BendNest Summer 2024

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summer CAMPS Guide Inside parenting magazine SUMMER 2024 OUTDOORS Junior Park Rangers TRENDING Kids‘ Gear – What’s Hot? FAMILY TIME Summer Mocktails Results Inside!
2 | Nor t hwest C r ossing • 760 N W Y or k Drive, Sui t e 110 CO PA C e nter f o r P ed i atr i c s in the 541.312.2490 E LI S E BU R R U S, DD S DAVI D BU R R U S, DD S
Summer 2024 | 3 Mom- Owned. Kid-Approved. Dr. Woods (a mother of three!) and her team provide the highest quality orthodontic care for you and your family. If you've got an eight year-old — or if you're an eight year-old reading ads in Bend Nest — now is the perfect time to come in for a free sit-down consultation. When should your kid see an orthodontist? Eight is great! | 541.385.3104 SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULT TODAY:
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Publisher Aaron Switzer

Editor Angela Switzer

Managing Editor Roseann Dennery

Associate Editor Nicole Blume

Contributing Writers

Annette Benedetti

Joshua Savage

Paige Bentley-Flannery

Stephanie Day

Elizabeth Warnimont

Nicole Blume

Roseann Dennery

Copy Editor Nicole Vulcan

Design & Layout Rise Graphic Design

Photography Natalie Stephenson

Christina Guiley

Darris Hurst

Maile Mason

Advertising Executives

Ashley Sarvis

Ban Tat

Chad Barnes

BendNest Contact Editorial Sales

Summer 2024 | 5
good old
fun!” EAST BEND WEST BEND SOUTH BEND REDMOND Open 7 Days A Week • 24/7 Nurse Advice • Four Locations • (541) 389-6313 • Thank you, once again, for choosing COPA as the best pediatric practice and Dr. Je rey Meyrowitz as best pediatrician! We’re smiling cheek to cheek!
“What’s in store for the kids this summer? Day camps and some
fashioned outdoor
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PARENTING – Side-step the summer call of “I’m bored!” by introducing kids to the magical world of imaginary play.


TRENDING – From high-tech child carriers to silly fish goggles, check out what’s on the must-have gear list this year.


OUTDOORS – If you’re planning to explore the region’s national parks this summer, why not check out the Junior Ranger program for the kids?

Summer 2024 | 7 CONTENTS UPFRONT 9 EDITOR’S NOTE 11 NEST NEWS 13 EXPERT Q & A SECTIONS 16 FAMILY TIME 31 BOOKSHELF 32 TRENDING 35 CALENDAR 42 HEALTH 45 SUMMER CAMPS 54 THINGS I’VE LEARNED Compassionate, for women innovative • Routine and preventive care. • New in-office ultrasound services in Bend. • 24/7 certified nurse midwife care at St. Charles Bend. • Obstetric and gynecology care. • Minimally invasive surgery by skilled physicians. • Behavioral health consulting. • In-office visits with a registered dietician.
Call for an appointment 541-526-6635 Bend | Prineville | Redmond | Sisters care in Central Oregon.
Feature Page 18

With championship Rodeo, top name concer ts, animals, car nival r ides, cotton candy and cor n dogs, along w ith shopping, exhibits, food and more: this is the one event you do not want to miss!

July 3 1 ST - AUGUST 4TH Central Oregon’s largest annual event retur ns for the 104th edition

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What are your travel plans this summer? Experiencing various cultures and environments tends to have a positive impact on developing minds. Having just returned from a rejuvenating family vacation, I feel like I gained some insight into slowing down, spending more time with family and friends and valuing quality over quantity.

As we anticipate the summer months, be intentional about how your kids spend their days. For starters, consult our Summer Camps guide, which is a valuable resource for youth activities.

On the flip side, at home, why not facilitate some imaginary play when the days of summer linger? You’ll be amazed as the kids are drawn into their own magical worlds and the hours tick away.

If your summer plans include exploring a national park or two, we recommend learning about the Junior Ranger program, which keeps the kids engaged and the wheels turning.

