Tag Archives: family

Beat the heat this summer

Summer is one of the most active times of the year for many children and families. Outdoor activities increase as the days get longer. It is important for people to take the proper precautions with the rising temperatures and sun exposure throughout the day. Being active in the heat can be fun, but it can also pose a danger if you do not allow your body sufficient time to cool down. Here are a few ideas to beat the heat this summer:

  • Drink plenty of water: It is important to stay hydrated. Make sure to carry a full water bottle with you at all times.
  • Shower or bathe frequently in cool water: It will help you stay cool by lowering your body temperature and making you feel refreshed.
  • Make sure to wear Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen as it helps keep ultraviolet rays from damaging the skin. Dressing in light, loose clothing that covers bare skin is another sun-safe move.
  • Have a family swim: Find a local pool or splash pad to spend the afternoon at while keeping cool. Perhaps one of the local YMCA Calgary pools?
  • Take advantage of the cooler times of the day for activities: Early mornings and later evenings are the best times for strenuous activity.
  • Enjoy a cool treat: Ice cream, popsicles or freezies are enjoyable at any age. Or, try frozen fruit snacks such as grapes and bananas.
  • Look for inside or shade activities: Arts and crafts, reading or a favourite family board game are a great way to take a break from the mid-day heat.

girl swimming

 

Summer fun for the entire family!

 


Day Camps at Crowfoot YMCA

Crowfoot YMCA Summer Day Camps

There are still spots available at Crowfoot YMCA’s summer camps – sign up today! We offer a wide variety of active and engaging camps in a safe and fun environment. Specialty Day Camps focusing on Soccer, Creative Arts, Swimming, and Youth Leadership are also available. For a full description of the camps we offer, visit our website.

As of June 11th, 2015, the following camps still have room:

Tenderfoot, Ages 3-5:

Tenderfoot Camp: | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Tenderfoot Morning Camp: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 20-24 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 |
| Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Tenderfoot Afternoon Camp: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 20-24 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 |
| Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Tenderfoot Swim Option: | Jul. 20-31 | Aug. 4-14 | Aug. 17-28 |

Discoverers, Ages 6-7:

Discoverers Camp: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 20-24 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Discoverers Creative Art Option: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Discoverers Soccer Option: | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 24-28 |
Discoverers Swim Option: | Aug. 17-28 |

Explorers, Ages 8-9:

Explorers Camp: | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 24-28 |
Explorers Creative Art Option: | Jul. 13-17 | Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 24-28 |
Explorers Soccer Option: | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 24-28 |
Explorers Swim Option: | Jul. 6-17 | Jul. 20-31 | Aug. 4-14 | Aug. 17-28 |

Adventurers, Ages 10-11:

Adventurers Camp: | Aug. 4-7 |
Adventurers Creative Art Option: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 20-24 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 17-21 |
Adventurers Soccer Option: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 20-24 | Aug. 17-21 |
Adventurers Swim Option: | Jul. 20-31 | Aug. 4-14 |

Challengers, Ages 12-13:

Challengers Camp: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 20-24 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 || Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Challengers Soccer Option: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 20-24 | Aug. 17-21 |
Challengers Swim Option: | Jul. 6-17 | Jul. 20-31 | Aug. 4-14 | Aug. 17-28 |

Ultimate Leaders, Ages 14-15:

| Jul. 6-17 | Aug. 4-14 |

Dailies:

On June 29th, 30th & July 2nd and 3rd, we are running camp Dailies, which are one day camps with the same ages and options as the camps above (except Ultimate Leaders).

Course codes can be found here.

Register online or by visiting or calling Member Services at 403-547-6576.
As with all YMCA Calgary programs, financial assistance is available through our Strong Kids Campaign to those who qualify.


Strong Kids 5K, 10K & Family Fun Run

Registration is Still Open!

Space is still available to join in the fun and get your run on. 
This year join 2014 Calgary Marathon winner, Maria Zambrano!

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Participate with your family and friends in the Strong Kids 5/10k and Family Fun Run! Sign-up as a team,support the YMCA and enjoy a fun and healthy event along the bank sof the Bow River. All proceeds help children and youth reach their potential!

SKfamilyrun

Eau Claire YMCA | Saturday, May 2, 2015
5K and 10K Race 9:00am
1.5K Family Fun Run 10:30am

Fees:
Adults $35 ($30 before March 1)
Youth (8Y –17Y) $20 ($15 before March 1)
Kids (7Y & under) $10 (includes t-shirt & medal)

Register Online Now!

 


Staying cool in the pool

Swimming has always been one of my favourite things to do during the summer months and it isn’t often I have the opportunity to go swimming during the winter. Recently, however, I had the opportunity to expand upon my role as the YMCA Childcare Administrator by participating in recreational swim time with the adventurous children of the Saddletowne Child Development Centre. I had such a great time experiencing how the children and staff interacted with one another in the playful and exciting pool environment.

