By Andrew Mitchell
The Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) is bringing back its popular youth dirt camps from last season, doubling the number of camps offered to six. This year the number of participants will be capped at 20 to allow for a ratio of five kids for every coach.
There will be three camps for kids aged 6-9, two camps for kids aged 10-12, and one camp for kids 13 to 16.
The price is just $100 for a one-week session, with camps running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. WORCA subsidizes the cost of the camps through its youth fund, the bulk of which is raised through the annual bike swap.
The drop-off is at the Whistler Bike Co., and camps will warm up in Rebagliati Park. The majority of the courses will take place in Lost Lake Park, but will move into the Emerald Forest. On hot days the kids will also make stops at the Meadow Park water park. There is also the potential that participants will be able spend a day in the Blackcomb Youth Bike Park.
All participants must be members of WORCA to take part. Memberships are available for $25 at the sign-in, or at any WORCA events in the valley.
All participants must bring a proper, functioning bike with hand brakes, a helmet, a backpack-style hydration system, sunscreen, a light-weight rain jacket, and a packed nutritious lunch and snacks. A more detailed list of items will be sent to parents once they have registered.
Parents must bring their children’s bikes to the Whistler Bike Co. within a week of the start of camp to be checked over. This is a free service for kids enrolled in the dirt camps, but parents will be charged for any work deemed necessary to bring bikes up to standard for the camps. All checked bikes will receive a sticker that the coaches will look for on the first day of camp.
Lastly, parents are asked to sign their children up for one camp only to ensure that all young riders have a chance to benefit. After June 15 parents can register their children for additional camps.
Registration is available online at www.worca.com for the following dates:
July 3-6 — Kids 6 to 9 (four days because of long weekend)
July 9 to 13 — Kids 10 to 12
July 16 to 20 — Kids 6 to 9
July 23 to 27 — Kids 6 to 9
August 6 to 10 — Kids 10 to 12
August 13 to 17 — Kids 13 to 16
There is also the possibility that WORCA could add additional camps, once the coaching situation and interest level is confirmed. Register quickly, as spots will go fast.
As for coaches, WORCA is holding a Cycling B.C. Level 1 coaching course for prospective youth dirt camp coaches. If you are interested in taking the course and coaching one or more dirt camp, contact head coach Duncan Munro at firstname.lastname@example.org or WORCA Youth Director Sean Bickerton at email@example.com .