Register now for 2016 summer camp

■ BY SUE ERWIN     Lee County Summer Camp

Summer break is quickly approaching, and if you’re looking for something to keep your kids active on the island this summer, you’re covered.

The Lee County Parks and Recreation Department, with financial support from the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, is hosting two summer camps at the Boca Grande Community Center.

The traditional summer camp program offers children ages 6 to 13 (on or before September 1) the opportunity to experience field trips, swimming, arts and crafts, athletics and other indoor and outdoor activities. The program runs from Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Lee County’s summer camp programs follow the School District of Lee County calendar. Each one-week session costs $75. The camp starts on June 20 and runs through July 29.

Field trips in the past have included Sun Splash Water Park, Bowland, Babcock Ranch, Mote Marine and more.

Adventure Camps are planned for children ages 11 through 15 (on or before September 1). They will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the fee is $100 per week. Space is limited to 12 participants. Field trips often include wake boarding, canoeing, paintball, baseball and other fun activities. A few weeks prior to the start of each camp, an agenda will be available with detailed activities and field trip locations. The camp starts on June 27 and runs through July 1.

Friends of Boca Grande employee D.J. Keisling has been running the camps at the Community Center since the summer of 1996.

“Through the extreme generosity of the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, the kids who attend summer camp have an experience like no other camp,” Keisling said. “The Woman’s Club provides funding for two educational/fun field trips per week, plus a trip off island to swim at Oyster Creek Pool in Englewood. This includes transportation. The organization also provides funding to the Boca Grande Art Alliance to provide a first rate art program (under the direction of Chris Broyles) and the Royal Palm Players, who provide a ‘fine arts’ experience. And, if that is not enough, Toni Vanover from the Lee County Library at Johann Fust has planned another outstanding summer reading program complete with four enriching performances emphasizing the importance of reading,” Keisling said.

The camps average about 30 kids each week during the summer.

Keisling said he tries to add new and different educational field trips every year. Some have included Sea World, Legoland and Lowry Park Zoo.

The campers will also have the chance to go ice skating, roller skating and bowling, and to travel to Tropicana Field and see the Tampa Bay Rays play.

“My philosophy has always been to provide all of our campers with a summer that exposes them to new educational experiences, activities, and athletics that they might not have an opportunity to encounter throughout their childhood,” Keisling said.

Be sure to register early as space fills up fast. You can sign up online at leeparks.org or call 964-2564.