The third annual Growing Wild Camp was held July 15th-19th, on the Coombs Fairgrounds. This unique rural camp, facilitated by Arrowsmith Recreation Coordinator, Kristine Stephenson, and Errington Elementary teacher, Josh Siemens, welcomed 15 children ages 8-13. Special camp guests treated the children to orienteering, farm animal care and soapstone carving. Crafts were all nature themed, with children creating seashell wind chimes, building birdhouses and painting rocks that now adorn the gardens at Grace United Church. A Friday afternoon tradition for the campers is a walk over to the Coombs Market, where the children are kindly treated to a delicious ice cream cone.
Sunshine greeted Arrowsmith Recreation Coordinators, Kim and Kristine, as they hosted a busy and fun summer morning at Building Learning Together’s Storybook Village. The preschool children, and older siblings, enjoyed making pop-up farm animal puppets.
The Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association held its Annual General Meeting at Grace United Church, July 31st. All seven of the 2019 ACRA Board members volunteered to continue on the Board going into 2020. Janet Boley will continue as the ACRA Chair; Donna Furneaux, treasurer; and Barb McLaughlin, secretary. Janet Boley and the Board expressed their appreciation and respect for the work that the Arrowsmith Recreation Team delivers to the community.
Cloudy skies, but no rain, made for record-breaking attendance at the 106th Coombs Fair, August 10th-11th. ACRA Chair, Janet Boley, manages the very popular and busy concession, and Arrowsmith Recreation Coordinators Kim and Kristine were happy to support the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association.
The 10th annual Youth World Music Camp was held at the Errington Hall, August 12th-16th. Participants had the opportunity to experience African and Latin music, with exceptional instruction and enthusiasm from visiting artists, including world recognized recording musician, Mapumba Cilombo, visiting from South Africa. The Arrowsmith Recreation Team continues to organize and host the outdoor lunch activities, as well as coordinate the borrowing of the music instruments. Camp coordinator, Valerie Dare, was recognized at the Friday night recital, for her tireless work and dedication to making the music camp successful year after year.
ACRA was honoured to be asked to organize and host the premier of musician and filmmaker, Sarah Van Borek’s film, “Matengo Flavour.” This very special evening was held at the Errington Hall, August 12th, and included a viewing of the film, a question and answer period, hosted by Sarah, and an intimate concert by Sarah’s partner, world respected South African singer, Mapumba Cilombo. Plans are already underway with Sarah for a 2020 “Connecting Cultures” evening.
The talented artists who instruct at the Youth World Music Camp were all willing to offer evening adult workshops. ACRA organized and hosted Latin Percussion, Mexican Marimba and African Djembe workshops. Participants were treated to exceptional instruction and were very appreciative of the opportunity to learn from such gifted instructors.
It was treat for Arrowsmith Recreation Coordinators, Kim and Randy, along with some track team volunteers, to organize and host the “Kids’ Zone” for Errington’s 50th Hi Neighbour Day celebration. Children and adults alike enjoyed potato sack races, chicken chucking, team ski racing and beanbag tossing. Hi Neighbour Day is famous for the shortest parade in the world, free corn on the cob and world-class entertainment. The 50th Celebration was extra-special to the community, and it was wonderful to see so many “old time Erringtonites” enjoying the festivities.
The Sole Sisters, with their now famous purple shirts, are back for another season of friendship and fitness. The walks continue on Wednesday mornings, 10:00-11:30am, and the early fall walks have been held at Rathtrevor Park and the Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery. Participation averages 25-35 people each week.
Monica Hofer’s popular African Hand Drumming classes have restarted on Monday afternoons at the Errington Hall. The ten-week fall programs include Beginner, Beyond Beginner and Dun Drumming programs.
The gym at the Coombs Fairgrounds is back in full swing with youth drop-in basketball. Tuesday nights, 6:30-8:00pm welcomes youth ages 11-15, and Thursday evenings is reserved for youth 16 and older. Attendance is 10-25 each week and facilitators, Johnny Mendoza and ACRA Board Member, Michael Briones, keep everyone active and having fun.
Enthusiastic fitness instructor, Jen deHaan is packing the Errington Hall on Monday mornings and Wednesday nights. She has people moving and grooving to upbeat music, all while getting a fabulous fitness workout. New this fall is the Monday morning Gentle Grooves program. This class has less detailed choreography and instruction and no impact, so is suitable for people who have injuries, mobility issues or who are looking for a gentler paced class. Participants have the option of registering for the series, buying a punch card or dropping in to Jen’s high-energy classes.
Brand new ACRA program, “Ballroom Dancing for Beginners,” held at the Bradley Centre on Tuesday afternoons has been extremely popular. The class quickly filled with 20 people and has a wait list. Professional dance instructor, Andy Mundy and his partner, Maureen, provide expert and patient instruction each week. What is special about the class is that it is welcoming to individuals, not just couples, and half of the class is made up of people on their own. ACRA will partner with Andy and Maureen to offer two classes in the winter of 2020.
Arrowsmith Recreation Coordinators, Kim and Kristine had the opportunity to attend a Physical Literacy workshop, hosted by the RDN, on September 26th. This very practical workshop will be beneficial for future activity planning for Dads’ Night Out, ACE Club and summer camps.
ACRA Recreation Coordinators attended team and community meetings in July, August and September to help organize and plan the Growing Wild Summer Camp, Youth World Music Camp, Coombs Candy Walk, ACE Club, and all of the fall programs. Arrowsmith Recreation Coordinator, Kim, is also on the RDN’s PLAY Oceanside and Older Adult Mapping committees and Kim and Kristine sit at the Building Learning Together and YouthLink tables.
The Recreation Coordinators are responsible for the ACRA website and Facebook, promotion and registration for programs. They receive and reply to phone calls and emails regularly and continue to manage all of the registration, notices and cancellations for programs independently.
ACRA continues to lend equipment and instruments to non-profit groups in Arrowsmith. During the summer months, instruments were provided to the Errington Hall for the Youth and Adult World Music Camps, and signage and safety equipment to the Coombs Fair and Silver Spurs riding group for fundraising activities.
ACRA supported the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association by writing and submitting an RDN Community Recreation Grant, on their behalf, for the 2020 Coombs BC Family Day event, as well as submitting grants for Youth Basketball, the Coombs Candy Walk and Food Skills for Families.