If you want to add a spark to your child’s summer, consider the programs offered at the local rec centre.
They’ve got part or full-day camps that concentrate on specific skills and all-day camps that provide daycare combined with a wide variety of activities.
Recreation, Culture and Airpark Services assistant manager, Mike Freimark said the rec centre’s summer programming kicked off on June 3, with a kids’ bike rodeo.
“The RCMP were there, with an obstacle course,” said Freimark. “And Fraser Valley Brain Injury was there for a helmet check and Sixth Avenue Sports ran a bike safety maintenance check.”
Themed day camps started on July 2, with the “Amazing Race.” Scavenger hunts, obstacle courses and other races were on tap — as well as a trip to the Vancouver Zoo.
Most weeks include a trip out of town, said Freimark. “We use the Care Transit minibus, which carries 18, including leaders,” he said. “There’s an extra fee of $15 for the travel days.”
The second week, Nature Exploration, included a trip to the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery in Abbotsford. Kids were able to fish, on a catch-and-release basis.
Last week, PacificSport provided guest presenters to introduce kids to athletics, water polo, taekwondo, volleyball, ringette and ultimate Frisbee. As well, Project Portable Wall brought a climbing tower on a flatdeck trailer for kids to rappel on. Up to four kids could climb at one time on the seven-metre tower.
The August schedule includes a visit from the Vancouver Zoo and visits to Science World, the waterslides and North Bend’s Almer Carlson Pool. The final week focuses on target sports and other outdoor fun.
Freimark said the attendance for the camps has been averaging over 15 per week. Kids can attend a day at a time on a drop-in basis, or they can sign up for a whole week. One day costs $29.50, for 8:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. An afternoon snack is provided and there are price breaks for whole-week registrations and for multiple children from one family. Children entering grade 1 to grade 7 are welcome.
British Soccer Camp was back, at Silver Creek School this week. In mid-July, the rec centre put on a skateboard camp, taught by ‘Hippie Mike.’
“No… it wasn’t me, in a wig,” added Freimark, grinning. “It was a fantastic turn-out, with six in the age 5 to 8 group and eleven in the 9 to 13.”
Registration numbers are key to a program’s viability. It’s important that people sign up in plenty of time, so planners can make reservations for staffing, transportation, equipment and guest presenters. For example, the Tween Summer Camp was a new item in the program guide. Two weeks were offered but the response was not strong enough to warrant going ahead, said Freimark.
Still to come are the bike skills camp, for ages 6 to 13 on August 17 and 18 — and the Red Cross babysitters course, for ages 11+, on August 23.