At the Credit Union Spark Centre, children have been enjoying a week of creative and active fun before returning to school at the end of their Christmas break. The New Year's Spark Camp session brought some new faces to the group, and a few familiar ones as well. Luke was one of the regulars that returned for the New Year's gap. He said that he always enjoys going to Spark Camps and loves the active games spread throughout each day.

"It's really fun," said Luke. "We come maybe 5 times a year. My favorite parts are the Mini-gym and the Turf. We played capture the flag earlier, that was one of the funnest parts of today."

Spark Camps will typically run in line with the scheduled breaks at Weyburn's local schools, offering parents a superb option for childcare during those times. PD days are filled by day camps, and longer breaks like the current one are filled with week-long sessions. Children aged 6-11 years are welcome to join in on the fun, with session info and registration available in the City of Weyburn's Xplor online scheduling system. Spark Camp Programmer, Whitney, said that the next camps are already being anticipated.

"We have a day camp planned for the next PD day," she said. "The day camps often have good availability, and I'm sure we will have one for the February break. Then the Summer is full of camps. You can always call the Spark Centre or look on for the info!"

Whitney also shared that each Spark Camp carries a theme throughout each session, often translating into which arts and crafts projects the children explore given the time of year. In this most recent session, the children enjoyed celebrating the New Year.

"In the arts and crafts, we dove into New Year traditions from different places," she explained. "We recently painted some clay dragons, and made firework poppers, just to showcase some traditions in a fun way."

While working on her own firework popper, Kate shared that she enjoys the creative aspects that the camps offer.

"I like craft time the best," she said. "We played capture the flag, which was fun, but I really like making things."

Artem, a first-timer at Spark Camp whose family recently moved to Weyburn from Ukraine, also shared his impressions after experiencing the program over the last week. 

"So far, I liked when we made the firework poppers today, and I really like how we get to have 3 phys. ed. classes each day," he said. "We usually get 30 minutes or 1 hour for each thing."

When asked if he'll return to the Spark Centre for the next session, Artem said that he would certainly consider the option. The structured, guided play offered by the Programmers is an important part of early-age development, and the social aspects of interacting and cooperating with different age groups is important for children as well. Not only do Spark Camps offer a place for children to remain under proper care during breaks from school, they also encourage growth and development while maintaining a familiar daily structure to aid their transition back to school. The service is one of many reasons why Weyburn is a great place for young families to grow.