COLUMN: Summer includes arts opportunities

We’re pretty lucky here in Summerland to have so many options for our kids during the summer months.

Just like that, it’s July.

It never ceases to amaze me how fast time can fly when you’re busy.

For those with kids older than mine, summer is a time of freedom, exploring, swimming, playing, biking and, of course, a time when, no matter how much there might be to do, there’s always room for boredom.

We’re pretty lucky here in Summerland to have so many options for our kids during the summer months.

We’re even luckier that a good number of those options are based in some form of the arts or another and often provide a great entry point to something that can not only help fill time, but create a lifelong passion that can take you to some pretty interesting places.

If you’re not sure where to start, the Summerland Community Arts Council has a great summer program that I’ve talked about before. There are a lot of different options for kids who aren’t sure what they may be interested in or are looking to try out something new.

If you’re looking for more information about this, be sure to check out the Arts Council website: http://summerlandarts.com/programs/summer-arts-program-2.

If you have a child with more specific interests, like music for example, you could check out something like Linnea Good’s summer music camp.

This week long camp offers an excellent foundation in music and even ends with a performance, which is always fun. More information about this can be found at Linnea’s website www.linneagood.com.

There’s always the option, if music and art aren’t your thing, to see what the library has to offer. Summer reading programs provide an easy excuse to read a bunch of books over the summer and they’re often books you might not normally read.

Exploring new kinds of books can often lead to surprising places that are always worth exploring.  I’ve always loved spending my summer lost in some book or another.

Of course, some people just aren’t into doing organized things. If that’s the case with you, or your kids, and you’d still like to spend some time this summer focusing on art, then you can always create your own little summer art project.

Some ideas you can try include creating your own reading challenge, maybe selecting a few books that you’ve never read, but people can’t stop talking about, or having a friend pick out some books for you.

Another thing to try would be getting a sketchbook and doing a drawing a day. I did this a few years ago and I was surprised by not only how much fun I had doing it, but at how much my drawing improved during that time.

If you’re feeling really bold, post the results online—with your parents help if you’re a child, of course.

Keep it simple at first, so you don’t get too discouraged by the first handful of drawings, but keep at it.

Douglas Paton is a Summerland writer and musician. If you know of a local arts and culture event, contact him at dgpaton80@gmail.com.