Palmetto Bay’s popular summer camp program, begun by the village seven years ago, returns in June, and this year there’s something new added that will have the kids “hooping” it up, according to Parks and Recreation Director Fanny Carmona-Gonzalez.
“We’ll still have the same summer camp program we always have at Coral Reef Park, and the tennis camp which we always do as well,” Carmona-Gonzalez said. “This year we’re adding in a basketball camp at Palmetto Bay Park. The morning session of the camp will be geared toward basketball fundamental skills and drills.”
The basketball skills session, covering everything related to basketball, will run from 8 a.m. until noon. After lunchtime the programming goes back to basic camp activities.
“There’ll be arts and crafts, the outdoor cooperative recreational games and routines,” Carmona-Gonzalez said. “There’ll be movies, field trips, swimming and other activities. They’ll watch movies onsite and they’ll go on a field trip to theaters. They’ll see the new Disney release, Planes: Fire & Rescue.
Other field trips include outings to Jungle Island, Game Time, Miami Science Museum, Zoo Miami, Miami Seaquarium, and the bowling alley called Strike Miami.
Enrollment officially opens on May 5. Summer camp begins in June, after school closes. Carmona-Gonzalez said that those running the camp activities have thorough background checks and lots of training.
“Our camp staffers are certified and qualified,” she said. “We have some Miami-Dade County school teachers; we have staff who are CPR certified. We also have our Counselors in Training (CIT) program where high school students can earn community service hours to obtain their high school diploma.”
She explained that the CIT program is for students ages 15-18 who want to volunteer during the summer. For Carmona- Gonzalez, running the summer camp program is not just part of the job she does for the village, it has personal significance as well.
“I went to summer camp when I was young,” she said. “I started my career in Parks and Recreation as a summer camp counselor. I think that summer camp is one of those things that Parks and Recreation do best.”
Anyone who needs more information or who wishes to register their children for summer camp can call Village Hall at 305-259-1234 or come to Coral Reef Park. There are registration forms at both locations and online at the village website, www.palmettobay-fl.gov.