School is almost over for hundreds of students in the area and instead of spending all summer indoors in front of the television, Woolwich staff want kids to get out and explore.
Starting next month, the Woolwich Memorial Centre is playing host to the annual Kid’s Camp and, now, the newly introduced Youth Adventure Camp (YAC).
For the first time, Woolwich is offering a separate day camp for older campers. Emily Orr, coordinator for YAC, says the idea came when parents and kids expressed interest in programming catered to older kids.
“We had a lot of parents who felt that their older campers were lacking a bit of the experience because last year, it was all the campers together. There were times when the 10-year-olds were doing the same activities as the five-year-olds, and that is a big age gap, so we really wanted to cater to that need and get the youth camp to be more specific to their interests to provide them with the best programming,” she said. “It also helps with drop off times. Instead of parents having to drop their kids off at two different camps in the morning, they can do it all at once.”
The customized programming takes the form of themed weeks throughout the summer, starting with a ‘master chef’ theme, where youth ages nine to 14 will be testing their culinary skills in the kitchen with daily cooking competitions and a trip to the farmers’ market. The idea is to keep kids involved.
“One week is about extreme sports, so we will be going to the skate park a lot, so it kind of depends on the theme. We try and cater all of the activities to the theme to keep the interests aligned with what they registered for, but also try to gear the activities to the age range to keep them interested,” said Orr. “We try to provide a balanced program plan with things like Minute to Win it, or something more creative-based like a craft or it may be getting them to make up their own game.”
The annual Kid’s Camp will be taking the same format, with different themes every week, starting out with a sportsmania theme. Campers will be trying out plenty of different team sports, and the trip for the week will send kids flying at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park.
Orr says the camps are a great way for kids to forge relationships, and maybe check out different places in the community they have never been before.
“It is a great opportunity for us to go out and take the campers out in the community. We are a small town camp, so there is the benefit of when your [kids] comes to camp, they will probably already know a few campers from school,” she said. “They are in a safe environment, that they can meet other campers that they may not have met before. We just like to take them out and give them a good time. The leaders get to know everyone as well, and that makes everyone more comfortable and then everybody can build new friendships and relationships.”
The camps run for nine weeks, but campers don’t have to attend every week. They are invited to check out the summer schedule on the township website to see which weeks would appeal to their interests.
The Kid’s Camp is open to kids aged five to 10, with the Youth Adventure Camp providing activities for kids aged nine to 14. There are camps in Elmira, Breslau, Maryhill and Heidelberg.
To see the schedule, and to register for camp, visit www.woolwich.ca.