Summer’s right around the corner, and Niagara-on-the-Lake has lots in store for children to keep them busy. Here’s a list of some of the programs in NOTL for kids.
Niagara Sailing Club — Youth Learn to Sail
For those yearning to learn to sail, The NOTL Sailing Club is offering two sessions again this summer. The first will be from July 2 to 26, and the second July 29 to Aug. 23.
The sailing lessons run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day and are offered for children nine to 16 years old.
“Our primary focus is having fun, followed by being completely safe on the water,” said program director Donna Genge, “followed by learning to sail.”
For beginners, the program teaches the basics of how to maneuver a larger boat, including how to rig and handle a boat, how to tack, or how to jibe.
A typical day starts off with a land lesson, before going out on the water and practising what was taught in the classroom.
After a lunch break, the afternoon copies the morning with a follow-up lesson (what went right, what went wrong) before going out sailing again.
“The kids have so much fun,” said Genge. “I love going down and watching them laughing and splashing in the water. It’s just a great time.”
Genge said the kids who really get into sailing go on to join the race team, sometimes joining other clubs to compete.
The children’s safety will not be in jeopardy because of the rising water levels, she said — the appropriate adjustments are being made by instructors to accommodate the high-water conditions.
Classes in the basement where lessons are normally taught will be moved upstairs due to flooding. “Our teaching area in the building is under about five to six inches of water,” said Genge.
Boats will now launch from inside the club area docks, instead of outside onto the river. “We can’t install the docks that the kids usually launch from, because the water’s too high,” said Genge.
“We did this in 2017 when we had floods and there was no problem at all. The kids are just as safe in water that’s four inches deeper than if it was four inches shallower. We’re not at all concerned about the safety of the kids because we put procedures in place to accommodate anything.”
Although the water level won’t affect the camp, said Genge, “there are fish in the parking lot. It’s up to my mid-calf when I walk across the parking lot to our boat.”
The cost of the July program is $960, and the August program is $864.
To register, call the NOTL Sailing Club Office or online at https://nolsc.checklick.com/.
Niagara Historical Society and Museum
The Niagara Historical Society and Museum will be holding The Kid Curator Camp two different weeks this summer, for children ages six to 12, each combining local history with a particular theme.
This year, The Museum is focusing on battles. NOTL is famous for battles, particularly the War of 1812.
For the first week, the theme is Narnia, which will run from July 15 to 19. Children will be going to Fort George, where they will pretend to be kings and queens of Narnia and have battles, connecting them to the historical battles fought at the fort. They will also be visiting riding stables.
The second week, which runs from Aug. 12 to 16, is Harry Potter-themed. Children will make crafts, such as wands, based on the hit novel and movie series. Children will also compare Harry Potter battles with NOTL battles.
Camps run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the cost is $125 per child. Space is limited and there are only a couple of spots still available for each week. To register, call 905-468-3912 or visit the museum at 43 Castlereagh St.
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake will once again be providing day camp this coming summer season.
During the months of July and August, the Town will be hosting camps with different themes each week, including Beach Vacation, NOTL Stampede, Jungle Safari and Disney Delight.
Other themes include Game Show Mania, Extravaganza, Super Hero Academy and Blast from the Past. Each week, the program is tailored to that week’s theme.
“Sports, crafts, and games are geared towards the theme of the week,” said Victoria Steele, the Town’s community engagement coordinator. “Every day is different.”
The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., from July 2 until Aug. 30, for children ages six to 12, at the community centre.
It will include collaborative games, sports, arts and crafts, science experiments, outdoor adventures and sometimes even baking.
A typical day for campers could include ice-breaker games and arts and crafts before heading over to Memorial Pool for an afternoon of swimming.
Campers will also travel on a couple of exciting excursions this summer as well, including Balls Falls in July and Safari Niagara in August.
The turnout for this season looks bright, as Steele said the camp averages 25 to 30 children per day. “We had a great success rate for the March Camp this year, with an average of 25 kids per day, so we are hoping for an even greater turnout this summer,” said Steele.
“Summer camp gives kids fun, organized activities to do in the summer,” said Dan Maksenuk, community centre coordinator. “It’s a great program to spend time with friends, and to make new friends. Each day brings new adventures and teaches children new skills.”
Costs for the camp are $150 a week or $35 per day. Before and after-care programs are also available for $5 a day. Before-care runs from 7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., with after-care from 4:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
To register go to https://notl.org/content/camps
The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is running half-day and full-day camps this summer season, suitable for ages five to 12. They begin July 8 and run weekly until Aug. 30.
The camps offer a variety of art activities including drawings, paintings, pottery-making, sculpting, and printmaking. As well, campers will get to spend some time outdoors plein-air painting and playing games. Included in the cost are quality art supplies and tools in the studio for the children to use.
“The turnout has been good,” said Lauren Bosch, office administrator at the centre. “We’ve had a few weeks sell out in the past, but we do still have some availability for our classes this year”.
Camp times are flexible. Depending on the week, half-day classes alternate times, with both morning and afternoon options available. The morning classes run 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with afternoon classes from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Full- day classes are also available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The price per week for full-day camp is $230, and $130 for half-day camp. Members get 15 per cent off public pricing.
Art history Brock University student Hannah Dobbie will be instructing the programs.
To find out more go to https://niagarapumphouse.ca/programs/Children+%26+Youth.
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