Ganong Nature Park offers a variety of outdoor summer camps for kids


St. Stephen – Wanted: Kids who enjoy being outdoors.
This summer the Ganong Nature Park will offer nine weeks of themed summer camps for kids between the ages of five and 12 years.

Beginning July 3, and running until Sept 1, the camps will take place at the park’s site at Todd’s Point, just outside St. Stephen.
Each of the weeks will have a different theme. For example, participants can enjoy activities related to the life of a mad scientist, journey (just pretend!) under the sea, look into a bug’s life, become park explorers, participate in Olympic sports, or take part in arts and crafts.

“It’s not your usual arts and crafts,” said park manager Shelley Scott. “It’s more a ‘let’s go see what we can find in the woods and make something’,” she said with a laugh.
The same goes for Movie Week. “They won’t be watching movies,” stressed Scott, noting the kids will be having fun with activities associated to movie themes, maybe pretending to be super heroes one day, and role playing from another movie the next.

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Scott said several companies and organizations have stepped up – Castle Building Centre and Keith’s Building Supplies, Emera and the Fundy Community Foundation – to sponsor a total of 30 spots during the themed camps. Each spot is sponsored for a week.

She said the idea behind having sponsors is to allow children who wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to attend the summer camp a chance to

To fill those donated spots, Scott is looking for nominations from the public of the names of children they think would enjoy being outside for a week.
She said 90 per cent of the day during the summer camps will be spent outside, in fun-based activities, so nominating a child who doesn’t enjoy being out-of-doors would defeat the purpose.

The names of the children nominated must be sent by June 24 to Scott by email – The people who nominate the children selected will be contacted and, to preserve confidentiality, be asked to contact the parents to inform them their children have been chosen. Parents and guardians will then be asked to contact Scott to finalize the arrangements.

“If other businesses would like to sponsor a spot, we won’t turn them away,” said Scott. “I anticipate I will have more children than spaces.”

None of the park’s student counsellors will know which camp participants are sponsored, and which are those whose parents are paying $125 per week or $30 a day for them to attend. Discounts are offered to families with more than one child attending, or if the child or children attend more than one week. Each of the summer camps has a limit of 12 participants.

Camp-goers must bring their own lunches and snacks. The camps will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and parents can drop the kids off as early as 7:30 a.m. and pick them up as late as 5:30 p.m.

For those without transportation, Scott said arrangements have been made with Kindred Home Care to transport the camp participants to and from the nature park. The funding for that, as well as some of the registration fees, was supplied under a grant from the Fundy Community Foundation, said Scott.

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Kathy Bockus
Journalist Kathy Bockus is based in St. Stephen and has worked for The Saint Croix Courier as a general news reporter and feature writer for the past 15 years. She began her lengthy newspaper career in 1974 with a daily in Saint John. Bockus says she always jokes being a reporter is a licence to be nosey, but firmly believes that everyone has a story to tell. She can be contacted at 321-0759.