When people imagine young children in the pool they can easily envision a formal lesson or playful splashing fun. What I saw was a wonderful combination of children having fun while also having an educational experience. Children encouraged each other to try new things such as jumping off the ledge into the water or using the slide to enter the pool. Some children were a bit timid but, with encouragement and support from their teachers and friends, everyone either took the leap or slide. And, most importantly, everyone had a great time and experienced a true sense of accomplishment.

What I found most interesting during my time in the pool was how the caregivers blended play with the teaching of water safety habits – walk on the pool deck to avoid injury, jump into the pool feet first, sit on your bottom to use the slide and tips for floating while wearing a life jacket. All of this was accomplished with gentle reminders inserted at just the right moment during activity time.

I really enjoyed making some new friends and look forward to the next time an opportunity presents itself for me to join one of our childcare groups on a play-filled adventure.

YMCA Calgary currently operates three licensed childcare centres. Days are filled with intentional play-based activities that provide for developmentally appropriate learning opportunities. Recreational swim time is one way we support young children to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

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YMCA Strong Kids 5K, 10K and Family Fun Run

YMCA Strong Kids 5K, 10K & Family Fun Run

Participate with your family and friends in the Strong Kids 5/10k and Family Fun Run! Sign-up as a team,support the YMCA and enjoy a fun and healthy event along the bank sof the Bow River. All proceeds help children and youth reach their potential!

SKfamilyrun

Eau Claire YMCA | Saturday, May 2, 2015
5K and 10K Race 9:00am
1.5K Family Fun Run 10:30am

Fees:
Adults $35 ($30 before March 1)
Youth (8Y –17Y) $20 ($15 before March 1)
Kids (7Y & under) $10 (includes t-shirt & medal)

Register Online Now!

 


Alone While We Are Together

We always seem to be working hard, so I am going to take time to focus a bit more on some stress-reducing activities.  I would like to start off by saying that these types of activities have quite a few things in common.  They are done in places that have a relaxing atmosphere, are generally filled with groups of people with their noses buried in their electronic devices…wait a minute!  Filled with people encompassed by time spent with an electronic device?  This is true.  Most people these days seem to relax by turning on the TV, computer, smartphone, tablet, video game console.  This can be for a number of reasons, some obvious and some not so much.  Relaxing used to be done by going to places to interact face to face with friends or colleagues, but these days most people seem to use the internet, TV, game console or phone instead for relaxation.  All out of convenience.

I remember running up the block to knock on a friend’s door to see if they could come “outside” and play.  I never texted or Facebooked (possibly a new word), mostly because it was unavailable, but I would go for the face to face interaction.  There was also no Googling (another new word) or going onto YouTube when I hung out with friends.  It was mostly imagination, talking and play, and, a lot of the time, this was done in the outdoors.  Occasionally when the weather didn’t cooperate we did hang out inside, but there were not that many screens around when we did (If you know me, Hot Wheels and Lego).  Remembering this can give credence to healthy relationships.  Conversing face to face, usually with nothing in between.  No phones to be seen.  Face to face interactions without a screen in the midst are becoming few and far between.

Most interactions these days take place over email, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the list goes on.  This is especially true with the younger generations.  Convenience is stepping between us and our health, both physical and mental.  It has become way more convenient to turn to technology, instead of going into nature or even doing the simple task of meeting to chat with friends.  Even though we are connecting a lot more easily through technology, relationships are suffering and we are actually becoming more alone.

These experiences ended up bringing groups closer together and helped to develop strong relationships.  There were so many opportunities to develop new strong relationships and build upon existing ones.  Technology has the power to connect us, but make us more alone.  That is if we are not careful and mindful about it.  This video is great and delves deep into how we are becoming more connected through technology, but asks the question of whether it is actually making us more alone:

When we are connected through technology, we are together, but alone.  I don’t really need to say more…

Unplug and Play!


Risk it: Unplug and Play!

Risking it…

Take a good look at the things around you.  What do you see?  Cars have 5-star safety ratings, there are warning labels on almost every food and object, playgrounds are to be removed from schools, that little bump in the sidewalk is painted yellow, we are trying to eliminate every little health risk.  There are so many things out there to try to minimize the risk that we are exposed to every day.  Now imagine these things in nature.  On your hike through the woods, there are fences on the sides of the trails to keep creatures out, roots and rocks are painted bright colours or removed completely, signs warn you of what might be unexpected around the next bend in the trail.  It all sounds a little ridiculous, but that is what our society seems to be moving towards.  We try to minimize the risk that we are exposed to in almost every way.  We are striving for perfection.

