Tofino’s summer sun has set but that doesn’t mean boredom has set in.
The district’s recreation team has filled the fall season with unique opportunities for locals to learn new skills by trying new things.
“We have everything from surf and swimming lesson to cheese making classes,” said Tofino’s recreation programmer Laura Lunty.
“We’re definitely trying to offer community members as many different experiences outside of work and school as possible to keep people active, engaged, happy and healthy.”
Lunty said Tofino is coming off a solid summer showing that brought 22 weeklong camps to local kids, up from 16 last summer.
“Our focus is really on variety and keeping kids active,” she said. “We want to appeal to every different type of kid basically and to try to reach as many kids as possible throughout the summer.”
She added her department focuses on experiential learning to help Tofino’s youth develop confidence by taking on new adventures.
“Keeping kids active and engaged over the summer is important for their development and to make sure that they’re engaged with the community, making new friends, trying new experiences and continuing their learning,” she said.
“Parents know that their kids are engaged and doing something active and challenging rather than sitting at home waiting for summer to be over.”
In order to put together a wide variety of offerings, the rec. team relies on talented locals as well as partnerships with the Raincoast Education Society and Tofino Nature School.
“We really do rely on community members who have the passion and the knowledge and who want to help enrich the lives of kids here,” Lunty said.
“That’s definitely a huge part of our programming and we’re really lucky to have the people who we have in town.”
As Tofino’s community grows and its recreational needs increase, the recreational resources the department has to draw from increases as well.
“Our community is growing and we’re establishing more and more young families and, with that,, we’re getting a lot more people who are sticking around and have skill sets they want to share,” Lunty said.
“I’m finding more and more people wanting to be involved with helping the rec. department and I would so encourage any people who have a talent or a skill and want to offer that experience to community members to contact us.”
Locals willing to lend a hand can get of hold of Lunty at 250-725-3229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Locals are also encouraged to look into the Tofino Recreation Commission’s Kids Access Fund that is designed to ensure all locals, including those with financial barriers, can access recreation programs.
Applications for the fund can be found on the back of Tofino’s fall recreation guides.
Lunty added Tofino saw a big boost in its French offerings this summer and she expects Tofino’s growing trend of bilingualism to continue.
“We have a very strong cohort of families here who are passionate about having French opportunities for their kids,” she said.
She added this strong cohort brought “opportunities for kids to continue their French language development skills throughout the summer in a fun setting.”
Tofino will be kicking up its French Preschool program in October that is run through a partnership between L’AFFUT (Association Francophone et Francophile de Ucluelet et Tofino), the District of Tofino and l’Entente Canada- Colombie-Britannique.