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ACTIVE LIFE: Spring break programs help keep kids active

From the end of the school day on March 11 until March 29, children in the Nanaimo school district, like Tyler LIttle, will be on spring break. The City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment department has a number of activities to keep children occupied.  - KARL YU/The News Bulletin
From the end of the school day on March 11 until March 29, children in the Nanaimo school district, like Tyler LIttle, will be on spring break. The City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment department has a number of activities to keep children occupied.
— image credit: KARL YU/The News Bulletin

With the Nanaimo school district increasing spring break to two weeks this year, the City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment department has activities to occupy children’s time.

The holiday runs from March 12-29 and recreation facilities across Nanaimo have programs catering to all children, from four to 16 years of age, said Kathy Gonzales, a recreation program coordinator.

The parks and recreation department has full-day camps at Beban Park (Camp Firefly) and Oliver Woods (Camp Action) and there are camps at Nanaimo Ice Centre too, said Gonzales.

RecSkate camps and RecHockey camps, for those wanting to hit the ice, run from March 14-17 at the rink near the aquatic centre, while camps Firefly and Action run from March 14-24, she said.

“The camp that’s here at Oliver Woods is a sport-based camp. They have lots of gym time, lots of activities, hopefully they get to go off-site and visit some different locations, doing some Shima karate. The Firefly one is a general camp.

“They do arts, they do crafts, they do cooking, they do some out trips, they will go swimming – that kind of stuff,” said Gonzales.

For older children, Gonzales said there are some certification-based camps, such as a life-saving camp, from March 13-17 at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.

“For those a little bit older, who maybe want to be a lifeguard eventually, there’s [a] Bronze medallion camp. In the entire week they’re there all day and they can come out of that week with full certifications leading up to lifeguarding,” said Gonzales.

Besides providing children with activities, there are other ways the city’s offerings have a positive effect. It affords children the chance to improve social skills and more, said Gonzales.

“These type of programs definitely can push kids outside their comfort zone and oftentimes they can find things that they didn’t know that they loved and develop a new passion for something. Our staff are really good at working with kids that maybe are a little shy that are worried about coming into an environment where they don’t know anybody.

“By the end of the week, they have best friends,” said Gonzales.

To find out more about programs that are offered during spring break, including cost, please call the parks, recreation and environment department at 250-756-5200.

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