ACTIVE LIFE: Summer camps help keep children active

NANAIMO – Parks and rec offers activities for all ages and abilities.

With summer mere weeks away and the end of the school year not far behind, the City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment department has ways to occupy children’s time.

There are summer day camps for many interests, whether children are into crafts, sports, music or science.

Oliver Woods community centre features a sports camp for eight- to 12-year-olds called Adventure Sports Camp. It also offers Camp Wild, a camp for five- to nine-year-olds to learn about nature and Tree Frog Camp for three- to five-year-olds, said Cheryl Krytor, recreation coordinator at Oliver Woods.

In the south end, there is Girls Get Active Camp, providing active outings and team building for girls aged six to 10 years at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Camp Holidaze takes place at Beban Park, offering activities such as skating and crafts. Bowen Explorers, out of Bowen Park, offers an introduction to science for six- to 12-year-olds.

The camps offer skill development and promotion of healthy lifestyles as well as intangible benefits.

“It really gets [children] out and into the public,” said Sean McKenzie, a summer leader at Camp Holidaze. “We take them out around the city to look local landmarks, we take them swimming, we play games and it not really forces them, but it gives them the opportunity to make new friends and co-operate as they play games together.

“Often, they have free time as well. They can take that step out and meet some new people and form relationships that can last a long time, at school and for the rest of their lives as well.”

According to Lauren Rogers, summer leader with Adventure Sports Camp at Oliver Woods, whatever a child’s interest, parks and recreation department day camps are can’t-lose situations.

“You can’t really go wrong with any of the summer camps,” Rogers said. “No matter what camp you go to, you’re going to get out and enjoy the sunshine. You’re going to make new friends, you’re going to do lots of sports and lots of fun activities, that are also intellectual as well as active.”

Krytor said start dates vary for the different day camps and people can register by phone at 250-756-5200, online at https://ireg.nanaimo.ca/Start/Start.asp or in person at any community centre in Nanaimo.

“It’s a 10-week summer this year, so the kids are going to need to be registered into different programs to keep them busy throughout the summer, because there is a long school break this summer,” said Krytor.

For more information, including costs, please see the City of Nanaimo Activity Guide link at the parks, recreation and environment section at www.nanaimo.ca.

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