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Summer Camp Ideas for South Florida Children

Fit2Play Summer Camp for Miami-Dade County Children

Have you decided what your children will be doing this summer? If you are seeking a fun, safe, fitness and nutrition-minded program for your child and you are a resident of Miami-Dade County, you have Fit2Play! We can all agree that staying indoors and playing video games all summer is not the healthy choice. So, the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation department has provided this wonderful environment for children to gain physical fitness, learn proper nutrition and establish lifelong friendships. And its Fit2Play.

Fit2Play is a national model dedicated to improving children’s physical fitness and motor skills, while also embracing the arts and nature. Qualified supervisors oversee all activities in a healthy outdoor atmosphere throughout 32 Miami-Dade County parks. In addition to Fit2Play programs, The Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation and Open Spaces Department offers summer programs, such as Cheerleading and Dance, Basketball, Golf, and Learn to Swim, children can also enjoy Arts-and-Crafts, Nature Detectives Camp, and Summer Arts Camp.

Early in 2014, First Lade Michelle Obama visited Miami to celebrate the 4th anniversary of her Lets Move! Initiative, and to commend Miami-Dade County for incorporating Fit2Play into the parks and rec department program. The county-wide program has partnered with the University of Miami and The Children’s Trust to design a program that encompasses fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyle, as well as safety and prevention. Camp counselors will also teach children about the important of going green and eco-friendly behavior, in general. Each day of camp begins with “Sports, Play And Recreation for Kids” (SPARK), which focuses on quality physical fitness activities. With parents’ permission, children can have their blood pressure monitored and overall progress examined and charted.

Fit2Play Summer Camps are available to children ages 6 to 14, and run from June 13 through August 12 (with some parks running through August 19). If you would like to register, please note the May 1 deadline. Per-week cost is between $40 and $90 per week and financial aid is available for those families who qualify. For more information and to register online, go to www.miamidade.gov/parks/activities-summer- camps.asp.

Please note an important number: 211. By dialing 211 from your cell or home telephone, you will reach The Children’s Trust Helpline. Completely funded by The Children’s Trust, this helpline provides information about summer camps and child care programs, in addition to important health and social services available in Dade and Broward Counties. Please be patient when calling. Hold times can be many minutes long. There is an “urgent” prompt you can reach by dialing 9 when the recording requests it, but only if you do not have an actual emergency. Always dial 911 when in medical or psychological crisis. You can also reach the Children’s Trust Helpline by texting your zip code to 898211 or by downloading the 211 South Florida app. Parents and caregivers, as well as adolescents can obtain real information — and not simply be referred to other government entities. If a parent is having difficulty effectively dealing with their teenage child during those often tumultuous and emotional teenage years, counselors at 211 will assist. Teenagers themselves can also call for assistance. Counselors at 211 can also provide advice regarding family counseling issues, such as children with disabilities, suspected child abuse and substance abuse in the household.

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