Camp News

Camp News

Former Camper and Counsellor Returns as Camp Director!

The Thunderbird Sports Camp is pleased to announce the appointment of Kirsten Solymar to the position of Summer Camp Director. Originally she was a camper, returning later in life as a camp counsellor and now, she is returning as Summer Camp Director to direct the summer sports programs. Kirsten brings a high-level of professionalism and we look forward to working with her, fully-confident that her expertise and enthusiasm will lead our celebrated summer program to its maximum potential moving forward.

Message from Kirsten Solymar – Summer Camp Director

Hello! My name is Kirsten Solymar and I am delighted to be the Camp Director for Thunderbird Sports Camp for a third year. During the school year, I am an Ontario Certified Teacher and currently working for the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Most of my philosophy of how to run a Sports Camp reflects from my teaching background. The following are three important philosophies that I incorporate in camp.

1. I believe that physical activity is a vital part to a healthy lifestyle for all ages. By participating in a sports camp, children are able to get their daily dose of physical activity, while also attending a fun and exciting atmosphere. In order for all the children to participate, it is important for the counselors to understand that all children/campers have different needs. Similar to in the classroom where all students have different learning styles, at camp it is important to know that all campers have different interests and get motivated differently, which we can then use to our advantage by having all campers participate in engaging activities. Our team of counselors provide and safe and fun environment where all children can learn and play sports.

2. I feel that it is also important to include what is called inquiry-based learning. Inquiry-based learning is commonly used in classrooms across Ontario and is when students play an active role in their learning. Through children’s own wonderings and inquiry, they learn the established curriculum. Teachers are then the guide in their learning and ask questions to help their inquiry and motivate the students to participate in learning. Similar at camp, counselors are the facilitators for activity and we motivate the campers to participate in physical activity and have curiosity for the sports being played.

3. Tribes Classrooms are also becoming a large part of classrooms across Canada. Tribes learning is used to form a safe learning community in the classroom, where students will work long-term in a specific ‘tribe’ to encourage cooperation. Camp already uses this strategy by placing campers in a group, where they work with the same age group for a week. This allows the campers to know each other and form a close community where positivity and participation are the two main principles.

For those who are new to our camp, I will give a brief description of what our camp looks like. Everyday at camp, campers participate in a variety of sports where they will both play games and learn new skills. Each day there will be a specific drill that will be used to introduce a new skill to the sport, which will accumulate to a better understanding and improved ability in the sport. For campers who attend multiple weeks, there will be a variety of drills for each sport so it will not be repetitive. There will also be a new theme day on every Friday, where campers get a chance to dress up and participate in camp games. The main purpose of this camp though, through all the various activities is to ensure that the campers are engaged and participating in daily physical activities.

I look forward to seeing returning campers and to welcoming new campers. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at


Kirsten Solymar