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Youth find fun ways to stay active
Multisport camps enjoyed across the Deh Cho

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, July 25, 2013

There was no time for participants to be bored during a recent day camp in Fort Simpson.

NNSL photo/graphic

Lilyanna Grossetete hops over a portion of the obstacle course that was one of the activities on the final day of the multisport camp in Fort Simpson while Fiona Yendo, left, patiently awaits her turn. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

Youth who attended the multisport camp in the village from July 8 to 12 played a selection of sports including soccer, basketball and swimming. They also tried a variety of activities including rollerblading, an obstacle course and games such as What Time is it Mr. Wolf.

Most of the participants in the camp in Fort Simpson were under the age of 10, which changed the dynamic of the program, said Jackie Thompson.

At that age, youth don't care about the skills related to the sports, they just want to play and have fun, she said.

This is Jackie's second summer leading multisport camps as a summer student with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA). Jackie said she likes seeing the kids enjoy the sports and

being able to introduce them to something fun over the summer.

Colin Stipdonk, who often works with Jackie, has been leading the camps for four summers as an employee of the Mackenzie Recreation Association.

"I just enjoy being with the kids and playing sports with them," he said.

"It's a fun job."

Fiona Yendo, 8, was one of the regular participants at the camp in Fort Simpson. Yendo's favourite activities included the obstacle course on the final day and going rollerblading.

It was the first time Yendo had tried rollerblading. She said she only fell once.

"It was really fun," she said.

For Keirah Simon, 6, the obstacle course and the daily afternoon swimming times were the camp highlights. The participants were given some time to play in the community pool every afternoon and then they practised basic swimming skills.

The camps have a long history in the Deh Cho and other parts of the territory. The camps have been offered through a partnership between MACA, Sport North, the Mackenzie Recreation Association and other territorial sports organizations since 1993.

Prior to that, Sport North offered multisport camps to communities, but was unable to meet the demand as more communities requested them, said Shane Thompson, a sport and recreation co-ordinator with MACA. The department began hiring summer students to help lead the camps in partnership with the other organizations.

"It's a very good relationship," he said.

The camps are offered annually to any community that requests them. Each camp is personalized to meet the wishes of the community, the available facilities and the preferences of the youth who attend.

So far this summer in the Deh Cho, multisport camps have been offered in Kaksia, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson and Trout Lake. Camps may also be offered in Jean Marie River and Wrigley along with a second, specialized waterfront program in Trout Lake in August.

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