Firehouse Cultural Center wraps summer camp, ‘kids had a ball’
By LOIS KINDLE
Summer camp offerings by the Firehouse Cultural Center ended with lots of happy kids and parents this year.
“It completely exceeded my expectations,” said Sarah Gallo, of Apollo Beach. “My kids (Pia, 9, and Tommy, 8) came home happy every day.
“I initially read about all the different camps in The Observer News and felt it would be a nice change of pace for them,” she continued. “The educators were all highly qualified, and my kids said the volunteers were amazing. My daughter asked if she could be one when she’s old enough. They were really excited and creatively challenged.”
That was the intent, said Beth Stein, the cultural center’s programs manager.
“We offered some brand new, unique camps that offered brand new, unique experiences,” like Photography, Immersive Art and Foley Sound Creation for Video,” she said. “The kids loved them. Our camps truly lived up to this year’s theme, Explore, Imagine and Discover.”
“The Firehouse Cultural Center never disappoints,” said Amanda Gary, whose children Rayne, 13, and Lexy, 15, attend every year. “My children always learn new things, make new things and have so much fun.
“The camps are always wonderful additions to summer break,” she said.
Stein said the center had a great turnout, especially for the themed and art camps.
“It was more than we anticipated,” she said. “We’ll definitely be bringing them back next summer.”
Over the nine weeks of camp, 60 registered students experienced 1,030 camp days, said Executive Director Chris Bredbenner.
“The most impressive fact is through our community donations, scholarships were provided for 47 camp weeks at a value of $8,225, fulfilling our promise to our generous supporters, including Night in the Big Easy patrons, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and a Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview Foundation grant matched by the Harburg family. We were pleased to work with Mary & Martha House and other local children who could not financially attend otherwise.”
Frances Hereford, the center’s volunteer coordinator, was impressed with 19 high school student volunteers who helped, even after a difficult school year. They covered up to eight hours per day, earning Bright Future scholarship hours to further their educations.
“We are so fortunate to have some highly motivated, caring and responsible teens,” she said. “They brighten the day for the campers, and camp wouldn’t run as smoothly without their help.”
This is what the Firehouse Cultural Center offered during the 2021 Summer Camp: Sound Creation for Video Foley Camp, Photography, Mixed Media Art Immersive Modeling, Musical Theater I & II, The Absurd Art of Experimental Painting & Sculpting 1 & 2, Puppet Palooza and Robotics.
If your kids missed out, be sure to sign them up early for next year’s summer’s camps. Meanwhile, you can have them participate in any of six, live-theater field trips open to all public-school and home-school students. There will be two shows in October, two in November and two in December.
Visit the Firehouse Cultural Center website: https://www.loc8nearme.com/florida/ruskin/firehouse-cultural-center/5016090/, its Facebook page or the district-wide school calendar for details as dates are set.
For more information, call 813-645-7651.