Skateboarding & Scooter Camps with Evolve Camps In Ottawa

Sports camps come in many varieties from the general all-sports camp offered for all ages to intense training for a specific sport. We get it - choosing the right summer camp for your child is not easy. Evolve Camps operates action sports programs for children across Canada including here in the Capital.

Evolve Camps In Ottawa


Some Great Questions Ask Your Child

Many times parents like yourself think to themselves “I found the best program, I can’t wait to register my child for this they are going to love it!”, but they do not consult their child before signing them up. In most cases, the parent just ends up with an unhappy camper because the child was put into a program they were not excited about.

Before choosing a program - whether it is with Evolve Camps or not - make sure you ask some of these questions to your child:

  • What do you want to do this summer?

  • Do you want to skateboard or scooter every day?

  • Do you want to learn how to ski or snowboard this winter?

  • Would you have fun at a sleep-away overnight camp?

  • Do you want to just hang out at home?

  • What are some of your friends doing this summer/winter?

  • Do any of your friends want to try skateboard/scooter/ski/snowboard with you?

  • I found this program called [Evolve Camps]. Here is what they do; how does it sound?

  • Out of the camp options that [Evolve Camps] offers, which would you prefer?

Skateboarding & Scooter Camps with Evolve Camps  In Ottawa

About Our Skateboarding & Scooter Summer Camp Sessions In Ottawa

Drop off Summer Camps vs. Bussed Summer Camps

Summer camps also offer a variety of services to help you have easier mornings and even easier afternoons. Generally speaking drop off summer camps are cheaper. These type of summer camp options are great for parents or guardians who work from home or have a flexible schedule a camp.

Evolve Camps like many other programs offers a pick-up and drop off service in various areas throughout Ottawa. The beauty of Evolve’s program is that the kids visit different skateboard parks throughout Ottawa. Campers get picked up in the morning between 7:45AM and 8:30AM and drop off back at the same spot between 3:45PM and 4:30PM.

Some of the pick up locations include:

Earl of March Secondary School, Merivale High School, Hopewell Public School, Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School and Broadview Avenue Public School. Full Details HERE.

Read Online Reviews

We could spend all day telling you about all the amazing things that your child will experience as a camper with Evolve Camps in Ottawa. Rather than hearing it from us, you can read for yourself from our many reviews on Facebook and Google that were written by parents of other children that had a great experience with Evolve Camps. We encourage you to hear first-hand from these parents about the positive growth and benefits that they have seen in their child since attending one of our programs. We also recommend to do the same for any other camp you are considering.

Kids In The Capital Discount

If Evolve Camps skateboarding and scooter camp in Ottawa sounds like a good fit for your child use the following code to SAVE $25 of any session. At check out use KIDSINTHECAPITAL.

Register here: https://www.evolvecamps.com/scooter/ottawa-scooter-camp/?dp=OTTAWA

Follow Evolve Camps online:
Evolve Camps: http://www.evolvecamps.com
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/evolvecamps @evolvecamps
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/evolvecamp


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Evolve Camps.

A Whitewater Adventure with Wilderness Tours

KITC would like to welcome back guest blogger, Stephen Johnson.. Stephen Johnson is an Ottawa writer who loves to write about family travel.  During the summer, you will most likely find him and his family at a local fair or festival.  During the winter, a beach in Mexico is a likely bet.  
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Last summer, one of our family highlights was going on the Ottawa City Rafting Tour.  Once the warm weather hit this year, we decided to relive our whitewater adventures.  We wanted to go further afield and chose Wilderness Tours which is located about an hour and twenty minutes west of Ottawa along the Ottawa River.

white water rafting Ottawa

Arriving on-site,  the first thing I was impressed by was the size of the facility.  They have a restaurant, overnight accommodations, bungee jump and basketball courts amongst numerous other features.  We signed up for the family gentle rafting day trip and were quickly processed.

Our guide, Drew,  quickly instilled confidence as he briefed all participants about the safety aspects of the trip and introduced the other guides.  He had a laid back attitude, not about the safety, but made everyone feel at home and excited about the experience.

Soon enough, we were hopped on a yellow school bus and were ferried to our drop-off point on the Ottawa River.  With lifejackets on, we met up with Drew and were heading down the river in our raft. The trip started off with a bang as we took a rapid appropriately called Initiation.   Drew called out for everyone to get into our safety positions as we hit the rapid. It was exhilarating but I never felt in danger.

Wilderness Tours Ottawa

After getting through the first rapid, what would come next was incredible.  We passed through a second smaller rapid and then saw a few people on the other rafts pointing.  We came around the bend and saw two majestic eagles. One was perched on a rocky outcrop while the other was further back in a tree.  The closest bird was only about fifteen metres or so from our raft. It is the closest I have ever felt to being in a wilderness documentary.  After about a minute, the bird flew off leaving all of us with our jaws still in the water.

It was hard to top what we had just seen but the rest of the day was amazing as well.  At a calm point along the river, everyone had a chance to get out of the raft and go for a relaxing swim.  

