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Gender-specific summer camps have Richmond Hill parents fuming

Betty Wondimu | posted Friday, Apr 1st, 2016

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Extreme sports for boys, dainty mani-pedis for girls… those are the concepts for two gender-specific summer camps offered in Richmond Hill.

Angry parents are urging the town’s community services department to revise the concepts behind ‘Boyz Rule Camps’ and ‘Girlz Rock Camp,’ ironically classified under the town’s ‘general’ camp options.

Boys get to indulge in roller-blading, biking, skateboarding and ultimate frisbee, while their female counterparts stay inside and learn how to cook, bake and get manicures and pedicures.

All in the spirit of “girl-friendly fun.”

Since CityNews brought the issue to light, the town has made minor alterations to the names of the programs making them more gender-neutral. The names will be changed to ‘Extreme Sports’ and ‘Kidz Rock.’

But the damage was done and reaction to what many considered gender-stereotypes flooded social media:

The pressure was enough to produce a statement from the town of Richmond Hill on Wednesday, and another announcing the name change on Thursday.

To be fair, the town also offers a variety of other mixed-gender camp options, most of which are streamed by special interest like science or music and dance. Richmond Hill’s communications director Meeta Gandhi said these two programs have been in place for years and are quite popular.

“We don’t run a program if it doesn’t have the registration. The program has been in place since 2008 and they’ve been well enjoyed by all participants,” Gandhi said.

The details for two summer camp options offered by the town of Richmond Hill. RICHMONDHILL.CA.

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