independent

Friday 18 August 2017

Summer fun by the sea

Participants of the Avalon Centre summer camp have a ball

The Avalon Centre's summer camp is one of Sligo's most popular and having come into existence in 1981, is certainly one of the oldest in the county.

Places at the summer camp fill up each year mere weeks after registration opens.

Children taking part get a chance to sample orienteering, kayaking and even get a day trip away.

At the sun drenched Rosses Point last Wednesday morning, the 110 children at the summer camp were having the time of their lives.

"It's running ever since 1981. This week we have around 110 young people. It's sold out very quickly," said Pamela Culkin, former Programmes Manager at the Avalon Centre who was helping out at the summer camp.

With registration for the camps opening in May, they were full shortly afterwards.

"They are broken into colour coded groups and there's a team leader with them all," Pamela explained.

"The programme includes kayaking, a day at the beach,BBQ, day trips, astro-turf, fun games, swimming in the Sports Complex. They have a day trip to RedCastle as well," she added.

The junior group includes children ages between 6-11, while the senior group is for children over 11.

But just why do children love the summer camp so much?

Pamela feels that the variety in activities is one of the main reasons children choose to keep coming back each year.

She has been involved since the start, and she says one of the main things that's changed is the popularity of the summer camp.

"It's popularity is the main thing (that's changed over the year). Young people sign up for it really quickly.

"The variety in the programme too is part of the attraction. We had orienteering outside so there's something different everyday, There are lots of opportunities for them to make friends and be with lots of friends in their little groups. "

Prior to her retirement, Pamela says she loved her work with Avalon Centre, and everyone who works there also loves it.

The children who attend the summer camp enjoy buckets of fun.

Ten-year-old Ben O'Loughlin from Carraroe said: "It's really good. This is my second time coming here. I like the swimming and the canoes and the beach. I've made loads of friends since I came here."

Carly O'Callaghan who is 8 and from Strandhill, was having a great time at the summer camp.

"This is my first time here. It's really good. I like everything. The beach was so much fun."

John Skehan 11, and from Sligo town said: This is my third time coming here. I really like it All my friends go. Today was really good.

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