Summer officially arrives next week. Soon after, thousands of local kids will be out of school for the next couple of months, with family schedules that will need to be filled.
With both in mind, Woolwich is ready to roll out its summer camp offerings.
The Woolwich Summer Camp continues to evolve since its launch in 2009: this year, organizers are incorporating two new specialty camps. The first is a partnership with the Elmira Golf Club called the golf camp – participants between the ages of 8 and 14 will get to spend the morning on the links.
“We’re really excited about that one – that’s very new to us,” said Emily Orr, WMC summer camp coordinator. “It’ll be a cool opportunity, especially for those older campers, if they’re interested in golf or maybe want to learn more about it – it’s a really nice opportunity to go there, have a professional teaching them, and be giving them that time.”
The second is called Kitchen Adventures, where campers get the chance to prepare their lunches all week.
“It’s a hands-on camp; if you’re interested in cooking, you get to be fully immersed in those themes, which is really exciting,” said Orr.
For older youth looking to get involved, the Woolwich Summer Camp is continuing 2018’s leader-in-training development program. It aims to give older participants, 13-16 years of age, the skills to become camp leaders while gaining volunteer experience. Skills developed in this program include communication, teamwork, program planning, and behaviour management with children.
The program also offers those participating to become certified in anaphylaxis rescue and Lifesaving Society Safeguard.
Features that remain the same to many previous years include themed weeks. Depending on the week, they will be offered at the WMC, Breslau Community Centre or Conestogo Park clubhouse. There are different themes depending on the age group. For example, Kids Camp covers youth 5-10.
“Week 3 for Kids Camp is a Hawaiian theme. So it’s all going to be an under-the-water theme – ‘Finding Nemo,’ things like that, exploring the wonders of the ocean, making pirate ships and playing water games,” explained Briana Kuchma, the Breslau/Conestogo camp coordinator.
“Then Week 4 we have Bugs Life, which is a really cool week for Kids Camp because we get to go to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.”
Campers will be travelling to a few cool new locations this year, including the Donkey Sanctuary, the Waterloo Central Railway in St. Jacobs, Conestogo River Horseback Adventures, and Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo.
Other themed weeks on tap include the Barnyard Palooza, Jungle Book, Winter Wonderland and Wizards in Woolwich. Orr recommended to act fast, as some weeks have already been completely filled.
“We’ve already had some great registration numbers: we have two camp weeks that are actually already full. Then we’ve had a couple that were full, and we extended for more room for campers to register,” said Orr. “But we have quite a few weeks that have just a few spots left so we do encourage people to start looking at their summer calendars, if they haven’t already, and get to registering.”
The Woolwich Summer Camp does incorporate new themes and/or activities each year based on feedback received from campers and parents. Organizers offer a variety of activities including crafts, games, science, baking, and drama, to give a well-rounded experience.
“We try to talk to parents and campers as much as we can. We like to tailor our program to their needs,” said Orr. “So every year, if we hear some ideas from them, and we try to consider what the interests of the children and youth in our community; then we base the activities and themes off of that so that we are piquing their interest and finding ways to keep them engaged throughout the summer.”
Depending on the week chosen, camps costs can range from $135-199 per week. There are optional add-ons, such as lunches, that cost a little extra. Registrations can be done at the WMC, Breslau Community Centre, or online at www.woolwich.ca.