Take a deep breath in after adventuring and wind down with a summer mocktail (amazing recipes inside)! Even kids love

to muddle herbs and berries, and who doesn’t love a tasty concoction?

This issue, there are loads of summer events in our Calendar, a handy, must-have first aid kit in our Health section and an inspiring interview with a community leader who shares her insight into parenting.

And for the cherry on top, this issue, we present the winners of the annual “Best of the Nest!” Thank you for voicing your opinions on who’s raising the bar when it comes to local services for families. It’s also just fun to discover new offerings in our everexpanding town, so enjoy the results!

We hope you have a fabulous summer!

Summer 2024 | 9 EDITOR’S NOTE
10 | 2024-2025 applications accepted through summer on a rolling basis. Tuition assistance available — nearly $1 million is awarded annually to 30% of families. Learn more and schedule a tour: WHERE
WORK MEETS HAPPINESS MEANINGFUL PK-12 COLLEGE PREP EDUCATION ST. FRANCS OF ASSISI CATHOLIC SCHOOL Call to tour our school and meet our amazing staff SCHEDULE YOUR TOUR TODAY! C E L E B R A T I N G 8 7 Y E A R S O F A C A D E M I C E X C E L L E N C E I N B E N D 541-382-4701 2450 NE 27th, Bend, OR 97701 www saintfrancisschool net Follow us on At St Francis of Assisi Catholic School, we offer a collaborative blending of Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STREAM) through the platform of the Catholic faith in an exploratory and inquiry-based learning environment. We pride ourselves in partnering with our parent community to educate the whole child Financial Aid available N O W E N R O L L I N G F O R T H E ‘ 2 4 / ’ 2 5 S C H O O L Y E A R ! Pre-K3 - Grade 8 – John A. Murphy, M.D. Thank you Central Oregon community, patients, and families for trusting me to take care of you.
HARD | (541) 323-6198 2450 NE Mary Rose Pl # 220, Bend, OR 97701
Photo by Natalie Stephenson Photography

Central Oregon Junior Golf Association Expands Offerings

The Central Oregon Junior Golf Association just unveiled its 2024 development programs for youth, ages 4-18. Through interactive and social games, movement and play, young golfers will learn foundational skills necessary for the game, as well as gain valuable life lessons. As golfers grow, COJGA builds on this foundation with strategy-driven tasks and cooperative learning, with the aim of eventually moving participants toward competing through COJGA’s tournament series.

The program also offers a GIRLS GOLF focus, with curriculum developed by the LPGA and USGA. Young ladies will have the opportunity to engage with the game in a low-stress, inclusive environment.

The goal with all of these programs is to create a community of young golfers who love the game and are excited to progress in a positive group setting.

In addition to its development programs, COJGA hosts free golf clinics throughout the summer in La Pine, Madras and Prineville, as well as tournaments and events. After school sessions start in April and run throughout the summer for ages 7 and up.

Registration is open for the summer season. No experience or equipment is necessary. Learn more:


Bend La-Pine School District Brings Back Free Summer Lunch Program

The Bend-La Pine School District announced it will offer healthy meals at no charge to those 18 and younger at four Central Oregon locations this summer. There is no registration or fee to receive a free lunch through the program that begins June 24 and continues through August 23 (closed July 4 and 5).

All meals must be eaten on site and parents and guardians are encouraged to attend with their children. Meals for accompanying adults are $5. The free lunches will be served at the following locations:

• Alpenglow Park, 61049 SE 15th St., Bend

Hours 12–1 pm

• Boys and Girls Club, 500 NW Wall St., Bend

Hours 11:45 am–12:45 pm

• Larkspur Park, 1700 SE Reed Market Rd., Bend

Hours 11:45 am–12:45 pm

• La Pine Elementary School, 51615 Coach Rd., La Pine

Hours 11:45 am–12:45 pm

Family-Friendly Food Park Opens in Redmond

AA new family-friendly food cart pod focused on good food and no alcohol recently opened in Redmond. The pod, called Redmond Food Park, is located at 122 SW 5th St. in downtown Redmond and creates a space for guests to eat, play cornhole and relax with friends and family in a non-drinking atmosphere.

