Spring break camps for K-12 are in the air in Alachua County

Girls Place Inc. Summer Day Camp empowers girls to become courageous, strong and self-sufficient. (Photo courtesy of Susan Powers )

Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.

For the past several years, Elizabeth Lear has found ways to keep her children learning while having fun during spring break.

This year, she has enrolled her two children, 10 and 12, in a horseback riding camp at Sunrise Farm in Alachua.

She wants them to be outside and enjoying themselves in an unstructured environment, unlike a classroom.

Yet, by horseback riding, they're still learning and being challenged, she said.

"It's really like a vacation," said Lear, a professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. "It feels much more exotic."

Spring break for Alachua County's elementary, middle and high schools is March 25-29, and that means time off for students but maybe not for parents.

Alachua County public schools also will be out April 1 for a teacher work day, said Jackie Johnson, the Alachua County School District spokesperson.

Area spring break camps provide an alternative for those parents who can't take the week off from work.

Patty Connolly, who owns Sunrise Farms, said spring break camps allow children to try new activities.

Camps let kids try different sports and experience versatility, said Eric Warm, the head of marketing for Camp Sunny at Sun Country Sports Center. Camps socialize and engage kids, he added.

Here are several spring break camps being offered.

Patty Connolly Horseback riding Camp at Sunrise Farm

Campers learn to groom and saddle/bridle a horse in addition to learning the mechanics of riding. After a morning of horsemanship and riding, campers have lunch, swim in the pool, and return to the horses for more riding and/or horse feeding and care. Beginner to advanced instruction available.

Dates: March 25-29

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (half-day pick-up at 1 p.m.)

Ages: 8 and older

Location: Sunrise Farms, 17305 NW 62nd Ave., Alachua

Cost: $65/full day, $50/half day or $250/week

Contact: Patty Connolly at 226-0706

Camp Sunny's Spring Break Camp

Campers participate in five full days of activities, including swimming, playing and making friends in a safe, COA approved gym.

Dates: March 25-29

Location: Sun Country Sports Center, 333 SW 140th Terrace, Jonesville

Contact: 331-8773

Fencing Adventure Camp

Campers experience a fun and safe introduction to the modern sport with warm-up exercises, physical conditioning, footwork and fencing skills that build a foundation for the world's fastest and safest martial art.

Dates: March 25-29

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (full day) or 8 a.m. to noon/1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (half day)

Ages: Students in second through 12th grades

Cost: $150/week (half-day) or $200/week (full-day)

Location: The Unified Training Center, 809 W. University Ave.

Contact: Coach Brian Harper at 262-0184, coachharper@gmail.com or www.floridafencingacademy.com

French, Fun, Food and Foreign Languages Spring Camp

Enjoy croissants, crêpes, chocolate, fairy tales, songs, games, prizes, cinema and drama in a relaxed, age-appropriate curriculum in French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish or Tamil. Reading, writing, listening and speaking skills are encouraged with proper pronunciation and native accent.

Dates: March 25-29 with year-round classes available on weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Hours and Costs: Several options are available. Choose full, eight-hour days, half-day morning or afternoon sessions for $35/half day or four-hour sessions for $25. (French half-day is $30 and four-hour session is $20.) Free French is available when enrolled in any other language, and free extended care is available.

Ages: 4-14

Location: École Française, 8520 NW Second Place

Contact: Judy Charudattan at 332-8198 or www.frenchfunfood.com

Girls Place Inc. Spring Break Camp

Girls are empowered to become courageous, strong and self-sufficient, and are inspired to celebrate themselves, their minds, their hearts and their physical well-being. Campers are engaged in structured, age-appropriate activities meant to enhance their overall wellness, including field trips and community service.

Dates: March 25-29 and April 1

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (early drop-off available at 7 a.m. for an additional fee).

Ages: Girls 5-18

Cost: $20/day

Location: 2101 NW 39th Ave.

Contact: 343-4475, info@girlsplace.net or www.girlsplace.net

Camp Good News

Campers learn life skills gleaned from the Bible and the adventures of missionaries from around the world in addition to participating in exciting activities.

Dates: March 25-29

Ages: 5-12

Location: 120 Twin Lakes Road, Hawthorne.

Contact: 481-3550, 378-0949,campgoodnews@gmail.com or www.campgoodnewsfl.com

The Pony Paddock at Cedar Lane

This camp, perfect for the "horse-crazy kid," is designed to teach children what it would be like to own their own horse. This camp has a double-certified instructor to ensure each camper's safety. Campers ride twice per day and learn how to take care of horses.

Dates: March 25-29 and April 1-3

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ages: 6-16

Contact: 386-853-0615 or ponypaddock@windstream.net

Spring Hitting and Defense Clinics at UF

Campers receive quality one-on-one hitting and defense instruction.

Date: April 1

Hours: 10 a.m. to noon (hitting) and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (defense).

Ages: 8-18

Cost: $70/clinic. Register for a hitting and defense clinic and receive a $10 discount

Contact: Brittany Souilliard at 375-4683, ext. 5554, or www.gatorzone.com/camps

Elite Prospect ID Camp/Spring Soccer Camp at UF

The Elite Prospect ID Camp for girls provides the ideal developmental atmosphere for the serious soccer player with ambitions of playing collegiate soccer. Players gain a better understanding of what it takes academically, are introduced to the UF Strength and Conditioning program, receive specific training to advance to the next level and gain insight on the recruiting process.

Dates: April 20-21

Cost: $162

Contact: KeLeigh Hudson at 375-4683, ext. 5558, keleighh@gators.ufl.edu or www.gatorzone.com/camps

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