Sugar Sand Park Community Center

It was a typical Monday morning last summer at Sugar Sand Park Community Center in Boca Raton, Fla. I walked out of my office to see the bustling actors taking their places. The production assistant ordered quiet on the set as the director dropped his hand through the air and yelled “Action!”

As I quietly walked behind the film set and headed down the hallway, I passed through a chorus of Broadway hopefuls rehearsing Mama Mia as they danced and sang their way across the stage. Their synchronized movements lit up the stage as they followed the directions of their choreographer who directed them with perfection and a smile. Further down the hallway I made my way through the science lab where young scientists were gathering data and conducting experiments next door to a room full of future engineers who were too busy programming robots to even notice me as I passed. I took a moment to watch the future billionaires as they sharpened their business skills and networked on the putting green outside.

This is just a typical summer day at Sugar Sand Park where dreams become reality for the children in our specialty camps. Specialty camps go beyond the conventional to offer experiences that encourage students to explore their interests and exercise creativity while learning new skills from industry professionals.

Each year at Sugar Sand Park we have sought to build on our specialty camps and offer more diverse programming to meet the needs of the community. Our specialty camps offer local businesses a chance to show the community what they do and help develop young minds of tomorrow. They offer parents a safe place to leave children to be creative and grow throughout the summer. And in addition to increased revenues, these camps also offer additional volunteer opportunities for local high school and college students.

Summers in South Florida have historically been a slower season at the community center. Daytime classes for adults drop off with instructors and participants travelling north to visit relatives and spend their summers out of state. Groups who use the rooms throughout the year stop meeting for the same reason. By adding specialty camps we have been able to maximize facility usage. This year the City of Boca Raton was able to offer 4,000 camp spaces to local children. Specialty camps at Sugar Sand Park accounted for more than 900 of those available spaces because we were able to use our rooms to house independent contractors to run specialty camps.

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