They are pirates, explorers, wranglers and farmers. Sometimes they play under the sea or in a winter wonderland. But they’re also among the more than 500 campers and athletes so far signed up for programming this year at Tamarack Gymnastics.
As co-founder Amanda Pierson explains, Tamarack has been operating summer camps since 2021, and the 2023 season will run from July 3rd thru the end of August. What’s new this year, and launched by popular demand, is half-day programs and pre-school camps.
“We had some feedback from people looking for half-day options,” she says. “We still have full days, but then we also have half-day afternoons for older kids and half-day mornings for preschoolers so they can come in and try some summer stuff.”
And each week, she points, out will feature a different theme.
“We’ve got a ‘Lost in Space’ week, a ‘Wild West’, a ‘Farm Week’ and a ‘Pirate Week’,” she says. Campers can also anticipate exciting settings such as ‘Under the Sea’ and ‘Winter Wonderland’.
“We use the themes in a lot of the games and circuits we set up,” explains Pierson. “So, for example, if campers are practicing the beam and it’s Pirate Week, maybe they’re jumping over a pirate hat or something along those lines. We incorporate lots of crafts and outdoor activities that play into the theme as well.”
Gymnastics is obviously central to Tamarack’s camps, and kids can move from various concentrations throughout the day – such as artistic gymnastics and trampolining. Then there’s the crafting and outdoor components. It’s about more than just gymnastics, and campers do not require previous gymnastics experience to register.
“We make it work for whoever’s here,” says Pierson, who holds NCCP-level certifications in Trampoline & Tumbling and Men’s & Women’s Artistic Gymnastics. “You can be brand new to us.”
Tamarack’s competitive athletes, meanwhile, are able to participate in events throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, depending on skill level. Team tryouts for trampoline will be held July 5th, with the competitive season running from September until June of next year.
Khearra Koeuth, 16, is part of the trampoline & tumbling team and won silver and bronze medals at the 2022 Western Canada Cup. She says she’s excited to push her skills even further and hopes to become a national-level gymnast.
Koeuth has also been with Tamarack since the very beginning and is already in the process of attaining NCCP credentials.
“I just love working with kids and teaching them the things I remember learning,” she says. “I like to see the happiness they get from a new skill.”
The Tamarack community has also become an important part of her life.
“It’s been really fun. I’ve met some of my closest friends here,” she says. “Even though it’s an individual sport we have a team atmosphere, and it’s been lots of fun meeting and teaching new people.”
She adds: “We’re always learning something new; there’s always another goal to reach for. We’re never at the end of learning.”
To learn more about Tamarack Gymnastics and register for an upcoming camp, visit their website or call (204) 998-7314.