Hi! My name is Hayden Reeve! You might recognize my last name as I am the daughter of one of the Mamas! I am going to tell you about my experience at YouthWrite®. For a little introduction, it is a non-profit organization with camps for children who love to write. There is also a separate camp for adults who also enjoy writing! Today though, we are going to be discussing the camp for, well, youth!
Something that I think is quite important and an absolutely excellent characteristic about YouthWrite is the fact that they have a figuratively speaking, bubble type of deal around them.
At the camp, there is absolutely no place for hate. Not of any kind. One of the first things they tell you is that no racism, homophobia, sexism, etc etc will be ignored and it could result in you being kicked from the camp.
I believe that this is something we all can agree on, making the camp a safe place for anyone. At the camp, I also noticed a lot of things they did to create a safe place for those of any gender, race, etc etc. Overall, they work very hard to make sure (and I cannot say it enough) it’s a safe space for everyone.
For those of you familiar with the Devon River Valley Trail in Voyageur Park, right on. For those of you who don’t, go. Especially if you have early bird kids, or if you are one!
A friend and I went on a Saturday morning, met at 530AM in the parking lot, and by golly, nary a soul in sight. We didn’t run into one person on the path and upon returning to our vehicle, there were just a few fellas fishing under the bridge.
There are a few fire pits with picnic tables along the river that would just be amazing with the fam jam and the “beachy” part we came across would entertain my kids for HOURS just throwing rocks in. Didn’t bring them this time – mama needed a break but next time!
I am that mom. While we all used to have adventures, tips, and fun stuff to share with you, this pandemic has me at a loss.
My family doesn’t go anywhere.
The most exciting thing we’ve done in the last year is a walk in the River Valley, right after that little dump of snow. It was magical, and our COVID pup Missy enjoyed herself immensely. My poor daughter had a hard time getting back up these stairs, cause, well, we don’t do anything!
And we checked out one of the Edmonton swings, just you know, for something to do on the weekend.
I don’t have the ambition or drive to plan anything.
My kids spend A LOT of time on their devices. Most of the time it is connected to their friends via Kids Messenger while playing games, and this is essentially their socialization outside of school so I’m not taking that away from them. I want to run away completely. The mountains, the ocean, anywhere but here. But hubs and I both work, and we need to work and we are lucky to work. And we don’t really have anywhere to escape to. I also am very cheap and don’t want to spend money….cause maybe if I save it, when this is all over we can go somewhere so far away and cool, it’s like COVID was just a blip.
Hey, 2020 – Burn Baby Burn!
Just kidding of course, but if you have space to safely do a ritual burning of your 2020 agenda as suggested by the Wall Street Journal, we are not going to judge.
Let’s talk New Year’s Eve with the family. Your household family of course I mean, this being COVID times.
What can you do to make it special and fun for everyone?
We have a few thoughts!
KID-FRIENDLY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES – a recent post, from one of our amazing contributors has some great ideas to get out and about!
Do you feel like it’s the same old thing every year? Quickly after the beauty of fall fades, the next season creeps in. A season that makes even some of the world’s most resilient animals say… yeah, no, gonna sleep through this one.
I’m talking about winter.
Winter makes us feel the need to bury ourselves under every blanket in the house, turn on the fireplace, and debate whether letting our kids watch TV for the next 5 months straight is reasonable. Anyone with me? I haven’t always been the biggest fan of winter and my fiance is even less impressed with this particular season.
Unfortunately (but also, fortunately), our 5-year-old child tends to set the stage for our daily activities, so… OUTSIDE WE GO! He has truly helped warm my relationship with winter. Greatly. I’ve come to actually love it! So I’m going to spend the next little while trying to convince you, while winter isn’t the easiest season to tolerate, it can be one of the most fun! Believe me?
First, let’s quickly touch on safety. Safety in the outdoors is always important, but I would say it’s the most critical in the winter with all the ice, snow, and darkness (I know… I’m selling it. Please keep reading!). I’ll keep it short. I strongly suggest you check the forecast and overpack with many layers and backups if you’re heading out. If your kiddo is typically unimpressed with the cold weather, bringing hand and foot warmers can help keep them toasty and you happy!
Winter Fun in the Backyard
3 Part Series… Part 2 , Part 1
Part 3: GIVE Skills/technique or appreciation-based praise & AVOID person, looks, or talent-based praise.
I had been called ‘fatty’ by some family members for a large part of my childhood years. I was actually within a healthy weight according to medical standards, but I started to believe deep down, I was ‘too fat’ (aka not good enough.)
But when I hit puberty, my body changed and one day I was suddenly ‘complimented’ by a female member of my extended family who said “Oh wow Ashley. You’re so skinny now. You’ve lost so much weight. You look great.”
I was 12 years old. I was floored. My mind jumped with excitement.
I had never been called ‘skinny’ before! Throughout my formative years I was told I was fat.
So, what happened? I glommed on to this new-found approval, beginning my infatuation with wanting to be skinny so I could retain the approval I was getting… The ‘fatty’ comments I got before were constantly telling me that I was “not good enough.”
Where did this land me?
Although some parts of the province have already *gasp* seen snow there is still time to do some leaf art with the kids. Not only is this easy to do the clean up is minimal! No glitter all over the house with this project.
This is also great activity to get you outside. Not only will you enjoy a walk you will get the opportunity to pause and look closely at different shapes, sizes and textures of the leaves with the kids.
What you need:
- leaves and twigs
- cardstock or other thick paper
- glue (I used a glue gun to make sure it stuck flat but white glue or a glue stick works too)
- On your walk collect different leaves and start thinking about what they could be.
- Arrange the leaves on the paper the way the child wants and glue the leaves and twigs down.
- Draw funny faces, legs, arms and other details on the leaf and around it.
This is one of the easiest fall activities and they make great artwork for the fridge!
Camp Yowochas has been running year-round programs since 1981, and summer camp programs since 1916. But this year, they’re offering something completely new! A way for your kids to get their regular schooling done, but ALSO enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.
In 2019, Camp Yowochas hosted over 8,300 visitors, including summer campers, schools, user groups and employ up to 60 staff members during the high season. Located in Fallis, AB, this year, they are offering Yowochas Learning Academy!
The Yowochas Learning Academy is designed for students who have chosen a distance or virtual learning option with their school division. The Camp Yowochas team will work with the parents of the students to understand and schedule their day to ensure they are meeting all curriculum needs.VLDC is for students who are 5-15 and enrolled in kindergarten to grade 9.
“In a typical year at Camp Yowochas, our staff are busy providing programs for more than 8,000 guests throughout the year. The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything this year, and we worked hard to figure out safe, responsible and meaningful ways to continue to run programs at Camp Yowochas. Through our summer Family Fun Days, Cabins at Yowochas and the Yowochas Learning Academy, we continue to support our community by offering programs that meet their needs in these uncertain times.”
– Terry Kony, Director, Camp Yowochas
Designed With Parents In Mind
As the Alberta Mamas, obviously, we are parents ourselves and we know that we’ve all had to make changes AND choices that have not been easy. Camp Yowochas wants to provide parents with the opportunity to return to work with the peace of mind of knowing their children are safe and progressing in their learning and development.