Original Published 15:20 Jun 07, 2022

By Brenda Sawatzky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The summer break is almost here and kids are excited for the two-month recess. For parents, though, it may be a different story. They may dread hearing the phrase “I’m bored,” a familiar refrain when a family doesn’t necessarily have plans for how to fill those long summer days.

The Town of Niverville’s recreation department is going into the summer with more programming for kids than ever before. 

“We are running 23 [kids] camps this summer, up from last year’s 17 camps,” says Chantelle Falk, Niverville’s summer camp program coordinator.

Falk says that the camps will offer something for any kid between the ages of three and 13. Each of the day camps will run for one week, and they will fill the schedule throughout July and August. 

For preschoolers, half-day camps will explore a variety of themes to help their imaginations soar. The themes include Animal Adventures, Around the World, Wild Water, Dance and Music, and Camping and Nature. Each camp will be packed with hours of games, crafts, sports, and musical adventures.

But with registration having been open since May, some of the newest camps have already sold out. For parents with little people who love superheroes, for example, they’ll have to wait until next summer to get in on the action planned for the Princesses and Heroes week.

New for kids ages six to 12 this year is the Space and Science camp. Expecting the theme to be popular, the town’s coordinators have planned one camp for each month throughout the summer. Registration for the July camps are already at capacity, but August is filling up quickly.

Back by popular demand are the Amazing Race, Nature Explorers, and Imaginarium camps where kids explore creative arts such as theatre and the thrill of invention.

For sports enthusiasts, volleyball and basketball camps are ready to go at the CRRC. As well, a generalized sports camp dabbles in a wide variety of sports to help kids familiarize themselves with different ways of getting their game on.

For one week only this summer, young explorers might enjoy the Adventure camp, where they can build confidence in a safe environment and make new friends as they explore Hespeler Park. Activities will include a fun foam party and mini field trip. Two camps will run simultaneously, one for those who identify as male and another for those who identify as female. 

Based on previous popularity, not one but two culinary camps were included in this year’s roster. As anticipated, both camps are already filled to capacity.

“The culinary camps… are specialized camps and are different from your typical day camp,” Falk says. “We have received amazing feedback from our Kids in the Kitchen program that runs throughout the year and Culinary camp has a similar set up. So that is likely another reason why it has been so popular.”

Apart from summer day camps, Falk and her colleague Chantel Todd have found creative ways for kids to enjoy the new CRRC all summer long. 

Every Monday through Wednesday evening in July, kids ages five to 11 can unleash their inner artist in one of three programs designed for creative minds. For the little science nerd in the family, Up & Atom is a four-week program brimming with fun science experiments.

Parents of infants and preschoolers will find more than enough to keep their littles entertained with programs like Neighbourhood Storytime, Toddler Shenanigans, Shake, Rattle & Roll, and Mindful Munchkins.

On Wednesdays and Fridays throughout July and August, kids from birth to seven years can participate in some court time through Sports Club and Young Children Open Gym.

Because it takes a small army of people to manage all this programming, Falk is hoping for some young recruits to help out.

“We have eight fantastic summer staffers who will work the camps, as well as our campus staff who will help fill in the gaps,” Falk says. “New this year, we are offering volunteer opportunities to youth aged 13 and up… These volunteers will assist our staff in ensuring our camps run smoothly. We are always looking for more help.”

This item reprinted with permission from The Citizen, Niverville, Manitoba