Choose your own adventure

Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture's Adventure Zone summer day camp for children aged six to 12 starts July 3.

Summer and youth programd co-ordinator Danielle Eastick and senior leader Cole Wight

Summer and youth programd co-ordinator Danielle Eastick and senior leader Cole Wight

Around the World in Four Days, Wacky Science Week, and Survivor Transfer Beach are just some of the exciting experiences the town’s summer leaders have planned for children in Ladysmith.

Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture has planned a summer filled with “back to the basics fun” with its annual Adventure Zone summer day camp.

Every week will be a new theme packed with crafts, nature, sports, games, outings, local attractions and special events.

Children aged six to 12 can register for the summer, for a week or for a day. Registration is ongoing throughout the summer, subject to availability.

Home base is the Kinsmen Shelter at Transfer Beach, and the camps run daily July 3 to Aug. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Day camp is $129 per week. Ladysmith residents with lower incomes can take advantage of the town’s Leisure Access Program to help reduce the cost.

This year, the day camp hours are being extended in response to requests from working parents.

“We’re really excited and ready to have a safe, fun time with kids aged six to 12,” said summer and youth program co-ordinator Danielle Eastick.

Special weekly outings will be staying local this year, checking out all the best that Ladysmith has to offer, including the RCMP Detachment, the fire and ambulance stations, the pet store, public works yard and much more. Special guests will visit Transfer Beach, and day camp participants will walk or take the trolley for their outings.

“It will be fun to teach the kids about the community and have them appreciate what they have around them,” said senior leader Cole Wight. “It pretty much gives [the kids] a backstage pass to Ladysmith. There’s been a resounding great response.”

The town’s experienced summer leaders have planned weekly themes that create a lively learning atmosphere all summer long, including Around the World in Four Days, Animal Antics, Wacky Science Week, Creative Cat, Summer Olympics, Clean Green Earth Machine, Rescue 9-1-1, and Survivor Transfer Beach.

“We’ve tried to do different tastes for different ages,” said Eastick. “I think [kids] are definitely going to have fun.”

Adventure Zone summer day camp highlights things in our community that are fun, informative and safe, noted community services co-ordinator Anita McLeod.

“It’s the idea of it all being close to home as part of a child- and youth-friendly community,” she said. “I think it’s that we as an organization, the Town of Ladysmith, seek to build a child- and youth-friendly community by exploring our own backyard, building on community assets and partnering with community organizations.

“There’s the saying that it takes a community to raise a child, and we’re part of the community. We want to help raise children in our community to have fun but also be great citizens.”

Adventure Zone summer day camp also gives teens an opportunity to volunteer and gain valuable experience while having fun.

Youth aged 14-18 who are interested in helping out with the camp receive training through the town.

“It’s definitely a great resumé-builder and great work experience,” said Eastick. “Every year, the volunteers always help out the leaders, and the kids always love them. It’s a neat way to learn about yourself and about the awesome things Ladysmith does.”

“It develops them as individuals, having the opportunity to lead,” added Wight.

Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture also has many fun activities planned for older youth this summer.

Various summer trips for teens aged 12-17 have been organized. The activities range from an afternoon in Victoria to a skateboard tour or a wilderness day hike. Anyone interested in participating  can register through the Frank Jameson Community Centre.

Every Wednesday this summer, there will be free sports and a barbecue at Transfer Beach from 3:30-7 p.m. There will also be drop-in teen volleyball at Transfer Beach every Wednesday from 5-7 p.m.

The Rec Room at the Frank Jameson Community Centre will remain open Friday nights. Teens aged 13-18 can drop in from 5-9 p.m. for  free outdoor games, ping pong, shuffleboard, pool, Wii, air hockey, and food.

For more information about the town’s summer activities or to register, add your business to the list of Adventure Zone day camp outings or find out about volunteering, call 250-245-6424 or visit the town’s website.

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Summer Trips for Teens

July 3 – Imax and afternoon in Victoria ($45)

July 5 – wilderness day hike ($10)

July 9 – skimboarding at Parksville Beach ($20)

July 17 – paintball challenge ($60)

July 26 – kayak day trip ($50)

July 27 – summer water fight at Frank Jameson Community Centre (free)

Aug. 2 – wilderness day hike ($10)

Aug. 9 – Shawnigan Lake water sports ($70)

Aug. 16 – paintball challenge ($60)

Aug. 20 – skateboard tour ($20)

Aug. 28 – summer water fight at Frank Jameson Community Centre (free)