Summer camps offer learning and fun for youth

Spending the summer at the beach, playing games in the park and just having fun is all in a day’s work for summer camp manager Stacey Brown.

Stacey Brown

Stacey Brown

Spending the summer at the beach, playing games in the park and just having fun is all in a day’s work for summer camp manager Stacey Brown.

Brown loves working with children and the most important skill she brings to work each day is an energetic positive attitude.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a fantastic summer job,” she said. “A fun energetic attitude is key – making it fun for the kids and for yourself.”

For Brown, getting the opportunity to share the children’s experiences brings her joy.

“Their creativity and the almost innocent things that they say make it all worth it,” she said.

As leader of Nanaimo parks, recreation and culture’s Camp Seaside, Brown gets the luxury of a job with an ocean view. The camp operates out of the Departure Bay Activity Centre, at 1415 Wingrove St. and the children visit the beach at least once a day to swim, build sand castles and beachcomb.

Camp Seaside is for five to 10 year olds and each week offers a different theme; next week’s theme is futuristic fun. The camp is offered in one-week intervals from now until Aug. 26. People can register their children weekly or for the entire summer.

Fun and games are an important summer camp tradition and kids can enjoy favourites such as tag, hopscotch, water balloon races and more. To keep it interesting the camp leaders put their own spin on the games to keep the participant’s attention.

Children with an interest in science and creating a more sustainable world can have fun during the Bowen Explorers camp, operating out of Bowen Park. Youth ages six to 12 play interactive games, make crafts and explore the natural areas in Nanaimo learning environmental science.

“The overall theme that runs through our program is the connection between nature and our human impact,” said Kasia Biegun, camp leader.

Biegun said people are interconnected with nature and youth learn about that link “because we have lost that connection”.

Children discover how to minimize their environmental footprint and topics such as understanding how people impact the oceans. The participants visit the International Centre for Sturgeon Studies, the Millstone River to learn about salmon and the Community Roots Food Garden at John Barsby Community School.

Bowen Explorers is for ages six to 12 and the first session begins on July 18. It is offered in weekly sessions until Sept. 2.

For more information on the numerous summer camps offered by parks, recreation and culture or to register, please call 250-756-5200 or go to www.nanaimo.ca.