Zoning in on community and adventure

Adventure Zone Daycamps in Ladysmith start July 2, and you can get a sneak peek on Canada Day

Summer is a time for adventure, and Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture has you covered with eight weeks of exciting daycamp programming.

Adventure Zone Summer Daycamps start Wednesday, July 2 and offer eight weeks of sports, arts and crafts, local adventures and much more for youth aged six to 12. Children aged five can participate as well if they have attended kindergarten. Children can participate for one day, one week or one whole summer.

Adventure Zone Summer Daycamps will take place for longer hours this year, running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and the daycamps will be based out of the Frank Jameson Community Centre (FJCC) this year. Although the campers will go on various excursions around town, pickup and dropoff will always be at the FJCC.

Adventure Zone Summer Daycamps are offered weekdays from July 2 to Aug. 22. Each week has a different theme, such as O Canada, animal adventures, wet ‘n wild, superheroes, survivor or green thumb.

“There are different activities we will do throughout the summer using local businesses and keeping the kids active — we will be walking everywhere, and we’ll swim every day,” said summer daycamp co-ordinator Mallory McLeod.

During Adventure Zone Daycamps, children might find themselves on an Amazing Race-style treasure hunt throughout town, playing at Brown Drive Park, doing arts and crafts, learning about science in fun ways, playing in the waterpark at Transfer Beach, finding out what happens in a local restaurant or even playing life-sized board games.

Mallory is really excited to be running the daycamps out of FJCC this year.

“It’s nice because we can use the whole facility — the Rec Room, the gym, the fields, the pool,” she said. “I’m pretty pumped we are here. I think this also gives us a lot more leeway with indoor activities. The possibilities are endless, really, if we think about it.”

“It gives us a much wider range of access to parks,” added program attendant Bailey McLeod. “We’ve never done daycamp like this.”

Mallory feels having the daycamps at the FJCC will also keep the kids more active, and she thinks the pool will be a big attraction.

“We’re going to be swimming every day instead of just one,” she said. “We have lifejackets here for kids younger than seven, and with Christine and I being lifeguards, there’s that extra security. Some kids are skeptical of the ocean, but everyone loves the pool. I’m so excited that it’s here.”

Whatever the theme of the week, Adventure Zone Daycamps will always be really focused on community and learning about Ladysmith.

“It’s kind of nice because a lot of times, kids don’t know everything that’s going on in town, and neither do we,” said senior leader Christine Young, who is working at daycamp for the first year but has been around it often because she has been a lifeguard at FJCC for the past seven years.

Mallory, who is a lifeguard as well, has been a junior leader and a senior leader with daycamp, and she loves working with kids.

“We all love kids and providing them with a fun, exciting way to fill the summer,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the fact we’ve completely changed everything about daycamp, and it’s going to unfold in a completely different way. It’s going to be awesome.”

Bailey is in his fourth year as a staff member, and he volunteered with daycamp as soon as he was old enough to.

“We’re committed to the town,” he noted. “It’s nice because everyone has such a diverse background, but we all have daycamp in common and working with kids.”

Junior leader Alexa Spanevello is in her second year working at the daycamps, but she volunteered before, and she went to the daycamps when she was younger.

“I’m looking forward to being able to spend time with the kids and build relationships, and to our outings,” she said.

Children can get a taste of daycamp Tuesday, July 1 when the Adventure Zone Daycamp leaders will be offering costume races, tug of war and more fun activities during the Canada Day celebrations from 1-5 p.m. at Transfer Beach.

Daycamp costs $39 for one day (space permitting), $89 for the shorter week of July 2-4, $119 for the shorter week of Aug. 5-8, and $149 for five days. There are discounted rates for siblings.

Children are asked to bring a lunch, water, sunscreen, a bathing suit and towel and maybe a change of clothes.

For more information, call 250-245-6424 or visit www.ladysmith.ca. You can also find more information about Adventure Zone Daycamps on the Ladysmith Parks, Recreation & Culture Facebook page.

Right now, the Adventure Zone Daycamps are also looking for volunteers to help out as leaders in training, helping with the games and with safety supervision.

Mallory says they will try to plan a volunteer training session before July 2, and people who are interested in volunteering can volunteer for one day, one week or all summer, whatever fits their schedule. Volunteers must be 14 or older.

Contact Mallory McLeod or Kate Glenn at 250-245-6424 for more information.