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Cover Story


The Fun Always Shines at Pine Crest Day Camp S

Over 100,000 happy campers have made lasting friendships and meaningful memories at PCDC

ome things get better with age, such as Pine Crest Day Camp. This summer marks its 53rd season of entertaining children from all over south Florida.

Throughout the years, PCDC has built a positive reputation among campers

and parents alike. Approximately 100,000 campers have had the summer of a lifetime, and many of them have “grown up” at PCDC and gone on to become staff members. Many PCDC alumni now send their own children to the camp with the assurance that their children are safe, happy, and entertained at one of the best camps in the country.

Karen Dunne has been a part of the PCDC team for decades, and has been running the camp as Executive Director since 1996. The fact that she is only the third director that PCDC has ever had speaks to the fact that the camp is like a close-knit family.

A lot has changed since the camp’s humble beginnings in 1959 on the old campus of Pine Crest School on East Broward Boulevard. The school and camp moved to its present location in northeast Broward County in 1965. The sprawling campus is situated on 49 acres and features three swimming pools, three auditoriums and two gymnasiums.

Pine Crest Day Camp is among the largest summer camps in our nation, operating exclusively on one site. Pine Crest Day Camp (Ft. Lauderdale) currently enrolls just under 900 children daily and supervises them with high school and college students.

Dunne credits what she calls a revolving door of over 40 kid-happy activities for PCDC’s popularity among campers. PCDC is the total package, perfect for the camper that likes to participate in a range of activities throughout the day.

“I believe that our campers love the PCDC experience

because of the variety of activities that we have,” says Dunne. “It is not often that kids can attend one camp that allows them to get a taste of so many uncommon offerings such as Spy School, Lacrosse, Magic, Archery, Zip Lines across the lake, Climbing Walls, and Cookie Crafts to name just a few.” These are in addition to the more traditional camp activities such as swimming, diving, soccer, miniature golf, arts ‘n crafts, and video games, she notes.

v Girls rock the guitar during music instruction.

The staff at PCDC is yet another factor in the equation. Dunne notes that a majority of

v A PCDC camper poses with his creative self-portrait

Choosey parents choose PCDC for a several reasons, Dunne explains. “We have been a summer mainstay in Broward County for 53 years now. Our long history and reputation stands unmatched in our area. In fact, many of our parents were once PCDC campers who now, so many years later, want their kids to have the same wonderful summer experiences that they had.”

She also notes that parents like the ‘all-inclusive’ factor at PCDC. “We don’t take field trips,” explains Dunne. “Actually, there is little reason to do so, since resources such as giant waterslides, bounce houses, stage shows, and live entertainment come right to us.”

Movies are now shown in the 950 seat auditorium, as is the popular Morning Show. The lake that stands in the middle of the campus is home to Hydro-bikes, Kayaks, and Paddle Boats. Kids now find Electric Guitars, Adventure Climbing Towers, Speed Stacking, Nintendo Game Rooms, and sky-high water slides on their schedules. Parades, costume days, and even kid-friendly lunches served in a state-of-the- art dining room (complete with big screen TVs), have all been lined up to form the framework of great summer experiences for PCDC campers.

20 March 2011

approximately 250

the approximately 250 staff members

actually began as counselors-in-training and return for many seasons. Some counselors have been with PCDC for six years or longer and some have even made it into the camp’s “Decade Club.”

Dunne could not run PCDC without the expertise of her Assistant

Director, Kristen Davis, who began as a five-year-old camper, turned counselor, turned administrator.

“Having spent every summer here as a child, my summer memories are the perfect memories of an enriching childhood,” says Davis. “Fun and caring counselors taught me how to swim, roller skate, play football, twirl a baton, climb a wall, and even shoot a bow and arrow.”

Davis feels lucky to be a part of the PCDC administrative team, working under the creative vision of Karen Dunne. “Together, we are dedicated to making perfect summer memories for every child attending the great South Florida tradition that is Pine Crest Day Camp,” says Davis

Registration for the 2011 summer session is under way for campers, ages 4-11. Bus transportation, early drop-off and late stay are available. Pine Crest Day Camp is located at 1501 Northeast 62nd Street in Fort Lauderdale. Visit www. or call 954-492-4137 for more information.

To Advertise in Coral Springs and Parkland City News, Please call 954-255-5226

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