Plenty for kids to do this summer
Town offers countless ways to stay busy
Nearly all of us have heard, or at one time even uttered this phrase that unfortunately becomes all too common during the summer break.
Fortunately for kids and their parents, there is no shortage of summer activities to get involved in, and many are either free of charge or very economically priced.
The town’s community services department will host low-costs events throughout the summer, focusing on the recreation opportunities in town and the surrounding county.
“We really are trying to feature more of the facilities and recreation opportunities within the town and county as much as possible, and also expose kids to some of the fun stuff outside of town as well,” program supervisor Courtney von Rennenkampff said. “Really, we just want to make kids proud to live here and enjoy the activities we can provide.”
Every week there will be several activities taking place for area youth, ranging from pool parties and sports days to sleepovers and drama days.
On Mondays, there will also be a traveling playground making the rounds in Westlock County, bringing some of that recreation programming to the smaller communities.
“Our staff will be going out to several of the surrounding communities as well within Westlock throughout the summertime,” she said. “Basically they’ll be at a set playground at a set time, and they’ll provide activities and games for kids to do while they’re there.”
Von Rennenkampff said there are many trips planned outside the county boundaries as well. For kids aged 8-12, there will be a bus going to the July 13 Edmonton Eskimos game.
“We’ll take a crew of kids to the Eskimos game and they’ll actually have the opportunity to be on the field and meet Simeon Rottier,” she said.
Teens aged 13-17 will get a chance for some outdoor adventure in August with a trip to Rocky Mountain House for some mountain biking and whitewater rafting.
“It’s going to be awesome and really fun. We’ve got a good group of summer students organizing the trips this year,” she said.
Although the programs all have a cost associated with them, von Rennenkampff said with the help of Westlock FCSS nobody will be excluded.
“They have graciously involved themselves — if families can’t afford our programming they can fill out a subsidy application form they can pick up at our facility,” she said.
The Town of Westlock’s summer recreation guide can be found at any of the town’s recreation facilities.
Summer reading club
Another of the town’s facilities is offering summer programming for free to kids of all ages. The Westlock Municipal Library’s summer reading program kicks off July 3, with a little something for everyone.
“The summer reading program at the library is three-phase: children, teens and adults,” said assistant director Wendy Hodgson-Sadgrove.
For kids aged 3-12, the summer reading program will focus on the theme, “Imagine.” Activities for that age group will take place nearly every day of the week and at all three library locations: Westlock, Jarvie and Fawcett. The library will also head to the beach at Long Island Lake one day per week.
“We’re going to the land of make-believe,” Hodgson-Sadgrove said.
For teens, the theme this year will be “Clash of the Characters.” Each week, two literary characters will go head-to-head and teens will vote on their favourite. By the end of the summer, a champion will emerge.
Adults will have less in the way of structured programming for the summer reading club, but will be encouraged to read with recommendations of “Cool Reads for Hot Days.” The idea here is to get adults reading for their own benefit, but also as a means of modeling the importance of reading for kids.
For more on the library’s summer reading program, visit www.westlocklibrary.ca.
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