News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2014
Media Contact:
Laura Phillips
laf@miamidade.gov
305-755-7842

Miami-Dade County Parks' fun & affordable 'Fit2Play' Summer Camps encouraging kids to stay active & fit all summer long

Registration starts May 1st


(MIAMI, APRIL 14, 2014) – Don’t let your kids stay home watching TV and playing video games all summer.  Treat them to awesome outdoor activities in the fresh air and the opportunity to make new friends and life-long memories by enrolling them in one of the exciting Fit2Play Summer Camps offered by the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. Lauded by First Lady Michelle Obama during her February visit to Miami to celebrate the 4th anniversary of her “Let’s Move” initiative, Fit2Play is recognized by the National Recreation and Parks Association as a model program that makes fitness and nutrition fun for kids.  Managed by recreation professionals and conveniently located at 31 parks throughout the County from June 9, through August 15, 2014, camps will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and offer 7:30 a.m. early drop-off and 6:00 p.m. late pick-up options. 

At $40 – $90 per week, Miami-Dade Parks General Camps for kids ages 6 – 14 are affordable.  Financial assistance and scholarships are available to those who qualify.  General Camps will not only thrill and challenge your child, but are fully supervised, offering parents peace of mind, while their child enjoys a full recreational schedule with fitness activities, sports, arts and crafts, nature encounters, quiet games, and field trips.

Miami-Dade Parks has teamed up with partner sponsors, the University of Miami Health System (UHealth), the UM Miller School of Medicine, and The Children’s Trust, to provide the Fit2Play general camp program.  Children will learn the fundamentals of living a healthy lifestyle through nutrition, fitness and exercise, as well as safety and prevention.  In addition, children will learn about the health benefits of going green as they discover that a healthy planet is essential for a healthy life by learning the basics of recycling, water conservation and other eco-friendly behaviors that are beneficial for the planet.  

Each day’s session includes Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) activities. SPARK is an evidence-based, outcome-oriented active recreation component of Miami-Dade Parks Fit2Play programs, dedicated to improving the quantity and quality of physical activity that children engage in.  It is designed to develop and improve motor skills, movement knowledge, and social and personal skills. With parental permission, Miami-Dade County Parks will track and measure key health indicators in participants, such as blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI), assisting parents and children to make informed decisions about their fitness and nutrition needs. Upon completion of the programs, participants will know how much their fitness levels have improved through charted documentation.

In November 2012, the University of Miami UHealth System released their results of a year-long comprehensive study of children enrolled in the Miami-Dade Parks Fit2Play program, which concluded that the community-based intervention program is having a positive impact on the health of its participants and actually making them healthier.  

“An active lifestyle that combines outdoor recreation and healthy eating is key to winning the battle against childhood obesity.  This concept is most effective and sustainable in the Miami-Dade County Parks Fit2Play Program, because it encourages children to practice their newfound healthy-lifestyles knowledge at home by electing to eat nutritious food, engaging in more physical activity, and reducing their time in front of the computer and television.  Fit2Play is a national model,” said University of Miami UHealth Pediatrician Tracie L. Miller, M.D.

Miami-Dade County Parks’ camps are inclusive so children with disabilities may attend general camps.  Specialized camps exclusively for children with disabilities are also available and are managed by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists. There are also Specialized Camps which focus on a specific interest and offer unique experiences that include EcoAdventuresTM, Nature-Science, Sports, Cultural Arts, and Zoo Miami camps.  Specialized Camps also include Learn-to-Swim programs offered at all Miami-Dade County public pools, which are taught by American Red Cross certified water-safety instructors.  Specialized Camps are competitively priced, ranging from $100 – $255 per week. Camps for children with disabilities are FREE.

General and specialty camps also feature exciting field trips to sites such as Zoo Miami, Crandon Park Visitors and Nature Center, Deering Estate at Cutler, and Pelican Island. Campers will also enjoy the annual end-of-summer bash at the Tropical Park Equestrian Center which includes: games, sports competitions and lunch. 

Most of  the camps offer rolling registration, so parents can enroll their child for one week or for several weeks at any time throughout the summer, but they must register at least one week prior to the desired start date, in some cases.

