It’s only the start of spring, but before you know, the dog days of summer will be upon us. What can you do to keep the kids entertained? Where can they go to try new things, learn how to swim, meet new friends and have great adventures and even learn about places and cultures far away? There are many options to choose from locally that will fit the bill.

The staff at the Osprey Observer has collected the top recommendations for local summer camps and created this special pull out section.

Maybe your kids would like to spend the summer ‘horsing around.’ R&R Ranch offers just that opportunity, and not just to learn to horseback ride, but also about the care of the horses.

At Music Showcase, music and theatre take the stage and so can your child. Musicals such as Mary Poppins jr. and Fiddler on the Roof jr. will be offered, and your child can hold starring roles in these and other popular musicals offered from the Florida Academy of Performing Arts for children ages 5 and up.

For your actor or musician, check out Firehouse Cultural Center and Patel Conservatory also offer fun and exciting ideas.

The local YMCAs will offer many types of camps which mix fun along with great learning experiences. With plenty of choices, there is something for everyone.

Mathnasium is the place to help give them a strong start in the fall.

For dates, prices and registration information on these and more, turn the page and enjoy this special section and have a great summer.

Do you have a child interested in cooking? Check out Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium’s Cooking Camps for Kids through Teens.

With weekly themes utilizing age-specific activities and field trips that make BSAC unique, your kids will enjoy every moment of summer camp.

Did we miss one?

Let us know by e-mailing subject line “Summer Camp” to and we will be sure to add our full listing online and in future editions.


Brandon Sports & Aquatics (BSAC) impacts lives and the community as a whole by providing over 10,000 swim lessons per year, in conjunction with its mission to prevent youth drowning. It also provides quality affordable childcare for working families. There is programming for the special needs population with its Team Trident Program, which is focused on three main areas: active recreation, proper socialization and interpersonal skills, and independent life skills.

There is something at BSAC for every child. Over the past 55 years local families have counted on BSAC to provide year-round, quality sports, recreation and educational experiences for their children. We are a favorite of working parents who want to feel good about where they are leaving their kids every day; that the kids are safe, are learning valuable athletic and social skills and are practicing good leadership.

Summer Camp at BSAC is a place for all children to be active, exploratory, creative, independent, playful, friendly, and confident. Join in for BSAC’s Passport to Adventure where your child will experience food, games and culture from all around the world. Both full day, half day and drop-in options at an affordable rate are offered. There are field trips weekly for all ages too.

Every week the children will ‘travel’ to a new region of the globe, earning passport stamps as they go. They will dazzle you with the stories of their daily adventures as they bring out their inner Beast Mode in Africa and Seas the Day exploring the Islands.

Along with the Summer Camp Experience, additional programming, such as swim lessons are offered. The Learn to Swim Program is the most comprehensive swim lesson program in our area, working with ages six months and up. These are conveniently offered during your child’s Summer Camp day.


Bricks 4 Kidz Tampa is back with awesome LEGO® Summer Camps being offered all over the Brandon, Riverview, and Valrico areas. Join in for a different theme each week such as Star Wars, Minecraft, Ninjago, and much more! Each week our campers will be building signature Bricks 4 Kidz robotic LEGO® models, very popular LEGO® mosaics and 3D LEGO® sculptures, as well as playing fun games and creating arts and crafts projects they will get to take home. At the end of each week, every camper will get to take home their very own LEGO® mini figure. Each day and week will be a brand new LEGO® adventure you won’t want to miss.

Below is the schedule for the camps being offered at nearby locations:

We Rock The Spectrum in Valrico, Monday to Friday, June 18-22: LEGO® STAR WARS Camp; July 9 – July 13: LEGO® Movies Camp and July 30 – August 3: LEGO® Superheroes and Villains.

Livingstone Academy Campuses in Seffner, Riverview, and Bloomingdale: May 29 – June 1: LEGO® STAR WARS-Mincraft Mashup Camp (Seffner Campus); Monday to Friday, June 25 – 29: Autism Spectrum LEGO Club Brandon Area LEGO Camp Morning Session (Bloomingdale) and July 23-July 27: LEGO® Mashup Camp (Riverview Campus).

Sign up today at or call 545-4282.

Musical Theater And Much More Offered At Firehouse Cultural Center

The Firehouse Cultural Center will be offering Summer Camp through the summer. It is located at 101 1st Ave. NE in Ruskin.

