Back to school in Chilliwack . . . or not
With an ongoing teacher’s strike, the back to school rush takes an uncertain tone—but even if the kids aren’t heading back to class on Sept. 2, there’s still plenty to keep them occupied.
If you’re looking for something with a time commitment roughly equivalent to the school day, there are several day camps in Chilliwack that will keep kids occupied on a daily basis.
Chilliwack YMCA hosts a day camp for children between the ages of five and 12 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Kids will pursue a variety of crafts, games, and physical activities. Five-year-old children must be registered in a kindergarten program for the fall. Camps are $15 a day for members and $30 a day for non-members. Call 604-792-3371 for more information.
Stillwood Camp runs daily strike camps for kids in grades one to seven until Sept. 12. The camps run between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at $30 a day. Registration is on a day-to-day basis, and they offer full refunds if school starts back up again. Bussing pick-up is available in Chilliwack and Abbotsford, so it’s about as close to the school routine as you can get. Call 604-858-6845 for more information.
Creative Outlet offers camps for kids aged five to 13 from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at their Chilliwack studio. It costs $30 per day or $125 for a week, and kids will dabble in drama, dance, and voice training. Call 604-391-0909 for more information.
Cultus Lake Golf Club offers junior golf camps from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekly until school resumes at a rate of $35 a day. Kids will get coaching, practice, a good long round of golf each day and a free lunch.
If full-day camps aren’t your style, there’s still plenty to do around town to break up the day.
The Sardis and Chilliwack libraries welcome kids to drop by and hang out between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. There are a variety of day activities, not to mention cards, board games, comic books, music and audio listening stations . . . and, of course, books. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, but packed lunches are welcome.
The Art Room on Vedder offers day programs starting Sept. 4 with story time art every Thursday at 10 a.m. They also host an afternoon arts and crafts drop-in every Monday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre and the Cheam Leisure Centre have a variety of drop-in activities and lessons, from exercise to swimming to free time in the gym. Kids might also be eligible for a free seven-day pass to both facilities—check www.myreccentre.com/promo/7-day for more information.
Chilliwack School of Performing Arts gets into the swing of their fall semester, including afternoon classes in theatre, dance, and voice for kids from ages five to 12. Visit csopa.ca.
For teenagers—especially high school students, who require 100 hours of community service to graduate—there are plenty of volunteer opportunities.
Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven needs volunteers to feed, clean and play with cats. Find more information at www.thesafehaven.ca/volunteers or call 604-794-7233.
Seniors’ homes—such as Auburn Retirement Residence or Waverly Seniors Village—need volunteers to help with activities and to visit with residents. These kinds of opportunities are often flexible and weekly.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is always on the lookout for mentors, but also a variety of other volunteers. With school in limbo, this might be the perfect chance to get involved as a mentor for a younger child, or just to donate a few hours whenever you have time. Call 604-858-0828 or visit www.mentoringworks.ca for more information.
School’s out, but learning is always in. Older students might find this a good time to pick up new skills not generally offered in the classroom.
St. John Ambulance, for example, offers a variety of First Aid courses through the Chilliwack branch. Visit www.sja.ca for more information on course offerings and cost.
Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross training are offered from Sept. 2 to 5 at Cultus Lake. This training is a good step forward for those who want to become a lifeguard, and will school students in open-water swimming, rescue techniques, CPR and First Aid. This course is for students aged 13 and older who are able to swim 500 metres and tread water for three minutes. Visit www.helpfirstaid.weebly.com for more information.
FOODSAFE can be completed online for students hoping to find work in a restaurant or catering company in the future. Visit www.foodsafe.ca for more information.
Moxie Club offers classes in computer coding for all ages—a skill that comes in handy almost anywhere. Visit moxie.club for more information.