The best summer camps for your kids

15 May 2015 · Bellator Blogger

summer camps for kids

Are you looking for something fun for your kids to do this summer? If so, the Gulf Coast region has you covered. Here’s a look at just a few of the great summer camp options the region has to offer this summer.

Peninsula’s Junior Camps

The Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is offering its Peninsula’s Summer Camps this year. Each camp session offers a week of golf and tennis instruction as well as daily swimming and water games. All participants also receive lunch at Peninsula Grill each day.

Camp dates are June 1-5, June 15-19 and July 6-10. All sessions run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and are open to boys and girls ages 6 through 12. The cost to participate for one week is $225, while two weeks is $400 and three weeks is $550. While loaner clubs and racquets are available on a limited basis, participants are asked to bring clubs, racquets, swim wear and a towel each day.

Youth Summer SCUBA Camp

The Down Under Dive Shop will be offering several SCUBA camps this summer. Sessions will take place June 2-4, June 7-9, July 14-16, July 28-30 and August 10-11. Two sessions will be offered on each of these days, with one being from 8:30 am to 11:30 am and the other being from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Each session will also have a snorkel trip take place on the Wednesday that falls during or immediately after the session, with the trip taking place at 8:00 am. Parents are welcome to attend the snorkel trip at a cost of $35 per parent.

The Youth Summer SCUBA camp costs $275 per participant and takes place at the Orange Beach Aquatic Center. All materials and equipment are provided for participants, including a completion certificate, activity book, log book, Seal Team decal and badge, mask, snorkel, fins, tank, BC and regulator. Participants also have the option to purchase a mask, snorkel and fin package at reduced cost from the Down Under Dive Shop.

Kidcam Summer Camp

Kidcam Summer Camp will be offered from June 1 through July 31 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm each day at Gulf State Park campground. Activities during the camp include beach excursions, hiking, bird watching, water sports, swimming, fishing, golf, tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, bike riding, geocaching, indoor games and arts & crafts.

The cost of participating in the Kidcam Summer Camp is $50 per day or $135 per week. All participants receive a free t-shirt. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 6 through 13. Before and after care is also available, as are sibling discounts.

Youth Summer Sail Camp

The Wind and Water Learning Session is offering several Youth Summer Sail Camp sessions. These include a Level 1 Beginner Sail Camp for participants aged 7 through 13, a Level 2 Intermediate Sail Camp for participants aged 7 through 14 and a Level 3 Advanced Sail Camp for participants aged 8 through 14. At Level 1, participants learn water safety, steering, knot tying, capsize recovery, tracking & jibing and proper sail trim. At Level 2, they learn upwind sailing as well as boat handling, while Level 3 participants learn to solo a boat.

Camp sizes are kept small, so spaces are filling up quickly. Each camp costs $120 for Orange Beach property owners or $140 for non-owners.

National Flight Academy

The National Flight Academy is offering several camps throughout the summer for various age groups. The 6-day, 5-night sessions focus on science, technology, engineering and math as participants put their problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork skills to task. The cost for the adventure is $1,250 with scholarships available to help defer the cost.

Bellator gives sizable donation to four local charities this holiday season

7 Jan 2015 · Bellator Blogger

Two months. Four charities. Six teams. Ten thousand dollars.

Bellator Real Estate & Development devised the idea to create a charity challenge in order to give back to the community and instill a greater drive within its agents. The result? An inaugural company-wide Listing Challenge for Charity comprised of six teams of Bellator agents from the three company divisions – Eastern Shore, Mobile and Coastal – and $10,000 to be donated to four local charities. Through two rounds of voting, agents selected the four charities Bellator would support this year: the Ronald McDonald House, Under His Wings, the Sheriff’s Boys Ranch and Wilmer Hall. In October, the teams began competing to gain the most listings and, furthermore, fulfill the role of allocating a percentage of the $10,000 to the charities. In mid-December, after two months of hard work, dedication and a total of 172 listed properties, the company staff held a luncheon with the charity representatives in attendance to accept their donations from Bellator President, Troy Wilson.

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At the luncheon, Mary McAleer of the Ronald McDonald House, Angie Michal of Under His Wings, Jim Harmon of the Sheriff’s Boys Ranch and Shane Hale, one of our own agents, of Wilmer Hall, each spoke about their organization’s mission, history, operating budget and annual fundraising events. Each of the non-profit organizations has a distinguished mission dedicated to supporting local families and children throughout Baldwin and Mobile Counties.

The Ronald McDonald House of Mobile aims to provide support and a home for families with ill or injured children being treated at local hospitals. The charity’s home accommodates up to 38 families each night and has served over 5,300 families within the past 14 years. According to McAleer, the home is DSC_0384 located on the campus of USA Children’s and Women’s but is open to anyone being treated in the region. The homes are set up similar to a hotel in that they have double occupancy rooms with queen-sized beds, but all meals and entertainment are provided in family-style common areas. “As staff, we do what we can to make the families feel at home, but the most valuable aspect of the program is the support that families can provide to one another as they are all going through a similar experience. That dinnertime conversation between families is so crucial.”

In a similar light, Under His Wings strives to provide a Christian home for troubled young women to live in while receiving academic, physical, emotional and spiritual education. Their goal is to break negative, unhealthy cycles in the area and DSC_0375 within families, and to ultimately establish a more positive community and stronger family ties. Angie Michal, one of the founders of the program, said, “Our home currently cares for 5 young women—this may not sound like very many, but the impact our program makes on these women is going to carry through many generations. Our goal is to break the cycle that happens in these terrible situations and provide a brighter future for generations to come.” Under His Wings operates on an annual budget of less than $200,000 to care for these women, and it doesn’t accept any government funding.

The third charity selected, the Sheriff’s Boys Ranch, is sponsored by the Alabama Sheriffs’ Association and is dedicated to serving abused, neglected, homeless and DSC_0381 dependent children in the community that come from troubled situations. The ranches have housed over 3,000 children and have provided them with a Christian atmosphere and daily responsibilities to instill a sense of work ethic and responsibility. Harmon, the Ranch’s director and life-long supporter of the Alabama Sheriff’s Ranches, explained that the boys are raised in homes of 8-10 boys each, and they are supported physically, educationally and spiritually.

The final charity chosen was Wilmer Hall, whose mission is to provide long-term DSC_0379 homestay for children who are unable to reside with their parents, whether due to  abuse, neglect, poverty or homelessness. At Wilmer Hall they attend school, have a tutoring program, can participate in extracurricular activities and learn necessary life skills and values.

Overall, the challenge instilled competition and drive throughout each Bellator division. Along with company drive, the challenge allowed the company to give back to the community and assist local charities during the holiday season. In addition to providing financial support, the company has also pledged to provide manpower for the charities’ fundraising events throughout the upcoming year.