Registration begins May 1, 2014.  Registration is available at any General or Specialized camp’s host park. Parents can also register their child for most of Miami-Dade County Parks’ exciting Summer Camps online at http://bit.ly/fit2play14. However, families in need of financial assistance must register and apply for assistance in person at their selected park. 

For more information, patrons are encouraged to visit the Miami-Dade County Parks website at www.miamidade.gov/parks, call their local park, or call 3 – 1 – 1 for Miami-Dade County Information.

Miami-Dade County Parks General Program Camps:

The cost for these camps is $40 – $90/week, depending on the program, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12.  Financial assistance is available to those who qualify. 

South Region

Central Region

North Region

MIAMI-DADE PARKS SPECIALIZED CAMPS:

June 16 – August 8

Zoofari Summer Camp at Zoo Miami (Ages 4 – 13)
Zoofari Summer Camp will be held June 16 August 8, 9:00 a.m.4:00 p.m. with extended care available. Please note that availability per age group varies per week. This fun-filled learning adventure for children includes live animal presentations, craft projects, zookeeper talks, wildlife enrichment activities, visits to exhibits, recreational games, and more!  Cost: $175 per week for Zoological Society of Florida (ZSF) members and $195 per week for non-members. Pre-registration is required.  Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami.  For more information visit: http://www.zoomiami.org/, email zoocamp@zsf.org, or call the Zoological Society of Florida at (305) 255-5551.

June 9 August 15     

EcoAdventures™ Nature Adventure Camps for Children and Teens
Boys and girls, together with naturalist guides that are certified in water safety, will have fun exploring the South Florida environment through a variety of fun and exciting activities in a safe park environment ranging from nature hikes on wooded trails, canoeing/kayaking (age 9 and older), swimming (guarded pools), playing interactive nature games, arts and crafts, field trips to local park preserves, Zoo Miami, Monkey Jungle, Crandon Park, Shark Valley in Everglades National Park and more. Camps hours are 9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m., Monday Friday, and offer 7:30 a.m. early drop-off and 6:00 p.m. late pick-up options. For additional information or to locate an EcoAdventures™ Camp near you, visit http://www.miamiecoadventures.org/, or see the below listing and contacts:

Nature Detectives (Ages 6 – 8) and Nature Explorers (Ages 9 – 14) Camps
Camps meet at the AD Barnes Park Nature Center, located at 3401 SW 72 Avenue, in Miami. The cost is $115 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12.  For more information, call (305) 662-4124.

Camp meets at the Greynolds Park Boathouse, located at 17530 West Dixie Highway, in North Miami Beach.  The cost is $115 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12.  For more information, call (305) 948-2891 or (305) 944-6111.

Marine science, South Florida ecology, and aquatic adventures are the focus of this unique camp. Campers will explore the coastal waters and off-shore coral reefs through snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding activities. Participants must be able to pass a mandatory swim test. The cost is $175 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. The excursion will launch from various locations. For more information, call (305) 662-4124.           

Developed in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, this camp is designed for kids who love fresh water fishing and want to improve their fishing skills.  They’ll learn about fish biology and get fishing tips and learn safe boating skills.  The camp is held July 22-August 16, at the Lake-side Pavilion in Tropical Park, located at 7900 SW 40 Street (Bird Road), in Miami.  There’s a ‘Fish Fry-Day Party’ on the last day of camp.  The cost is $145 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. For more information, call (305) 662-4124.

June 9 – August 15

Deering Estate at Cutler Summer Camps 
Campers will enjoy the Deering Estate at Cutler as a base camp for exploring South Florida habitats.  Weekly themed camps consist of three field trips (ZooMiami, state preserves, national parks, museums, cultural arts facilities, and more) and two days of nature-based learning with plenty of adventures ranging from hiking and biking to eco-art projects; plus water related activities like kayaking, canoeing and snorkeling for ages 9-14. Ten, five-day camp sessions are available. Each session features a different exciting theme!  For more information, please call the Deering Estate Ticket Office at (305) 235-1668 ext. 233 or visit www.deeringestate.org.  The Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue, in Miami.

Cost $125 for a five-day session, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. Camps run Monday – Friday, from 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., with late pickup running until 6:00 p.m. for an additional $10 a day.

