With the school year winding down, parents are preparing for the summer, seeking out answers to the perennial question of how to keep the kids entertained. Luckily, there’s always something to do on the First Coast! From the academic to the adventurous, a variety of summer camps will be offered this year by local businesses, helping kids to be kids and moms and dads to stay sane until school starts again.
Sports and Adventure
Jacksonville Basketball Academy
Led by Providence High School Basketball head coach Jim Martin, Jacksonville Basketball Academy summer camps focus on teaching boys the fundamentals of basketball, including ballhandling, shooting, passing and defense and helping to bring their game to the next level. Offering various camps for boys in grades three through 12, the camps cover a range of skill levels, from beginner to elite. For more details, visit www.jacksonvillebasketballacademy.com.
Jax Surf Camp
Jax Surf Camp, hosted by Jax Surf & Paddle in Atlantic Beach, will host surf and paddleboard camps for kids ages 6 through 16 throughout the spring and summer months. The camps will include surf fundamentals and instruction, as well as paddleboarding, yoga, beach sports, races and more. A pizza party will also be held on the last day of camp, and all surf camp graduates will receive goody bags.
Kids have the option of attending half-day, full-day or single-day camps. Snacks and refreshments will be provided at all camps, and lunch will be included with full-day camps. Registrants must already know how to swim. Visit www.jacksonvillesurfandpaddle.com for more details.
Witt Tennis’ 2018 summer programs, to be held in Ponte Vedra, will offer tennis training for athletes of all skill levels. Led by nationally-recognized Coach Danny Witt, the lower-level program for ages 5 through 12 focuses on teaching kids fundamentals, technical skill development, agility, balance and coordination, while the “high performance” level for middle to high school students is more competitive. Kids should come prepared to work hard and have fun. Witt Tennis programs will run throughout the months of June and July. Visit www.witttennis.net or contact info@WittTennis.net for additional information about costs and registration.
Creative and Performing Arts
Summer Musical TheatreCamp
Elementary, middle and high school students from across the country make their way to St. Augustine each summer to participate in this musical theater camp. Now in its 24th season, the camp offers kids ages 5 to 18 the opportunity to take part in a full-scale musical production. Starting in June, this summer’s lineup will include productions of “Les Misérables” for high school students, “The Pinocchio Show” for ages 5 to 11 and “Seussical” for middle and high school students. For registration and additional information, visit www.summermusicaltheatrecamp.com.
Bach to Rock Music Camps
Bach to Rock, located in Jacksonville Beach, will host several music-focused summer camps this summer for various age groups. The Rock Band program, for ages 7 and up, places students in bands according to their age and skill levels and teaches them how to play in an ensemble while encouraging the development of original material. The Glee Club is an ensemble that emphasizes reading music, intonation, listening skills, rhythm and vocal technique, and allows students to embrace their inner stars while singing in harmony to choreographed numbers. Kids in preschool through first grade will enjoy Rock City World Tour, which teaches the basic concepts and movements associated with playing music, such as fast and slow, sound and silence, high and low, as well as singing and playing major scales. Meanwhile, in Recording Arts: ProTools and Production, kids age 10 and up will have the chance to use professional equipment and technology to gain recording experience and create original music. For registration and additional information, visit https://jacksonvillebeach.b2rmusic.com.
Jax Cooking Studio
For budding young culinary chefs, Jax Cooking Studio will offer two weeks of cooking camps this June. A total of four camps will be offered—two for kids ages 7 through 12, and two for teens ages 13 to 18—and students will choose between the themes of “International Street Food” and “Food in the Movies.”
Throughout this week-long camp, kids will learn basic cooking skills while working in a team-oriented environment. At the end of each day, kids will be able to eat their creations, and at the end of the week, they will also have the opportunity to take part in a cooking competition, preparing meals using their newly acquired knowledge and skills. For more information about Jax Cooking Studio’s two summer camps, visit www.jaxcookingstudio.com.
Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach
The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach offers youth arts camps and workshops from early June to early August. Online registration and details are to come for summer arts programs. Overall, workshops focus on a variety of different arts projects. Spring Break workshops, which were held for ages 4 to 8 and 9+, focused on animals, people, landscapes, still lives and more. Visit https://www.ccpvb.org/index.php for more information.
Learning and Life Skills
MOSH Discovery Camps
Throughout summer 2018, Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History (MOSH) will host Discovery Camps to encourage K-8 students’ curiosity through exploration of the museum. Kids will learn about the ocean and its inhabitants, experiment with their senses, explore the inner workings of the human body and become architects, engineers, astronauts and more.
Camps will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For registration and additional information, visit www.themosh.org/educate/discoverycamps.
In partnership with Chick-fil-A, WinShape Camps offer kids around the country all the fun of traditional summer activities, while also building character and encouraging personal and spiritual growth. From athletics to the arts and sciences, WinShape Camps offer a variety of activities for kids to enjoy, including archery, gymnastics, team sports, cooking, painting, musical theater and more.
First Coast kids will have the opportunity to experience WinShape Camp this summer at either Crosswater Community Church in Ponte Vedra, or the Church of Eleven22 in Jacksonville. For additional information, visit camps.winshape.org/.
YMCA Super Summer Adventure Camp
Winner of Jacksonville.com’s 2017 Bold City Best “Best Summer Camp in Jacksonville” title, First Coast YMCA’s Super Summer Adventure Camp will return this summer with more fun activities for kids to enjoy. With each week of camp featuring a different adventure, kids will use their creativity and imaginations to go on journeys through space and time and visit enchanted kingdoms, all while learning the importance of honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect and caring for others.
This camp will be available at various locations throughout Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Clay and Baker Counties, including the Ponte Vedra YMCA at 170 Landrum Lane. YMCA members will receive a 20 percent discount on summer day camp pricing. For all locations and additional information, visit www.firstcoastymca.org.