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What happens during an hour of ARK?
At the beginning of the hour, participants will join their group and follow the instructions of their Group Leaders for the entire hour. All kids will be placed in a group with up to 14 others of the same age (U8, U10 or U12) and will run with that same group for the entire season.
Each night there will be four different exercises set up, based on the four FUNdamentals of adventure running: Endurance, Agility, Speed, and Navigation. Each week the groups participate in two of these exercises, cycling through all four exercises once every two weeks.
ARK activities include obstacle courses, capture the flag, hill running, the very popular mud run, and much more.
What gear should my kids wear?
There is very little essential gear for Adventure Running Kids.
MANDATORY In the Fall season, once it gets dark a headlamp is MANDATORY. Any participant who shows up to practice without one may not be allowed to take part.
We recommend a trail shoe with an aggressive and grippy sole to handle loose trails and uneven terrain. 'Old' shoes with little to no tread should be avoided.
Should be weather appropriate. For the early Fall/late Spring loose fitting, lightweight & breathable materials are ideal. As the weather gets cooler start to layer up with longer pants and jackets/long sleeve T-shirts. A waterpoof shell is great in wet conditions.
Shorts and Tshirts are appropriate for summer, however parents should be aware of potential hazards such as insect bites (mosquitoes, ticks), sunburn, and scratches from undergrowth when running off-trail. Potential precautions include wearing light leg cover, applying sunscreen and insect repellent, and checking your kids for ticks after each session.
These precautions are the same as those recommended for outdoor excursions in general and will ensure that your children are able to safely enjoy being in nature In winter conditions gear to stay warm is necessary; gloves, toques etc. Finally, clothing WILL get wet and OR muddy during some sessions! It's not the best idea to wear your favourite pair of shoes or anything you may need the next day.
Clothing to be avoided: anything cotton, jeans/denim, hiking boots.
Can I volunteer with the program?
The program is whollly run by parent volunteers under the guidance of the Program Manager. The only time we need you to volunteer is during the hour your kids are signed up for!
Anyone can volunteer, we need all ability levels. We need Group Leaders to run with the lead kids and help the back of the pack along. We also need Station Coaches to run the exercises each night (that are set up before hand by the Program Manager)
Check the role details here:
Do you cancel if the weather is bad?
In general, ARK runs rain, hail or shine.
We will cancel an ARK session under the following situations:
There is an active Weather Warning or Watch from Environment Canada - at 4pm on the day of practice (unless the alert is for a weather event predicted after the session is over for the evening)
A weather event that has passed has caused site conditions to become dangerous (ice storms in particular)
If police are recommending people stay off the roads (snow, flooding, accidents etc)
If the forecast is to be below -15ºC without windchill (-20ºC with windchill).
If a session is cancelled, we will send out an email to all participants and will announce it on our Facebook page & twitter feed after 4pm of the day of the session.
If thunder is heard during any session, we will cancel immediately and return to check in.
What is the difference between ARK U8/U10 and ARK Attack U12?
ARK and ARK Attack are the same basic program. Some of the exercises throughout the season will have a slightly more advanced 'twist' for the older ARK Attack participants to keep them challenged as they improve.
My child is a great runner and should be in the older group. Can you move them up?
ARK differs from other running programs in that running speed actually means very little. All our exercises are planned so that kids of all abilities can run together.
In special occasions, we have allowed kids who excel in the Navigation portion of the program to join an older group. If that is the case, please contact the Program Manager for your location to discuss further.
My child is old enough for ARX, but would like to stay in ARK Attack. Is that OK?
Absolutely. Just sign up for ARK Attack in the hour you would like to take part in.
My child has special needs, can you accommodate them?
If your child that has a condition that requires one on one supervision, we cannot accomodate that.
Participant supervision is done entirely by volunteers, usually parents of kids in the program that hour and we do not require any special training to be a volunteer.
If one on one supervision is required, we ask that a parent or guardian be present with the group for the entire hour the program runs.
For all participants, if a situation arises where we feel a participant requires one on one supervision for the program to run safely, we will ask a parent or guardian to be present that hour. If that is not possible, we will cancel their registration and provide a refund for the remainder of the season.
What is the adult/child supervision ratio?
Depending on the number of volunteers we have in any hour, anything from 1:4 to 1:10.
If we get any less that the required number, we will do a call out to all parents in that time slot asking to volunteer during that hour.
If we still don't have enough, we will strongly modify the programming in that hour to allow the program to run safely with minimal supervision.