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How to occupy your kids during spring break may be on parents’ minds now, but it’s also time to plan for summer as registration is underway for many camps in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
From day to specialty camps and those run by cities, some organizers say they expect registration to fill up quickly as activities return following COVID-19 disruptions.
Wayne Lenoff, American Heritage School’s director of summer programs, said they have already seen certain programs starting to fill up and their science, robotics, art and musical theater camps are “very popular in enrollment and the numbers are higher than prior years.
“Last year, most of our summer camps were sold out by April. With parents ready to get back to normalcy, we expect this year for camps to be sold out even earlier,” he said.
With campuses in Plantation and Delray Beach, American Heritage also offers a regular day camp program in addition to specialty programs, which also include video production and sports camps, Lenoff said. They also have the Summer Institute, an educational program that offers 120 enrichment and reinforcement courses to students from PK3 (ages 3-4) through 12th grade.
Funcamps at Florida Atlantic University’s Boca Raton campus offers campers MagiCamp, which first started in 1989 as well as Science & Space Camp and Jurassicamp.
They sold out last summer and CEO David Gindy said he expects the same thing to happen this summer.
“There was an obvious built-up need for the children to once again have a great experience in the summer, from both a social and physical aspect,” he said.
COVID-19 safety protocols measures vary among the camp programs.
Funcamps, which also has two locations in Miami-Dade, will be following all local, American Camp Association and university protocols for COVID during the summer. At this time, masks are still required while indoors, Gindy said.
American Heritage installed a UV light filter in all HVAC systems on campus and will fog common areas with a safe antiviral solution. Additionally, it will have increased hand washing stations and readily available hand sanitizer, Lenoff said.
The camp offers a “safe, healthy, fun and creative environment where students can learn, create, make lifelong friends in an art museum. We have instructors who attended our camps as children and are now adult artists teaching here,” she said.
The museum is also following all protocols the city of Coral Springs mandates. Additionally, it has smaller class sizes and cleaning regiments in place. As of now, masks are optional, Brown said.
Pine Tree Camps, which has been in Boca Raton since 1978, is at Lynn University and offers day camp for ages 5 to 14 and an overnight camp called Kampus Kampers for ages 6 to 13, with campers sleeping over Monday through Friday and returning home on the weekends.
Registration is still available, but some programs and age groups, such as art camp for ages 5 to 10, are already filled, according to Jamie D’aria, public relations director, Lynn University.
The village of Wellington offers its camp at Village Park, and registration has begun, according to Ryan Hagopian, the village’s athletic programs manager.
He expects the camp to fill up, especially for ages 5 to 7, he said.
The camp offers entertainment such as game shows, arts and crafts, bounce houses, fields trips such as Rapids Water Park for the older kids, drift boat fishing, snorkeling, swimming twice per week, game room and sports including dodgeball, indoor soccer, basketball, relay races and kickball, Hagopian said.
Parents should consider sending their kids to the camp in Wellington because of their “professional staff, fun activities, beautiful facility and park to use, charter buses instead of school buses, 10 weeks instead of eight or nine, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. camp hours, which are typically longer than most camps, and the cost is very reasonable for the amount of hours and entertainment/fields trips the children get to enjoy,” he said.
Wellington also has COVID precautions in place including counselors wearing masks inside. Masks for kids will be optional. Routine cleaning, sanitizing, spacing and hand washing will also be in effect.
“This is obviously subject to change if CDC or the local health department suggests otherwise,” Hagopian said.
The city of Plantation will offer a few camps including Kidtastic Camp, day camps, Neighborhood Day Camp (weekly drop-in), Quest Camp and Adventure Camp, according to Kimberly Falero, the city’s publicity coordinator.
The Neighborhood Camp is week-to-week and the day camps are two, four-week sessions. The Quest and Adventure camps are for older kids and teens and offer higher level activities and more field trips, she said.
Registration will begin April 18 for Plantation residents and May 2 for nonresidents.
“This will be our first year reinstating field trips for summer camps after having to eliminate off-site trips due to COVID limitations. We look forward to providing a full camp experience,” Falero said.
American Heritage School: Broward Campus, 12200 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation or Palm Beach Campus, 6200 Linton Blvd., Delray Beach, Sessions offered: nine weeks at $550 per week, online.ahschool.com.
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City of Plantation: Kidtastic Camp: Plantation Community Center (ages 3-5); Day Camps: Plantation Community Center and Volunteer Park (ages 5-11); Neighborhood Day Camp (weekly drop-in): Jim Ward Community Center (ages 5-11); Quest Camp: Central Park Multipurpose Building (ages 9-11); Adventure Camp: Central Park Multipurpose Building (ages 12-14). Registration packets will be available at plantation.org/camps.
Funcamps: Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road. Four sessions. Cost: two-week tuition and supply fee: $650. Funcamps.com.
Pine Tree Camps: Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail. Three sessions. Cost: $1,150-$1,350 per three-week session, pinetreecamps.com.
Coral Springs Museum of Art: 2855A Coral Springs Drive, Art stART: $225-$250 | 9 a.m.-noon for two weeks; Cultural Camp: $450-$500 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. for two weeks; Teen Intensives: $225-$250 | Pottery $202.50-$225 (times vary but three hours daily for two weeks). All supplies are included. bit.ly/3BKMEPz.