Camrose on display at registration night
University of Alberta-Conservatory administrator and sessional instructor Charlene Brown works with kids during a demonstration at the Community Registration Night in Camrose on Sept. 7. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian
For 6th Camrose Cub Scouts leader Laura Jacobsen there are few days more important to promote the club than Community Registration Night.
Last year the club was holding strong at 27 kids, but many of them registered at the Recreation Centre Field House in the same fashion they were signing up new comers for the 2017-18 year this past Thursday.
“It still shows we are active in the community, that we still have a huge interest in getting the kids out there and learning outdoor skills,” she said, adding their year runs from September until May.
Growing Cubs or any of the other Scouts age groups has been more difficult in recent years, with many other options — from sports to arts to video games — for kids in those age groups. Finding ways to get their face out there and recruit to the various age levels is that much more critical.
“I just signed up two years ago and I didn’t know Camrose still had Cub Scouts,” said Jacobsen.
Registration night attracted 55 local groups, service clubs, sports clubs, and non-profit organizations offering opportunities to volunteer or activities to take part in.
The night has been an integral part of bringing the community together for the past 11 years, with approximately 1,000 people coming through the doors to register for specific groups or even just to see what Camrose has to offer.
“Some people come here specifically because they know they’re registering for skipping or their registering for tae kwon do … but a lot of people just mill about and it becomes a bit of a social thing,” said Camrose and Area Adult Learning Council executive director Diane McLaren.
Ashley Carlson, she and her husband have four active kids between the ages of 7 and 2 years old and this was her first year attending Community Registration Night as they sought out groups their kids may be interested in joining.
“It gives me a chance to see what is actually out there age-wise for kids,” she said. “Just something to get them more active and out in the community outside of school
As there is every year, there were some new groups at Community Registration Night, including the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing Alberta. The organization is a popular one out of Edmonton’s Rabbit Hill.
However, CADS Alberta treasurer Neil Hepburn lives in Camrose and said there is a need for the program to reach out to local skiers.
“There’s a lot of need across the country,” said Hepburn, who also teaches with the club in Edmonton. He says one of the most impacted groups are the students who come from group homes.
“CADS is what they look forward to every week, they’re waiting for the next night to go skiing,” he said.
Hepburn has been involved with CADS off and on since 1989, and he has seen the impact the sport can have on members.
“For so many students in our program, when they get on the hill they, can fly down the hill like everybody else,” he said. “I know one girls from Lethbridge with cerebral palsy, she rides a sit ski … and she says ‘When I’m in my sit ski, I forget all about my disability and I just go out on the mountain and I enjoy myself.’ I think that’s really important.”
For more information on the club go to www.cadsedmonton.ca or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McLaren says Community Registration Night will be back again next year and they will start signing up groups in April with the deadline the end of June.