Summer break is great when it first begins, but what happens after the initial joy of freedom from school subsides? Though some families start planning for summer camp six months or more in advance, it’s not too late to banish boredom and let your child explore something they’re interested in or discover a new hobby. Here are camps around the Tampa Bay area and beyond that, as of press time, still have availability this summer — but book soon, as spaces are limited.
Each summer, Tampa Theatre’s historic auditorium lights up with young filmmakers working together to produce their visions on screen. Campers entering grades 3 through 12 work in small groups to learn the creative process of digital filmmaking, from brainstorming, storyboarding and scriptwriting to lighting, filming and editing. All of the necessary equipment is provided, including cameras, lights, sound equipment, Mac computers and software. By the end of the session, each production team will have a three- to five-minute movie to showcase.
Carrollwood Cultural Center offers artistic camps for kids from 4 to 13 years old. The youngest campers participate in drawing and painting, music, dramatic play, dance and other activities, while the middle group learns about music, theatre and visual art. Older campers create an original performance involving music, dance, tech and more during a two-week camp that is led by professional artists. Students will learn theatre skills needed to build an original show from the ground up.
Rockatar has fun weekly camps for children ages 4 to 12 at its South Tampa and Westchase locations, plus a Summer Rock Band program for kids 13 and older. During the week, students are able to play keyboard, piano, guitar, bass guitar and drums or focus on their vocals. Once they’ve decided which is their favorite, the students form bands and work together to perform a song. On Friday, the last day of the camp session, friends and families are invited to enjoy the band performances.
Teenagers 14 to 17 years old will learn how to design furniture, mill lumber and select a finish, do joinery and construction, turn on a lathe correctly, and use machinery and hand tools properly. The projects students produce throughout the week will vary by session, including bowls, lidded boxes and a small table. Each student is assigned his or her own lathe and will not need to purchase any additional equipment or tools for the class.
Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall Summer Camp
1111 McMullen Booth Road
One-week performing arts camps are available for many ages and experience levels in musical theatre, drama, music, dance and on-camera performance. A variety of themed week-long camps are offered, including Calling All Superheroes!, Camp Catch ‘Em All, Mermaids & Pirates, Once Upon a Fortnite, Princesses & Dragons and Sci-Fi Week. Multi-week production camps include the musical theatre class Broadway Bound and the drama camp Wizards & Wands.
The YMCA has 11 locations throughout Tampa and the East Pasco area and offers a variety of camps for students from 4 to 13 years old as well as volunteer opportunities for older students. Traditional campers can participate in lots of different activities including art, science, swimming and dance each day, while specialty campers will spend time immersed in their selected specialty (like basketball, extreme team sports, gymnastics and the performing arts).
Kampus Kapers Overnight Camp
Pine Tree Camps
Boca Raton, FL
Children age 6 to 13 can develop a sense of independence, make new friends and conquer exciting new challenges all while enjoying traditional camp activities such as bonfires, making s’mores, pool parties, talent shows, beach barbecues, weekly field trips, arts and crafts and sports activities. Kids return home on the weekends to help fend off homesickness.
Busch Gardens Resident Camps
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
10165 N. McKinley Drive
Kids in grades 5 through 12 can choose from animal-themed or roller coaster-centric five-day overnight camps. Resident camps offer unique, one-of-a-kind animal encounters and the opportunity to push adventure to the limit. Older students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with animals in fields like zoology and veterinary science. The all-inclusive camps includes lodging at Busch Gardens’ on-site Mzinga Lodge. Day camps are also available.
Circle F Dude Ranch Camp
Circle F Dude Ranch
Lake Wales, FL
Campers aged 6 to 16 can choose from 40 different activities including horseback riding, swimming, arts and crafts, paintball and rock climbing. Each camper gets to create an individual summer camp schedule based on his or her interests.
Girls entering first through ninth grade can enjoy traditional overnight camp activities, like learning archery, visiting a nature center, hiking, making crafts, swimming and singing songs around the bonfire at night. Equestrians can learn more about horsemanship riding and equine science at one of the specialty horse camps, while aspiring chefs can test new recipes at the Culinary Creations camp. There are both half-week and full-week options at Camp Wildwood, and bus transportation is available from Tampa for certain sessions.
Camp Sea Gull & Camp Seafarer
YMCA of the Triangle
Arapahoe, North Carolina
Offering one, two and four-week long camps, the YMCA’s Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer on the North Carolina coast give campers ages 6 to 16 the chance to explore new activities and gain specialized skills in more than 20 land and sea activities such as sailing, fishing, skiing, golf, archery and horseback riding. Each day campers spend half of their day on land activities and half on sea activities.