The camp is geared to kids ages 5 to 16, and campers must be able to keep themselves afloat without assistance. Beginners start off with a soft foam board that won’t scare them if they accidentally get conked in the head, Zimmerman said. And instructors will be on hand to do the hard work, pushing the kids into the waves, because they are usually not strong enough to do it on their own.
Instructors are matched to campers in at least a one-to-five ratio, and kids learn about ocean safety and about the marine life they see on a reef when snorkeling.
“But it’s mostly about having fun in the water,” Zimmerman said.
Camps are $179 for half-day, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and $249 for full day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North Ocean Park in Pompano Beach, 954-673-8933. Visit www.livingwatersurfschool.com.
Get on stage
Kids who crave the excitement of acting in a live theater production can try the Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre’s Summer Stage Camp for second- through 10th-graders. Organized into two four-week sessions, each session produces a musical: Snow White, Honk, Jr., Pirates of Penzance or The Magical Land of Oz.
“We get a big mix of kids, some who are trying acting for the first time, and those who have done theater for years,” said Lauren Formica, associate director of the summer camp. Campers audition for all parts, but everyone gets cast in the show, she said.
Besides rehearsals, the kids also work with a choreographer for the show and to learn an all-camp number. They work on art projects like props, smaller set pieces and take-home crafts. They study vocal techniques such as projection, and learn the songs in the show. At the end of each camp, the kids do a day performance for about 1,000 kids from other camps, and a night performance for parents.
Young theater enthusiasts ages 4 to 7 can try Storybook Adventures Camp, which offers arts and crafts and games that bring stories and books to life, Formica said. At the end of each weeklong session, kids dress in costumes and act out stories for parents on a studio stage.
“This is a much smaller and younger group, but they still get to do a production,” Formica said.
Summer Stage Camp is $850 per four-week session from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Galleria Mall, 2542 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Storybook Adventure Camp is $250 a week from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Galleria. Before- and after-care is available. Call 954-763-6882 or visit www.flct.org.
Saddle up for some horseback riding fun at LFE Riding Institute in Southwest Ranches, where kids will not only get to ride horses, but learn a little about self-exploration, said Luisa Escudero, owner.
“Through the horses, they learn that every action has a reaction,” Escudero said.
Campers will learn basic equine and barn management, including horse nutrition and behavior. They’ll learn proper tacking and saddling, and have riding lessons on the eight horses available on the 2 ½-acre property. The horses are of the Paso Fino breed, which has a smooth gait, not the heavy trot of a Quarter Horse, Escudero said. It’s a good match for beginning riders.
“When you ride, your body hardly bounces off the seat,” she said.
Escudero, who moved to the United States from Colombia when she was 2, said her father was one of the first to bring the Paso Fino breed into the United States. She uses the time spent around the horses to help kids explore their own emotions. Campers work on a group art project, including one where they paint the horses with nontoxic paint. They also play on water slides and do other water activities.
The camp is $250 a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 17331 SW 65th Ct. in Southwest Ranches. Call 305-879-9244 or visit www.lferidinginstitute.com.