Summer camps a chance to explore

With summer break approaching, day camps are one way for Nanaimo children to pass the time.

Darcy James

Darcy James

With summer break approaching, day camps are one way for Nanaimo children to pass the time and develop skills.

The City of Nanaimo’s parks department has a number of full and partial day camps for children aged three to 18 years, from the north to the south end of the city, according to Cheryl Krytor, a city recreation coordinator.

“Day camps are a great way that we help kids achieve a healthy weight,” said Krytor. “It improves fitness with them, it’s a great place for them to meet friends for the summer and it improves their physical self-esteem, as well as it enhances health, growth and development.”

Sean McKenzie, summer leader with the Bowen Explorers camp at Bowen Park, said children always seem a little shy at the beginning but there are a lot of ice-breaker activities, team work opportunities and everyone is like a family at the end.

“They all start to make new friends and new relationships that they couldn’t [make] outside of camp and even just carry with them those skills through life,” McKenzie said.

Darcy James, summer leader for Camp Wild at Oliver Woods Community Centre, said children are exposed to structured and unstructured play at his camp.

“The nice thing about unstructured play is they learn a little bit of the social skills and boundaries on their own, instead of being told how to behave,” James said.

“Obviously if something goes overboard, it’s corrected but a lot of the times they get free time in the gym and in a safe environment to interact with each other and structure their own games and make their own rules and play how they want to, which they don’t get a lot of opportunities to do in school and daycare and what not,” he said.

Lauren Rogers, summer leader of Adventure Sports Camp at Oliver Woods, said the focus of her camp is an active lifestyle.

“We do a lot of gym games, swimming, we’re outside a lot and we also incorporate activities that kids might not get the chance to experience otherwise, such as football with the [Vancouver Island] Raiders and mini golf in Parksville and skimboarding at Blueback [Beach], it’s awesome, it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

The cost of camps ranges and for more information, please call 250-756-5200 or go to the activity guide registration section at