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Camp Arrowflight keeps kids active

Arielle Vance, 10, of Vernon, lines up her shot with a compound bow at Camp Arrowflight in Spallumcheen. - Jennifer Smith/Morning Star
Arielle Vance, 10, of Vernon, lines up her shot with a compound bow at Camp Arrowflight in Spallumcheen.
— image credit: Jennifer Smith/Morning Star

While technology may appear to be taking over elsewhere, with kids glued to cell phones, tablets, social media and games, that is far from the case at Camp Arrowflight.

Nestled under the shade of giant Ponderosa Pines, kids have endless opportunities to play amongst the more than 80 acres of Spallumcheen land (42 of which is developed).

Rock climbing, archery, a pool, BMX track, endless hiking trails, canoeing and mountain boarding to name a few. While these may be the more official activities, it’s the ones built into camp culture that kids love the most.

“I have to say, Camp Arrowflight is awesome,” said 12-year-old Evan Daigle of West Kelowna, enjoying his first week full of adventure.

By mid-week, Daigle’s memory bank was already overloaded with camp fun from his Sunday to Friday stay.

There’s all the friends he’s made, the night they got to camp out under the stars, camp dog Saul (the director’s Boston terrier which all the kids love), the new activities and games he got to try and even the shenanigans.

“All of the leaders hid with a bucket of water balloons and after we were done singing O Canada they started throwing them at us and even some of the kids got to throw some, the ones that didn’t break,” beamed Daigle.

Like Daigle, Natalie Filion can’t say enough about Camp Arrowflight. In fact, the Irish Creek resident has been coming to camp for the past four years.

“I’ve been here every year since it opened,” said Filion, who plans to do the leadership camp next year. “There’s so many memories.”

Operated by the Boys and Girls Club, Camp Arrowflight is the former Circle Square Ranch.

Learning through adventure is a key aspect at camp, along with team building, respect for the environment and just allowing kids to be kids.

“This is where kids with issues thrive because they’re outside moving all the time,” said Kate Hamilton, the new program director (aka Roots). “So a lot of the kids we expect to be difficult are not.”

While one child may rebel at school or is overly shy, they are generally some of the best campers.

While some parents may be reluctant to send their kids to overnight camp, thinking they’re just not ready, that’s generally not the case.

“It’s not even usually the kids, it’s the parents,” said Hamilton.

While Boys and Girls Club members make up the majority of the campers, anyone and everyone between the ages of seven and 17 are welcome.

There are Sunday to Friday camps for various ages, including leadership and junior counsellor camps.

But for those new to or nervous about camp life, day trips and two-day/one-night stays are also available.

“It gives the kids a chance to get comfortable here and want to come back and stay,” said Hamilton.

The last day of camp this season is Aug. 29.

 

Registration forms are available at each of the 33 Boys and Girls Clubs in the Okanagan, including in Vernon and Armstrong, or at www.boysandgirlsclubs.ca/camp.php

 

 

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