With school nearly out, are you scrambling to find something to keep your child stimulated through the long summer months?
We’ve rounded up just some of the options in the region for every child’s interest: from horseback riding to sports to history, there’s no shortage of options.
Here’s a breakdown and how to register.
Saddle up for summer camp at Seven Pines Stables
If your child is a budding equine enthusiast and someone who enjoys time out in the country, then Seven Pines Stables (1297 Eldon Rd, Kawartha Lakes, 705-953-9602) is the place to be.
The beautiful facility, located in in the heart of Kawartha Lakes, will run a summer camp on July 10-14, August 8-11 and August 21-25 that encompasses equine activities, arts and crafts for children ages 7 and older. No riding experience is required to attend.
Over a dozen children take part in each of the week-long programs, taught by owner and certified level II centered riding instructor Heather Leach, which is designed to be a positive introduction to horses for novice riders and an opportunity for advanced riders to work on their riding techniques. The non-riding activities are taught by a handful of high school graduates and Grade 9-11 students looking to complete their community hours.
“Regardless of their experience, we make sure that when kids complete the week of camp, they have a good understanding of safe riding techniques and the responsibilities involved in taking care of a horse,” says Leach, who has been teaching riding lessons for over 20 years.
“With beginners, we focus on basic skills where kids spend time in the saddle, in addition to learning how to groom, feed and safely handle horses, clean the stalls, and get ready for their daily lessons.”
For experienced riders, athleticism is the focus, where campers improve their skills in advanced disciplines, like jumping and dressage.
The camp program is based around the Ontario Equestrian Federation’s Rider Levels, a benchmark designed for riders who want to know what is required at each riding level and work their way up to that level of experience. This benchmark also applies to stable management to gauge how well riders can tack up and groom the horses.
Bring your own horse
Want to take your four-legged friend with you? No problem. Campers who want to bring their own horse (boarded or trailered in) can arrange to do so for a small fee for the week.
“We usually get one or two kids per week who bring a horse that they work closely with to our camp which is an added benefit for them,” says Leach.
At the beginning of camp, groups are split by level so riders can be with others of similar experience. Each day consists of two small group riding lessons where campers move around the facility and spend time learning about horses, their care, and how to properly handle and tack up.
Horse-related crafts and outdoor games are also a part of the day.
At the end of the week, campers have the opportunity to feature the skills and tasks learned from the program on what’s called “Show Off” day for family and friends.
Leach says this is where the more advanced riders work in pairs to perform a musical ride with their horses, consisting of patterns and drills choreographed to music. Performances also combines the elegance of dressage and the precision of show jumping.
“Nice wrap up at the end of the week,” says Leach. “The kids decorate the horses with ribbons and bows in cool colours. Family and friends get the opportunity to take pictures. There’s no judging or placing, or competition — just pure fun.”
Uplifting to the spirit
Leach believes that horses can change lives, giving young people confidence and strong self-esteem, and helps to improve balance and flexibility. Horseback riding can also help children with emotional issues improve concentration, self-discipline, motivation and interpersonal skills.
She hopes the children learn life lessons from their horse-riding experience. “Spending time with the horses has a calming effect and is uplifting to the spirit,” says Leach.
With only 15 spots available per week, spots are quickly filling up, often by campers who are returning for an additional week because they have enjoyed their experience with the horses.
“The majority of the kids who attend this summer camp do come back to the other sessions we offer over the summer,” says Leach. “Even the kids who it takes three days to get them on a horse want to come back.”
Get your kid moving with City of Peterborough’s summer sports camps
Is your child looking to improve in a particular sport? Does he need to get more active? Tennis, football, basketball, soccer and ultimate sports like frisbee, rugby, and archery are just a few of the kinds of activities boys and girls can learn about to stay on the move this summer, organized by the City of Peterborough’s Recreation Division (210 Wolfe St., Peterborough, 705-742-7777 ext. 1873).
“The Recreation Division partners with local sports organizations such as Peterborough City Soccer Club, Peterborough Rugby Club, Quaker Park Tennis Club, Kinsmen Minor Football League, and local basketball coach Craig Muir — all who are specialists in their respective sport and have come on board to lead the sports camps,” says Stephanie Fraser, who organizes the city’s summer sports camps.
Sports camps, in particular, offer many benefits and new adventures as campers explore hidden abilities, or build on already-developed skills while making new friends and learning life skills in the process.
“Sports camps offer benefits that extend far beyond the basics of practicing a sport,” Fraser explains. “Kids have the opportunity to master a new skill or a new sport that they are interested in. They are getting out and getting active, and studies show that if you’re active as a kid, you’re most likely to stay active and healthy as an adult.”
The City of Peterborough offers two types of municipally funded recreational fee subsidies through a Recreational Fee Subsidy Program to assist qualifying families with the cost of registration for recreational programs, sports activities and camps, for children under the age of 19 years. Visit the City’s website for more information.
Summer 2017 Sports Camps Schedule
The dates listed below are the only weeks with spots still available. For more information, click on the name of the camp. To register online, click on the age group.
