With school out earlier than expected this year, many parents are scrambling to find last minute care for their children.
With a full blown teacher strike cutting the school year short, a number of organizations and youth clubs are stepping forward to help.
Camp Dunlop in Kelowna. is one of them. The summer camp is run by Scouts Canada. It not only started the programs earlier than normal but it’s also providing them on a day to day need.
“We have fire lighting and shelter building. We have archery and outdoor cooking so we have all kinds of fun stuff that we normally would have at camp but we are just doing it in a day camp setting right now,” says camp counselor Zak Draper.
Scouts Canada says the decision to get things started early this year is a direct response to the strike action being launched by teachers.
“Basically last minute. We all did our best to put together nice program, something that will work in a day camp setting. We did not have a ton of time but we did our best to get word out and we were able to get quite a few people,” says Draper.
The bumbershoot theatre is also springing into action. The children’s theatre company has joined forces with the Kelowna Art Gallery and Kelowna Museums to provide daily activities for children who would otherwise be in school.
“We have the kids that are signed up all split up in groups and they rotate all day between the museum, the art gallery and the theatre,” says Jen Ferguson with Kelowna Museums.
About 20 children were signed up on Monday and more are expected in the days to come.
“We’ve never done anything like this. It was very quick to pull together. We did not know if the strike was happening or not and the type of working together with other organizations that we could offer is something new and so far it’s working well,” says Ferguson.
At the city run Parkinson Recreation Centre, summer camp programs including sports like basketball and swimming have also started early this year.
“Just in response to the community need and trying to help out wherever we can. We know kids will be out there, parents looking for things to do with their kids and we are set up to do so. We thought this is perfect, we will help out,” says Lori Angus with Parkinson Rec Centre.
While day camp fees vary, they’re usually around 30 to 40 dollars a day.