Arrowsmith Community Recreation Summer Highlights
July - September 2017


Growing Wild Summer Camp

Seventeen youth, ages 9-13, came together for a fun-filled weeklong day camp at the Coombs Fairgrounds, July 17th-21st. The camp was offered from 8:00am-3:00pm, to allow working families to drop their children off before work. Elementary school teacher, Caitlin Genereaux and Arrowsmith Recreation Coordinator, Kristine Stephenson, planned a week of outdoor nature activities, which included fly fishing, rocks and gems, a visit to a local farm, djembe drumming and cooperative games. ACRA and Van Isle Axe were proud to sponsor five Errington Elementary School children to attend the camp. The children, selected by the school youth worker, would not have had the opportunity to attend a summer camp, without this generous support. ACRA appreciated the support of an RDN youth grant to help with the facility rental cost. In looking ahead to the 2018 summer camp, ACRA would once again like to offer a camp that is unique to the community. The RDN does an incredible job with their summer camps, and it is important that ACRA doesn’t try to duplicate what the RDN is offering.


Blast From the Past Car Show

Sunny weather greeted hundreds of vintage car enthusiasts at the Coombs Fairgrounds on Saturday, August 5th. ACRA was pleased to once again partner with the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and the Oceanside Idlers Car Club to organize and host the annual Blast From the Past Car Show. This event is ACRA’s main fundraiser for the year, and ACRA was responsible for the planning, set-up and operation of the admission gates and the lunch concession. ACRA Board members, Recreation Commissioner, Reg Nosworthy and community members, all volunteered their time to make the car show a successful day. Unfortunately in 2018, the venue for the car show has been changed, due to an oversight in the booking by the car club. Due to the new location not having access to safe food preparation areas, neither ACRA nor the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department will be able to offer a breakfast or lunch concession. The Oceanside Idlers Car Club expressed their sincere thanks to ACRA for the many years of partnership. ACRA will be brainstorming for fundraising ideas to replace the car show.


The Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association held its Annual General Meeting at Grace United Church, August 17th. ACRA was appreciative to have Area F Regional Director, Julian Fell and Area F Recreation Commissioner, Reg Nosworthy, attend the meeting. All seven of the 2017 ACRA Board members unanimously volunteered to continue on the Board going into 2018. Janet Boley will continue as the ACRA Chair, Donna Furneaux, treasurer and Barb McLaughlin, secretary. Janet Boley and the Board expressed their gratitude to the Arrowsmith Recreation Team for their dedicated work. 

Youth World Music Camps

The Errington Hall, with music enthusiast, Valerie Dare, taking the lead, organized and hosted the 8th annual Youth World Music Camp. Week 1, August 7th-11th, had 24 youth, ages 8 and older, learning marimba, djembe drumming, and samba. The beginning students attended in the morning and the intermediate students worked together in the afternoon on performance pieces, stage skills and composition. The artists who instructed the programs are all exceptional musicians and performers. ACRA planned and facilitated the lunchtime recreation activities for the camp participants, helped to organize and host the final performance evening, as well as organized the lending of the marimbas for the camp.

Week 2, August 14th-18th, was dedicated to youth who were invited to be a part of a performance marimba group, similar to Kumbana Marimba and Jangano Marimba, two successful performing groups that originated at the Errington Hall. The youth named their group Zazu, and performed at the Craig Street Market to a very appreciative audience. Local musician, teacher and accomplished marimba player, Fahlon Smith, is the director of Zazu. The group practices once a week at the Errington Hall, and ACRA continues to loan the marimbas to this enthusiastic youth group.

Adult World Music Workshops

For the third year, ACRA organized adult world music programs, held in the late afternoon after the youth camp ended for the day. The talented artists who were instructing the youth all kindly agreed to offer adult programs. For the first time all of the adult workshops had enough registrants to be offered. Participants enjoyed Introductory Marimba and Djembe, Beyond Beginners Djembe, Brazilian Samba and West African Gumboot Dance.