The park currently offers Mediterranean food, Philly cheesesteaks and boba tea, as well as coffee from a new cart called Rockin’ Roasters that offers coffee from Sisters Coffee Company and pastries, and has plans to serve ice cream in the summer months.

The main building on the property houses owner’s Hoss Talebi’s restaurant, Dogs and Fries. The Redmond Food Park hours vary between the different carts, but most open at 11:30am and close around 8 pm.

Summer 2024 | 11
Young golfers practice putting. Photo courtesy of COJGA
12 | DeAR BEND NEST READERS, Thank you for recognizing our doctors and midwives and making us one of your favorites! We’re proud of our providers and honored to be recognized for our commitment to caring for women in our community. | (541) 389-3300 REGAN GAGE, MD JAmes CARlson, DO AlexA SMIthellison, CNM ciARA THOMSONBARNETT, CNM, WHNP Open Daily for You and Your Pets! Healthy Adventures await! 360 NE QUIMBY AVE BEND, OR 97701 541-382-0741 3197 N HWY 97 STE A-1 BEND, OR 97701 541-388-0262 DO C TOR S BYRON MAAS, TABITHA JOHNSTON, LAUREN HOFFMAN, LAURA ACEVEDO, COURTNEY MCLAUGHLAN, KELLI SMITH, LINX ALEXANDERSON, MICHAELA HUGGINS & JANETTE WELLS B EN D V E T ERINA R Y CLINI C . C O M

QI know my kids need to eat healthier, but I don't know where to start. There are so many convenient pre-packaged food options that I seem to fall into the trap of buying what’s easiest. How can I reset my way of thinking?

AEating processed foods is at the heart of our modern-day health crisis. I recommend starting by reading ingredients. Visit your own pantry and educate yourself on what you are eating. When you come across a word you don’t recognize in the ingredient list, research it. Chances are it’s a processed chemical that is not real food. Our bodies are not meant to digest chemicals and, instead, require whole natural foods. Focusing your meals on whole foods is a lifestyle shift that takes time and patience. Kids who grow up on pre-packaged food are not quick to give that up! I recommend starting slow and practice cooking every single day. Every night, I put on a cute apron, turn on my favorite tunes, pour my one glass of wine and use that time to chat with my kids and husband. The dinner table is meant to be a safe space: praise your children when they try new things and never scold when they refuse new foods. Model for them how they should be eating, and remember, they are watching you! Teach them the difference between whole foods and chemical-laden foods. Set yourself up for success: each week write down your meal plan, buy or order your groceries and try to stick to it. We are our children’s best advocates for a healthy future.




QMy kids, ages five, seven and 10, all complain constantly before dinnertime while I’m cooking. I try to make sure we are eating healthy, but no one likes anything! Is there a way to please them?

ACooking dinner every night for a family is often thankless work that can feel like a slog. I hear of parents making multiple meals for picky eaters or of kids who eat no dinner, then binge on granola bars at bedtime. When it comes to family mealtime, first and foremost, I recommend getting the kids involved so they’re invested in the food. Start by writing a list of everyone’s favorite vegetables, fruits and proteins – you’ll be surprised at how many they list. Additionally, investigate some of their personal preferences, since kids often struggle with the presentation, not the food itself. (Some need their meal separated into parts, some require dipping sauces, etc.) Let kids help meal plan by allowing them to choose from a cookbook or scroll through your saved Pinterest recipes. Bring them into the kitchen and let them cut the onions or peel the potatoes, for example. They’ll learn how to cook by experiences like smelling the spices and watching the sauce simmer. Learning to love good food is not an immediate process; it takes time and patience. Don’t give up and make it a priority to foster a positive experience around food.