Swimming in the rapids

After cooling down, we were back inside the raft heading to our next big thrill. We took the Butterfly rapid at full tilt offering up a lot of excitement. Next, we headed to an area of the rapid called Caterpillar Hole where it was possible to position the raft as if we were surfing. This was David’s favourite part of the entire trip. He loved having the waves crashing into him as the guide expertly managed our raft. I was happy I was on the side furthest from the waves only getting mildly drenched.  

Before lunch, participants also had a chance to get out of the raft and take one of the rapids on their back.  I am not the strongest swimmer in the world so passed but it looked like everyone was having a good time.

Once all the raft and body surfing was done,  it was time for lunch. We landed on shore at the scenic Garvin’s Chute with huge appetites.  I’ll be honest, I was expecting perhaps warmed over hot dogs or floppy burgers as we were in the middle of the wilderness.  Instead, we got super tasty sausages and chicken burgers. It was as good as anything you would get in a restaurant.

With our hunger satisfied, it was time for the final leg of our journey.  We took a couple more smaller rapids. My family and the other people in our raft playfully teased me as I dropped down to the safety position for each rapid.  

We wrapped up the day by landing our raft on shore and being offered  a glass of water, mango juice, lemonade or craft beer which was brewed at the nearby Whitewater Brewing Company.

It was time to get back on the bus and head back to the headquarters.  Everyone looked exhausted but happy from an exhilarating day on the river.   

I would highly recommend the family rafting tour for almost any age.  There were certainly a few thrills but the guides were very safety conscious and kept us in good shape.  The day was also seamlessly organized. We never had to wait for the bus, lunch, etc. It was obvious they have been doing these tours for a long time and also know what they are doing.  

For more information, visit www.wildernesstours.com

Wilderness Tours rafts

Packing Tips for Sleepaway Camp

IMG_3003.jpg

I'm on year four of packing my kids for sleepaway camp and every year I learn something new that helps with making the process go a little more smoothly - for both the parents AND the kids. So, I thought I would share some of those tips with you and save you some of the trial and errors we've gone through.

1. Labels - lots of labels

It takes a LOT of labels to label everything for summer camp. I often under estimate how many we'll need or forget to order them until the last minute.

I love Mabel's Labels because they ship really quickly and they have a camp specific kit that makes it easier for me to know what I need. I go through a lot of their little labels on clothes (and stopped bothering to label their socks) and put multiple big labels on the really valuable things (like life jackets!).

I also just order our last name since a lot of the stuff passes from kid to kid and when I'm lucky, some of the things are already labeled when I go through it the next year!

While I am sometimes tempted to not label everything, the camp my kids go to do the entire cabin's laundry in one go, once a week, so having names on things is an easy way for everyone to get their own stuff back.

2. Send the old stuff

These kids are going to get DIRTY and stinky and wreck a lot of the clothing that gets sent to camp. Send the old crappy clothing and don't worry about trying to get them all kinds of new stuff.

Along this same note... be prepared that some things won't make it home - the brand new water shoes and lifejacket that disappeared are ultimately a small price to pay for the amazing experience of camp! :)

3. Plastic bins and plastic drawer systems

I've been using the bins for three years and only just discovered the drawer systems so haven't implemented it yet, but will definitely be doing this next year.

Plastic bins are a great way to store all the non-clothing stuff and get it to and from camp easily. I've found that some of the cabins have shelving and storage and some don't, so having an easy way to separate the clothing from the other things the kids will need is a handy and easy way to pack.

I recently discovered something other parents do and plan to try it next year: buy plastic drawer systems and essentially deliver your children to camp with a dresser and their clothing already organized! 

4. Make sure your kids know what's theirs

The first year my child tried to use shampoo as insect repellant for a week (WHAT?!) because he never took the time to read the bottle carefully and last year one of my kids thought he didn't have a toiletries bag because he didn't recognize the one on his shelf with all of his stuff (that was also full of his stuff) so BORROWED toiletries all week. 

Make sure your kids know what they have with them, even if you're only finalizing all the packing late the night before you leave, or all your time and effort may go to waste if they don't even realize all the amazing stuff you packed them is theirs!

5. Get your kids involved in the packing

My kids each get a copy of the packing list and they are responsible for getting me everything they're bringing in one spot, creating a shopping list for what they're missing and labelling the items. Packing kids up for camp is a big job and I get them as involved as possible. See note above for what happens when they aren't involved in every single step! ;)

I keep learning more every year but hopefully these tips will help make packing your kids up for sleepaway camp a bit easier!

Kayaking for Kids - They can do it!

We spend a lot of our summers up at our parents' cottages and something both sets of grandparents invested in (I know - we're really lucky to have access to TWO cottages) are kayaks for the kids.

My kids took to it in no time flat and the most common comment I get from friends when they come to the cottage and try out the kayaks is, "Wow! I can't believe they can do that!"

So my message to you is:

Your kids can kayak!

