With only eight weeks falling between the end of the school year and the start of next year's educational calendar, parents may already be wondering, "How are my kids gonna stay busy this summer?"
Dave DeFonzo, youth activities coordinator at the Sanibel Recreation Center, assures that at his facility, the biggest problem may be having to squeeze so many activities and field trips into an abbreviated schedule.
"With only eight weeks, we've really doubled-up on the fun this summer," said DeFonzo, looking over the lineup of daily activities planned for youngsters attending the city's Rec Department Summer Day Camp. "And what we've planned, you're going to get the most bang for your buck."
This year's Summer Day Camp will run from Monday, June 13 through Friday, Aug. 5. Camp is offered to children entering grades first through eighth and will operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days except July 4th.
"We're planning a lot of good stuff this summer," added DeFonzo, "so we're taking this year's themes to a whole other level."
According to DeFonzo, each of the eight weeks will follow a unique theme, based upon the activities planned for that week. This summer's schedule is as follows:
• Week 1 (June 13-17) — "Summer Knights" will include an Introduction to Chess program (Tuesday), a trip to King Richard's Fun Park in Naples (Wednesday and Thursday) and sand castle construction (Friday)
• Week 2 (June 20-24) — "Transporters" will include field trips to Buckingham Air Field (Wednesday) and Mike Greenwell's Family Fun Park in Cape Coral for some go cart and arcade games (Thursday) as well as going to see "Cars II" at Island Cinema (Friday)
• Week 3 (June 27-July 1) — "Critter Crossing" will include a visit from C.R.O.W. (Tuesday), field trips to the Calusa Nature Center (Wednesday) and air boat rides on Lake Trafford in Immokalee (Thursday) as well as John Storm's ever-popular reptile show.
• Week 4 (July 5-8) — "Treasure Island" will include story time (Tuesday), trips to Smuggler's Cove Mini Golf (Wednesday) and a pontoon ride to Cayo Costa State Park (Thursday) as well as a demonstration from members of the Fort Myers Fencing Club (Friday)
• Week 5 (July 11-15) — "Time Warp" will include arts and crafts, field trips to Imaginarium (Wednesday) and Bamboozles Roller Skating Rink (Thursday), along with the annual Rec Center/BIG Arts "Retro Dance Party" (Friday)
• Week 6 (July 18-22) — "Sci-Fi-natics" will include a ham radio demonstration (Tuesday), a special "hands-on" trip to the Edison Winter Home (Wednesday), an outing to Galaxy Lanes for some bowling (Thursday) and a "Moon Walk" inflatable obstacle course (Friday)
• Week 7 (July 25-29) — "Aqua-Maniacs" will include a trip to "Splash Day" at Hammond Stadium and a Fort Myers Miracle baseball game (Wednesday), a trip to Collier Regional Water Park )Thursday) and a slip-and-slide inflatable water tunnel (Friday)
• Week 8 (Aug. 1-5) — "That's Show Biz!" will including an outing to the Broadway Palm Theater" for lunch and a performance of "Aladdin Jr." (Wednesday), going to see "The Smurfs" on the big screen at Island Cinema (Thursday) and the always-popular All-Star Camper Showdown (Friday)
On Mondays, activities include fishing with members of the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club (fifth through eighth graders) and karate at the Rec Center gymnasium (first through third graders). Additional activities throughout the week include golf, tennis, paddleboarding, hip hop dance and pontoon boating.
"Our main philosophy is to be all-inclusive," said DeFonzo, who suggested that the Rec Department's Summer Day Camp offers the widest variety of activities possible. "In addition to our field trips, we'll have Free Lunch Fridays with Island Pizza, athletic classes with professional instruction, special guests and lots of entertainment."
The cost is $85 per week for members and $105 for non-members. Financial assistance is also available to qualifying families.
"It's gonna be a short summer," DeFonzo added. "But we're gonna be long on fun!"
To register your child or for more information about this year's Summer Day Camp, call the Sanibel Recreation Center at 239-472-0345 or visit www.mysanibel.com'>www.mysanibel.com.
Ready for plenty of fun this summer at the Sanibel Recreation Center are, from left, Savannah Nippa, Avery Johnson, Hayley Halski, Knox Deal, John Peterson, Christian Reim, Tyler Ulrich, Jebson Politte and Hunter Hammarberg.