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Top 10 summer programs you don’t want to miss out on in Sackville this year

The week-long Trailblazers camps are always a hit.
The week-long Trailblazers camps are always a hit. - Contributed

Fun in the sun for all ages this summer

SACKVILLE, N.B. —

The crew with Sackville’s recreation department is excited and geared up to once again host a fun and action-packed lineup of programs and events for all ages this summer.

From dance to paint wars, from wilderness survival to outdoor activities, there is a jam-packed line-up that includes activities just about every day of the week throughout July and August, providing plenty of opportunities to get outdoors, get active and have fun this summer.

There’s so much to be excited about this summer and so the Sackville Tribune-Post has compiled a list of the top 10 programs you don’t want to miss out on this year.

TRAILBLAZERS

Hey kids, want to spend some time in the great outdoors this summer and learn about surviving in the wilderness? Well, here’s your chance.

From shelter-building to campfire-building to nature-exploring, Trailblazers offers up an abundance of activities to bring out the inner camper in everyone.

“It’s a great camp,” said Megan Dobbin, Sackville’s summer programs coordinator. “It’s a great way for kids to get outdoors, get messy and use their imaginations.”

The two weeklong Trailblazers camps at Beech Hill Park are split into different age groups – July 15-19 for ages 5-8, and July 29-Aug. 2 for ages 9-12.

So put down your cell phones and shelve the video games and come out to Beech Hill Park and get back to nature. And sign up soon cause these camps are filling up fast.

BEYOND IMAGINATION

Sackville has developed a brand new program this year that helps fill a gap in its annual summer programming.

Beyond Imagination is a weekly program for children with disabilities, both intellectual and physical. The Wednesday afternoon program gets under way July 3.

“This is a program I’m really excited for this summer,” said Megan Dobbin, the town’s summer programs coordinator.

“It’s a good way for kids who are normally isolated to get out in the community and have fun just like everyone else.”
The inclusive program will primarily involve games, crafts and abilities based on the participants ages and abilities, said Dobbin, and there will be a high counselor-to-child ratio maintained throughout.

BEECH HILL PARK CHALLENGE

Up for the ultimate challenge? Then come on out to Beech Hill Park on July 13.

Sackville is once again hosting its annual Beech Hill Park challenge, a 4-kilometre obstacle course that dares you to run, climb, dodge and get dirty as you make your way through.

The always-popular Beech Hill Park Challenge is back for another year.
The always-popular Beech Hill Park Challenge is back for another year.

“It’s our fifth year we’re doing this, so that’s exciting,” said Dobbin. “We’re hoping to have lots of people out for that.”

Be prepared for some hearty competition this year, as the top male and top female participants can win $300 gift certificates to the Bicycle Specialist in Amherst.

There is also a mini race for the kids, which has become an incredibly popular draw for children of all ages.

“Beech Hill Park is the perfect space for something like this,” said Matt Pryde, manager of parks and recreation. “And as we continue to try new things, new obstacles and change the route around each year, people get excited for it.”

PAINTPOCALYPSE

Hey kids, get your white shirts ready because the town is once again partnering with the Middle Sackville Baptist Church to host its wild and crazy Paintpocalypse event.

The paint wars happen at Beech Hill Park on July 3.
The paint wars happen at Beech Hill Park on July 3.

“It’s always a popular one for the teens and tweens,” said Pryde.

Set for July 3 at Beech Hill Park, participants will head out to the huge field at 6:30 p.m. for a large paint war and slip ‘n’ slide.

“It’s just kind of like a big paint fight,” said Dobbin.

The evening ends off with a large campfire featuring s’mores and spider dogs.

SENIOR SOCIALS

Senior Socials are back this year.

The town has organized a series of three events this summer – providing a wonderful afternoon for socializing while enjoying some live music, snacks and refreshments.

The first event will be held July 9 with a performance by Del Wheaton, and the second is set for Aug. 13 with Lise Blakney performing. They are both being held at the Bill Johnstone Memorial Park from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

The third Senior Social is the annual Blueberry Festival and is being co-hosted with the Drew Nursing Home. It will be held on Aug. 8 from 2:30-4 p.m. with a performance by the Lil Jills.

 “We usually have a pretty good turnout for these,” said Dobbin.

WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS

If you’re interested in trying out a new sport this summer, Sackville has the ideal opportunity for you. The town is introducing weekly roller hockey this year, a program that offers kids ages 7-11 of all skill levels the chance to test out the up-and-coming sport. This will be held Tuesday afternoons starting July 2 at the Tantramar civic centre.

A range of sports options are available for all ages this summer, including a weekly basketball program.
A range of sports options are available for all ages this summer, including a weekly basketball program.

There are also an abundance of other sports programs returning to the line-up this summer, including the kids running program, basketball, swimming lessons, ultimate frisbee, dance, walking, biking and much more. Check out the summer program guide at Sackville.com for more information.

GIRL POWER

Build self esteem. Learn self-help strategies. Grow positive body image. Achieve goals.

These are just some of the benefits participants will draw from this summer’s Girl Empowerment camp that is returning again this year.

The weeklong camp, set for Aug. 12-16, helps girls learn more about themselves and how to make a difference in the world. It also provides them with a broader perspective about their health systems, cultural influences, entrepreneurship, and how to build a brighter future for girls all over the world.

“It’s a really good program,” said Dobbin. “We always get a lot of good feedback from that.”

SENIORS PROM

If you’re looking for an opportunity to relive your high school prom, or if you missed out on the big event the first time around, an exciting new event is happening later this summer that will help bring you back.

The town is hosting its first ever ‘Seniors Prom,’ an evening that will see high school alumni from the Class of 1976 or before dancing the night away at the Sackville Music Barn.

“People say that prom only happens once in your lifetime,” said Pryde. “Well we thought it would be nice if it could happen twice.”

Pryde said there is a prom committee organizing the event, which will feature the crowing of a prom king and queen as well as music from Cool Water Band, who will be playing ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s rock and roll. The prom is happening August 22.

“There’s a small community in Newfoundland that does something similar and we just thought it would be kind of a neat thing to do to try here.”

MOVIES AND CONCERTS IN THE PARK

Come on out to the park every Thursday evening throughout the summer to hear some live music. A wide variety of local musicians will hit the stage – aka the bandstand – every week in July and August in a showcase of some true Maritime talent. The concerts are free and get under way every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

This year's Concerts in the Park series gets under way July 4.
This year's Concerts in the Park series gets under way July 4.

There will also be several Movie in the Park events this summer, where there will be a free movies on the big screen beginning at dusk. All movies will be family friendly so come on out and enjoy the beautiful Sackville evenings and watching a flick with family and friends.

Visit Sackville.com for the schedule for these events.

DAY TRIP TO SHINING WATERS

Looking for a great way to finish off your summer? Then consider signing up for the town’s annual day trip to Shining Waters in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

Shining Waters features over 40 attractions including four giant water slides, a petting zoo, a roller coaster, paddle boats, and much more – a park that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages.

“It should be a great day,” said Dobbin. “Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed it in the past.”

The cost of the trip, which will take place on Aug. 27, is only $40 for participants, as much of the price is subsidized by the town.

“We’d love to see that bus packed for that trip,” said Pryde.

Registration is now open and is required for several of the summer programs, camps and events. Visit www.sackville.com for more information.

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