By MEGHAN BRADBURY – | Jun 2, 2022
For the first time, the Boys & Girls Club of Lee County has added a Cape Coral location, expanding its footprint and reaching more kids for summer camp.
The summer camps kick off on Monday, June 6, and runs through Friday, July 29, Monday through Friday for those 6 to 18 years old. Most club hours run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. to support working parents. Campers will receive lunch and snacks daily.
To register, visit www.bgclee.org and select the location preferred, which is followed by a series of questions and the ability to set up an account. Once the account is set up, the parent can select which weeks they want for the summer.
“We pride ourselves to be affordable for everyone,” Boys & Girls Club of Lee County CEO Denise Gergley said, adding that the camps are between $55 to $65 a week with a one-time $30 registration, activity fee. “We offer scholarships and sibling discounts for families. We are really working hard on making it a great experience for the kids and give them unique experiences.”
Gergley said they want parents to know their kids are safe, well taken care of and learning throughout the summer. The summer camp will focus on five core areas: education and career, service and leadership, health and wellness, the arts and sports and recreation.
“There is still space available. It’s not too late to get your kids involved, learning throughout the summer,” she said.
Gergley said they are offering summer camp at seven locations throughout Lee County, three of which are school sites.
• Fort Myers, 1900 Park Meadows Drive: $65 per week (new location)
• Lehigh Acres, 1262 Wings Way, Unit 201: $55 per week
• Lehigh Acres, Varsity Lakes Middle – 801 Gunnery Road North: $55 per week
• Fort Myers, James Stephens Elementary – 1333 Marsh Ave.: $55 per week
• Cape Coral, Gulf Middle – 1809 S.W. 36th Terrace: $55 per week (new location)
• Bonita Springs (26120 Pueblo Bonito Blvd.): $55 per week (restricted to residents of Pueblo Bonito)
• Fort Myers (1633 Joust St.): Free (restricted to residents of Renaissance Preserve)
There is a capacity of a 1 to 15 ratio for the summer camps.
This summer, the Boys & Girls Club is offering a summer of exploration with a great deal of variety using high yield hands-on activities, STEM projects and reading projects, all to reduce the summer learning loss. Through partnerships, Gergley said they will have karate classes, music classes, sports training and field trips.
“We want to keep them busy throughout the summer . . . building relationships, education and fun and a safe place for them to be,” she said.
Gergley said they are excited about the new 14,000-square-foot facility in Fort Myers, which formerly was the Fort Myers Event Center.
“It’s a great location, centrally located in Fort Myers,” she said, adding that when looking at the population surrounding the facility there were 2,100 elementary aged kids in a 2-mile radius.
This location, 1900 Park Meadows Drive, has become the flagship location for the Boys & Girls Club. Although the space is open for summer camp, Gergley said they are turning it into a state-of-the-art club with features to include a sports field, teen center and career and college exploration to make it a place where youths feel safe and hang out with their friends.
“It’s a place where they can hang out and be kids and can be safe and learning and having fun,” she said. “The building is operational. We are opening for summer. It was a great facility with big open space.”
When Gergley came on board a little more than two years ago she said their focus was to build a strong foundation, so they could start to grow and expand.
“We have a great partnership with the school district to allow us on campuses and reach kids that way,” she said.
The Boys & Girls Club of Lee County was established in 1974. For more information visit www.bgclee.org, or call 239-334-1886.