The town may have cancelled the popular Summer Heat camp program, but that doesn’t mean families will be left stranded when school lets out.
As a result of the ongoing municipal strike, the town announced last week that it would not be able to run the camp that took in about 60 children last year. Several organizations have stepped forward to offer programs for children, including the Rowes Group of Companies and Yamoria Judo Dojo, though both said they still had some details to work out.
“I had been trying to find a project to give back to the community,” Michelle Schaub told The Hub last week. “Rowe’s has always supported things in this town, particularly sports for kids, so this seemed like a good fit.”
Schaub said the program — which awaits naming by its soon-to-be-hired co-ordinators — will see participants taking part in the kinds of activities that took place at Summer Heat, including weekly trips to the library, but will also have days at the beach and tours of various businesses and organizations in town. They will also have access to Riverview Cineplex for the odd rainy day.
“We want to try different things and have a lot of fun,” Schaub said. “It’s completely supported by Rowe’s Group of Companies — the town has nothing to do with it. We’re not doing this for the money, Rowe’s has always supported the community and we’re just continuing.”
Philippe Beaupre of Yamoria Judo has also announced that he will be running a summer camp, this one focused on sports, particularly judo.
“We’re looking at doing two hours of judo per day, and then the rest of it just be all kinds of sports and activities,” he said. “Mason Bruneau will be helping out, and he knows a lot about the sport and all kinds of games to help teach skills for it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
While both Schaub and Beaupre said they had yet to hammer out the details, they have some basics outlines. Schaub said Rowe’s program could be able to accommodate 20 more campers than Summer Heat did last year with a possible capacity 80 children in all.
As well, the age range is expected to be greater with the minimum age being a year younger. The plan, for the time being, is to accept children between the ages of five and 12 for a price comparable to Summer Heat last year, approximately $300 for the months of July and August. There may also be more flexible schedules and rates for families who want to enroll their children for individual days or weeks but not the full two months.
Beaupre estimates his camp will be able to take in 20 to 30 children, from about seven to 12 years old and cost about $15 per day.
While the new camp started up because Summer Heat was cancelled, Schaub said she doesn’t see any reason why it should end when the labour dispute does.
“It’s early to say if this will continue, but if all goes well, if the kids are happy and we hire the right people, I don’t see why not,” she said. “I love this community, I love the kids here, and I like to see it growing and people being happy.”