QOur family is so busy that we never seem to sit down for meals together. Often, we are grabbing food and eating it in the car between activities. I hear of families who prioritize dinnertime, but that is not us. Help!

AOur busy world keeps us from prioritizing our own health and that of our children. We know that slowing down and eating together is important, but it’s hard to do. Prioritizing nutrient-dense meals not only sets up our children for success, but it also teaches them that food matters and is essential. We are the best advocates for our children’s health and what they learn. I recommend to all my busy families to preplan their week of food with their schedule in front of them. If you know that Tuesdays are slammed with sports, make that your crockpot day or make double the dinner the night before for healthy leftovers to bring in a thermos or to eat right after school. Make it a priority to sit down together at the dinner table three to four nights a week. Food is not just about nutrients, it’s also about connection and building lasting bonds with our kids.

Summer 2024 | 13

It's a Magical World

The Power of Imaginary Play

While summer vacation conjures dreamy images of family time and no homework, all parents know that keeping kids entertained throughout the break is no easy task. Without the daily routine of school and extracurricular activities, it’s easy for children to complain of boredom.

Furthermore, in this age of smartphones and digital devices, it’s even easier for kids to get lost in the screen world for hours on end. While phones are an important tool for communication, overuse can lead to health problems like heart disease and obesity due to a lack of physical activity. The good news is parents can head off this temptation by nudging kids in the right direction of imaginative play.

“I remember when my kids were little, there was nothing like the summer days at home when maybe, with a friend over, they entered a magical imaginary play world,” says Bend mom of two, Denise Carraway.

“They would periodically run inside the house and say something like, ‘Mom, we need a sheet!’ When asked why, the explanation was always something like, ‘We’re building a castle, and we need walls!’ Those summer days flew by, and they had a blast, usually outdoors, creating, building and just imagining. It was their favorite kind of day.”

Imaginative play not only keeps kids entertained, but also helps develop critical life skills and healthy family relationships.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website,, “Children's imaginations grow quickly during their first few years of life. By leaning into pretend play, you can help them push their creative thinking skills to new heights. Encouraging imaginative play also allows children to open their internal world to you. With every story, adventure and character they create, they are sharing a small piece of themselves. It's a wonderful bonding experience.”

In that aim, here are some screen-free ideas for encouraging kids to have fun the good old-fashioned way:

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Costume Parade

Gather an assortment of costumes and everyday clothing, such as aprons, capes, fairy wings, crowns, tutus, old Halloween outfits, etc. and declare that the whole family is having a “costume parade.” Allow kids to use their creativity. Maybe they want to borrow a tool belt and pretend to be a construction worker. A cardboard box can be cut into a pair of dragon wings. An old piece of rope becomes a lasso and the broom a horse.

Grab some drums, rattles or other noisemakers and march down the street in a silly costume parade. If you live amongst friendly neighbors, rope them in too, or take your parade to a residential living facility for the elderly where they will smile to see the kids all dressed up, having fun.

Structure Building

Forts, castles, igloos, tipis and other structures are the lifeblood of imaginative play. Whether interior decorating or channeling their inner hunter-gatherer, kids can escape into another world and sail the seas of imagination. Building these structures can be as simple as throwing a sheet over the kitchen table or leaning couch cushions against the coffee table. Stringing ropes and sheets from ceiling fixtures allows for extra height, while cardboard boxes make excellent doors, windows and walls.

Look for oversized delivery boxes that kids can color and cut. A refrigerator box can become a rocket ship or a palace! Go outside and find sticks, rocks and other natural items to construct a castle or fort. Simple lean-to shelters made of large branches lashed together and set against a tree are easy and classic. Give kids art supplies to make small flags or other decorations to personalize their creations.

Outdoor Mud Kitchen

Quality time spent outside is worth its weight in gold. Even if your outdoor space is small, you can still create a “DIY mud kitchen.”

Snag free pallet wood from behind any major box store and set up a simple table outdoors by laying it on top of hay bales, logs or any available surface. Raid your kitchen or thrift store for old cups, bowls, cupcake tins, wooden spoons, etc. If you’re crafty, you can use an electric saw to cut a hole in the tabletop and add a bowl to make a “sink.”

