Column: "Camp Councillor" for a day!

Jeff, Liam, Ben, Brooklyn, Erika, Councillor Moffatt, Matthew, Liam, Gavin, Dean, Camp Counsellor Jen, Alex, Sarasa, and Brendan.

Last week, I had the pleasure of beginning my Councillor For Hire initiative with my first job as a Camp Counsellor for, of all people, the City of Ottawa!  The Rideau-Osgoode branch of Parks & Recreation was kind enough to invite me to be a Camp Counsellor for the day at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre in North Gower.

The City provides summer day camps in North Gower for kids aged 3-5 called “On My Own Adventures” and for kids aged 6-13 called “Just-In-Credible Kids.”  “On My Own Adventures” helps prepare your children for kindergarten with pre-reading, math and pre-writing skills.  The children experience activities and crafts while socializing with peers, exploring weekly themes.  “Just-In-Credible Kids” lets older kids explore the world of crafts, games, outings, and special events while developing new friendships.

The camp aims to help children aged 6-13 gain confidence in a stimulating environment.

Last Tuesday, I joined Counsellors Emilee, Julia, Jen, and Laura as a Counsellor for the day.  Jen and Laura looked after the On My Own Adventures group, which included Matthew, Dakota, Gavin, and, brothers, Alex & Dean.  I spent most of the day with Emilee, Julia and the Just-In-Credible Kids; Brooklyn, Liam, Ben, Jeff, sisters Erika & Sarasa, and brothers, Liam & Brendan.  It was “Pirates Day” at summer camp which included a scavenger hunt, face painting, as well as various games outside and inside that tested my fitness level.

The day was a lot of fun and it showed me how valuable this resource is to people in Rideau-Goulbourn and across the City.  Just browsing through the Recreation Guide, you see how many Day Camps are provided throughout the City at a cost that is less than most day care providers.  In all, the day runs from 7:30 to 5:30 and the kids have a lot of fun, build relationships, and learn while they’re at it.  While they get to have fun going to Mont Cascades one day, they also learn about natural history when they attend the Museum of Nature.  You can find more information about City of Ottawa camps and programs at

I’d like to thank the Parks & Rec department for inviting me, the Camp Counsellors for putting up with me, and to kids for making it an awesome day.  The hardest part of the day was letting the kids know I was only there for the day and not coming back, to which Jeff replied; “Never Again?!”  As the great Justin Bieber says, “Never say never.”

Osgoode Youth Association
O-YA is hiring Jr. Youth Workers and Youth Workers!  Being a Jr. Youth Worker at O-YA is fun, social, rewarding and fantastic work experience.

16 years of age or older?  Jr. Youth Workers are being hired to work at O-YA during our After School Homework Club from the end of your school day to 5:30 pm a couple of days per week, on select PD Days, potentially during March Break and during O-YA's Tween Summer Camps.

19 years of age or older?  Youth Workers are being hired to work at O-YA during both our After School Homework Club and Drop-In programming for Teens and Sr. Teens.

If you have any questions, or would like to apply for either position, please contact Nicole McKerracher in person at O-YA or by email at

Zumba Fitness Classes in North Gower
Ditch the Workout, Join the Party!  Starting September 6 and 8, every Tuesday and Thursday at Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre in North Gower.  $80 for 10 classes or you can just drop in for $10/class.  For more information, contact Kirsten Mooney at 613-857-4589 or

Any comments, concerns or questions, please contact me at 613-580-2491 or by email at  Enjoy your last weekend of summer!