Recreation Opportunities for Kids (ROK) Central Summer Camp program ended last Friday afternoon in Portage with a trip to the Stride Place pool and pizza at the ukrainian bandstand.

Vienna Muise, executive director for ROK, says that this year's camp, which started on July 4th, was a good experience.

She explains that with COVID restrictions being lifted this year, they were able to do more such as inviting Volleyball Winnipeg to Portage to teach kids the sport and using Simplot Central Park.

"It's been a lot of fun," says Muise. "A lot of out-of-the-box thinking. Not everything always goes the way you plan it. I find, especially when the kids are used to being in a world of screen, it's a different situation. They're at camp from 9 a.m. until 3/3:30 p.m., and we're engaging them. We're trying to get them involved in physical activity and imaginary play."

Muise does point out that while restrictions were lifted, the camp was still COVID-conscious.

"We still check temperatures, we still ask questions when dropped off, and we made sure people were aware that if they felt more comfortable wearing masks, they could. For the most part, we have not had any issues in reference to COVID, which is great. No kids out, no staff out due to it."

The executive director notes that 50 kids signed up for this summer's installment of the free program, however, there were many days only 30, 25, or sometimes, even eight kids would show up.

Muise talks about her favourite part of being involved in the camp.

"Just getting to know the kids. One of the things we've done this year is circle time in the morning and the afternoon. So, we ask all kinds of creative questions, which really gives you some insight into the little personalities that are sitting there in the circle. So, all of us, including the camp leaders, answer those questions. An example is, 'Who's your favourite superhero or anti-hero?' And, 'If you had a superpower, what would that be?' There were a wide variety of answers, and it was fun just listening to what the kids had to say."

Muise notes going forward into next summer, ROK is very excited to offer the Summer Camps.

"We want to continue to do it and make it bigger and better."