Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Nothing for Kids To Do? County Summer Camps To The Rescue

Want to keep your kids engaged and active over their summer break? Let them try archery. Or play basketball. Or work on interesting, challenging craft projects. All those activities are available at Hillsborough County’s popular summer camps for children.
Open registration for the camps has begun. Camps are offered for kids ages 6-12, and from 12-15, and adaptive recreation for ages 5-22. The camps are open from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday from June 5-August 4.

Children can learn, play, and grow in a safe and supervised environment as they explore new places and activities with their peers. The camps offer arts and crafts, sports, and other recreational activities to keep kids entertained and physically active.
Rates for a two-week session are $76, or $60 with a reduced lunch letter, and $40 with a free lunch letter. For more information, visit 
Parents are encouraged to register early as some camps fill up quickly.

Tampa YMCA Invites Families To Take Charge During Free Healthy Kids Day® Events

On Saturday, April 29, the community is invited to free Healthy Kids Day® events hosted at nine Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA locations from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The goal of Healthy Kids Day is to teach healthy habits for kids and families; encourage physical and mental play and inspire a lifetime love of exercise.

“At the Y, we believe charged up kids achieve amazing things. We see it all the time. When a child is healthy, happy, motivated and excited…watch out…because something amazing is inevitably going to result,” said Communications Director Lalita Llerena. “As that child grows and fulfills their full potential, they will truly make the world a better place for everyone.” 

Healthy Kids Day is a free community event to help parents begin thinking early about ways to keep their kids both physically and intellectually active this summer. It is the largest event of its kind in the nation, taking place at over 1,600 Ys committed to taking on summer to address critical gaps in health and education.

As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder that a child’s development is never on vacation. The Y is here to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer. Each participating YMCA has more information on what type of free activities and food they’ll offer during their Healthy Kids Day event. Visit

Healthy Living Challenge At Campo Y

Join Campo Family YMCA for a healthy living challenge to support its Annual Campaign as well as to provide healthy fun ending with a celebration including prizes, food fun and more.

This challenge will be from Saturday, April 22 to Friday, May 19. Each participant logs their total “Healthy Minutes” spent at the Y with a goal of completing the American Heart Association’s recommended 150 active minutes each week.

Try for the Y Mini Triathlon. Challenge Day Triathlon will take place on Saturday, May 20. You can participate as an individual or team. Your distance will be tracked for prizes. Triathlon includes 20 minute treadmill run, 20 minute bike ride in the spin studio and 20 minute lap swim in the pool.

Celebration day on May 20 will include prizes and drawings for those who participated in either event.

Campo Y is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Call 684-1371 for more information. 
Valencia Lakes “Community Resources Expo” A Huge Success

Valencia Lakes inaugural “Community Resources Expo” was held on Wednesday, March 29 at the Valencia Lakes Social Hall in Wimauma. Nearly 800 residents registered for this informative event which featured 62 booths. Hillsborough County, State of Florida and Federal Government departments and agencies, as well as local non-profits and support agencies, all participated in the Expo which ran from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Expo featured opening remarks by County Commissioner Stacy White, who presented Valencia Lakes with a “commendation” from the BOCC. Major Bullara of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department also spoke.

Valencia Lakes residents were able to recycle their used electronics, shred no longer needed documents and donate blood, at the event. The Florida Highway Patrol also presented demonstrations throughout the morning using their “Crash Rollover Simulator”, which shows what happens to crash test dummies who don’t wear their seatbelts.

This was the largest event of its kind to be held at Valencia Lakes.

Pepin Academies Celebrates New Riverview School

On February 24, Pepin Academies hosted a very well-attended Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the brand-new campus in Riverview. Along with several members of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce that were on hand, there were also elected officials, Pepin board members, staff, students and benefactors, to participate in the celebration.

Tom Pepin, member of the Pepin Family, founding patrons of Pepin Academies, was on hand to congratulate everyone involved in the creation of this school. Ken Hagan, Hillsborough County Commissioner, was also on hand and delivered a commendation to the school. A lively staff of energetic, highly-qualified teachers and support personnel are dedicated to providing each and every student a nurturing, fun, and meaningful academic and social experience despite their learning disabilities.

This new Riverview campus has a true school atmosphere with lunchroom, media center, gym and more. It is located at 9304 Camden Field Pkwy. in Riverview. It is now accepting applications. Visit for more details.

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.