPad or iPod touch. Students must have an iPhone 4 or above or a newer model iPod Touch, iPad and must download required apps, the cost of which will total $18. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 11-15 years. Dates: July 7-11, 9 AM-12 PM at Marco Island Center for the Arts. Cost: $110/Resident, $120/Non-Resident (Excluding cost of



required applications. Instructor: Jason Reinhart


Strut Your Stuff: Strut your stuff like a Broadway dancer. This workshop gets participants moving and helps them get into shape. No previous dance experience is required. Students will learn various routines while having the opportunity to design and create costumes for the final performance at the Youth Summer Arts Reception. Cost for all supplies are included. Pre-registration is required.

Ages: 9-12 years. Dates: July 21-25, 9 AM-12 PM at Marco Island Center for the Arts. Cost: $125/Resident, $135/Non-Resident. Instructor: Miriam Jacobs & Linda Kropp


Make and Learn to Play Your Own Guitar: This workshop starts with the students constructing wood and cardboard body guitars, which they will decorate. The students also will become musicians, and learn to bring their guitars to life with music. They are invited to play in a final performance at the Youth Summer Arts Reception as well. Cost of all supplies included in the costs. Pre-registration is required by July 9.

Ages: 9-12 years. Dates: July 21-25, 9 AM-12 PM at Marco Island Center for the Arts. Cost: $125/Resident, $135/Non-Resident. Instructor: Kim Adamson and Linda Kropp


Dance, Dance, Dance

Local dance studios — Island Dance Academy and Center Stage Studios — also will offer their own individual summer dance camps. Center Stage Studios is holding eight one-week camps available by the day or week June 9-July 4 and July 21-Aug. 11, 11 AM-5 PM, for dancers ages 5-13. Center Stage Studios is located at 559 East Elkcam Circle on Marco Island. Call 239-919-2066 for more information and pricing.

At Island Dance Academy, daily and weekly camps will run June 23-July 25, Monday-Friday, 9 AM-1 PM, for dancers ages 3-10. The cost is $99 for the week or $25 for the day. Have more than one dancer? Fees are half-off for siblings. Each week finishes with a mini-show of the dances learned.

Strafford also is offering dance intensive weeks for dancers who want to train and advance their abilities during the summer. Only dancers ages 8-18 years with previous dance experience are eligible.

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