“ With every story, adventure and character they create, they are sharing a small piece of themselves. It's a wonderful bonding experience.”

Next, just add dirt and water! A garden hose will get the ground nice and muddy and keep kids from traipsing inside the house to use the kitchen faucet. Kids will spend hours outdoors baking mud cupcakes decorated with dried flower petals and junip berries or cooking dinner. Mud and hay casserole, anyone?

Dress them in swimsuits and sun hats, then just hose them down when finished. This is a messy activity, but it beats spending hours indoors playing video games. Think fresh air, vitamin D and exercise!

By kickstarting imaginative play, parents not only sidestep the summer call of “I’m bored!” but will certainly marvel at the creativity and confidence oozing from their children.

Summer 2024 | 15

Family Mocktails

Just for the fun of it

Summer takes the cake when it comes to unstructured schedules. Tis the season of slower mornings and MUCH later nights, thanks to our PNW latitude, and the time for being together instead of going every which way. Summer begs us to go off-script and do things just for fun. So, in between the camps and trips, lake days and loads of swimsuit laundry, don’t forget to sprinkle in some simple and sweet family time at home.

One of the easiest places to get everyone together is in the kitchen. Not only is it the center of the household, but it’s also where kids who are out of school come 50 times a day to find snacks. Throw in some extra fun by bringing everyone there to make fancy summer mocktails. Kids of all ages (even teenagers) can’t resist getting involved in mixing concoctions and muddling blackberries with lime. We can’t go to the river every day (though we might try), so for a change of pace, whip up one of these fun and refreshing mocktails, pull up the Adirondack chairs, feel the sun on your faces, and toast to being together. It’s summer, after all, and that’s enough reason to celebrate!

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Kids Piña Colada

Servings: 6


• 1 1/2 cups pure pineapple juice

• 1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 1/4 heavy cream

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 6 cups crushed ice

• Pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry for garnish)


1. Place first six ingredients in blender and blend until smooth

2. Divide between six glasses

3. Garnish with pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry

Bend Sunrise

Servings: 1


• 1 cup sparkling water (plain or citrus flavored)

• 1 cup orange juice

• 2 tsp grenadine

• 1 blood orange, sliced for garnish


1. Add equal parts sparkling water and orange juice

2. Gently pour in Grenadine

3. Cut blood orange into slices

4. Cut a small slit in the side of a slice of

Violet Lemonade

Servings: 1


• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

• 1/2 cup water

• 1/8 cup Monin Violet Syrup

• 1 tsp vanilla syrup or simple syrup (for rim)

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 1/2 tsp lemon zest


1. Zest lemons first!

2. Squeeze lemon(s)- about 1 lemon per glass

3. Fill small saucer with 1 tsp lemon juice

4. Fill another small saucer with sugar and zest, mix together with fork

5. Flip desired glass over and dip rim in lemon juice and then into the sugar/zest mixture

6. Mix remaining lemon juice, water and all syrups in separate glass

7. Pour into sugared rim glass

8. Top with ice until full

Blackberry Mojito Mocktail

Servings: 4


• 2/3 cup fresh blackberries

• 1 Tbs granulated sugar

• 3 Tbs lime juice

• 1/3 cup roughly chopped mint leaves

• 36 oz ginger ale (or sparkling water)

• 2 limes, sliced

• 4 springs mint

• 2-3 cups ice

• 1/2 cup fresh blackberries


1. Use mortar and pestle or muddler to crush blackberries, sugar, lime juice and mint leaves together until it resembles a puree

2. Divide mixture between four glasses or in the bottom of a large glass pitcher

3. Add slices limes and sprigs of mint to each glass (or pitcher)

4. Fill each glass (or pitcher) with ginger ale, leaving room for ice

5. Garnish with fresh blackberries, slice of lime and sprig of mint

Note: the blackberry seeds will mostly sink to the bottom, but if you are not keen on seeds in your drink, blueberries are a great alternative.

