City strengthens summer camps
NEW PORT RICHEY - Michael Speidel hopes to make a big a splash as the new recreation manager at New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center. Speidel came on board last month to bolster the city’s already potent camp offerings and set some new goals at the facility, 6630 Van Buren St. With some of the lowest camp prices in the area, the center already has filled about half of the 170 available slots for campers, said Elaine Smith, city parks and recreation director. The camp is open to residents and nonresidents, she said. The city offers options, including a full eight-week camp or two consecutive weeks. The city also has Adventure Camp June 10-14 and Splash Camp Aug. 12-16.A School’s Out Pool Bash will signal the unofficial start of the summer season, featuring a pool party 6 to 9 p.m. June 4. Admission is $5 for each participant. “It’s going to be a very interactive summer,” Speidel said, as he watched Longleaf Elementary second-graders on a field trip for water safety lessons. Camps will include weekly field trips and more speakers. Starting May 31, a Chick-fil-A franchisee will operate the concession stand. “We pretty much have like a built-in water park for the kids to enjoy,” Speidel said. “We bring in a lot of instructors and guest speakers. We keep the kids busy all day long the second they come in the door.” “There’s a lot more here you can do,” Speidel said about his goals at the city facility. He worked for the Pasco County Parks and Recreation Department for 18 years. Many residents will remember Speidel from his long tenure at Holiday Recreation Complex and Veterans Memorial Park in Hudson. “I started as a recreation leader and worked my way all the way up to a community center supervisor and park operator for the sites,” Speidel said. Registration continues for the summer day camp June 17 through Aug. 9 for children age 6 to 12. Call (727) 841-4560 or visit www.citynpr.org for fees and information.