The Youth Activity Center is constantly coming up with new ideas and fun things for families at Sawgrass. It’s a growing club with more and more families joining.
Lacie, the Youth Recreation Supervisor, and her staff recognize that kids want to have FUN during Childwatch and Kids Night Out, so they have been working hard over the past year to revamp programming for both. The rates are amazing, even if you are a three-child family. For our family, it beats the average rate of a babysitter!
In addition, Lacie has listened to us members and scheduled more family activities like camp outs, family shark tooth hunts, and Bingo at the Sandbar just to name a few. Check out the latest Horizons for all the fun fall events coming up!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lacie and asking her about new (and popular) activities at the Youth Activity Center. Here are some highlights:
What are the hours and rates of the Youth Activity Center?
Lacie: Child Watch: Tuesday- Saturday 9am-1pm and Kids Night Out Fridays and Saturdays 5-9pm.
Child Watch Hourly Rate: 1st Child: $6 | 2nd Child: $4.50 | Each Additional Child: $3.50
Kids Night Out Hourly Rate: 1st Child: $6 | 2nd Child: $4.50 | Each Additional Child: $3.50
Are there any new programs that members need to know about?
Lacie: Over the last year we have been working to enhance the daily activities we offer during Child Watch. Every month has a different theme, and all of our activities relate to that theme in some way. We begin each morning with “circle time” where we go over the day/month, weather, seasons, and practice our ABCs and counting! Throughout the morning our staff facilitates group games, crafts, and some sort of physical activity (think PE games, relay races, obstacle courses, tumbling) that relate to the monthly theme. When the weather is nice, we shuttle the kids to the beach or the fitness center playground to get some fresh air and exercise! Our goal is to offer more than babysitting; we want to create fun educational programming for our youngest members! For information on monthly themes and other activities, you can always visit our Foretees webpage!
And there’s the Family Tile Project. I’d like to invite any Sawgrass members to come to the Youth Activity Center on Saturday mornings from 9am-1pm to create their tile. We will have tables set up with paints and stencils so your family can design a tile to be mounted in the breezeway between the family and adult pool! No reservations necessary, just show up! We are really excited about how it’s going to turn out!
Lastly, we have begun a Kids MMA program with Sensei Tim Robinson. Students learn the basics of self-defense including punching, kicking, blocking, grappling, tumbling, wrestling, and being able to fight standing up or on the ground. Tim’s program is a blend of many traditional styles including Karate, Taekwondo, Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Tai Chi, and Wing Chun Kung Fu. We definitely have room for more students, so contact me to sign up!
Are there any programs for tweens/teenagers?
Lacie: Yes! Our Youth Leadership Coaching Program for kids ages 11-17. Last year we partnered with Dr. Matthew Ohlson from UNF’s Leadership School and created an amazing course to help coach teens on skills and strategies to become effective students and future leaders of tomorrow! It was such a success that we are running it again this Fall. This 8 track program (4 in the fall, 4 in the spring) is held on Monday evenings at the Youth Activity Center, with 2 campus visits to UNF! Students will receive a certification of completion at the end of the year. Not only will participants gain self-confidence and valuable tools for leadership, this program also serves looks great on college applications or job resumes!
What are the new age limits for the Youth Activity Center?
Lacie: We have recently lowered the minimum age of CHILD WATCH to 12 months. We now accept children between the ages of 12 months and 12 years! This does change our staff:child ratio to 1:6 (as per DCF requirements), so sign-ups on Foretees are strongly recommended, especially in the summer months! Kid’s Night Out remains 18 months+.
What if a member needs a babysitter outside of operating hours? Is there a trusted resource that you recommend?
Lacie: We are partnered with an excellent babysitting service called Bumble & Bee. If you ever need a sitter outside our operating hours (or when we close for Family Programming around the club, which is no more than once a month and advertised in advance) we are happy to help you find a sitter through them!
Any teasers about fun family fall-themed events?
Lacie: We just had our Family Bingo Night on the Pavilion which was a huge hit, we will definitely do it again! In October we have our Halloween Themed Kids Night Out, pumpkin carving contest, and our first family shark tooth hunt! In November we have a “Fall Festival” themed KNO, a Family Beach Campfire, and a kid’s Surf Fishing clinic with Chef Dean! Check our our Foretees announcements page or Horizons for more details!
We know your staff works really hard, any specific kuddos you’d like to give?
Lacie: I have been so fortunate with great seasonal and full time staff members since joining here in early 2018. Ashley Miller is my main staff member, and she goes above and beyond anything I ever ask of her. She is reliable, excellent at age-appropriate activity planning, and has great rapport with all the parents and children who come through the Youth Activity Center.
Lacie’s goal is to “create meaningful memories for the families at Sawgrass. The programs I offer thrive on feedback from the members. If there is ever anything you’d like to suggest I am open and will do my best to make it happen! Please call or email me any time. Many of the events I have run over the last year have been based on suggestions from our families!”
Lacie is a joy, and she works really hard to give our kiddos the best experiences! Wouldn’t it be great if she got a ton of emails saying “you’re great,” “keep up the good work,” or “we LOVE you!”? I’ll be sending one today, would you consider sending one, too? Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all you do, Lacie!