Summer 2024 | 17


Best Nonprofit Serving Children

1st KIDS Center

2nd Family Resource Center

Best Photographer for Children & Families

1st Natalie Stephenson

2nd Julia Duke

Best Toy Store

1st Leapin' Lizards Toy Company

2nd Learning Express Toys

Best Children's Consignment Store

1st Stone Soup Bend

Loving what you do and working hard at it are the keys to success. Thanks to our vibrant community of dedicated individuals and businesses who deliver top-notch services and products on the daily, raising a family in the high desert is a dreamy endeavor. This year, Nest followers rallied in great numbers to voice their opinions on who’s showing up and delivering in Central Oregon. You voted, we counted and now…we present the winners!

The 2024 Best of the Nest!


Best Parents' Date Night

1st 900 Wall

2nd Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails

Best Grocery Store

1st Newport Avenue Market

2nd Market of Choice

Best Family Take-Out

1st Pizza Mondo

2nd Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats

Best Place for a Sweet Treat

1st Bonta Natural Artisan Gelato

2nd Goody's

Best Family Restaurant

1st Active Culture


Best Place for Outdoor Family Fun

1st Mt. Bachelor

2nd Shevlin Park - BPRD

Best Family Night Out

1st Sun Mountain Fun Center

2nd McMenamins Old St. Francis Theater

Best Place for a Child's Birthday Party

1st Mountain Air

2nd Trampoline Zone & Adventure Park

Best Youth Sports Organization

1st N Zone Sports

2nd Bend Park & Recreation District


Best Summer Camp

1st Bend Elks

2nd Camp Tamarack

Best Day Camp

1st Wildheart Nature School

2nd Camp Fire Central Oregon

Best Music Instruction

1st Cascade School of Music

2nd Music Together

2nd Out of the Box Arts (tie)

Best Arts Instruction

1st Let's Paint Central Oregon

2nd Seven Peaks School

Best Learning Specialist

1st Heather Ashley

2nd Shelly South

Best Tutor

1st Sylvan Learning Center of Bend

2nd Elevate Reading Center

Best Preschool

1st The Cottage Day Care

2nd Montessori in the Pines

Best Day Care

1st The Cottage Day Care

2nd Cobblestone

Best Supplemental School Program

1st Sylvan Learning Center

2nd Let’s Paint Central Oregon

Best After School Program

1st Kids Inc - BPRD

2nd Boys & Girls Club of Bend


Best Veterinarian

1st Pawtown Veterinary Care

2nd Bend Veterinary Clinic

Best Speech Therapist/ Pathologist

1st Kristen Kane (Central Oregon Speech Therapy)

2nd Casey Collins (Sonos Neurotherapies)

Best Alternative Healthcare Practice for Children & Families

1st Pure Light Family Chiropractic

2nd Hawthorn Healing Arts Center

Best Midwife

1st Kelsey Spanbauer, CPM, LDM

2nd Cieara Thompson Barnett (East Cascade Women’s Group)

2nd Alexa Smith-Ellison (East Cascade Women’s Group) (tie)

Best Doula

1st Meg Rozek (High Desert Doula Collaborative)

2nd Jamie Collado (Nurtured Bend)

Best OB

1st Dr. John Murphy (Central Oregon OB/GYN)

2nd Dr. James Carlson (East Cascade Women's Group)

2nd Dr. Regan Gage (East Cascade Women's Group) (tie)

Best Children's Optometrist Practice

1st Elemental Eye Care

2nd Casey Eye Institute

Best Children's Orthodontics Practice

1st Struble Orthodontics

2nd Woods Orthodontics

Best Children's Dental Practice

1st Pediatric Dental Associates

2nd Deschutes Pediatric Dentistry

Best Pediatric Clinic/Practice

1st Central Oregon Pediatric Associates

2nd Summit Medical Group

Best Pediatrician

1st Dr. Jeff Meyrowitz (COPA)

