Communities gear up for March Break diversions

MANITOULIN—We all know what is said about idle hands, so a number of local municipalities have lined up plenty of things to keep your children’s hands busy during the March Break and some local businesses have some marvellous ideas for the week as well.

In fact, the Auberge Inn hostel in Providence Bay was recently featured in a National Post article ‘From snowy Canmore to balmy Isla Mujeres, Mexico, seven March Break getaways perfect for kidding around,’ coming in at the number two spot. Auberge’s snowshoe diversions were noted for being a ‘thrifty’ option for those looking for a March Break getaway. In addition to the snowshoeing, the Auberge Inn has cross country ski trails nearby and are ready, willing and able to put together ice fishing expeditions or a bit of curling. Who says winter can’t be fun?

On the municipal beat, the Little Current recreation centre will be a bustling hub of activities for the east end of the Island starting off with a family hockey game at 11 am to 1 pm on Monday, March 10. It’s a $5 entry and registration starts in the main lobby at 10:30 am and you get a fry and hot chocolate with admission. A free family skate will follow the family hockey game, running from 1 to 3 pm.

On Tuesday, Kid’s Fit will start at the Little Current recreation centre. Kid’s Fit is a great workout geared towards kids. Registration begins at 12:30 pm and it is free! Just remember to bring your running shoes. If you want to pre-register, just call Heidi at (705) 368-3500 extension 230. Public skating will begin on Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 5 pm with the nominal admission fee of $2.50 for students and $3.50 for adults.

Another free event, the Kid’s Obstacle Course, starts up at 1 pm in the main hall at the Little Current recreation centre. A pickup hockey game will start at 2 pm and run to 3:30 pm. Please bring (and wear) your hockey equipment. There is a $2 entry fee.

On Thursday there will be a free kid’s Capture the Flag game starting at 1 pm at the Little Current recreation centre. Public skating will run from 3 to 5 pm and costs $2.50 for students and $3.50 for adults.

On Friday, a pickup hockey game at the Little Current recreation centre runs from 3 to 4:30 pm and there is a $2 entry fee.

For the hockey fans, the March break is bracketed by two Manitoulin Panthers hosted Tournament of Champions. March 7 to 9 its the bantam level players and March 14 to 16 it is the midget level tournament.

At the Manitowaning arena, Wednesday evening, starting at 7 pm the instructors will be set up and ready to teach kids and adults some new skills. Delmer Fields will teach building a bird house from PVC pipe. Mr. Fields has been building and making things with his hands for as long as he can remember and enjoys working with the younger generation, encouraging budding craftspeople.

Trish Leeson will be teaching crochet. Ms. Leeson said that following a car accident that left her immobile for quite some time, a friend interested her in crocheting and she has been doing it ever since. She will have a huge display of crochet bags, cloths and things for children seeking inspiration.

Vivian Villeneuve is a retired teacher who has taught children how to sew in her home economics course. She has been sewing all her life and believes it is important to pass on this worthwhile skill to children.

Kathrine Grant will be teaching children how to create a bracelet through bead weaving. “I began bead weaving about 6 or 7 years ago,” said Ms. Grant. “A friend of mine who crochets thought I needed to take up a craft and she bought me a small bead loom. From there I purchased a book on off-loom bead weaving and taught myself the various stitches used to make tiny seed beads into beautiful jewellery. When I was working, bead weaving provided me with an outlet for my creative side.”

Jennifer Hooper is the cookie decorating instructor. She said that her grandmother was her inspiration for baking. Ms. Hooper enjoys working with kids and tells us that cookie decorating can be simple or more complex, but is always fun.

Jim White is the engineer of wooden bird houses. Having a shop in his garage has provided him with years of carpentry experience. He can often be found constructing something in his garage; whether it be a deer stand or a garden bench, his work is beautiful. Most times he will have one or two of his grandsons there with him ‘helping.’

Amanda Gibbons has a creative side that she expresses with unique, original sock creatures that are too cute for words. “I thought the children would enjoy making them and with it being a ‘creature’ there really is no right or wrong way to make it. They can personalize it and make it unique,” she said. “It gives them a chance to be creative. There is a great sense of satisfaction from making something yourself.”

For lists of times for public skating in your community, contact your local municipal or band office.

Michael Erskine