Kids participating in a mountain biking camp last summer in Saanich. The 2014 summer camp schedule is full of activities for kids and teens.

Summer camps launch at Saanich rec centres

Kids in Saanich will have plenty to do this summer as dozens of day camps are now in full swing.

Andrea Peacock/News staff

Kids in Saanich will have plenty to do this summer as dozens of day camps are now in full swing.

Saanich Commonwealth Place is working with Tourism Victoria to offer a new camp that will allow kids to be tourists in their own city. Tacky Tourist camp will take kids to major tourist attractions in Greater Victoria such as Butchart Gardens, the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Hudson Market, in hopes of giving them new experiences.

“We just feel like kids don’t necessarily go to these places,” said Alyssa Taylor, school age programmer at Saanich Commonwealth Place.

“I’m a big believer of getting kids outdoors and experiencing new things. I think Victoria has to offer a lot of tourism during the summer.”

Kids will also get the chance to go behind the scenes of some of these attractions and see them from a new perspective.

Tacky Tourist camp is for kids aged 10-14, and runs from August 18-22.

Another expansion to Saanich Commonwealth’s summer programs includes various mountain biking camps.

New this year, Bike and Swim Camp allows kids to go off-road biking outdoors in the morning, then swim in Commonwealth pool in the afternoon.

“We wanted to be able to use our resources and create a balance between indoor and outdoor,” said Taylor.

This camp is for kids aged eight to 10, in response to a previous missing demographic.

“Last summer we saw a big demand for the younger group,” said Taylor.

In previous years, this age group had been included in mountain biking groups with older kids, but there was too much of a gap in their capabilities, she added. “We really wanted to be able to play to their needs.”

Kids are expected to know how to ride a bike without training wheels and to ride five to 10 kilometres a day.

The Bike and Swim Camp takes place July 14-18, July 28-August 1 and August 25-29.

Another mountain biking opportunity is the Flow Riders Mountain Bike Camp, which caters to kids with previous mountain biking experience.

The camp will be run by two instructors, who will provide lessons for the kids throughout the week-long program. Kids will get the opportunity to improve and learn new mountain biking skills.

Flow Riders runs for four weeks of the summer, with three different tiers of skill levels. For beginners aged nine to 12, it runs from July 7-11 and from August 18-22. For beginner/intermediate riders aged 11-14, it runs from July 21-25. For intermediate riders aged 12-14, it runs from August 5-8.

For more information on the dozens of summer camps offered in Saanich, visit the Saanich Recreation website at saanich.ca/parkrec/recreation.

editor@saanichnews.com