Remember summer camp? Boring nature walks, mosquitoes, and hot cabins with no air conditioning? At A Kid’s Place, we’re changing the game and having none of that! This July our children experienced summer camp like you’ve never seen before; we even had teens (and some adults!) begging to be a part of it! Science was the number one favorite activity and the children were able to grow germ cultures, make slime, study worms and composting, and create a solar oven to make their own nachos in! Most of the children had so much fun they didn’t know that they were actually learning something!
How can you tell if a snake is dangerous? Our kids got to talk to a snake wrangler and see one up close (maybe even…gasp…hold it!) How about the Tampa Police officer who let the kids turn the siren on and sit in her car? Thank you, Officer Brown…or Ms. Kay as the kids refer to you! We also had Americare Ambulance visit; the kids were thrilled to be strapped onto a stretcher and loaded into the back of the ambulance since they knew it was only for fun!
Of course, the water play station was extremely popular during the hot month of July, and it was plain to see that the volunteer high school camp counselors had just as much fun getting wet as the children did! And what summer camp would be complete without relay races and plenty of camp crafts? Ask any child what the best part of camp was and you’ll get dozens of different answers. But ask a House Parent what the best part of camp was and they’ll tell you it was happy children who were worn out at the end of the day!
We couldn’t have run the camp without the amazing assistance of our local teen volunteers, some of whom returned for their fourth or fifth year in a row. These youth fill 30 positions within the camp, ranging from team leader to event host or instructor. Every morning they show up bright and early and welcome the children into camp, leading them from one station to another and forging fast friendships. We also extend our heartfelt thanks to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for sponsoring this camp and enabling our children to experience fun, education, field trips, and new experiences.