Looking at nature, we are going at all of this the wrong way.  Adaptation by living organisms carry no goal of perfection.  Trying to eliminate risk in our lives is like trying to eliminate predation in nature. It is a bit of a ridiculous concept.  The relationships that have developed in nature over the last millions of years come from adaptations to hostile interactions.  They have created symbiotic relationships that work!  Many plants and animals have multiple solutions to deal with the problems that they are faced with.  For organisms, when there is trouble, there is no one right way to deal with it.  They expect the unexpected!

This exposure to risk has the possibility to be dangerous.  However, it keeps us alive, makes us think for ourselves, helps us to deal with everyday problems and is what makes being human exciting.  For all of us big kids, we grew up with this exposure to risk in our lives.  I know that I occasionally got hurt, but that is how I learned about the world.  It was all trial and error.  I think that this exposure to natural risk has made me into a well-rounded individual.  I feel I can make solid decisions in all aspect of my life.  What will things be like without that exposure to natural spaces and risk?  Striving to perfect our environment is taking away from a lot of the things that we all grew up with.

Un-plugging the Youth…

Youth today now have a lot less exposure to a lot of the things we remember about being young.  Youth should do dangerous things as a rule.  They ride skateboards, make jumps, climb trees, fall – sometimes on purpose to “see what happens” – play sports, get in scuffles, and make hairpin turns at breakneck speeds while dribbling a ball.  Activity and sports are dangerous, but so is just about anything that involves the human body and the laws of physics.  Let youth figure it out themselves.  You’ll be there if something goes wrong.

I say to unplug from the electronic devices, and embrace risk in your life.  Let others do the same.  Let us stop trying to perfect our world.  It just cannot be done.  Instead, let us all learn to live with the risks we are faced with.  Everything from finances and work to exercise and play.  Take from nature, and have multiple solutions to our problems.  I like to unplug every once in a while, and embrace risk in my life.  It is exciting, and is how nature has dealt with problems for millions of years.

Playing…

Today is “Unplug and Play Day”.  What does that mean?  I think you should take a risk by leaving your electronic devices behind.

Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Start a garden

  • Organize a neighbourhood clean-up

  • Join a walking/running/cycling group

  • Host an outdoor BBQ

  • Help out at a local farm

  • Volunteer for a nature group

  • Go camping

  • Explore, get dirty and play in the mud!

Don’t forget to share your thoughts on how you plan to “Unplug and Play” by clicking here!


There is Irony Here

There is such irony in writing an online blog about unplugging to get out to play, but with our increasing reliance on technology and time spent with our noses in our devices, it seems like an okay medium to pass on a message.  Enough about the great irony of reading online about disconnecting from it all, it is now time for my point…

A main obstacle preventing people from unplugging and playing is the convenience and the availability of other types of entertainment.  It seems more convenient to turn on the television, the game system, the computer, or the smart phone instead of going outside to play.  You also don’t need to get dirty to watch television or play a video game.  I work with youth, and what stands out the most is that passive leisure and inactivity is becoming a habit for those of us who are growing up with technology.   This needs to change for the health and wellbeing of everyone.

In his research in 2008, R. Tagles said that “…the absence of direct experiences of natural environments appears to be a significant disadvantage in terms of development and health, and may also have a negative impact on the preservation of natural environments.”  We need these natural spaces around, for food, for activities, for industry, for the health of the planet, and most importantly our own sanity.

I do not feel the need to preach.  I do not feel the need to tell you to throw away all of your technology.  I am not going to tell you to go live in the bush for a month.  Feel free to do any of these things if that is what you wish.  What I am here to do is to share some learning about the benefits of unstructured time in the outdoors, natural areas, things that grow, living actively, and share with you the enjoyment that can be gained from creating balance in our ever technological-focused lives.

When we try to do too many things at once, as it happens so often with technology, it takes away from our relationships, health, focus, work or school, and most importantly our overall enjoyment of what we are doing.  Even what may seem like the most mundane of tasks can be enjoyable if is becomes our sole focus.

This coming Monday, March 23 is “Unplug and Play Day” used to help to recharge your soul.  It is a small step to take to help to focus on enjoyment here and now as well as help to create balance.

This day is a great idea, but I say take it one step further.  It is better to regularly take a little time to unplug and try just focusing on one thing.  Call it “uni-tasking”.  An easy way to do this is to go out and experience nature, or to visit your local recreation facility.  Leave all those gadgets at home and see how enjoyable just being outside of the house looking at the environment around can be.

For some ideas, here are my top “uni-tasks” that I do here and now:

  • Do some “soul skiing” by going for a day on the slopes (no music here);
  • Practice some nature/outdoor photography or drawing (I’m not very good, but it is enjoyable);
  • Bomb a hill on my longboard;
  • Do some gardening;
  • Climb a mountain, a rock face, a hill, a tree, a playground or anything I can possibly jump off;
  • Find a quiet spot to read or journal;
  • Simply go for a walk or long run without my phone.

I want to hear from you!  What do you do to live in the here and now?  How and where do you like to enjoy “uni-tasking”?  Comment here!

 


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