The Woolwich Summer Camp has evolved over the years since it started in 2009. This year, its newest integration is a summer camp leader-in-training development program, which trains youth 13-16 to become camp leaders and awards volunteer experience.
“It’s a new program, it’s more hands-on and immersive,” explained Emily Orr, the WMC summer camp coordinator. “So if someone wants to be a camp leader, or work with children, or just have a summer volunteer experience, there are two sections to the program now. The first part is a training component, where they get trained in skills that are fitting to a camp setting but also transferrable in general, so like communication skills, teamwork, program planning, behaviour management with children, and they also receive their LSS (Lifesaving Society Safeguard) and anaphylaxis rescue certificates during that time.
“And then the second portion they put their training to practice, they come into camp with us, they get placed at the kids camp for at least two weeks of their choosing. And they’re with us, they’re volunteers, they plan and run and activity with us this year, so we’re just getting them more prepared if they want to become a camp leader. It also teaches ways to look for jobs and how to go about that process, and things like that,” she added.
The Woolwich Summer Camp offers several other programs, including kids camp for ages 5-10 and youth adventure camp for ages 9-14 and runs out of the WMC, Breslau Community Centre and the Conestogo Park clubhouse.
The program is nine weeks with nine different themes in which the activities and guest speakers are based around specific themes. It starts on July 3 and goes until August 31.
“So for our ‘Into the Wild’ theme, we’re going to African Lion Safari,” said Briana Kuchma, the Breslau/Conestogo camp coordinator. “Another example would be that we go to the library in Elmira and then we have a library guest speaker coming in as well. So depending on the theme, we often switch it up.”
For kids camp, there are ‘Medieval’ and ‘Under the Sea’ themes. For the youth adventure camp, there are ‘Raiders of the Lost Artifacts,’ ‘Challenge Weekend’ and ‘Artful Antics,’ to name a few. Other camp activities include bubble soccer, indoor roller skating, baking, crafts, and even a visit to the horseback riding camp in Conestogo.
“We try to balance the program with a little bit of everything,” explained Orr.
The intention is to allow members of the summer camp to try new things.
“I want them to know that our leaders are really excited this year,” said Orr. “We have really enthusiastic leaders. We really just want to provide our community with an exceptional camp experience and just have an unforgettable summer.”
The costs of the camp vary depending on location, whether or not a week or four-day week is chosen, as well as the type of camp, but are listed on the website as anywhere between $135-$199. Optional add-ons include extended care, swimming lessons, and lunch. Hours generally run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program or learning more can visit the Woolwich Township website under the summer camps section, or apply in person at the WMC or Breslau Community Centre.