Designing Fun: Summer Camp Development at Servus Place
Biking, cooking, slumber parties, sports, magic – the activities are endless in a summer camp at Servus Credit Union Place. The ideas behind these camps and the long list of experiences kids will enjoy is the brainchild of Wendy Barton, Recreation Program Supervisor at Servus Place, and her team.
“Each camp starts as an idea; we put up an idea board every summer and we write down any thought that comes to us,” says Wendy. “It gives us a chance to ask other staff or patrons throughout the summer what they think or see if they have ideas for camps they’d like to see.”
The programming team also looks at trends in social media and popular culture to see what kids are excited about. That was the case for two of the new Harry Potter-themed camps this year – Wizardry for Muggles (ages 9-12) and Dumbledore’s Army (ages 6-9). Even the name, Wizardry for Muggles, was crowdsourced from a poll on Facebook.
Another important step in developing summer camps is a conducting a thorough market analysis of other municipalities to compare programming options, gain insights and research new or popular ideas. Wendy and her team tend to look specifically at larger cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary in order to maintain comparable service levels. “With us being a smaller community, we strive to ensure our programming complement is comparable to those larger cities.”
To do this, the programming team ensures there is a variety of options for campers each week to appeal to their interests.
“We try to offer a cooking program, a sport program and then a specialized program for the campers aged 6-12. For the younger kids, we tend to keep it a bit more generic and just make sure they have fun.”
With a theme in mind, the programmers go to work to create content that offers a variety of skills rather than specializing in one area.
“For example, when we’ve decided we’re doing a Multi-Sports camp, we make sure we’re using more than just different types of balls,” says Wendy. “We want to make sure that we’re playing floor hockey or broomball or doing high and low games like crawling under or around things and using different implements.”
Ultimately, the goal of a Servus Place summer camp is to make sure the kids have fun, play safe and make friends.
“They become exposed to experiences they maybe don’t get to do at home,” Wendy explains. “Each camp’s theme is a little different from the next, so we can ensure we’re piquing the interest of the majority and that we’re getting a lot of kids in to try new out new things.”
Summer camps at Servus Place are happening right now, but there are still some spots left for camps in July and August – check them out now!
Last edited: July 16, 2019