Curling camp draws youth


PICTOU – March Break appears to have been a good time to test young people’s interest in curling.

Ten of them signed up for a morning curling camp hosted from Monday to Thursday of last week by the New Caledonian Curling Club.

The camp ended on Thursday with refreshments and certificates presented to those who took part.

Sandra Campbell did the paper work, while her husband Hugh Campbell and Kevin Baillie led the camp.

“Hugh has taken on coaching the junior program on Tuesday afternoons,” she said. “He’s gone away to be certified to coach by the Canadian Curling Association. Kevin’s doing it too. We wanted to get kids interested and came up with the idea of a camp. We advertised it for Grade 5 and up and got kids between the ages of 12 and 13 who didn’t want to go to the library and thought this was a good way to get out and be active.”

Baillie’s daughter Sidney and Luke MacDonald, both of whom are in the junior program, helped the coaches with the camp.

“They’ve been an amazing help,” Sandra Campbell said.

The campers learned the curling basics the first two days, enjoyed practice on Wednesday and curled in pickup games on Thursday.

“(Wednesday) is the first day they’ve thrown a rock,” she said. “They’ve come to understand the fundamentals they have to learn. They’ve learned step-by-step and they’re enjoying it. Their parents are saying they’re talking about it at home afterwards.”

Hugh Campbell said he was pleased with the engagement the curlers showed at the camp.

“It was a very successful week for the kids,” he said. “I would most definitely have the camp again. The enthusiasm was there to the end. It made me feel young again.”

All the curlers received certificates of participation and $20 vouchers they can apply to the cost of a season’s junior membership when the club reopens next fall. They were also invited to curl in the junior program on the remaining Tuesday of this curling season.

“I think it was excellent,” Kevin Baillie said. “The kids seemed to have a lot of fun, so we’ll try to have again next March Break.”

Zach MacInnis delivers a stone during the youth curling camp hosted last week by the New Caledonian Curling Club. (Goodwin photo)