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Southeast College for Kids is back again this summer

Young residents ages six to 10 were invited to choose from four week-long options with each week focusing on a different set of fun learning activities at Southeast College's Estevan campus.

ESTEVAN - Southeast College’s Estevan campus hosted four weeks of kids’ camps this summer.

Young residents ages six to 10 were invited to choose from four week-long options with each week focusing on a different set of fun learning activities. Camps were running from July 11-Aug. 5.

Sheena Onrait, the manager, marketing and communications with the college, said they had many kids that enjoyed one of the camps so much that they ended up returning for another. 

"Camps have been really, really great. We had to take a couple of years off because, of course, we weren't sure if we were able to offer camps with restrictions and such, but now the response from the community and just the feedback from the kids themselves has been absolutely fantastic," Onrait said.

"Lots of weeks we had kids in multiple camps. We had some kids come the first week and they loved it, so they asked their parents to put them in subsequent weeks. And that's a great success story right there when your child comes home and is so happy and has so much fun that they asked to go in other weeks. All the programming and all the activities were different from week to week."

The week of July 11-15 was Dynamic Designs, where kids focused on creating projects from scratch.

"In one case the kids were creating boats. They created boats out of cardboard and they painted them and they decorated them, and then the experiment after was to see how many rocks it took to sink their boat, so they filled up a little kiddie pool outside out back, and then they kept track on a little sheet of paper on how many rocks it took to sink their boat," Onrait said, giving an example of an activity. "They were having an absolute blast doing that."

During that camp, participants also had a chance to build some huge structures like forts out of appliance boxes.

The week of July 18-22 invited kids for Arts & Crafts camp, where participants were doing little arts and crafts that they could take home.

"They got to paint signs, and some different arts and crafts that they were able to take home," Onrait said.

Week three, July 25-29, was dedicated to People from your Neighborhood, where participants had visits from the Estevan Police Service, including police dog Max, as well as the Estevan Fire Rescue Service, Estevan EMS and Tail-ling Hills Petting Zoo.

"It's been a very active week at the campus," Onrait said.

The final week of Southeast College camps is Aug. 2-5, and is dedicated to science, something new this year.

"It's all about science and the wonders of science. And one of the instructors that we have is actually a science teacher, so this is really up her alley. She's really taken the programming and ran with it," Onrait said.

"This is the first time we've offered Science Week. And if I remember correctly, it was one of the first ones to fill, probably because it's something different. And I think it's going to be a really fun week for the kids."

The Estevan campus had an opportunity to hire two summer students to help with the camps this year, and both programmers did really well.

"Two summer student programmers helped us organize the camps as well as facilitate the camps with the kids. And that was through funding through the Government of Canada, student employment," Onrait said. "They've taken the programs and absolutely ran with them. And the two young ladies that we've hired have done an absolutely tremendous job of organizing the camps and keeping the kids having fun. They've just done a really, really great job."

Onrait added that their camps give both kids and parents to get a feeling of what it is to be in a college and it also allows the college to meet different demographics from who they usually work with, which is a "great opportunity" for everyone.

"It's really great to have something like this in the quieter months in the summer that we can really showcase our facility and showcase the programs that we offer in Southeast College," Onrait said.

And while camps are coming to an end for this year, Onrait said their great and ambitious staff has many exciting ideas for the next year and has started planning for summer 2023 already.

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