Theme-oriented summer camp a success, says founder

COOKS BROOK: A theme-oriented summer camp that was recently held was an amazing success, said the organizer and founder.

Katie Hines was also the director of Summer Camps Unplugged, held at Mount Traber in Cooks Brook this past August. They saw 48 youth, many from the East Hants community, attend the week-long camp.

Hines said she started the summer camp because she saw a void that needed to be filled.

“I grew up going to summer camp and grew into a huge summer camp advocate.,” Hines said. “Outside of bible camps and special medical camps there are not many programs left running in the province and the few that are cost a small fortune. 

“As a parent, I wanted to create a program that was not bible or medical related and that wouldn’t break the bank.”

The Summer Camps Unplugged program is theme-oriented and built for youth to challenge themselves, be creative, discover themselves and of course make friends and memories to last a lifetime.  

“The purpose of this summer camp is to provide both education and recreation to children without them having possession of their modern-day electronics,” she said. “Residential summer camps have been making huge impacts on children for many years and we believe technology and social culture play a role in them phasing out. “

Hines said camps give children a chance to discover themselves away from their families which results in confident, independent children. 

“They challenge themselves and learn new skills while participating in a fun, safe, and nurturing atmosphere,” she said.

Of course, a camp of this nature couldn’t happen without the support of many. That list includes MLA John A. MacDonald, Leno Ribahi, Tim Isenor, Sara Keyes, Elmsdale Vision, Braeden Bannister Memorial Fund, East Hants Renos, Sangsters Automotive, Jerry’s Water Delivery, Elmsdale Pizza, #jayitforward, Dean and Betty Anne Hines, Maritime Car Wash, Napa Elmsdale, Enfield Payzant’s Home Hardware, and Maritime Paper. 

She said the kids explored so many activities this year, and a lot of them for the very first time. The youth participated in general sessions like swimming, archery, rock wall climbing, low ropes course, zip lining, and horseback riding. 

“In the evenings they had special teamwork and themed activities such as car building, movie night, cupcake bake off, painted twister, smores campfire, seniors overnight,” said Hines. “We ended the week with a Luau dance Party in the field.”

Hines is hopeful of continuing Summer Camps Unplugged as long as she can.

“In an effort to keep costs as low as possible to families I had several local sponsors who helped fund the programs. I hope to have their continued support in the future and hope to gain even more corporate sponsors,” she said. “I have the experience and ability to plan and run an amazing program.  And East Hants has a large population of willing and able volunteers to help run it. 

“As long as we can continue to get funding, we will continue running, and the more sponsors we get means the more kids we can accommodate.”

For more on Summer Camps Unplugged, check out their facebook page (click the link on the camps name).