Cost: $188 for a five-day session, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. Camps run Monday – Friday, from 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., with late pickup running until 6:00 p.m. for an additional $10 a day.

June 9 – 13

Junior Naturalist Program at the Deering Estate at Cutler (Ages 15 – 17)
The Junior Naturalist program is a five day training course that encourages youth to take an active role in environmental stewardship and education and prepares them to serve as peer mentors. The course includes certifications in American Red Cross First Aid and Adult/Child CPR in addition to an introduction to basic canoeing, South Florida ecosystems, and Leave No Trace. This counselor- in-training program provide service learning hours to participants and prepare the Junior Naturalist for experiences, internships, and other opportunities in environmental studies, natural sciences, nature based recreation, and volunteerism. The cost is $188 for the five-day session. There is a one-time $12 annual program registration fee. Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited, so please register early to secure placement. Camp hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.  For more information, please call the Deering Estate Ticket Office at (305) 235-1668 ext. 233 or visit http://www.deeringestate.org/.  The Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue, in Miami.

June 9 – August 15 
Cheerleading/Dance Camp at Tamiami Park (Ages 6
14)
Learn jumps, chants, and modern and jazz dance techniques. Program includes field trips.  The cost is $100 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12.  Camps hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, and offer 7:30 a.m. early drop-off and 6:00 p.m. late pick-up options. Tamiami Park is located at 10901 SW 24 Street, in Miami. For more information, call (786) 315-5295.

June 9 – August 15

Basketball Camp at Tamiami Park (Ages 8 14)
Trained staff will teach team and individual play using defensive and offensive drills to improve skills and knowledge of the game. The cost is $100/week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12.  Program includes field trips and tournaments. Camps hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, and offer 7:30 a.m. early drop-offs and 6:00 p.m. late pick-up options. Tamiami Park, 10901 SW 24 Street, Miami. For more information, call (786) 315-5295.

June 9 – August 15

Junior Golf Camp at the Country Club of Miami (Ages 8 – 15)
Resident instructor and PGA Professional, Larry Levow, has been featured on the Golf Channel and has taught golfers of all levels including PGA Tour players. Camp is held Monday – Friday and is offered in full-day (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) and half-day (9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) sessions. The cost is $255 per week for full-day sessions and $175 per week for half-day sessions – Includes instruction, golf clubs, practice balls, and short course play. Students must provide their own lunch. Country Club of Miami, located at 6801 NW 168 Street, in Miami.  For more information call (305) 828-8456, ext. 249 / mobile: (561) 702-9202, or visit www.floridagolflessons.com.

June 9 – August 15

“GEM” (Girls Empowerment & Mentoring) Summer Camps for Girls
GEM Summer Camps for Girls at The Women’s Park and Raices Hispanic Cultural Arts Center at Miller Drive Park focus on the role of women in the development of our community, the arts and science.  Participants will enjoy classes and workshops in the visual and performing arts, journalism, science, and women’s history. The GEM program challenges and inspires girls to develop and improve their communication, leadership and artistic skills. 

Camp hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.  The cost is $100 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12 - Includes early drop-off at 7:30 a.m.  and late pick-up until 6:00 p.m.  The Womens Park is located at 10251 West Flagler Street, in Miami. For more information, call (305) 480-1717

Camp hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.  The cost is $100 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12 - Includes early drop-off at 7:30 a.m. and late pick-up until 6:00 p.m. Raices at Miller Drive Park is located at 5510 SW 94 Court, in Miami.  For more information, call (305) 271-0812.

Learn-to-Swim Programs and Pools 

Learn-to-Swim
Miami-Dade County Parks Learn-to-Swim classes are taught by certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors. Learn-to-Swim classes include Parent and Tot (Ages 2 – 5), Levels 1-6 (Ages 6 – 18) and Adults.  For more information or to register, contact the pool of your interest.

Pools
Miami-Dade County Parks’ pools are open for swimming, fun, exercise programs and Learn-to Swim programs.  Fees vary for each facility. Pool lifts are available at ALL pools. Call the pool of your choice for more information. (*) Pool offices at these locations are seasonal.

About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/.

Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit www.liveaparklife.org.

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call (305) 755-7848.