You can also register by calling the Recreation Division at 705-742-7777 ext. 1873 or by dropping by the Recreation Division office at 210 Wolfe Street between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Offered in partnership with Head Instructor Craig Muir and the City’s Recreation Division. Instruction is provided for both boys and girls, focusing on basketball skill development, shooting, passing, team offensive and defensive concepts, physical conditioning, and game playing. This week-long camp is a fantastic way to improve and develop our young basketball athletes.
Offered in partnership with the Kinsmen Minor Football League and the City’s Recreation Division. Boys and girls will learn basic football instruction in both offence and defense and will strive to improve upon their football skills over the course of the program. Instruction is provided by representatives of the Kinsmen Minor Football League. Please note that all activities are of a non-contact nature.
This half-day camp will develop hand-eye coordination, teach basic stroke skills and introduce the fun of game play, all on the high-quality clay tennis courts of the Quaker Park Tennis Club. Players will be grouped according to experience and skill levels with each group having separate instructors. All groups will further develop strokes, including serves and learn offensive and defensive strategies for more competitive play.
Youth Soccer Camp
(Multiple weeks offered in July only)
Full day camps will include a lunchtime trip to Rogers Cove Park to swim (water quality depending) and use the splash pad.
Offered in partnership with the Peterborough Rugby Club and the City’s Recreation Division. Introduces campers to non-contact rugby as well as some sports they may have never experienced, such as archery, giant-ball soccer, cricket, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, tennis, Aussie Rules football, and basketball. Two off-site trips will be planned each week to local sport facilities. Campers will enjoy the use of the Rotary Splash Pad at Nicholls Oval as well as all the Peterborough Rugby Clubhouse facilities.
Offered in partnership with the Peterborough Rugby Club and the City’s Recreation Division. Introduces campers to non-contact rugby as well as some sports they may have never experienced such as cricket, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, giant ball soccer, volleyball, slack-lining, tug of war, road hockey, and more. Also features instruction in non-contact rugby each morning and a new sport each afternoon. Two off-site trips will be planned each week to local sport facilities, one of which includes Treetop Trekking in Ganaraska Park.
Send your child back in time at Kawartha Settlers’ Village
Give your child a taste of history by sending them back in time at summer camps offered by Kawartha Settlers’ Village (85 Dunn Street, Bobcaygeon, 705-738-6163).
Starting in July, Kawartha Settlers’ Village — run by the Kawartha Region Arts and Heritage Society — will offer children and youth the opportunity to step into the past and experience everyday life in a rural Bobcaygeon village during the 19th century.
The Village offers a host of hands-on activities and meaningful participation for children through the Settlers’ Camp and Art Camp.
This week-long day camp, for children aged six to 10, is focused on introducing children to the life and times of Bobcaygeon’s founders by encouraging them to participate in pioneer activities and chores (appropriate for their age group).
Settled on 10 picturesque acres, Kawartha Settlers’ Village is best known for its dedication to preserving the heritage of the region’s agricultural roots. The museum aims to promote local history and create an exciting atmosphere where children can experience a hands-on approach to learning about their history. One of the summer camp’s themes is “Coming to Canada”.
“This is a great way to get kids excited about history and a great balance between education and fun,” says Jessica Bullock, Marketing Coordinator at Kawartha Settlers’ Village.
Throughout the course of the week, campers can participate in a full tour of the Village which has 20 historic homes and buildings, including a blacksmith shop and implement shed, fire hall, general store, jail, and woodworking shop.
Add some crafts and hands-on activities that were considered ‘everyday’ over a hundred years ago (like baking bread, butter churning, weaving, sheep shearing, and square dancing), and a child is transported back to the 1870s — to the good parts anyways (the camp is fully equipped with modern plumbing).
Children will be able to sample and take home the crafts and goodies that they assist in creating.
“We get a lot of city kids who are unaware of what life was like in the 19th century,” says Bullock. “The hands-on experience allows them to have a better connection to their ancestors. Some kids are still surprised at the fact that their great-great-grandparents didn’t have phones and other modern things like that.”
During the day, campers are also encouraged to dress in period costume assuming the role of a 19th-century child.
“Many kids arrive in costumes that a grandparent or parent made for them, such as a bonnet,” says Bullock. “If they don’t have a costume, we have plenty on hand here at the Village for them to use.”
At the end of the week, Bullock says campers leave with a historical-like photograph of them posing with serious faces in their costumes — reenacting what a photo from the old days would look like.
The July camps are fully booked, and only 20 spots are available for the week of Monday, August 7th to Friday, August 11th.
Taught by Visual Arts Specialist Ellen Dumas, Art Camp focuses on utilizing paints, pastels, pencils, charcoal, paper mache, and other sculpting materials, allowing campers to learn the proper techniques of art materials.
“The kids will have the freedom to express themselves through their creativity,” says Bullock.
“They get to create what they want to at that time — there are no restrictions.”
Games, skills training, and contests all add up to an exciting week.
At the end of the program, campers do an art exhibit where they display their creations for friends and family to see.
The camp, suitable for children and youth ages 10 to 14, runs over two weeks: Monday, July 24th to Friday, July 28th, and Monday, August 14th to Friday, August 18th. There are a maximum of 20 spots available.
For prices and to register online for the Settlers’ Camp or the Art Camp, visit www.settlersvillage.org/summer-camp or download the 2017 camp registration form, complete it and return it to the office.