Science and Swim at City of Ottawa camps

Nepean Sportsplex and François Dupuis Recreation Centre dish out great activities during March Break

Would your child like to learn how to make slime? How about rock candy or elephant toothpaste? Both the Nepean Sportsplex and the François Dupuis Recreation Centre are offering March Break camps featuring fun science and swimming activities.

“This is not classroom science,” laughs Deanna Phillips, program coordinator of children’s recreation at the Nepean Sportsplex, “but it is science and it’s a fun way to learn.” The camps are geared to children ages eight to 12 and along with science, there are plenty of other activities going on. “We make sure we keep the kids busy,” says Jeff Shepherd, program coordinator, François Dupuis Recreation Centre. “All the activities will be indoors for March Break, so we’ll be playing plenty of active games like capture the flag and dodgeball, as well as swimming each afternoon. But for the most part, the morning highlight will be science.”

Counsellors at the Nepean Sportsplex and the François Dupuis Recreation Centre are all recreation-trained staff, have first aid training and are very experienced in working with children. “These counsellors know how to have fun at work in a professional way,” says Shepherd, “and when needed, they can improvise on the spot to keep kids entertained.” Phillips agrees. “Because the counsellors are enjoying themselves, it highlights the exciting aspect of science and it becomes cool to learn.” Shepherd says the counsellors also try to build a rapport with the parents and provide feedback. “I think it’s important for parents to know what their child is enjoying,” says Shepherd. He believes parents appreciate knowing that the counsellors are that involved. The swim part of the camp is divided up by age and ability and is properly supervised. “Pool time is for about an hour,” says Shepherd, “and most of the kids end up exhausted by the end of the day, but they’ve had a great time.”

For camps at both locations there is pre-care from 8 to 9 a.m. and post-care from 4 to 5 p.m. The camps run from March 12 to 16. Phillips suggests signing up as soon as possible, as they fill up quickly. “The camps at both the Nepean Sportsplex and François Dupuis are popular,” says Phillips, “but you can easily sign up online.” Sign up for City of Ottawa March Break day camps, including Science and Swim at