Summer camps offer youth a variety of recreation opportunities

City of Nanaimo summer camps are gearing up for the season.

Summer camps offer youth a chance to forge lasting friendships, step out of their shell and explore the community around them.

Parks, recreation and culture day camps are gearing up to offer kids a variety of fun experiences throughout the summer months.

“It’s a way to get outside and get involved and meet new friends,” said Dayna Baxter, a summer camp leader.

Chris Barfoot, pre-school south recreation coordinator, said the programs offer children endless opportunities that they might not be able to experience otherwise. Youth can participate in a range of activities such as arts and crafts, sports, learning how to cool healthy foods, environmental learning and leadership skills.

“[Summer camps] bring memories to the children,” said Barfoot. “It building those friendships and bonds with other children in the camps,”

Justine Pederson leads the Girls Get Active camps, an all-girls camp, for ages six to 10 that offers sports activities and specials days of pampering where they can get their hair and nails done. It offers a unique combination of activities for girls to enjoy.

Bowen Explorers, from ages six to 12, is a combination of an environmental program with fun activities such as catching bugs or going swimming on a hot summer day. Camp leader Tai Adler said it’s about getting kids excited about nature and the being outside.

Camp Sunsation, a special needs program for ages six to 18, offers participants a chance to explore the city and do activities like bowling, swimming, watching movies or going on field trips.

Camp Holidaze offers children a chance to play a variety of sports and go on tours or the police and fire stations. It’s a traditional summer camp meant to help youth build confidence and self-esteem.

For parents looking for some relief on their pocketbook, playground programs offer free drop-in activities and are available at Mansfield, Deverill Square and Pawson parks, Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year the city is introducing Flex Registration, which allows people to register children for specific days instead of having to book the full week of camp or pay drop-in fees. The new option is only available for selected camps.

For more information on summer camps or to register please contact Parks, Recreation and Culture at 250-756-5200, go to www.nanaimo.ca or check out the leisure guide.