Whether it be to help the working parent stay sane or to educate and entertain the curious child, there’s a summer camp or activity on the First Coast for almost every family. From fishing to golf and cooking to creating, these camps and activities from local businesses and organizations are sure to help your kids have a fun and productive summer.
Episcopal School of Jacksonville Fishing Camp
While baseball may be America’s pastime, fishing might as well be Florida’s. This camp will focus on basic fishing training along the saltwater fishery surrounding Jacksonville. In this one-week camp from June 24 through June 27, students will be trained on how to read the fishing spot, casting with accuracy, rig tying and selecting the right rig for the conditions, preparation, bait selection and identifying and properly handling fish. The camp will add bait to the waters at several locations, depending on water conditions and daily weather. This fishing experience is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for children from fourth to eighth grade. The cost is $190 for the week. For more information, visit www.esj.org/summer/.
Parents can take their children to learn the fundamentals of golf at the famous World Golf Village, itself, in St. Augustine, hosted by the PGA Golf Academy. Choose from half-day, full-day or extended “elite” camps to learn about putting fundamentals, short game, full swing and more with top PGA instructors. The camp focuses on the four “Cornerstones of Improvement,” which include mental conditioning, fitness, club fitting and full swing, short game and on-course instruction. Golf Experiences will also help develop important fitness and life skills that children will use as they continue to advance through school and beyond. According to the Golf Experiences official website, the main goal of the PGA TOUR Golf Academy is to “provide a positive and fun learning environment where students are able to flourish under the direction of experienced, motivated and highly skilled instructors — all while having a great time!” Camps are open to boys and girls ranging in age from 7 through 18. Camps are divided into weekly sessions with dates and pricing depending on the age group. For more information, visit www.golfexperiences.com.
Jacksonville Giants Basketball Camp
If March Madness wasn’t enough basketball for the kids, check out the Jacksonville Giants basketball camp for children ages 6 through 15. The Jacksonville Giants are a five-time ABA National Champion team that holds the current ABA record for most points scored in a single basketball game with 222 points. The camp will be held at Arlington Middle School in Jacksonville and will have two sessions, one from June 3 to June 7 and the other from Aug. 5 through Aug. 9. Camps will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and with early drop-off and late pick-up available. Campers will learn basketball fundamentals while they enjoy three-on-three tournaments, daily free-throw contests, buzzer-beater shots and more, all in an air-conditioned gym and with chances to win awards and certificates. The cost is $175 per session. For more information, visit www.jacksonvillegiants.com/giants/camp.
Jax Cooking Studio
For aspiring little chefs, Jax Cooking Studio will offer weekly half-day classes with a new cooking theme each week. From June through August, kids can learn basic cooking skills while working in a team-oriented environment. They’ll also learn about kitchen hygiene and safety, food science and nutrition and the importance of sustainability and repurposing ingredients for new meals. At the end of each day, kids will be able to eat their own creations. Each Friday, children will cook their favorite recipe of the week or create their own dish from the knowledge acquired from that week. After this camp, the kids could even cook a family dinner at home! For more information about Jax Cooking Studio’s weekly camps, visit www.jaxcookingstudio.com.
Sunshine Play + Learn
A new children’s center and indoor playground for kids in St. Augustine, Sunshine Play + Learn offers fun playing areas and classes throughout the year. From “FUNtastic Fitness” to “Theater for Tots,” Sunshine Play & Learn has a variety of classes to help open children’s minds and imaginations. Although Sunshine Play + Learn is not a daycare center, parents have the opportunity to bond with their children through playtime and other fun activities provided by the center. Individual classes for children or child-parent classes are offered, along with support groups that help parents get to know one another in the community and make new friends through parenthood. Hosted by a professional lactation consultant, mothers can meet other moms, share stories and experiences and establish a network of support in a positive, welcoming environment at Sunshine’s Blissful Babies Lactation support group for moms and mommies-to-be. Sunshine Play + Learn focuses on children from 0 to 6 years old, but is open to accommodate older children, depending on each case. Daily, monthly and yearly membership passes are available, along with a “5 Play Pass” that contains five passes to use within six months of purchase. Sibling discounts are available, and infants are always free with a paying sibling. For more information, visit www.sunshineplaylearn.com.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Camp Create
For ages 2 through sixth grade, Camp CREATE offers an educational program throughout the summer that follows a “similar rhythm” as the St. Mark’s Episcopal School year. Weekly sessions are offered, each with a different theme and curriculum and with a two-week minimum registration. For the younger kids, parents can choose from themes such as “pet week,” “Camp CREATE’s Got Talent,” or even “America the Beautiful” for the week of July Fourth. For older students, the camp curriculum offers educational and productive themes that keep the child’s future in mind, such as learning about budgeting, international relations and other cultures, marketing and even chess. Parents can choose between a half-day, afternoon,or early evening pick-up hours, with kindergarten being required to stay until 3:15 p.m. since it’s a full-day program. Campers should bring a labeled set of water-play clothes, swimwear, a towel and a weather-appropriate change of clothes. If staying past noon, children should also bring a packed lunch. For pricing, hours of operation and more information, visit www.stmarksdayschool.org/programs/summer-camp.
Huntington Learning Center
According to its official website, Huntington Learning Centers specialize in a “unique and individualized approach to education.” Huntington helps schools with providing the best education possible for each child. These learning centers provide one-on-one tutoring for specific subjects, such as reading, writing, algebra, chemistry, physics and even studying skills on its own. Huntington also offers test preparation as students advance and prepare for the SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement exams and more. Tutoring schedules and needs are dependent on each individual evaluation given prior to tutoring sessions. The tutors at Huntington have four-year college degrees and either a state or Huntington certification for education. Are you worried about locations and transportation? Huntington Learning Centers have multiple locations around Jacksonville, including St. Johns. For more information, visit www.huntingtonhelps.com.