"It's the bouncy castle! YES!!" The happy shrieks from children and the tropical scent of sunscreen were heavy in the air this summer at Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops. Club staff were excited to have children return for summer camp and parents were thrilled to have more options on where their child attended this summer. With the goal of keeping everyone safe this summer, BGC Kamloops offered smaller group sizes at three locations: the main Club at John Tod Centre, Lower Sahali Club (Beattie Elementary) and Brocklehurst Club (Kay Bingham Elementary) and the response from parents was positive. "It was so great this summer having this option [and] we are really hoping it will continue," wrote one parent of the Lower Sahali Club.
While daytrips were limited due to many places being closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, camp leaders were quick to offer a variety of different activities to keep children active and engaged. Each of the eight weeks of summer were divided into different themes from superhero week to animal planet to mad scientist and more. Activities included tie-dying t-shirts, making cake pops, going to the BC Wildlife Park, dance parties, scavenger hunts, animal yoga, and so much more. "I liked the crafts. I liked the leaders and I liked playing 'Clue' with my friends. And I loved the bouncy castle," said one camper, aged 7, of her summer experience at the Club.
New to the Club this year was the purchase of a bouncy castle that could be hooked up to water for a wet and wild time. Campers from all three locations got to take part in the fun and some of the staff were also seen taking a turn down the slide into the pool to cool off, much to the delight of the kids who laughed as their camp leaders screamed as they hit the cold water. "Excellent decision on [the] bouncy castle/water play this summer. Such a good idea, limits exposure and keeping within the bubble. Great job this summer adapting to new COVID practices. It was our first summer with you. My child felt safe and had fun," was one parent's feedback. BGC Kamloops staff worked hard to keep everyone safe this summer. Parents signed weekly health declarations, confirming their children were healthy, campers had daily temperature checks taken and had hands sanitized before they could start their day, plus there was an increase to camper hand washing, and Club staff spent more time cleaning and sanitizing each day to keep everyone safe and healthy. Staff also kept an eye out for any camper exhibiting any signs of illness and parents were quick to respond if their child was not feeling well. BGC Kamloops is happy to say there were no cases of COVID this summer during camps and we thank parents and campers for working with us to stay safe and healthy. This was a summer for the record books and we could not have done it without the campers and their families. We hope everyone had as much fun as we did!