ACRA-RDN 2018 Budget Operating Proposal

The ACRA Board and Recreation Coordinators completed and submitted ACRA’s 2018 Budget Operating Proposal to RDN Manager of Recreation Services, Dean Banman and Superintendent of Recreation Program Services, Hannah King. ACRA continues to be very appreciative of the RDN’s support.

Sole Sisters Walking Program

The Sole Sisters drop-in walking program welcomed 31 women to the first walk of the season, meeting in magnificent Rathtrevor Park, September 13th. 40 women attended the Lighthouse Community Trail, September 20th. The walking group meets every Wednesday morning, 10:00-11:00am, rain or shine, to enjoy one of the many beautiful trails in the community. The Parksville Qualicum Beach News kindly ran an article about the group, and it generated 97 phone calls and emails! The Sole Sisters master list has over 200 women who receive emails about the walking program and other ACRA and RDN programs. The team of dedicated volunteer walk leaders respects all fitness levels, and no one is ever left behind. The group often meets for coffee/tea to continue their conversation, and many of the ladies meet on other days to walk together.

Sole Sisters Active Aging Fitness Walk 

ACRA continues to support the RDN’s Active Aging Week by being a part of the RDN planning committee and hosting a Sole Sisters fitness walk each year. Sunny skies and spectacular scenery greeted the 40 women and 1 brave man on September 27th at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. The walk was quite leisurely paced so people could take photos and take in the breathtaking scenery.

Parksville Qualicum Beach News Arrowsmith Insert

Much of September was dedicated to the planning, organizing and proofing of the semi-annual Arrowsmith insert in the Parksville Qualicum Beach Newspaper. The theme for the fall insert was “Take a Walk in Arrowsmith.” Articles were written, interviews conducted, photos taken and community events calendar compiled. The insert will be published in late October. ACRA is very appreciative of the continued support of the PQBNews and community businesses that sponsor the insert.

Introductory and Beyond Beginners African Hand Drumming

The Errington Hall is filled with the rhythm of African djembe drums every Monday from 4:00-6:15pm. Monica Hofer, from Courtenay, continues to facilitate the programs. The fall programs include a nine-week introductory program and a ten-week program for people who have djembe playing experience.

Youth Drop-in Sports Programs

The gym at the Coombs Fairgrounds is active on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for youth basketball. Youth, ages 11-15, play together on Tuesday evening, 6:00-7:30pm. The older youth, ages 16+, meet on Thursday evenings, 7:00-9:00pm. All levels of basketball skill are welcome to the friendly and fast-paced games. Unfortunately, ACRA has not been able to start our youth floor hockey and volleyball programs, because we are not able to find an available facilitator. Several promising facilitators were interviewed, but then accepted jobs where they were not available in the evening. ACRA is hopeful to be able to offer these successful programs again in the near future. The continuing support of RDN youth grant funding for the facility rental, gives community youth an opportunity to be active in a safe and supportive atmosphere. 


Community Meetings

ACRA Recreation Coordinators attended community meetings in July, August and September to help organize and plan the Growing Wild Summer Camp, Blast from the Past Car Show, Coombs Candy Walk, the Food Skills for Families program, and all of the fall programs. The Recreation Coordinators also attend the Building Learning Together and YouthLINK monthly meetings.

Promotion and Registration

The Recreation Coordinators are responsible for the ACRA website and Facebook, promotion and registration for programs. They receive and reply to phone calls and emails regularly and manage all of the registration for programs independently.


ACRA applied for an RDN Youth Recreation grant to continue to support the youth programs at the Coombs Fairgrounds. ACRA assisted the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association with their 2018 Family Day grant application.

Community Cupboard

ACRA continues to lend equipment and instruments to non-profit groups in Arrowsmith. During the summer months, instruments were provided to the Errington Hall for the Youth and Adult World Music Camps, and signage and safety equipment to the Oceanside Idlers Car Club, Coombs Fair and Silver Spurs riding group for fundraising activities. Craft supplies, music instruments and games were also lent for Errington Hi Neighbour Day.