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Time running short for summer sign-ups

May 10, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Summer is just around the corner and with it comes the beginning of the summer camp season.

Of course, it isn't just summer camp. There are a variety of programs in which children and teens can participate, from reading programs to swim lessons and even reduced prices for public transportation.

Camp is far and away the most popular. Registration has already started for the 2017 summer camps at Lee County Parks & Recreation, which runs from June 5 to July 28.

These camps draw thousands of youngsters throughout Lee County to programs, outings and activities at traditional, teen and specialty camps.

Each year, the spots at the major locations, Wa-Ke Hatchee, Lakes Regional Park and Estero Recreation Center, fill up well before school is out. North Fort Myers is fast becoming one of those major locations as the new rec center has created a new buzz.

Last year, all 90 spots for all six weeks of traditional camp sold out. This year, North Fort Myers will have 120 slots. And according to Lisa Weaver, who runs the rec center, most of those slots have been filled.

"Last year we had a waiting list and had to turn people away. We have spaces available, but they are limited," Weaver said. "Last year's teen camp was capped at 40 and we usually had 35 or so. That will also fill up as we get closer."

Weaver said parents tend to wait until the last minute to sign up, though she added that is not recommended.

If you plan to register for camp at one of the four major recreation centers, you need to obtain a facility membership first, which is a one-time $10 lifetime fee for individuals and $25 for families.

Camp is $75 per week, which includes lunch, a snack and field trips. They do at least three big trips, as well as several smaller trips to the pool, library and other places.

There is usually a theme each week, and all the trips and guest speakers, are part of that theme, Weaver said.

Parents interested in swimming lessons also can register now. Those lessons and other summer aquatics programs are available at the county's four year-round community pools located in Lehigh Acres, North Fort Myers, Pine Island and San Carlos Park.

The classes are divided up by groups according to age and ability every morning from 8 to 10 a.m., with special classes on Saturday and Sunday as well as Tuesday and Thursday evening in the month of June.

There is also a very popular Junior Guard program with one-week sessions from June 26 to 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for ages 10 to 12, and for ages 13 to 15 from July 10 to 14, at the same times.

To register visit your nearest community pool or online at

Just because school is out doesn't mean you have to stop reading. Beginning May 22, children and teens may sign up for the summer reading program at Lee County Public Libraries and select a free book, while supplies last.

Planned activities at the libraries include story time, magic and juggling and puppet shows, as well as crafts and games. Age-appropriate programs also are available for infants to adults.

The programs help children and teens stay mentally active while having fun. The summer reading program is designed to help foster literacy skills and develop a love of reading.

The North Fort Myers Library is expected to have a full slate of programs even with the new library expected to begin construction later in the year.

Event schedules are available in the libraries, or at All events are free, but tickets or advanced registration is required.

For more information, visit a library, go to or call 479-INFO.

To enjoy all these programs, you need a way to get there, and not everyone has a car and not everyone wants to ride their bike in the heat and rain.

This summer, and all year round, students are eligible to ride LeeTran for half price with a LeeTran student ID.

Bring your school ID to Rosa Parks Transportation Center, 2250 Widman Way, Fort Myers, and for just $1 receive your LeeTran Student ID card. This card allows you to ride all Fixed Route buses for just 75 cents and the Beach Trolley for 35 cents.

Later this summer, join LeeTran for Summer Bus Bash and scavenger hunt fun. Students will be eligible to win prizes for visiting select locations throughout Lee County that are accessible by bus.

In June, visit for more information or call LEE-TRAN.



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