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Editorial: Programs valuable during summer months

An editorial on a number of summer programs Estevan has to offer throughout summer months.
EAGM summer camp thumbnail
The Estevan Art Gallery and Museum has brought back its summer arts camps this year.

Recreation and cultural programs are valuable at any time of the year, but they’re of particular importance during summer months.

After all, kids are at home during the summer, and often at least one parent will be home with them. Young people need to have something to keep them entertained and busy.

It’s a great big world out there, with so much to see and do. The sun is shining and the days are long. Being inside looking at a screen seems like a lost opportunity, regardless of age. If you can be outside enjoying the sun and the warmth, jump at the opportunity.

Over the years, we’ve seen the number of summer programs and camps grow. It’s hard to believe, but not that long ago, you had the city’s playpark program and a few other initiatives happening. Now there’s no shortage of day camps available for the city’s youths.

The playparks program is on the cusp of getting a boost, thanks to the new paddling pool at the Churchill Park in south-central Estevan. It’s been sorely lacking for the past few years, especially for those who live south of Fourth Street and west of Souris Avenue South. It opened Thursday, giving children and families another place to spend their time.

As we’ve mentioned before, the beautiful part about the playparks program is the cost (it’s free) and the consistency (parks are open almost every day). It’s been a big part of the community for longer than many of us have been alive, and you have to wonder what many families would do without it.

People have been waiting for a long time for that pool to open again.

We also have three splash parks located in the northern half of the community that help the kids stay cool during the summer heat.

The return of the Souris Valley Theatre’s main stage show was also welcome news. Theatre-goers were entertained by comedy and the heart-warming nature of The Ladies’ Foursome. The theatre’s shows were among the many summer attractions kiboshed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the summer entertainment slate in Estevan felt a little empty without live professional theatre.

Expect further entertainment to follow this month.

With the addition of the pathways that now circulate the city, it could be argued we have more opportunities for recreation than in many years. You can find a pathway or sidewalk at virtually any point in the community and go for a walk, a jog or a bike ride for a distance of your choosing. Want to go for 10 minutes? Go for it. Walk a longer distance? It’s there for you. Want to do the full loop around the community? Good luck and have fun. Just be sure to set aside enough time.

With two large bodies of water in close proximity to Estevan and the Souris River, we have opportunities for water activities as well, ranging from fishing to kayaking to canoeing to boating. And there are the usual attractions for sports, outdoor activities and tourism in the Estevan area.

Summer is like anything else: it’s what you make of it. You could do nothing and complain there’s nothing to do but wait for August to come to an end. Or you could go out and try to make the most of the various amenities and attractions in the city.

It’s the same thing in other rural southeast communities. Sometimes you have to go looking for those attractions. But often you don’t have to look hard. Before too long, you’ve found them.

It’s hard to believe that our summer is now at about the halfway point. There’s not a lot of time remaining. So make the most of it. Binge-watching the hot new show on your favourite streaming service can wait; it’ll still be there in a few weeks’ time.