Registration open now for Mackle Park, YMCA youth summer camps

Special to the Sun Times

Registration is now open for both city parks and rec and YMCA summer camps.

• The city of Marco Island Mackle Park’s annual Camp Mackle camp will run June 8-Aug. 5. Camp Mackle will be in session Monday through Friday, except for July Fourth, from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. The city’s community center is at 1361 Andalusia Terrace.

• The Greater Marco Family YMCA’s annual summer camps run from June 13-Aug. 12 and aside from the Y’s Sand Hill Street campus, they’ll be held at Lely, Parkside and Manatee elementary schools, and Manatee Middle School.

Camp Mackle

“To kick off Camp Mackle’s sixth summer our exploration is ‘Mysteries of the Galaxy,’” said Lola Dial, recreation manager. “We’ll have special guest speakers and presentations, field trips, specialty craft projects, games, athletics and other significant experiences.”

Camp Mackle, according to Dial, “is a unique opporutnity for children to engage in hands-on activities led by our trained, motivated counseling staff which will expand their knowledge, activate their creativity and excite their curiosity of the world around them.”

Here’s the upcoming camp schedule for youngsters in grades one through five:

June 8-10: Ground Control;

June 13-17: Prepare for lift off ... 3,2,1 blast off!

June 20-24: Milky Way/supernovae;

June 27-July 1: Search for extra terrestrials;

July 4: Closed for holiday;

July 5-8: Magnetic spinners;

July 11-15: Black hole;

July 18-22: Dark matter;

July 25-29: Dodging comets and asteroids;

Aug. 1-5: Danger, danger! Hurricane forecast;

Aug. 8-12: Camp Mackle closed.

This year, campers will be assigned to groups, according to the grade they just completed.

Camp Mackle does not provide food for campers, the city asks parents to pack their child a morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack daily. Campers will not have the opportunity to microwave/heat their lunches or store them in the park’s refrigerator, but throughout the summer, the camp will host special food days, based on the week’s theme, and an additional cost is associated with these activities.

Rates are $20 per day, or $80 per week. Walk-ins are welcome. Families have the option of purchasing a $100 punch card good for any five days of camp, or $630 for full summer.


“This year, we’re really excited because our Marco summer camp will be housed within our new Youth Development Center,” said Charlene Garcia, the Y’s school-age coordinator, of the $1.2 million, 5,750 square-foot structure that opened in October. “Before, we had a little clubhouse and we were maxed-out on space but now we have the facilities and the programs. Marco is growing and the Y is growing, and this new building is going to enable us to do so much more.”

Children in k through fifth grade can take part, although elementary school children must be 5 years of age by June 1 to participate. The hours of operation vary for each camp location.

The camps offer an assortment of values-based, recreational and educational activities, such as swimming, arts and crafts, gym time, sports and outdoor exploring, along with free breakfast and lunch. There are also weekly field trips, special guest visitors and a different theme each week. For example, June 13-17 will be “Let’s Get Fit for Fun” week, while July 4-July 8 will be “Carnival Craze Week.”

The special guest visitors will include former professional athletes from Sports World Ministries, who conduct field activities and leadership-focused discussions.

New this year is a fitness program that includes assessing campers at the start, midpoint and end of the camp.

Pool days for kids from all camp sites will held be at the Dottie Weiner Aquatics Center, as well as “Big Bang” parties every Friday. Families are welcome to attend the parties, which could include children and staff dressing up in costumes inspired by the weekly theme.

Campers at the Y campus will utilize computers in the new technology center. They will also tend vegetables, fruits and herbs planted by kids from the after-school program as part of the new Green Thumb program nutrition education program. The produce will be used in preparing healthy snacks and meals in the new center’s Publix Super Market kitchen.

More information

The Greater Marco Family YMCA is at 101 Sand Hill St., or call 394-9622. Mackle Park is 1361 Andalusia Terrace, call 642-0575.