Mayor Buckhorn Announces Parks to Double Summer Programming - Triples scholarships to allow more youth to participate in new programming

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Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced that the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department will double the available summer programming during summer 2015 and will provide triple the number of scholarships available. The increased programming and funding for scholarships will get more youth off the streets and actively engaged in activities in our community.

“For kids, summer is all about being able to enjoy new experiences. This year, more kids will have the opportunity to take part, learn new skills, and do so in a safe environment,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Three years ago, we cut the fees to enable more children to participate, and now, we are giving them more options. We have a lot of great facilities, amenities, and teachers who are part of our Parks and Recreation Department, and this is just the beginning of our efforts to increase the programming available to the community.”

Increased programming

To accommodate the increased programming available, the City of Tampa will add 15 new locations for programming, including programming at seven Hillsborough County schools. New locations for traditional camps include Tampa Park Plaza and Kid Mason Recreation Center. Specialty camps will be available at nine new sites including Picnic Island, Joe Abrahams Fitness Center at Ballast Point, Roy Jenkins Pool, Copeland Pool, Bobby Hicks Pool, Marjorie Park Marina and the Hyde Park Art Studio.

Traditional camps are offered throughout the summer for a total of ten weeks. During the day, participants are provided a summer camp experience that includes a variety of activities such as team and individual sports, reading, gardening, swimming, environmental nature, arts and crafts, guest speakers and more.

Specialty camps are offered on a week by week basis, and offer local youth to experience everything from paddleboarding, track & field training, cartooning, to robotics. There are more than 100 different specialty camps to choose from this year.

Scholarships Available

In total, more than 7,400 children will participate in a summer program in 2015 compared to 4,700 in 2014. Scholarships will be available to 1,873 children, meaning that more than 25% of youth participating in summer activities will have their costs covered. In past years, scholarships were available approximately 400 youth.

Traditional summer camp programming, which will be available this year at 26 sites throughout the city, will continue to cost $80 for 10 weeks of programming. Specialty camp prices vary, and the revenue generated from those camps will cover the additional scholarships available. Pricing for enrollment in traditional camps will not change with years past, and no additional funding is being provided from the City of Tampa budget.

Scholarships are available for both traditional camps as well as specialty camps. Families are also eligible to receive scholarship funding for more than one child. To apply for a scholarship, please visit or call 813-274-3345.

How to enroll

An active Rec Card is required for enrollment. To sign up, please visit To get a Rec Card and/or to participate in a summer program, residency within the City of Tampa is not required.

Open enrollment in the City of Tampa’s specialty camps is available beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 2, 2015.

Traditional summer camp enrollment begins Monday, March 16, 2015 for current after school participants only. City residents can sign up online beginning on Monday, March 23, 2015, and non-city residents can sign up beginning on Monday, March 30, 2015.

Enrollment online is easy; visit