Summer program roundup


School’s out for summer – and parents who don’t have a plan to keep the kids busy might already need hearing the “I’m bored!” cries, but luckily the Vero Beach area hosts a wide array of summer programs and camps catering to all ages from preschool to high school.

Families can find outdoor and indoor camps ranging from nature studies to chess, baking to tennis, musical drama to art on the barrier island. Venturing just over the bridge there’s sailing, and further mainland team sports camps and pickleball camps will give kids a way to work off energy, build skills and stave off boredom. Science and robotics camps offer hands-on learning to spark an interest in STEM subjects. 

  • Environmental Learning Center: The ELC’s Lagoon Island Adventures run through Aug. 9. Programs and dates depend on the camper’s grade. Themes include Homes and Habitats, Sea to Shore and Wildlife Wonders.
  • Jolly Roger Adventures at St. Edward’s: Sportscard trading, musical drama, water activities, chess, SAT boot camp, ooey gooey science, and a pirate bake-off are among the many offerings at Jolly Roger Adventures. Beginning and end dates vary depending on the activity.
  •  Riverside Racquet Club: The 2024 Riverside and Mardy Fish Summer Camp runs through Aug. 2. Campers engage in skill-building drills, games and matches.
  • Vero Beach Museum of Art: Summer Art Camp runs through July 26 for ages 5 to 16. Campers will explore artmaking techniques, materials and movements and experience weekly themed classes culminating with “I Love Rock and Roll.” At the end of each week, campers’ artwork is displayed. This summer’s exhibition is Rock ’N’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip: Photographs by Robert Landau.
  • Youth Sailing Foundation: The YSF sailing camps run through August 2 for youth ages 8 to 13 for beginners and 8 to 15 for intermediate sailors. Students can register for up to four of the eight weeks. Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lunch and a camp T-shirt are included in the fee.
  • Sebastian River Junior Woman’s Club Science Camp: The long-time GFWC Juniors’ club’s Science Camp is held from July 8 to 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sebastian United Methodist Church. Space is limited, and the $50 registration fee covers lunch, two snacks, a backpack, a camp shirt, all safety glasses, an apron, and all experiments and needed equipment.
  • Helping Hands: Helping Hands Program of South County offers an eight-week camp for students from kindergarten to grade 12 with varying activities depending on the grade. Outings to bowling, movies and skating make up part of some of the days. The camp runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call Helping Hands of South County for details.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs: Kids summer programs run for 10 weeks through Aug. 9 in Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmere. Scholarships are available and the program is free for high school students. Activities include volleyball, basketball, soccer, E-Sports, field trips, and more.
  • Gifford Youth Achievement Center: The GYAC’s summer camp includes morning education and afternoon recreation. Life Skills, Science Institute of Discovery, and Coding and Robotics are among the morning activities, and swimming, bowling, skating, rowing, and field trips in the afternoon. The camp runs through Aug. 2. Need-based scholarships are available.
  • Crossover Mission: The summer program takes place Monday through Thursday afternoon from June 17 to July 18 and is open to student athletes. Activities include local cultural excursions and field trips.
  • Indian River County Recreation: Kids summer programs include a babysitter training program from July 1 to 3 for children 11 and older at the Gifford Aquatic Center; a Junior Lifeguard program for 12- to 14-year-olds from June 10 to 20 at North County and July 5 to 25 at Gifford. The camps are from Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a beach day on the Friday after camp ends.

Summer Sports Camp takes run from June 17 to 21 at the county Intergenerational Center, and Pre-School tumbling for ages 4 to 5 run on Fridays at the IG Center. For more information, go to Indian River County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. 

For those students needing to boost their academic skills, the Indian River County School District remedial summer school runs through June 28. 

Third grade reading camp is for all third graders that did not meet the benchmark mastery. “We want to ensure that every third grader meets mastery,” said Dr. Deborah Taylor-Long, Director of Extended Learning Services. Students will take another test to determine if they met mastery after remediation, and those who do not will have a portfolio assessment. “We try to give them every opportunity,” Taylor-Long said. 

Remediation programs run for grades six through 12, with high priority given to seniors who did not pass all of their classes. “This is the last opportunity to graduate with their year,” said Taylor-Long. 

Second in line are grade 8 students who failed three semesters or more. They can attend summer school to make up for the semesters they failed. “It’s a real blessing.” 

According to Taylor-Long, each school has 50 slots open. If the slots are filled, students waiting can move into another child’s slot as soon as it opens.

Literacy on the Lagoon and Moonshot Academy are both sponsored by the Learning Alliance for elementary students. The Moonshot Academy offers remediation on skills and strategies for first and second grade students as well as third grade students who passed for the year but can use extra support. “We’re trying to shore up their skill set,” Taylor-Long said. 

Extended day camp for children in grades Kindergarten through five runs through Aug. 4. There are two sites, Liberty Magnet and Rosewood Magnet, and room for 120 students per site. The camp is first come, first served, and parents pay the fees. 

There’s also a Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten state-funded program that runs through July 18.

Additional programs and further details are available on the School District of Indian River County website.

Photos provided

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