Week 1: June 4 – June 8 – Musical Theater I; Week 2: June 11 – June 15; Musical Theater II

Week 3: June 18 – June 22; Musical Theater III; Week 4: June 25 – June 29; Musical Theater IV

Week 5: July 2 – July 6; No Camp on Wednesday, July 4; Week 6: July 9 – July 13; The Art of Printmaking

Week 7: July 16 – July 20; Cartooning & Animation; Week 8: July 23 – July 27; Robotics-Materials Fee for Robotics: $50

Week 9: July 30 – August 3; Robotics -Materials Fee for Robotics: $50.

For more information, call 645-7651 or visit

Dance, Music And Theater Camps Take Center Stage At Patel Conservatory

Registration is now open for Patel Conservatory dance, music and theater summer camps and classes, which begin the week of May 29.

Nearly 70 camps and classes are offered, most with performance opportunities, for students of all ages and abilities.

Some camps and classes require auditions. Theater auditions will be held March 29, April 19 and May 18 and music auditions will be held April 7 and May 5. Auditions for Patel Conservatory Popular Dance (PCPD) classes will be held April 7. Registration for auditions is required.

Additional information about the Patel Conservatory, including audition scheduling, is available at and by calling 222-1040.

Nearly $200,000 in scholarships will be awarded for Patel Conservatory camps and classes this summer. Scholarship applications are available online and the priority deadline is April 16.

The Patel Conservatory offers classes in dance, music and theater for students of all ages and experience levels. Each year, the Patel Conservatory and the Straz Center’s arts education programs enrich the lives of more than 70,000 students in our classrooms, on our stages and through the community.

The Patel Conservatory is located at the Straz Center, 1010 N Macinnes Pl. in Tampa. Visit

Busch Gardens Offers Exciting And Educational Camp Programs

Busch Gardens’ Summer Day Camp is a time to make new friends, try new things, come face-to-face with a giraffe and challenge North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower.

For more than 25 years, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has provided children with inspiring, exciting and educational experiences with some of the best Tampa summer camp options found anywhere. A variety of Summer Day Camps to fit your student’s grade level and interest are offered.

Different programs are offered for kids in grades K through 8th. Day Camps include daily lunches, snacks and drinks, a Camp T-shirt and a water bottle, complimentary photo with a Busch Gardens animal ambassador and complimentary admission to Busch Gardens following camp each day for camper.

For students in grades 9-12, Busch Gardens offers Counselor in Training. If you are looking for something fun to do this summer, that will provide you with valuable career experience, then the Busch Gardens Counselor in Training program (CIT) is the summer camp program for you. This week-long program offers a real opportunity to learn from the best. Expert educators will share their experience and knowledge with you on topics from child development to zoo careers and environmental awareness. Complete a specialized orientation and participate side by side with camp counselors during the summer day camp programs. Application required.

Information is available at

If your child is looking for a home-away experience, Busch Gardens Summer Resident Camp offers this chance for students. Busch Gardens Summer Resident Camps have combined nature and thrills to create a unique one-of-a-kind experience. Based out of a secure onsite dormitory, Mzinga Lodge, camper’s grades 5 through college are provided with an all-inclusive camp experience from start to finish.

Come Experience The World With Kids R Kids

Some of the fun summer programs taking place at Kids R Kids this summer include:

Kid Power – Explore heroes around the world to create an unforgettable superhero story of your own that combines STEAM concepts with special powers.

Epic Escape – Solve ‘the-who-done- it’ cases from favorite children’s liaterature and global mysteries throughout history. Use secret code detective work, teamwork and problem-solving to reveal the plots of epic literature.

Melting Pot – Get involved in making the world a better place by visiting new cultures, exploring unique languages, cooking up new recipes using math and science and creating new traditions for your family.

Mind Blast – Build an original, interactive game using recycled materials found in your community. This is a fun-focused week that fuses innovation, imagination and conservation.

Pay it Forward – Create a lasting impression on the world by expressing your kindness and goodwill through community-focused projects and cooperative games that will unite everyone involved.

Other fun weeks include Creative Destination, Steam Revolution, Cloud Exploration, Habitat Hunters, Globe Trotters and Our Town.

Kids ‘R’ Kids has two locations:

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Valrico is located at 4321 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico. Call 657-6200 for more information and Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa/FishHawk, 5815 Kids Crossing Dr. Call 654-7000 for more information.


Spend The Summer At R&R Ranch Horsin’ Around

Summer Campers will enjoy riding and caring for horses at family-owned R&R Ranch.

It specializes in safe enjoyable horse experiences. The name stands for ‘Rest” and “Relaxation’ and also offers pony parties,  trail riding lessons, horse boarding, playgroups and horse camps. 

Summer Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Monday to Friday. Early and late pickup can be arranged.

Student’s ages 6 to 12 years are invited to attend.

Campers will enjoy: a daily trail ride or lesson, pony painting, hay rides, lots of games, snowball fight, learning how to care for horses and farm animals, bounce castle, Lunch and disco in the air conditioned camp house.

