Toys & Training

Ukrainian children having fun with canine day camps – Our Communities



It wasn’t a juried competitors or an area of onlookers that introduced a gaggle of well-trained hounds out for a morning of sprints and pets on July 27.

St. James resident Christine Gilles rallied her whippets, and a gaggle of fellow canine aficionados, to hitch her in internet hosting an occasion for newcomer Ukrainian kids at St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church’s U-Win summer time day camp in North Kildonan.

The purpose of the occasion? To present the youngsters a enjoyable alternative to fulfill some uncommon breeds, such because the whimsical Afghan and its long-nosed distant cousin, the Borzoi combine.

Gilles and her fellow volunteers arrived early to fence off a bit of the church grounds and trend it right into a canine run. Then the crew arrange a winch that drags a grocery bag alongside a chunk of string — on this case for 100 ft — for the canines to chase.

Christine Gilles, proprietor of those two whippets, has been a member of the Manitoba Gazehound Affiliation because the Seventies.

Although Gilles usually runs her canines longer distances, this association allowed the youngsters to see the canines in motion nonetheless.

The camp’s roughly 70 contributors ages 5 to fifteen took turns watching and interacting with canines, alternating by age group. Lesia Yaroshenko, the camp’s senior director and counsellor, mentioned the children appreciated the canines a lot they didn’t need to return inside.

“I believe it’s a very good instructional second for them. Not simply to be entertained, however to really feel duty for the animals,” Yaroshenko mentioned.

It’s week 4 on the U-Win camp. Yaroshenko mentioned she’s seen a change within the kids since they arrived, although each particular person is adjusting at a unique fee.

“They don’t seem to be that harassed and frightened. Some are feeling greater than free and assured — that’s the subsequent problem,” Yaroshenko mentioned, with amusing. “From what I see, they’re calmer now. They communicate significantly better English.”

Yaroshenko mentioned the camp has been a useful useful resource for each the youngsters and their households.

“I do know there are such a lot of households who want to enroll their kids within the camp, however sadly it’s unattainable as a result of we wouldn’t have that a lot room,” Yaroshenko mentioned. “This U-Win story, it’s not only for summer time, it must be continued. Perhaps within the type of some daycare.”

Gilles and the volunteers plan to host an identical occasion for the youngsters in August.

“We’ll be doing a little agility and tips and stuff like that. We’ll most likely even do disc,” Gilles mentioned.

U-Win day camp employees rapidly bonded with the pets.

Gilles has been a member of the Manitoba Gazehound Affiliation because the late Seventies. The affiliation hosts and organizes occasions in luring programs, sprinter occasions and obedience periods.

Years in the past, Gilles and the Manitoba Gazehound Affiliation held half-time reveals for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the outdated stadium.

“We had loads of enjoyable. And that’s what canines provide you with. They provide the alternative to fulfill different individuals.” Gilles mentioned. “That’s what I needed to present the children — an opportunity to present them a cuddle and a pet, to brighten up their day.”

U-Win camp contributors helped occasion organizer Christine Gilles and her volunteers facilitate the morning’s dog-run exercise.

Katlyn Streilein

Katlyn Streilein
Neighborhood Journalist

Katlyn Streilein is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Neighborhood Evaluate. She will be reached by telephone at 204-697-7132 or by electronic mail at

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