November 19th, 2017

Keeping active while camping

By Lethbridge Herald on May 19, 2017.

A column from Tanya Whipple, Lethbridge Sport Council
Camping means different things to different people but whether you lay your head under the stars, in a tent or in an RV, the best parts of camping are the other common denominators.  Campfires, camping food, relaxation and time spent in the great outdoors.
Without the distractions of everyday life, and since there’s no Wi-Fi in the forest, camping is a great opportunity to get active and work up an appetite for those campfire s’mores!
Depending on where you are, there are the obvious activities, such as swimming, fishing, biking and hiking.
Before you head out, check what amenities the campground has to offer. Some campgrounds have tennis courts, ball diamonds, horseshoe pits and basketball hoops. There might be a mini-golf course or a regular course nearby. If your destination doesn’t have any of those things, grab the gloves and play catch in any green space, Frisbee on the beach, or turn your bocce into “freestyle” bocce, where you go anywhere you want and obstacles just add to the challenge!
The wide open spaces of the great outdoors make a great setting to gather up your friends and some fellow camping strangers (a.k.a. new friends) around the campground for a fun game of flag football or kick the can!  I can’t think of a better place than the woods to play hide and seek, have a scavenger hunt, or go bird watching. If your campground has a beach, remember beach volleyball and Frisbee; if there’s a pool have a game of water polo or Marco Polo.
Camping is a great opportunity to learn a new game. Have you heard of “Seven Stones,” “Tee-Wong-Law” or “Kubb”?  These are great games for all ages and can be played almost anywhere. If you’ve never played “Grounders” head over to the playground and ask any school-aged kid for instructions!
If you need a little help thinking of some fun things to do while camping, you can visit our website and check out the #YQLChallenge list of 150 things to do.  There might be some things there you loved as a child and want to try again, or perhaps some things you’ve never even heard of.  You will find activities you can do on your own, with a buddy, or with a large group of people. If you need to borrow equipment, check out the Lethbridge Public Library’s loanable equipment collection before you hit the road. If you join us in the #YQLChallenge, you can pick up a passport (to help you keep track of what you’ve done) at the Lethbridge Sport Council office (second floor, Nicholas Sheran Ice Centre), Lethbridge City Hall, third floor, Lethbridge Public Library, Lane Archery, Southern Alberta Ethnic Association, and Helen Schuler Nature Centre.
While it’s important to maintain an active lifestyle even on the weekends, also take the time to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, enjoy the fresh air and relax around a campfire. My other favourite part of camping is the opportunity to sit on my lawn chair with my feet in the creek while enjoying a good book.
Have a great long weekend, wherever it might lead you.
PS.  Last week we mentioned ‘adult recreational sports leagues’, but didn’t give you the details. For more information, visit the Lethbridge Sports and Social Club on Facebook or their website:
Tanya Whipple is the program and communication co-ordinator for the Lethbridge Sport Council

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