City, museum hosting Spring Break camps


Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 2:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 2:17 p.m.

Spring is near and it is almost time for Alachua County Public Schools students to get the week off for Spring Break.

Facts

CITY CAMP

What: The city of Gainesville Spring Break Camp for children ages 6-13.
When: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. March 25-29.
Where: Eastside Recreation Center, 2841 E. University Ave.; Westside Recreation Center, 1001 NW 34th St.
Cost: $43 for city residents, $65 for non-city residents.
Information: Call 352-334-5067.

MUSEUM CAMP
What: Florida Museum of Natural History Spring Break Camp.
When: March 25-29; 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 1-5 p.m.
Where: Florida Museum of Natural History, SW 34th Street and Hull Road.
Cost: $117-$250.
Information: Call 352-273-2061.

So, if you are a parent looking for fun, safe and affordable activities for your child, why not check out camps offered by city of Gainesville and the Florida Museum of Natural History. Spring Break week will be held March 25-29.

City camp

Ludovica Weaver, marketing technician for the city of Gainesville, said the Spring Break camp, which is open to children ages 6-13, will be offered from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. in east Gainesville at the Eastside Recreation Center at 2841 E. University Ave, and in west Gainesville at the Westside Recreation Center at 1001 NW 34th St. The T.B. McPherson Center and the Clarence Kelly Recreation Center, both in east Gainesville, will not be open during Spring Break week.

The cost for each child will be $43 for city residents and $65 for non-city residents. Parents will have to provide lunch, but snacks will be available.

A proof of residency will be required, so parents are encouraged to bring a GRU or Cox cable bill or a voter ID card.

Parents can register their child at the recreation administration office on the third floor of Building B at the Thomas Center at 302 NE 6th Ave. or online at www.cityofgainesvilleparks.org. Click on "Residents" and "Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs" and then click on "Spring Break Camp."

Weaver said campers will have an opportunity to participate in arts and crafts, work in the computer lab, watch movies, play sports and other activities. Weaver said all of the activities will be infused with character education to encourage achievement, a sense of community and strong character.

The city of Gainesville adopted the Six Pillars of Character, a program of the Josephson Institute of Ethics, a non-profit organization, to promote ethics and good character. The six pillars are respect, caring, trustworthiness, citizenship, fairness and responsibility, which currently is being taught at all city after-school programs.

"Children will have an opportunity to fine-tune these character values while they have fun," said Weaver. "We're proud to offer parents a safe place where their children can come and spend the day with us while learning and having fun."

Jeff Moffitt, recreation supervisor, said Northeast Pool at 1100 NE 14th St. next to the King Center also is open — and during Spring Break week — for recreation swimming from 3-7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays.

Children ages 10 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $1.95 for children ages 3-17 and seniors 55 and older and $3.30 for adults. Season passes also are available.

Moffitt said Northeast Pool, which is heated for year-round comfort, features lap lanes, a splash pad, diving boards, an aqua slide, deck space for sunbathing, a disabled access ramp, bathhouse and showers.

Museum camp

Paul Ramey, assistant director of marketing and public relations at the Florida Museum, said campers will get to investigate science and natural history through interactive activities and parents will have an opportunity to provide their children with a camp that is educational and fun.

Although camps are open to children in kindergarten through fifth-grade, the camp for kindergarteners to second-graders is full, but a waiting list is available.

"Instead of having to worry about what their children will do during spring break or having to take time from work to stay with their children," Ramey said.

"The children can come to the museum and participate in fun and educational activities."

Camps will be offered in full-day sessions from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and half-day sessions from either 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 1-5 p.m. at SW 34th Street and Hull Road. The cost for a full day is $225 per child for members and $250 for non members. The cost for a half day will be $117 for members and $130 for non members. To register, visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu. Click on "Events" and then click on "Spring Break Camps." Campers are encouraged to dress for outdoor activities and full-day campers should bring lunch.

Campers will explore topics through interactive activities and through the museum's collection and exhibits.

The morning camp will be titled "Giant Animals: Past and Present," which will explore how elephants, whales and other modern giants live today and who were their predecessors that ruled the land. The afternoon camp will be "La Florida: An Archeological Exploration!," where campers will learn about Florida's past, what is means to be an archaeologist and how to protect Florida's cultural heritage.

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