There is a petting zoo with baby bunnies, chicks, ducks and baby pigs. Kids will also get to enjoy arts and crafts and more.

Campers should wear closed toe shoes and comfortable clothes. They will also need a swim suit if they want to participate in the water activities. Campers will need to bring their lunch and lots to drink.  Sunscreen and bug spray are also recommended. Safety helmets will be provided.

R&R Ranch is located at 9805 Bryant Rd. in Lithia. Visit

Improve Math Performance Over The Summer At Mathnasium Brandon

Incorporating math studies into a student’s summer routine brings other significant benefits. “Take advantage of the more relaxed environment of summer break as a golden opportunity to improve math performance,” suggests Becky McDaniels, Center Director at Mathnasium Brandon and Mathnasium @home.

Mathnasium’s new @Home tutoring program will also help students keep up on their math skills from virtually anywhere.

“During the summer, children have a lot of unstructured time, allowing them to unplug their busy minds and begin making different connections. These are ideal conditions for effectively absorbing new information and having a sudden ‘aha’ moment when concepts click into place. McDaniels has found the summer months to be a great opportunity for students to work on mathematics and have seen children make great strides with a serious commitment of just two to three hours a week all while having a great time.

Call 655-MATH or visit online at to schedule summer sessions at your neighborhood center or at home using its Mathnasium @home program and combat the summer slide from virtually anywhere.

Mathnasium will also be offering a coding/robotics camp this year on Sunday, June 17 and July 15. More dates to be added based on enrollment.

Mathnasium of Brandon is located at 1048 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico in Plaza Bella.

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium Is Cook Up Some Summer Fun

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium’s Summer Camps are a great way to learn new skills in the kitchen, create tasty recipes, and meet lots of new friends. The only things you need to be prepared are closed toe shoes and a restraint for shoulder length hair.  All the ingredients, tools, and even the fun is included.  

Students are taught how to properly use real kitchen tools, knives, and appliances safely under adult supervision. Students come away with the confidence to prepare dishes that are age appropriate and tasty. The goal is to encourage your child to be a help in the kitchen and to have fun while building a lifetime of good skills. 
Cooking Camps for kids ages 6-9 will take place from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. daily and the tween’s and teen’s Summer Camps, ages 10-15) will take place from 2-4:30 p.m.

Camps will take place weekly for four days and run from May 29 through August 2.

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium is located at Brandon Crossroads, 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Call 653-2418 or visit

Your Kids Will Enjoy Their Best Summer Ever At YMCA Camps

The area YMCA’s offer a lot of options for summer camp fun. With the full day camp experience, campers enjoy days full of themed camp fun like arts and crafts, swimming games and more.

Specialty Full Day Camps include time throughout the week spent engaged in activities specific to the specialty chosen.

If your camper is looking to spend an entire day immersed in something they are passionate about, the Aquatics, Sports, Teen or Gymnastics camps may be for them.

Is your camper looking for a unique adventure? Two camp options may be YMCA Camp Cristina or The First Tee of Tampa Bay.

Preschool and Adaptive Camps are offered at a few locations too.

For more information at some of the local Y’s, call North Brandon Family YMCA at 685-5402, Campo Family YMCA at 684-1371, YMCA Camp Cristina at 677-8400 and Spurlino Family YMCA at Big Bend Road at 228-9622.

Enjoy The Summer Scene 2018 At The Florida Academy Of Performing Arts

Full and half day camps are available for kids ages 5 and up at The Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) at Music Showcase.

Kids will enjoy music, acting, guitar and drums, field trips, singing and games and more.

Musical Theatre productions of Mary Poppins jr., Seussical, Fiddler on the Roof jr. and Junie B. Jones The Musical jr. will all take place this summer.

Daily themes will include Wicked, The Greatest Showman, Frozen, Hamilton and more.

For more information, call 490-2787 or visit

Second Annual Family-Friendly Summer Camp Expo

The Family-Friendly Summer Camp Expo (Tampa Edition) will kick off on Saturday, April 7 from 4-7 p.m. at the George M. Steinbrenner Field in connection with the Tampa Tarpons MLB team Inaugural Home Opener. When families pre-register online, they can take advantage of discounted $1 admission tickets to the Expo and the game.

The Summer Camp Expo will offer a one-stop shop to local summer camps, summer activities, special needs camps, family products and services. The first 250 families will receive a free swag bag. Kids can run the bases, get player autographs, enjoy a fun Kids Zone, live entertainment, and so much more. There will be lots of giveaways and prizes up for grabs. Make sure to stay for the post-game fireworks. Visit for ticket info.