What will capture your teen or pre-teen’s imagination this spring?
Tap into your creativity
Those taking a creative turn will love options in art, textiles and the performing arts, notes Gillian Rowan, Esquimalt’s Arts & Culture Programmer.
“If they love sewing, we have the StitchLab, in partnership with the MakeHouse,” Rowan says. “They can be complete beginners or experienced and work on projects of their choice.”
Love drawing, painting and mixed media? The ArtLab is similarly structured, with opportunities to work in a variety of mediums, alongside guest artists.
With both programs, “we really leave a lot of room for exploration and young creators get the benefit of working with local mentors happy to share their knowledge and expertise,” Rowan says.
Youth whose creative interests lean to performing will love programs in glee club, guitar and even improv. Older teens – age 14+ – are also welcome to explore the wealth of multigenerational programs, from Japanese language to photography.
“A lot of youth start their artistic explorations with us, getting the foundation, then take that experience, skill and knowledge to the next step and explore their passion,” Rowan says. “Many even come back and volunteer with us to mentor the younger ones – we love that!”
Leadership in the ‘hood
And speaking of youth leadership … this spring break, Esquimalt Recreation follows up on last summer’s Youth Leadership Training pilot project with two spring sessions.
Running daily March 16 to 20, Step 1 welcomes participants age 12 to 15 who are keen to learn skills in customer service, public speaking, and game and craft training – everything you need to become the kind of youth leader you loved! Graduates then apply their skills in various volunteer positions.
Step 2, for teens 13 to 18, explores more in depth the material covered in Step 1.
“We’re actively building a database of people who are interested in working around the rec centre,” explains Esquimalt Recreation Supervisor Robbie Young. With the program and some volunteer hours on their resume, teens can then be considered for positions in the concession, skate shop or leading birthday parties, for example.
“We know there’s a big teen contingent in the the community who may have aged out of a lot of our youth programs but still want to be involved around the rec centre,” Young says.
Both Youth Leadership sessions run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. And don’t worry if you’ve missed the current sessions – more are planned this summer, with online registration open now, and in-person and phone registration starting March 18.
Ready to learn more about all that’s happening at Esquimalt Recreation this spring? Check it out at esquimalt.ca/parks-recreation/programs-registration!