My kids started using the kid sized kayaks around the age of 4 or 5 and while not all of them were proficient at 4, at 5 they could definitely get the boat going where they wanted it to go.

At 8, my older son could handle a full sized kayak if all the kid sized ones were being used by younger children because he'd had enough practice with the little ones.

What about SUPs?

Stand up paddle boards (SUPs) have gotten really popular in the last few years. We have a kid sized one of those too and while all the kids can manage it, most of them seem to feel about it the way I do about the adult sized one - it's fine, but they prefer the kayak. My daughter however really enjoys the SUP and has such incredible balance on it she can practically do acrobatics on the water without falling off!

What if I don't have a cottage?

There are lots of great places to kayak in the Ottawa area and kayaks are pretty easy to transport thanks to roof racks and hatchback trunks (especially the kid sized ones). You can also bring kayaks with you camping! Bon Echo and Bonnechere Provincial Parks are great spots. So, pack some snacks, your kayaks and your lifejackets and head out to:

Dow's Lake Pavilion (you can rent kayaks here too)

Ottawa Valley - there are a bunch of great spots and this guide has all the details you need for your paddling adventure.

Petrie Island - You can launch your kayak at the free boat launch at the west end of the main parking lot in Crappie Bay.

Shirley's Bay - a popular spot and a great place to teach kids how to launch without getting in and out from a dock.

How much do they cost?

Ours all came from Costco and we know a lot of others who got them there.  I've also seen them at Canadian tire, and for a basic sit on top kids' kayak you're looking at about $100. They've been a great investment for our family!

 

Winter yurt camping in Gatineau Park: Fun for all ages!

Yurt

If the thought of camping in the winter sends shivers down your spine, don’t let it! This past winter was the first winter that my family and I ventured into to the great outdoors to camp, but thanks to the numerous yurts and four season tents available in Gatineau Park, our camping experience was unforgettably comfortable!

So much so, that we did it again this past weekend! We packed up our sleeping bags, camp pillows, marshmallows (and other, more nutritious food), clothes for the weather (which was cool, but not freezing), and hiked the 3.4 km to our yurt to settle in for a weekend of fun.

winterhiking

We were lucky because this time we invested in the luggage and water  transportation to our yurt (it’s available for an additional fee), but we didn’t when we went in December, and we managed just fine then too – thanks to my Hercules husband who managed to carry almost everything on his back. And yes, if you don’t pay for it you have to bring your own water – for cooking and drinking (if you’re lucky there will be plenty of snow, which lessens the amount of water you will need to bring).

Some of you may be wondering why we wanted to camp in the winter or early spring? There are many reasons to camp off season, including:

1)   Peace and quiet

campfire

With the exception of a few hard-core tent campers, other than the people in nearby yurts and four-season tents, there were not many people around, which meant that the only noise we heard were from trees blowing in the wind, a couple of coyotes and raccoons at night, a grey-horned owl (which was incredible to hear!) and our own breathing – it was glorious!

2)   Bright nights

Yes, you have to use an outhouse and sometimes children need to go in the middle of the night, but the bright snow makes walking in otherwise complete darkness a little brighter, and night in the middle of the woods in winter is a special kind of beautiful.

3)   No bugs

Isn’t that great? No need to carry bug spray of any kind, nor did we have to worry about nighttime creepy crawlies while going to the outhouse (not to mention because it is so cold, the outhouse never smells!)

4)   Winter fun and wildlife

To access the yurts and four season tents in Gatineau Park you can hike (if there isn’t a lot of snow), or cross country ski or snowshoe. Along your journey you may be honoured with the presence of deer, moose and other wildlife!

woodburning stove

5)   The Wood Stove

I can tell you right now, even in the middle of winter you will not be cold at night. The wood-burning stove (the wood is included in the rental price and is available near your yurt or tent) will heat up your accommodations quickly. The first time we spent the night in a four-season tent we were so hot that we opened all of the windows and doors to let some cold winter air in (my recommendation is to always have a window open at least a crack, it helps regulate the inside temperature)! It's an efficient source of heat and it's what you will use to cook your meals - a unique and educational experience for everyone!

6) Memorable Experience

inside yurt

I guarantee your kids will be talking about their winter camping trip for months to come! My daughter loved hiking to the nearby lake and looking for animal tracks in the snow. She loved having to cook everything on a wood stove and she loved eating dinner by candlelight (there is no electricity after all!).

There is also a journal in each unit with stories from people who previously stayed in the yurt or tent. Their stories are funny, interesting and relatable – like the first time winter campers in our yurt who didn’t realize the walk was so far so they chose to leave behind a beautiful orange skillet for future yurt visitors to use, simply because it was too heavy for them to carry back out.

My only complaint is that the online booking system can be confusing, especially for first time users and there is a chance something can get double booked (it happened to us once, but they were kind and gave us our money back plus a voucher); but once your yurt or tent is booked you’re all set!

Tell me, have you camped in the winter? It’s our hopes to check out some of the amazing yurts and four season tents in Algonquin Park next year. I’ll make sure to let you know how it goes…