While it’s warming up outside a group of youth are staying cool on ice passing the puck at hockey camp.
The youth are participating in Hockey Adventure Ice Camp, one of the many camps hosted by the City of Nanaimo’s parks, recreation and culture department.
Jordan Newberry, camp leader, said kids learn basic skating skills, stick handling, shooting, passing and team play. Participants only need a basic knowledge of skating and camp leaders will work with them to improve.
Hockey Adventure Ice Camp, for ages six to 12, runs weekly Monday to Friday from 1-5 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre until July 27. Anyone interested can register for the whole week, or pick the days that work for them through the city’s FlexReg barcode system. Participants can also drop-in for a day, but must register at the front desk before the session begins.
Half the day is devoted to hockey games and skill development, while the rest is filled with games such as capture the flag, soccer, kickball, swimming and other fun activities.
“It’s just to give the kids a different variety,” said Newberry. “Since they are inside for the hockey portion we like to go outside and take advantage of the weather. It breaks up the day so they are not solely focusing on hockey.”
Newberry has been around the rink and involved in hockey for about 19 years, taking up the game when he was four years old. He’s pursuing a degree in recreation management at Vancouver Island University and enters his fourth year this fall.
He said it’s important to make sure the kids want to come back and have smiles on their faces when they leave.
“It’s fun for me as well. It keeps me active,” he said.
It’s also great to see kids learn new skills and be a part of it.
“They just get more excited to keep practising and improving their skills,” he said.
That excitement can often lead to the participants signing up for other camps or courses offered through parks, recreation and culture.
A big part of the summer camp is about making friends as the team-building aspect helps build camaraderie among the youth.
Working as a team is something the camp leaders make a point of stressing to the participants and every child gets a chance to play the game.
For more information, please call parks, recreation and culture at 250-756-5200 or go to www.nanaimo.ca.