2nd Dr. Michelle Mills (Summit)

Best Sports Physical Therapist

1st Redbird Physio

2nd Mandon Welch

Best Children's Therapist

1st Anna Thedford (Lark Song Counseling)

2nd Regina Josh (Thrive Mental Health)

Summer 2024 | 19 Spring 2024
Photos by Natalie Stephenson

Capture the precious moments of your baby's first year with The Motherhood Membership. This luxury experience includes four sessions to document this remarkable journey. From maternity to your baby's first birthday, we'll capture every moment with 20 years of expertise, ensuring natural and relaxed expressions. Cherish these memories for a lifetime because the first year only happens once. Are you ready to preserve these unforgettable moments?

20 |
A 541-771-6557
Photographer”! Celebrating 20 years in business in Central Oregon
Thank You Central Oregon for voting me, “Best



Interview with Owner, Lauren Stayer, DVM

How long has Pawtown been in business?

We opened here two years ago, in March of 2022. We have really enjoyed watching the practice grow, while meeting a lot of new patients and families. We have a great support staff who are good friendly people enjoying what they do.

BN: Do you have any general advice for a new owner of a cat or dog?

LS: Do your research to make sure the pet you choose fits your lifestyle. Think about what everyone in the household wants in a pet, whether it be a hiking buddy, an active friend or someone to hang around at home with. If you’re looking at a certain breed, learn about their possible medical issues, as well as potential behavioral issues, ahead of time.

Photos by Natalie Stephenson
Summer 2024 | 21
Interviews by Elizabeth Warnimont
22 | Bend’s Premier Indoor Trampoline Park Open 7 days a week 20495 Murray Rd. Suite 150 for special events Best Place for a Child’s Birthday Thank you for voting us: Best Place for a Playdate (indoor) Book Your Party or Private Event! Private room • Dedicated party host Pizza + Drinks • Games + Activities We clean up the mess! MUDPIES AND LULLABIES PRESCHOOL IS GROWING! We
quiet SW Bend location.
our friendly, dedicated, caring
professional staff
exceptional community
have cultivated.
play-based learning can
be big on FUN! We pride
creating well rounded learners. Here you’ll find theme-based learning that incorporates elements of social-emotional learning • literacy • math • art science • movement • music • sensory investigation All tailored to your child’s specific needs and goals ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for 3’s, 3 ½-4s, Pre-K and Kindergarten Foundations 1735 SW Chandler Avenue 541-317-0644
will be adding additional classes and a new classroom this fall! Come for a tour of our quaint little preschool nestled in a
Fall in
for the
See for yourself how
spark imagination, inspire
challenge thinking and still
ourselves on


Interview with Owner, Anna Thedford, LPC

BN: What types of therapy does Lark Song offer children?

AT: Play therapy is often the best way to begin with young children, but we have different approaches for different ages. We tend to take a non-directive or child-centered approach, meaning that we discover how they will best be able to communicate in the therapeutic setting by observing their own activity choices and behavior.

BN: Do you offer referrals for other services, if needed?

AT: Definitely. Occupational therapy is a big one. Sometimes over-stimulation can account for the anxiety symptoms we’re seeing, so OT can be a nice complement to therapy. Some kids need that kind of sensory integration and support, which can involve types of playground equipment, hula hoops or certain board games for focus work.

BN: What can parents expect on their first visit to Lark Song?

AT: The first appointment is a lot of information gathering to establish a rapport and get a picture of what kind of approach will be appropriate, including how soon to meet without the parents present.

BN: Is there anything more you would like readers to know about Lark Song?

AT: One thing I’m excited about is our primary mission of serving families in our community. Focusing on the under-served child population is my huge passion. Because I can’t take it all on, as an individual, I created the group practice to include training more clinicians to work with children, through internships and partnering with entities like OSU and the Central Oregon Behavioral Health Consortium. That’s how I’m doing my part.

Lark Song Counseling 541-229-8861

Summer 2024 | 23
24 | A | | (541) 382 4055 Use "BN2024" to waive summer registration fees! Summer enrollment fees on us!



