Monday, June 14, 2010

Summerfest: CCSO’s Most Ambitious Summer Youth Program Ever

Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk gets sprayed with water guns Monday during a news conference at North Collier Regional Park to kick off Summerfest, the most ambitious summer youth program in Collier County Sheriff’s Office history. Photo by Natalie Felber/CCSO

Grab that beach ball and throw on those flip-flops. The first Collier County Sheriff’s Office Summerfest is going to offer more fun than ever for area children and teens.

Collier County Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk is announcing Summerfest, the most ambitious youth activities extravaganza in CCSO history. Summerfest is made possible thanks to partnerships with Collier County Parks and Recreation, the Collier County School District and many area businesses. Summerfest offers a wide range of activities for all grade levels. The focus will be providing fun activities in a safe environment.

For the first time, CCSO Youth Relations Bureau deputies will be assigned to summer youth programs instead of being assigned to patrol duties. This reallocation allows CCSO to expand its summer youth offerings without additional costs to the community.

Youth programs are especially critical in the current economy because many students have too much spare time on their hands due to a shortage of part-time summer jobs. Sheriff Rambosk also believes that youth programs pay off in the short term by keeping children and teens involved in fun and safe activities, and in the long term as well, by fostering the development of positive decision-making skills. In addition, for two years in a row Collier County residents who attended Sheriff Rambosk’s community meetings identified youth programming as a priority.

CCSO has at least one activity, and in many cases as many as three activities, scheduled on every weekday between Monday and Aug. 6. Two programs, Open Gym and Fishing, are new this year. In addition, CCSO is arranging for Immokalee and Everglades are children to be transported to D.E.P.U.T.Y. Club each week, a move that is expected to boost attendance from an average of 60 per session to 150 per session. Also expanded is the Build-A-Boat program. One boat was constructed last year and three will be built this year.

“The more we can help our children and teenagers stay involved in fun activities in a safe environment, the better off we are as a community,” Sheriff Rambosk said. “

Here are some of the ways the Collier County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to make sure our community’s children and teenagers have a safe and fun summer:

Open Gym – NEW!

Gymnasiums at Lely, Golden Gate and Palmetto Ridge high schools will be open and supervised by CCSO Youth Relations deputies several afternoons a week. The gyms will be set up to allow the high-school students to have supervised recreation and interaction with law enforcement. Basketball, volleyball and table tennis are some of the activities that are planned. At Lely High School, Open Gym will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. every Monday and Friday from June 21 through Aug. 2. At Golden Gate High School it will be offered from 1 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from June 22 through Aug. 5. At Palmetto Ridge it will be offered from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from June 22 through Aug. 5.

Fishing – NEW!

This program is a partnership between the City of Naples, the Boys and Girls Club and CCSO. Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning during the summer 25-35 kids from the Boys and Girls Club will be taken to Naples Pier or to Lake Trafford in Immokalee to fish and learn about water safety.


D.E.P.U.T.Y. Club is a summer program for students in first grade through fifth grade. It takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday from July 7 through Aug. 11 at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, 7100 Airport-Pulling Road. Transportation will be provided for children in the Immokalee and Everglades City areas. It is made possible through the partnership of area businesses and organizations.

Build-a-Boat – EXPANDED!

This 40-hour program provides an opportunity for 16-20 youths to accomplish the task of building a boat while learning about water safety and interacting with deputies. Two teams will work together to build two boats. This program will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 21 to June 25 at Palmetto Ridge High School. Another Build-a-Boat program will take place July 12 to July 16 in Everglades City.

Teen Academy

This 40-hour program is designed for returning high-school seniors who are leaders in their schools. Teen Academy is designed to educate these selected youth on aspects of Collier County. The 34 academy participants are hand selected from referrals by our Youth Relations deputies. Teen Academy will take place the week of June 14-18.

Hot Summer Nights

Back for a second year, this popular program will take place during various evenings throughout the summer at parks throughout the county. Open to students in middle and high school, Hot Summer Nights will include dances, water slides, laser tag, carnival games and water park events.

Teen Drivers Challenge

This is a 12-hour program that partners newly licensed drivers with deputies to learn driving skills and laws. This is both a classroom and hands-on program. Approximately 12-15 participants are involved in each monthly program.

Free Summer Movies

Deputies will be present at the Hollywood 20 theater during free summer movie days to interact with children and teens.

Parks and Recreation

Deputies will be present at Collier County park summer camps to interact with children and teens.

In addition to these programs, throughout the summer deputies will hand out a coupon for a free drink to children they observe wearing a bike helmet, going out of his or her way to help someone, or giving back to the community. Coupons from 7-Eleven are redeemable for a Slurpee. Handy Food Store and Circle K coupons are good for an ICEE.

For more information on any of these programs go to or call CCSO’s Youth Relations Bureau at 793-9260.