This year, GreenUP is delighted to offer a new summer camp program called Urban Bike Adventures.
This week-long day camp, based out of GreenUP’s Aylmer Street location, will empower youth ages 9 to 12 to navigate the city by bicycle. GreenUP has previously piloted adventure-based camps and we are delighted to be offering a full season of camps where participants will learn bike handling skills using the Cycling Canada HopOn curriculum.
HopOn is a games-based curriculum that helps riders of all abilities build their bike handling skills. During Urban Bike Adventures, participants will learn the joy of cycling safely and develop their knowledge and skill in how to navigate our community.
“We encourage kids at varying development levels to try our program, as our game-based activities can adapt to meet the needs of all participants,” says Alex Roger, sport and coach development specialist with Ontario Cycling. “HopOn is for every ride. From those who have recently started cycling without training wheels to those almost ready to join a local club, HopOn has something to offer.”
HopOn helps develop a variety of riding skills. According to Roger, these include “the ready/neutral position, braking, gearing, front wheel lift, tilts and dismounts, one-hand riding, partner riding, cornering, and bike-body-separation. And with a focus on safety, all participants will become confident in learning how to complete a bike and helmet safety check before riding.”
GreenUP is excited to be integrating the HopOn curriculum into our own program that includes bike maintenance and repair, route planning, and getting to know Peterborough. Past adventure camp destinations have included visits to the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market, Trent University, Art Gallery of Peterborough, and Jackson Park, to name just a few.
The Share the Road Cycling Coalition has rated Peterborough as a ‘silver’ bicycle-friendly community, making it a great place for youth to learn how to cycle as a mode of transportation. As well, in 2017, Peterborough-Kawartha-Haliburton was recognized by UNESCO as a regional centre of expertise in sustainability education.
An excellent example of Peterborough’s expertise is embodied by the Pathways to Stewardship & Kinship project. The On the Pathway book, found on www.pathwayproject.ca, gives a small glimpse into the 61,318 ‘landmark’ activities that can connect kids to nature, including ways that bicycles can help with this.
Examples of landmarks for youth aged 8 and 9 are to “Learn New Outdoor Activities” and to “Travel on a Familiar Route”. Landmarks for youth aged 10 and 11 include to “Explore Renewable Energy” and “Celebrate a Local Natural Area”. GreenUP’s Urban Bike Adventures Camp will include opportunities for youth to engage with landmarks that will help them become more connected and knowledgeable about the natural world.
Landmark 14, notably, invites youth to try at least five different kinds of outdoor recreation that don’t require gasoline or electricity. Cycling is an activity that doesn’t involve gas, doesn’t involve electricity, and can be easily adapted to camp-style programming.
GreenUP’s Urban Bike Adventures Camp will directly support youth in achieving Pathway landmarks. The integration of the HopOn program allows for Urban Bike Adventures to guide young people into urban and natural community spaces in a safe, age-appropriate way.
“The HopOn program contributes becoming a life-long cyclists, by encouraging kids within the community to begin developing their skills at a young age,” Roger explains. “By achieving personal goals and working with their friends to complete team challenges, HopOn welcomes kids to participate and gain confidence in their cycling abilities. We encourage kids of HopOn to translate the skills learned during our program into their own community settings.”
Alongside bike handling confidence from HopOn, GreenUP looks forward to helping young people engage in experiential learning about the importance of good urban infrastructure. Rides that feature Peterborough’s beautiful infrastructure, like the new Bicycle Priority Street on Bethune, will highlight what it means for a city to welcome people of all ages and abilities to use our streets.
Urban Bike Adventures, using both the Pathways and HopOn framework, will explore the city as our classroom, and support young people in having positive experiences that will help them foster a healthy active lifestyle.
Urban Bike Adventures will run over eight weeks in July and August. Registration opens at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7th at greenup.on.ca/earth-adventures.
Qualifying families can receive subsidies from the City of Peterborough’s Recreational Fee Subsidy Program. These subsides can be applied to GreenUP’s Earth Adventures Camp or Urban Bike Adventures Camp. For more information about the camps, visit greenup.on.ca/earth-adventures.