Florida Citrus Sports Foundation’s MVP Summer Camp Celebrates 25 Years
On Monday, June 3, Florida Citrus Sports kicked off its 25th annual MVP Summer Camp, one of the organization’s most important annual contributions to the community. The eight-week program is offered free of charge to economically-disadvantaged middle school-aged children, with the majority of campers coming from the West Lakes neighborhoods surrounding Camping World Stadium.
“We are thrilled to once again be able to offer this opportunity to young Central Florida residents who need it most,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said. “It’s rewarding to know that the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation is making a difference in the lives of our campers, and it’s been a thrill over the past quarter century to watch students who complete the program enjoy the experience and use the lessons learned in our camp as they grow into successful adults.”
In 1995, MVP Summer Camp began serving at-risk children in Orange County with a free four-week summer camp session. The camp eventually graduated to multiple four-week sessions in both Orange and Seminole counties, with nearly 5,500 families served in its first 20 years in existence.
Starting in 2014, the camp expanded to include a comprehensive eight-week session and focused on the LIFT Orlando footprint. Today, more than 90 percent of the campers come from the West Lakes community. The one constant throughout its 25 years is that MVP Summer Camp has always been and will continue to be offered at no cost to the participants or their families.
“We’re so excited about reaching this great milestone for the Foundation,” Florida Citrus Sports Senior Director of External Relations Jill Mickle said. “The summer camp has come such a long way since its inception and we can’t wait to keep building and improving for the future of the West Lakes.”
The MVP Summer Camp curriculum focuses on academics, athletics, attitude and achievement in a safe and productive environment.
Camp participants experience programming in a variety of areas, including life skills from community leaders and physical activities including football, basketball, golf, dance and swimming, with instruction provided by the Orlando Police Department. The campers also take daily visits to the Frontline Outreach Youth and Family Center to practice their skills in computer technology.
Additionally, the camp offers attendees the opportunity to take weekly field trips to local attractions and cultural centers. This year, Fun Spot America, a new Florida Citrus Sports partner, will be hosting the campers twice throughout the eight-week program.
Other field trip sites include SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, Universal Orlando and the Mascot Games at Amway Center.