The “Turtlepalooza” camp will feature a presentation on diamondback terrapins by Sea Isle Terrapin Rescue co-founder Steve Ahern, pictured holding a baby turtle, and his wife, Susan.


Sea Isle City is bringing the “pop-up” concept to its summer recreation programs as it looks to offer new activities that will combine fun with education for children ages 5 to 12.

“We’re tweaking the system this year. We’re giving new options and freshening up the lineup,” city spokeswoman Katherine Custer explained.

In the past, the city’s summer camps stretched out over three days during the week, but this summer they are being shortened to a single day – hence the “pop-up” designation. The one-day camps are just $5 per child.

The first camp gets underway on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Dealy Field recreation complex and is called “Turtlepalooza.”

Steve and Susan Ahern, the husband and wife team who run the Sea Isle Terrapin Rescue organization, will teach children about the importance of the diamondback terrapins that live in the marshlands and emerge during the summer to lay their eggs.

The female turtles leave the marsh to search for sandy soil to make their nests, a journey that can be perilous as they cross over local roads and contend with motor vehicle traffic.

“We need people to be aware of the challenges the turtle population is facing,” Custer said.

“Turtlepalooza” is an example of how the summer camps will combine fun activities with an educational component.

“This is a new take on summer camps for kids,” Custer said. “The program includes a lot of variety and different activities.”

Sea Isle’s summer camps combine fun with an educational component. (Photo courtesy

Parents or guardians must be on hand with their children during the camps, which will help the Recreation Office cut down on the number of staff members who are needed to run the summer program.

Although the pandemic is easing, safety protocols will be observed. Parents or guardians will be responsible for social distancing for their children, Custer noted.

“We’re ready to make these camps a nice, safe event,” she said.

Other safety measures will be in place. For instance, children will not be allowed to share supplies. Masks will not be mandatory, but parents have the option of having their children wear face coverings, Custer said.

The one-day camps are scheduled for each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Dealy Field from July 13 to Aug. 17.

A different theme will be offered each week. For the next camp on July 20, it will be called “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.” A complete list of camps and registration information follow at the end of this story.

Sea Isle is also incorporating the “pop-up” concept for its summer basketball clinics for boys and girls, ages 14 to 17. The clinics cost $25 for a two-day session.

They will be led by a college-level basketball coach at the JFK Boulevard courts, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on July 15 and 16, July 22 and 23, July 29 and 30, August 5 and 6, and August 19 and 20.

In addition, Sea Isle is offering more traditional, multi-day educational and athletic summer camps. They can be found at

Basketball camps are part of the summer recreation lineup. (Photo courtesy Sea Isle City)

Following is the schedule for the summer pop-up camps and basketball clinics: 

POP-UP SUMMER CAMP: For boys and girls, ages 5 to 12, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Dealy Field on Tuesdays, July 13, 20 and 27, and August 3, 10 and 17.

The cost is $5 per child per day, and each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the camp. There will be a different camp theme each week, including:

  • July 13: “Turtlepalooza” with Sea Isle Terrapin Rescue.
  • July 20: Let’s Go Fly a Kite
  • July 27: Kids Yoga with Crafts
  • August 3: Story time with Crafts
  • August 10: “Old School” Fun and Games
  • August 17: Kids Olympics

POP-UP BASKETBALL CLINICS: For boys and girls, ages 14 to 17. The clinics cost $25 for a two-day session.

They will be led by a university-level basketball coach at the JFK Boulevard Courts, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on July 15 and 16, July 22 and 23, July 29 and 30, August 5 and 6, and August 19 and 20.

Space is limited in the programs, so pre-registration is required online at Please notice the payment procedure for each event while registering. For more information, call the Recreation Office at 609-263-0050.