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Summer camps under way at Rec Center

June 19, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The 2019 Summer Camp is in full swing at Veterans Park Recreation Center with some slots still open later this summer.

The weeks offered include June 17-20; June 24-28, July 1-5 (no camp July 4); July 8-12; July 15-19; July 22-26 and July 29-Aug. 2. It is $75 per child, per week. The camp runs from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Director of Teen Camp (Middle School Camp) Tim Berti said he has two counselors that works with him. Forty teens, ages 11 to 14, can register for the camp every week.

"We make sure the kids are safe and having fun. Everything falls into place after that," he said.

With the age range, Berti said they try to encourage the teens to get active and give all the activities a try during camp.

"We have some kids that are shy. It might be there first time going to the camp," he said. "We get them involved early and get them interested in what we are trying to do that particular day and week."

There are a variety of activities offered, which includes dodge ball, volleyball, basketball, indoor football to weekly trips to the Lehigh pool and the local bowling alley. In addition, a tennis instructor comes in every Wednesday to work with the kids.

"We will get with another camp, Wa-Ke-Hatchee. We go there and they come here to intermingle," Berti said.

Other activities include arts and crafts, field trips to Sun-N-Fun Lagoon in Naples, Mike Greenwell in Cape Coral, $1 movies at Gulf Coast Town Center and the Big Splash at the Miracle Game.

Speakers are also brought in to talk with the teens. He said last week they had someone come from the Lee County Health Department to talk about drinking and driving, which was complete with a goggle simulator.

"We had a deputy that came in and talked about active shooting," Berti said. "We will also have one of the deputies and K9 (come in and talk, so the kids) get to see what the dog does."

The camp also includes a crazy creation hamburger and hot dog competition. The teens make faces on the hamburger and hot dogs using such toppings as pickles and ketchup and mustard.

"We try to keep them busy," he said, adding that they are getting the kids more involved in the outdoors early in the morning.

Veterans Park Recreation Center Program Specialist Nancy Zukaitis said the traditional camp is for those who are 6 to 11 years old. They accept 120 campers a week.

"My first four weeks are full. There is some space available for the last four weeks," she said.

The traditional camp includes indoor and outdoor games, as well as special speakers, arts and crafts and community service projects. She said the community service projects include collecting dog and cat food and supplies for the Humane Society.

Fun days, such as a hat day, or dress up as a tacky tourist, are also part of the camp.

Zukaitis said they also have field trips to Sun-N-Fun-Lagoon and Big Splash at the Miracle Game. Local field trips are also taken to the splash park on the grounds, as well as the bowling alley. Some of the special programs and speakers include a visit from the Lee County Library System for a reading program, as well as a nutritionist and dentist.

There are eight counselors, which equates to 15 kids per group. Zukaitis said she, as well as two leads, help out the counselors because it is a 12 hour day.

"We rotate the staff in at certain hours, so there is someone always available to help if needed and to supervise the children," she said.

To participate, a Recreation Center membership is required. It is a $10 lifetime fee per person, or $25 for a family.

To register, call (239) 369-1521, stop by the Rec Center at 55 Homestead Road South, or visit



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