Ucluelet kids didn’t consider the end of summer to be much of a bummer once their eyes hit fall’s recreation calendar.
The fall program guide will run from September-December.
“We’re really excited about the programs we’re going to be offering in the fall,” said the district’s recreation programmer KK Hodder.
“We have a lot of new instructors who I’ve been meeting with and creating some really dynamic, interesting and unique programs that have not necessarily been offered by parks and rec. before…It’s going to be a full fall and it’s going to be busy.”
Hodder said her team is wrapping up a successful summer season that saw an emphasis on weekly programming to allow kids to participate in a wide variety of skill building, leisure, and athletic opportunities without committing their entire summer.
“We’ve done really well this summer and we’re really proud of the programs we’ve put together,” she said.
She said the weekly programs also catered to local parents looking for educational opportunities for their kids while school was out.
“There’s definitely an aspect of child care involved, especially in the day camp programs,” she said.
“People need care for their kids in the summer, that doesn’t change for a lot of people during the year and when school is out and parents are both working they need a place for their kid to go.”
One of the summer’s most popular weekly programs came from the Tofino Nature School, which signed on to run weekly Ukee Nature Kids camps.
“They have great facilitators who get great training and we really like the program itself,” Hodder said.
“The kids spend pretty much the entire day outside, they learn a lot of new skills and there’s a lot of nature connection.”
She added summer brings talented out-of-town facilitators to the Coast.
“It’s great to offer something different for the community and the skill level is really quite high with the people that do come in,” she said.
“It really compliments our locally based programs, which we run through the community centre through our dedicated instructors and also through our summer programming staff.”
She said the rec. department’s primary goal is not to boost its participation numbers but rather to make sure locals have access to what they want.
“Our goal is to be offering services that are needed and that people want in the community…it’s not just about numbers and it’s not just about getting bigger, it’s about becoming more efficient and offering programs that we feel, through feedback from the community, would be a good service for the kids and families in the community,” she said.
“I think we’re achieving that. I’m really happy with how the summer has run, and we have had really good numbers this year and it has been up from last year, but more to the point we’re happy with the needs that are being met within the community.”
She added Ucluelet’s community centre is strengthening its position as a community hub.
“We really feel it’s important for everybody to be able to access recreation programs within the community because we feel they are a huge benefit to health, to development, to community and bringing people together,” she said.
“We’re becoming more of that community hub, which is really what we are striving for and the more we work with other services in the communities and organizations in the communities the more successful we are.”