FOR most kids, sitting inside, doing taxes and eating vegetables (especially brussels sprouts) is a satisfying summer day.
But for those who enjoy being outside, being active and trying new experiences, a new adventure-travel day camp may be more interesting.
The Vancouver Kids Day Camp is being offered for kids entering grades 4-7, with daily pickups and drop-offs at Ambleside and Kits beaches. Each day, participants will travel to a new location for a new activity, including Whistler for geocaching, swimming and easy hiking; Bowen Island for ocean kayaking, beach time and a nature walk; and Squamish for outdoor games and kid-friendly rafting on Cheakamus River.
The five-day program concludes with an overnight camping trip to Newcastle Island.
"It doesn't matter if you haven't tried any of these activities before as long as you're just willing to get out there and try and have fun," says Kelly Rogerson of Summer Safaris Teen Travel, the company behind the camp. She notes there are "no cars and no big animals" on Newcastle Island, so it's a great place for kids who have never been to an overnight camp to try sleeping in the wilderness for one night.
Rogerson says the emphasis of the camp is to have fun and enjoy new experiences with new friends.
With kids living such busy lives these days, she says it's time they, "Take a break from that hectic life and just go have fun and be a kid."
Summer Safaris Teen Tours has been offering teen travel adventures for years, but this is the first summer the company will be offering a kids camp. Rogerson has been working with kids and teens in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom for 14 years, including at day camps, as a ski instructor and as an outdoor education instructor. Rogerson, who goes along on every trip, says the ratio of adults to kids on each outing is no more than 1: 8. Each trip also includes a minimum of one certified lifeguard and one leader certified in adventure wilderness first aid.
Inclusion is also an important part of the group's philosophy, and Rogerson says she takes extra steps to ensure every participant feels welcome and included. Bullying is not tolerated.
Another important element of the camp is respecting the environment, and Rogerson notes her company is carbon neutral, which means they purchase carbon credits to offset their carbon emissions. The camp also operates on a "leave-notrace" program, so participants are encouraged to recycle their waste on day trips, and compost their food during the overnight camping trip.
"It's important that we do respect the environment especially when we're out there taking part in all these beautiful areas," says Rogerson.
Although the camp doesn't include any formal teaching about environmental conservation, Rogerson says camp leaders take seriously their responsibility as role models to promote awareness.
Above all, though, Rogerson says the goal of the camp is for kids to have fun in a safe and welcoming environment.
"Meet some new friends and be part of a group where everyone is included," she says.
Vancouver Kids Day Camp takes place July 23-July 27. The cost is $650 for five days, and includes two lunches (a barbecue lunch on Monday and lunch on Friday), as well as a dinner and a breakfast during the overnight camping trip. Daily drop-ins are also available if space permits.
For more information, visit the website at www.summersafaris. com.