Culture camp gets sporty for the summer

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre will be offering Summer Culture Camp 2015. Jenna Furlong, left, a camp leader, and Brooke Moore, right, the camp co-ordinator, will be helping to present the activities for youngsters.

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre will be offering Summer Culture Camp 2015. Jenna Furlong, left, a camp leader, and Brooke Moore, right, the camp co-ordinator, will be helping to present the activities for youngsters.

Culture is actually right there in the name of the Summer Culture Camp 2015 but sports will also be a big component of the activities being offered for youngsters by Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre.

The camp, which starts on July 4 and runs to Aug. 26, will feature numerous sports.

“We go swimming twice a week,” said Brooke Moore, the camp co-ordinator. “We’re going to do lots of stuff outside.”

The children will also get to try sports that they not have experienced before.

“That’s a point of my program I want to do,” said Moore. “Just introduce kids to other stuff that’s out there in Hay River to do, rather than just the basic stuff that they already are doing.”

For example, during the first week of the camp, the children will be taken to try golfing, she said. “We already have that planned out. That will be fun.”

There will also be beach days, during which the children will play beach volleyball and other games.

Moore said one of the goals is to get young people active.

“We plan to take them to the park almost every day it’s not raining,” she said, referring to Tri-Service Park. “They could do soccer there and dodge ball. I’ll do a baseball game with them, too.”

They would also be taken to the track at Diamond Jenness Secondary School, she added. “It’s good for kids just to run around the field there.”

The camp was previously known as Summer Heat and was offered by the Town of Hay River.

“But they’re doing construction over there so they don’t have any space,” said Moore, referring to the rebuilding of the Don Stewart Recreation Centre which will be ongoing until October of next year. “So we took it over this year for them.”

When asked if the friendship centre will be running the program again next year, she said it depends on how long the construction is going at the new rec centre.

The Summer Culture Camp will not be impacted by the fact the arena will be closed.

Moore said the swimming pool will still be open over the summer.

“I know they’re not doing anything to that. Nothing that will affect us,” she said. “I want to be mostly outside with the kids anyways rather than indoors.”

Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre also ran its own culture camp last summer.

This year’s Summer Culture Camp is for ages seven to 12.

It will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days a week, Monday to Friday.

A registration day has already been held for the camp, but parents can still register their children.

Moore said the camp has a limit of 40 to 50 participants.

“But I doubt we’re going to get that much,” she said on June 24. “We only have 22 signed up right now, but we have another week.”

Moore said there are advantages for parents to enrol their children in the camp.

“It’s cheaper than daycare,” she said. “We have lots of activities planned. It’s a fun way for kids to spend their summer, too. There are activities planned every day for them.”

Although sports will play a large role in the camp, culture will be the cornerstone of activities.

“We want to incorporate a lot of stuff like on the land,” said Moore. “I want to take the kids fishing. I want to get elders in to talk to the kids. I want some elders to come and demonstrate how to traditionally cook and stuff like bannock and homemade jam.”

There will also be crafts like making dream catchers and drums.

Plus, elders will be invited in to demonstrate fiddling and jigging, and other traditional skills like cleaning fish.

Moore said the purpose is to give children a sense of culture and a sense of the community in which they live.

“Hay River, it’s all about the culture here,” she said. “I want kids to get to know where they’re from.”

Jenna Furlong, who will be one of the camp leaders, said it will incorporate culture into fun activities.

“I find that’s really fun,” she said, adding she is looking forward to the camp.

–Paul Bickford