Lake Compounce draws local kids for ‘elf bootcamp’ event

The Elf Bootcamp drew crowds of locals to Lake Compounce at the holidays.

JAMILA YOUNG

STAFF WRITER

Every Christmas season people have flocked to Lake Compounce for their Holiday Lights event, but this year the theme park added a new event called, ‘Elf Bootcamp’.  The event was catered to children ages 4-9 years old.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to grow this event, and continue it,” said Marketing Coordinator, Paige Schmitt who acted as Ellie Peppermint for the event. “We’ve been preparing since Mid-November. Amy, my director, and I just thought of doing something new because we did Breakfast with Santa in the past. We just wanted to freshen it up, and give a new experience to the kids.”

A bootcamp participant has his work checked by one of Santa’s helpers.

The children were split into groups between the head elves, and they wrote letters to mail to Santa, decorated their own elf hats, and made snow and cookies. Although the park is outdoors, all the activities took place in the ballroom, and at the end, the kids all received certificates of completion of their elf training.

One of the head elves was Pixie, played by Amanda Cordeiro.

“I work with kids all year long with Lake Compounce; I’ve coordinated our Bear Creek, and I have a lot of fun with the kids, so when Paige contacted me about it, I was super excited to get the opportunity to participate in something that was new, and that involved being with the kids.”

Cordeiro said this year was her first full year working at Lake Compounce, and that the staff feels like family to her. Working at the park means a majority of Cordeiro’s interaction is with children, and she loves it.

Santa’s elves weren’t the only winter visitors.

“It’s just a different experience. They just have no worries. When I’m working with kids, it’s just being in the moment; they put you in a present moment. It always centers me, and humbles me. As long as you’re happy, they’re happy, so it’s an exchange and transfer of energy, and happiness,” said Cordeiro. “Its become a passion of mine to be here. Everybody has great ideas, and we all come together and build these masterpiece activities.”

Jennifer Jones from Durham attended the event with her husband, two children, and her niece. “I love anything that caters to Christmas,” said Jones. “It’s great for little kids, and great that it’s free for season pass holders.”

Elves helped organize the craft events.

The event ended up being sold out, and Jones said that if the event became annual, she would come again, but she would like to see the age range expanded since her oldest kid is nine years old, which happened to be the cutoff age to attend the event.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Jamila Young, email her at JYoung@BristolObserver.com.