Interview with Owner, Denny Dragan, MS PT

You were voted Best Sports PT. What differentiates that type of physical therapy from

Most of the sports injuries we see come down to biomechanics, fine tuning what the athletes need to improve their sport. With regular PT, most people come in needing to get back to walking up and down

the University of Nevada – so when I found PT, I was able to combine the things I most like to do: sports and being involved in the medical community.

BN: Why do you think readers chose you and Redbird as their preferred choice in PT providers?

DD: Redbird is an environment where everyone works together. That kind of environment helps with healing. As for me, after doing this for a

Summer 2024 | 25
Photos by Natalie Stephenson
26 | www cascadeschoolof music org (541) 382-6866 info@cascadeschoolof music .org Enriching lives one note at a time for over 20 years! Our Belief is that human potential and connection are more fully realized through lifelong engagement with music Thank you Central Oregon for voting our nonprofit school as Best Music Instruction! Check out our exciting Summer camps & classes! SPACIOUSTABLE COM Nutritional Therapy for children & families. A food first approach to health and wellness. more about for your family Located in the NWX Neighborhood 2797 NW Clearwater Dr. Suite 100 & 500 Bend OR WWW.TULAMOVEMENTARTS.COM YOGA. FITNESS. CIRCUS. KIDS & FAMILY. VOTED BEST KIDS YOGA SINCE 2019!


Interview with Midwife, Kelsey Spanbauer

BN: How long have you been practicing midwifery in Central Oregon?

KS: I was born in Bend and I’ve been a midwife here for more than 13 years.

BN: What can a woman expect on her first visit with you?

KS: We start by discussing the mother’s vision for her birth experience. Our role can either be more directive or more supportive, according to her preference. Some women want coaching or massage, for example, and some want us to sit back and let them know when they need to do something. We’ll check in with any health concerns. We have an apothecary, so we can make customized herbal supplements to aid in the treatment of symptoms like nausea, headaches, insomnia or varicose veins. We have ultrasound and alternative devices like the Pinard horn and fetoscopes to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.

BN: Does Engedi help a new mother transition into baby care?

KS: Yes, we have a full pediatric program. The Bravely Born midwifery program includes primary care for Mom and baby through six weeks postpartum, then from there, moms can opt for a year of lactation support and infant care with our First Year Program.

BN: Is there anything more you would like to add?

KS: I appreciate this recognition. We work hard, and sometimes we feel a little invisible. Winning this honor shows that our clients really feel well cared for here. It’s a nice surprise.

Engedi Wellness


Summer 2024 | 27
Photo courtesy of Kelsey Spanbauer

For a great workout before, during and after you’re expecting, Bend Park & Recreation District’s fitness and swim centers are the places to be.

• PRE- & POSTNATAL FITNESS CLASSES: Including Yoga and Water Workout.

• BABY & ME FITNESS CLASSES: Including Cycle/Core and Yoga Fitness Fusion with your baby at your side.

• KIDS’ CORNER CHILDCARE: For ages 6 months to 6 years to sync up with your fitness class or swim.

• YOUR CHOICE OF 200+ WEEKLY FITNESS CLASSES: Pre- and postnatal individuals welcome at any drop-in fitness class. Schedules, fees and details at

28 | PRE-
baby,CLASSES let’s
Two great locations! Juniper Swim
Fitness Center
St., Bend •
Larkspur Community Center 1600 SE Reed Market Rd., Bend •
388-1133 LET’S PAINT • classes • private parties • art for all ages BEST ARTS INSTRUCTION 541.480.7491 550 NW Franklin Ave, Suite 238B, Bend • 541-550-7060 Larson Family Law • Serving Central Oregon Providing legal services in family law, adoptions, guardianship & conservatorships, wills & trusts and probate. EXPERIENCED. PROFESSIONAL. COMPASSIONATE. Thank You, Central Oregon!
(541) 389-7665


Interview with Owner, