PCA Tampa Bay – Support for Character Development Makes an Impact Over Time

As summer begins, over 2,200 children and their families across Hillsborough County are gearing up for weeks and weeks of fun, friendships, field trips, and PCA! Amidst the indoor and outdoor activities kids participate in daily, they also are introduced to topics such as filling Emotional Tanks, respect for teammates and opponents, mastery, and growth mindset through PCA’s Character Development Program.  While kids learn about these ideas in the context of sports, games, and activities, staff also lead discussions on how the kids can apply the lessons at the park, at home, in their community, and then back at school in the fall. 

Within Hillsborough’s Parks & Recreation 19 traditional summer camps, dedicated counselors, all certified in PCA’s foundational principles, are committed to creating a supportive and exciting environment where every child experiences positive youth development.

What sets the County’s summer programming apart is its leadership, veteran staff, positive culture, common language, consistency across the county, and PCA’s programming with support from local donors. But don’t just take our word for it – hear it from Karlie, one of the staff herself.

“We encourage you to visit a park and see the respect and trusting relationships the staff and kids are building amongst themselves and the strong character developing inside each individual. This partnership with the County, which now expands throughout 19 parks, wouldn’t be possible without our committed donors who believe in our organizations and this program” said Mason Brady, PCA-Tampa Bay’s Director. 

“Thank you to The Spurlino Foundation, BayCare Health System, the Florida Blue Foundation, Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation, and the County itself for their support of this partnership.  What started in 2018 with 600 kids has expanded in scope and impact” she added. “You can’t teach the value of respect for oneself or the rules in one summer and think kids will remember that lesson forever.  As leaders, we need to be role models and teach these lessons always so that as youth have more experiences and they are challenged, they are also prepared and can stand strong.”

Parks include:

  • Alexander Park
  • All People’s
  • Apollo Beach
  • Balm
  • Bealsville
  • Brandon
  • Country Place
  • Egypt Lake
  • Emanuel P Johnson
  • Gardenville
  • Jackson Springs
  • Kenly Park
  • Keystone
  • Mango
  • Northdale
  • Roy Haynes
  • Ruskin
  • Thontosassa
  • Westchase