For many kids, summer is synonymous with camp
Sports, arts, dance, martial arts – City of Ottawa’s camps have something for every child of every age. “We do have a terrific range of camps for all ages,” says Jennifer Cunningham, recreation supervisor with the City of Ottawa, “and for a wide range of interests.” Sports-minded children can sign up for soccer, football, softball, volleyball, and there’s even beach volleyball available. And most camps are open to ages four to fourteen years of age. “For the younger children aged four and five, it’s more of a fun and friends camp,” says Cunningham, “and we have a one to eight ratio for supervision.” There are even preschool dance programs for four-year-olds and half-day camps for three-year-olds.
Older children might be interested in the leadership camps available. “This is geared to the 13-year-old and up,” says Cunningham. “It’s a great opportunity to learn team building and leadership.” Campers apprentice with counsellors at the camps and learn the ins and outs of running recreation programs. Cunningham says that learning these skills could lead to future employment with the city’s summer camps. And as Cunningham says, “these are good transferrable skills for any future job.”
For the artistic child, Shenkman Arts Centre and the Nepean Creative Arts Centre offer many arts-related programs, including performing arts and other artistic opportunities. Swim camps are available for younger children. Most of these camps include other activities as well – like the karate and swim camp. The junior lifeguarding camp is ideal for that future lifeguard job.
City camps are in neighbourhoods across the city. “For the most part,” says Cunningham, “we have camps that are convenient for parents to get to and with a wide-variety of activities available.” She also stresses that safety is a number one priority and that all staff are police checked, know CPR/AED and are first aid trained. “The city is a High Five Organization and committed to child development,” says Cunningham. “That means that we emphasize the opportunity to make friends, to play, to master skills and to participate.” Camping is a great social experience, says Cunningham and a fun way to make friends and learn good skills.
Sign up for Ottawa city camps at ottawa.ca/recreation or at joinottawa.ca.
Did you know?
Now more than ever, exclusively French camps are being offered not only in the east and north of the city, but also west and south. Summer programs have been increased for children of all ages at the Kanata and Minto Recreation Complexes. New locations are also being tested this summer with a few weeklong camps at CARDELREC Recreation Complex (formerly Goulbourn) and Metcalfe Community Centre. The latter offers a program for French Immersion students wishing to maintain their skills over the summer months and is suitable for all francophones. Teens will benefit from leadership certificate programs in French at Routhier Community Centre and Sir Guy Carleton. Details are at join.ottawa.ca., or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.