By Korie Marshall

Chad and Zack from Ape Parkour joined over 20 local youth in a 3-day parkour summer camp at the Tete Jaune Lodge last week.

The camp was organized by Darren Sparks, Valemount’s youth coordinator, and sponsored by Columbia Basin Trust. Sparks has been busy getting the new V-Crew youth centre going, which was top on the list of desirables for local youth, but their second priority was learning more about parkour.

Sparks brought the guys from Ape (short for Alternative Physical Education) Parkour from Edmonton last spring to do demonstrations for the elementary and high school kids. Parkour is a growing trend of physical activity, being quick but safe and creative in movement around obstacles like walls and rails, or in this case, trees, stones and picnic tables.

The kids spent two nights in a group of cabins at the Tete Jaune Lodge, and made great use of the area, even unwittingly demonstrating the reason for one of Chad’s rules – you have to test it every time you use it. While scouting an obstacle course and planning their quickest moves and transitions, one or two of the kids accidentally disturbed a wasp’s nest in the ground, eliciting a few sharp stings from the insects.

Sparks, who camped out in a tent in the field, says some of the kids were getting a little tired by the second day, but many were surprising themselves with how much they could do, like jumping and landing two-footed on top of a picnic table.