I love summer camp. Some of my best memories and strongest friendships were cultivated at summer camp, so I will be forever grateful to my parents for encouraging my participation in camp.
You know the cool thing about camp (other than making friends and having tonnes of fun)? There are so many to choose from! Seriously, the variety of camps in the Edmonton area alone is staggering. The other cool thing? Many camps are still open for registration, so if you've been a bit slow on the uptake or your summer plans have suddenly changed and you find you've got some free time to fill, we've got you covered! Here are some camps in and around the Edmonton area that are still taking registrations:
1. CAMP OSELIA
Of course I have to start with Camp Oselia! Though it wasn't the first camp I ever went to, it was the first sleep-away camp I attended. I was definitely nervous to sleep away from home (my mom actually volunteered at the camp my first year so I'd feel more comfortable), but the experience turned out amazing and the next summer I happily said bye to my parents! I made loads of new friends, had a blast in all our activities (epic group games like Capture the Flag and Colours, beach days, camp fires, and dances), and even learned a thing or two about Jesus. And you can't forget about George the Squirrel! As our eparchial camp, it's a great place to go for kids to learn a bit about the Ukrainian Catholic faith while having a fun time doing so. Camps are available for kids grades 2-12, early-bird registration closes June 21st and the final deadline is June 29th.
2. CAMP ST. BASIL'S
The other camp we have within the Edmonton Eparchy is Camp St. Basil's, run by the Basilian Fathers. Head out to Pigeon Lake this July 1-14 if you're between the ages of 7-14. The cool thing is that programming for Camp St. Basil's and Camp Oselia don't conflict so you can send your kids to both! Their brochure has all the information you need, so click on over for more info.
3. UKRAINIAN CULTURAL HERITAGE VILLAGE
If you've ever been to the Ukrainian Village, you know how cool it is to explore Albertan-Ukrainian history at this open-air museum on HWY 16. Even better is that kids have a chance to dress up in period-appropriate clothing and pretend to be "Villagers" too! With both a Historical Children's Program (HCP) and Junior Interpreter's Program (JIP), kids can grow up to help summer interpreters share the stories of Ukrainian immigrants to visitors throughout the summer. This camp is also a day camp, so if you're not quite ready for overnight camps, this is a great alternative (it's also how I was introduced to the concept of camp and I've got to say I had a great time – I even ended up working at the Ukrainian Village for a couple summers because I had so much fun years earlier).
4. TELUS WORLD OF SCIENCE
I am definitely not a science nerd, but there are loads of people who are! If you want to get your fix of science this summer, check out the day camps at Telus World of Science. For kids aged 6-14, they've got you covered with with a whole bunch of topics like dinosaurs (my niece loves dinosaurs!), chemistry, space, animation, and game creation, to name a few. The half-day camps are sold out, but several of the full-day camps still have spots open. If you're a member you also get 10% off on registration!
5. CITADEL THEATRE
So, maybe you're like me and aren't as into science. Maybe you're destined for the stage. Guess what... there are camps for you too! The Foote Theatre School at the Citadel Theatre has summer day camps in acting, musical theatre, and comedy and laughter for kids aged 6-18. The week-long camps culminate with a performance for family and friends, the perfect opportunity to shine in the spotlight! There are also adult summer classes in the evenings for the adults out there who want to give drama a try. If you decide to go this route, make sure you stop and say hi – I'll be teaching at some of the camps :D
Maybe the stage isn't your thing. Maybe you want to be a writer. You've got to check out YouthWrite's camps. With a day camp option at the Bennett Centre or an overnight camp at Kamp Kiwanis at Bragg Creek, you're sure to find the right place for inspiration to strike. They've got a great roster of instructors experienced in the art of storytelling to guide you on your way to become the next best-selling author.
7. CITY OF EDMONTON
By this point I hope you can see that there are so many options for camp, even within Edmonton itself. If you still aren't convinced, then you need to take a look at the City of Edmonton's website, under the section for camps. The list of camps they're putting on goes on for seven pages! I didn't even know some of these camps existed, like the Artist's Bistro Camp, Neighbourhood Heroes Camp, or Spy Camp (seriously, my 9-year old self would have loved Spy Camp!). When you click on the course, information will pop up as to whether or not the camp is still available and if you need to get on a waiting list.
Phew! I don't know about you, but going through the number of camps we've got available in the Edmonton area has got me zonked. This isn't even the full list! It just goes to show how truly blessed we are in Edmonton to have so many wonderful opportunities for children to experience fellowship, learning, and recreation. May God bless your summer with amazing experiences and memories, whether you're at camp, at home, or somewhere in between.
God is so good!