Chestermere kids going to camp at the Rec Centre are going to get a chance to sample a variety of sports, all with a little twist.
Thanks to the creativity of summer day camp co-ordinator Tracy Frimpong, there is a chance for kids to play such unique twists as newspaper basketball or noodle hockey.
It’s just one of many weeklong theme camps Frimpong has created for 2018, but the one called Extraordinary Sports that runs from July 16-20 is definitely based on fun.
The premise is to take a sport or activity that is already widely known and adjust the equipment or rules to challenge the kids in some way.
During that week, they will take a field trip to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame at Winsport, where it’s unlikely they will see any exhibit on frisbee golf or flag football.
“We do our things that we do every week, so we have our Tuesday morning bike rides,” Frimpong said. “We will make it sporty, so we will go over to the family park and do extreme biking.
“We will still do our Thursday field trip, which is at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. So Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will fit those games in. Then we have the mobile adventure park that will be on campus so we will visit that as well.”
Since Frimpong brought the eight different activities to the camp, so it’s best to let her explain what the kids will expect during each one.
“You pretty much roll up a newspaper and you have to dribble the ball with the piece of paper. It’s quite tricky. If you take the rolled up newspaper they drop at your door, then you use two hands to bounce the ball. It’s a bouncy ball, not a real basketball.”
Crab walk soccer
“It’s a great way for kids who don’t even play soccer to keep up. It slows everyone down. You have kids who played soccer their whole lives and kids who have never played soccer at all and everyone is down to the same level. It’s hard for everybody. You can’t tell the difference between the really good kids and the ones who aren’t so good. It’s more about sharing and passing. It’s not about who’s the best soccer player.”
“Instead of using a hockey stick, we use a pool noodle and small ball. That one is cool because you get rid of injuries from the hockey sticks. It’s really hard to move the ball around so everyone is again down to the same level. You have to really concentrate to hit it and pass it to other people. Those kids who play lots of hockey, even if they want to take a slapshot, they won’t hit anyone in the face or hurt anybody. It’s a way to get everyone on the same level and have fun. We don’t really allow them to try and hit each other. We want them to play to score. If you do hit someone, at least it won’t be that bad as taking a hockey stick slash.”
“Some people play tag football. With the flag football, you have the pennies around the waist and try to pull them off. If you pulled you are out.”
“I like that one because it’s good for the kids that don’t necessarily like sports. They won’t be intimidated by the teams and someone running at them. You throw the frisbee and try to get it close to the ‘hole.’ We go in partners or in small groups. In basketball, you might go five-on-five, but in frisbee golf you just go with one other person and they can encourage each other because it’s a smaller group. Anyone can play it. Even the kids who don’t like sports week, they get into it because it’s not really competitive and more relaxed.”
“It gives the kids a lot more time to react to where the balloon is going. It doesn’t matter how many hits it takes to get over. It’s tough to get it over. You can’t let it touch the ground. It really helps with communication because each kid has to say who has it so they don’t bump into each other. I find that one is really helpful with communication. The rules are the same otherwise. If it touches the ground on the other side you get a point.”
“It’s a regular baseball game but instead of bases where you put your foot down, you lie on your belly on a gymnastics mat. It’s fun because you can have more than one person on a base. You don’t have to run. You still have to do the full run to get the run though. It’s fun because multiple players can be on the same base. You can have a party on the base. It can end up being 10 people on the same base, but of course you eventually have to run. They can all run at the same time and the team can try to get them all out. If five people run towards second and the defending team touches second then they are all out. They can strategize on first who is going to go. You are only safe when your belly is on the mat. You might flip over and get distracted, and the fielders will get them because they weren’t paying attention.”
“We use the giant ones that come eight to a bag. If you get hit by a marshmallow you are out. It’s nice because it’s not as hard. When you get hit, it’s not as dire. When you play something fun like dodgeball, and then start using marshmallows, it becomes silly and then obviously we save some for after. It’s kind of a waste of food but it’s so much fun.”