The Cowichan Lake Sports Arena has much to offer local youth this summer, everything from swimming to summer hockey to recreational programs.
Most programs began on July 1, and will continue through to August 24.
What program coordinator, John Cummings, would like to highlight, are the variety of day camps offered all summer long.
These days camps include specialty camps such as hockey power skating, mini-soccer, and moon dance cultural dance, but they also include a daily fun camp for kids who just want to get out, participate in fun activities, and enjoy the sun.
“These service the most amount of people,” says Cummings. “The specialty camps are not a big draw here.”
Each week is themed, and kids enjoy activities such as crafts, games, theme associated arts, and weather permitting, field trips around the lake.
“The idea is for the kids to be engaged, get some fresh air, and go home tired,” says Cummings.
The arena also offers pre-camp daycare for working parents who need a safe place for their children to be in the morning hours before the day camp begins. The pre-camp daycare is an additional $5 per day on top of the $25 per day camp fee.
This year, Cummings says the arena has two talented university student employees.
Unfortunately, employment of these students is entirely registration dependent, and typical to previous years, registration has started off slow this summer.
Chantal New, one of the university student employees, says she knew of this uncertainty when she applied to the arena so she has also taken a job at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre.
“I’m picking up shifts as I can,” she says. “It’s a bit of a bummer that not many people know (about the day camps), but I was prepared. It was part of our contract.”
“I would love to come back (next year),” she says. “Hopefully the kids will come back too, then the hours would be more certain.”
New says that her and the other student, Kailey Laidlaw, had three days to plan activities for the day camp program.
“We used some of last year’s ideas and expanded on them,” and they also came up with some new ideas of their own.
“This is a great facility,” she says of the arena. “There is a bunch of stuff we haven’t even had a chance to use yet.”
For more information on all the programs offered at the arena this summer, check out the Playbook available in the July 4 issue of the Gazette, through the arena, or at many locations around Lake Cowichan. You can also phone the arena at 250-749-6742.