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New West seniors invited to head to camp this summer

Themed day camps set to run at Moody Park in July and August
Century House members Claudette Campbell, Carole Wylie, Laura Vanden Eykel, from right, are excited about welcoming community members back to Century House, where Rylie McGuire is leading day camps for seniors this summer.

Why should kids get all the fun?

Century House is launching SCAMPS – Summer Camp And Moody Park Seniors – a series of two-day day camps for seniors this summer. SCAMPS will feature a variety of activities, including art, games, speakers, park explorations, special projects and visits by special guests.

“SCAMPS is about re-engaging the 50+ community of New Westminster with creative and active living in the sunshine,” said Rylie McGuire, who is leading the camps. “(It’s) a time to celebrate the reintegration of the community’s physical and emotional wellness and camaraderie among the residents of New Westminster that have been separated during the past year.”

Weekly themes will include textile and fibre arts week, ceramics week and lawn sports week.

Shelly Schnee, the city’s program coordinator for seniors, said the sessions are guaranteed to be fun.

“We have a really fun program leader. He is our pottery instructor, Rylie McGuire,” she said. “He is putting together some fun things to do this summer.”

Unsure of what provincial health orders would be in place this summer, Schnee thought about activities that could be offered outdoors.

“I just thought maybe we could do some Small group activities in the park. I know as a department we do a lot of day camps for children. I have always thought it would be cool to do day camps for seniors,” she said. “Basing it in Moody Park just made sense. We have the support of Century House if we need it, but we can set up outside in the back and enjoy the park. Moody Park is such a beautiful park to begin with.”

While it’s anticipated that public health restrictions will continue to ease up in the coming weeks, as the phased BC Restart Plan evolves, some people continue to feel more comfortable socializing outdoors.

“We want seniors to come outside, especially if they’ve been at home for the last year-and-a-half, and to feel comfortable to come outside,” Schnee said. “We thought we could create a safe place for seniors to come outside in Moody Park and gather, and just start that process. That’s the other thing, we all have to be aware that coming back together is going to be awkward, and that’s OK. We are just going to figure it out together.”

In addition to easing folks into being back together, SCAMPS is also a way for seniors to connect – or reconnect – with their peers.

“We guarantee some summer fun,” Schnee said. “It will be nice to maybe see some friends you haven’t seen for awhile, some Century House friends – or bring a friend, or come with a friend. Come with your friends and have some fun.”

Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch and enjoy a picnic together in the park.

“Each day we can enjoy a picnic together. It’s 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., so it’s nice to do something in the morning, break for lunch and then do something in the afternoon. It’s a pretty easy pace,” Schnee said. “We have a place in the park behind Century House where there is a couple of picnic tables. We will put the tents out. We will have our own little space.”

Each week’s camp is $44.50 for two sessions (with subsidies available for seniors with a low income). Session are taking place on July 7 and 9 (registration code 103734); July 14 and 16 (103751); July 21 and 23 (103752); July 28 and 30 (103753); Aug.  4 and 6 (103754); Aug. 11 and 13 (103755); Aug. 18 and 20 (103756); and Aug. 25 and 27 (103757).

“The way the camp runs is you sign up for a Wednesday and a Friday,” Schnee said. “The idea was to have projects that would encompass both days. Sort of like a theme per week.”

To register or get more information, call Century House at 604-519-1066. You can also register online at


Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus