By Helena Zhu, Women Students Program Assistant at Access & Diversity
Spring break is over and it is never too early to start registering your kid(s) for affordable and enriching summer camps. Below is a selection of camps we handpicked for you:
UBC camps offer a lot of flexibility. Since most camps either take up the morning or the afternoon, you can custom-build a full-day camp, as long as you add in “lunch supervision.” UBC camps are tailored to kids of different ages and interests. Camps range from music camp, e.g. Little Mozarts for four to five year olds at $250 for five mornings, to Lego Design Robotics at $135 for five afternoons (eight to 12 year olds).
The camps are more expensive than those hosted by the YMCA, but they are right on campus. For more information, please visit camps.ubc.ca/summer-camps.
The Old Barn Community Centre
The Old Barn Community Centre, located on campus at 6308 Thunderbird Blvd., offers some creative summer camps, such as radio broadcasting. Most of the camps target children seven years old and up, and cost between $110 and $200 for five half days.
The Barn is quite perfect if you are available to spend time with your children, but would like to enrich their summer a little bit through classes. The Barn offers affordable drop-in ballet classes for kids as young as three years old, free story time sessions run by volunteers, and multisport sessions for kids as young as 18 months at the Osborne Centre.
The Old Barn also offers free special events such as outdoor movie screenings, which can be found in the Spring and Summer Program Guide.
These camps are perfect if your child(ren) is looking for water adventures, such as scuba diving, water polo, or simply splashing around in water. You can register your three to 14 year olds in a camp at the Aquatic Centre. They start at $108 for four half day sessions. For more information, visit the Aquatic Centre’s website.
A full day camp at Thunderbird Arena includes ice sessions, an off-ice skills centre, lunch, and one of swimming, tennis, gymnastics/balance, or floorball. Although a little pricey at $395 for a week of full day camp, your child sure will stay active. For more information, visit Thunderbird Arena’s website.
YMCA is a lot of fun and cost-friendly if you just need someone to look after your little one(s) during daytime. At $132 (members)/$147 (non-members) per week, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can sign your 5 to 15 year old(s) up for any weeks between June 29 and Sept. 4. The closest YMCA to campus is the Kitchener YMCA Kids Club, located at 3455 West King Edward, 18 minutes by bus from campus. Each week, the camp features different out-trips and themes, with activities including rock climbing, dragon boating, and paddle boarding. The camps are open for registration until they are full.
Located at YMCA Camp Elphinstone in Gibson, B.C., YMCA’s overnight camps are exciting, with lessons such as sailing and mountain biking. However, they are a little pricey: Week-long camps are $592 for members, and $658 for non-members. Two-week-long camps are $1,076/$1,196.
YMCA offers need-based financial assistance to cover part of the cost.
Kitsilano Community Centre, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, Dunbar Community Centre, and West Point Grey Community Centre are all community centres close to UBC that offer summer day camps and/or programs of various activities, lengths, and rates.
Funded by the federal government, the Cadet Program is a free structured co-ed youth program that offers Canadian youth 12 to 18 years old a variety of challenging sea, army, and air activities. Summer camps at Cadet, ranging from two to six weeks, include training courses located in picturesque settings, such as Comox, B.C. and the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. If your child is ready to sail, fly, do sports, play music, make new friends, and/or build leadership skills, Cadet is worth a try.
You can register for Cadet any time of the year, but to be eligible for its summer camps, you must join by March 31. For more information on how to join, visit cadets.ca/en/join/cadets.page. For information on its summer programs, visit cadets.ca/en/summer-opportunities/training-courses.page. To find a corps (sea, army) or squadron (air) near you, visit app.cadets.gc.ca/directory-repertoire/.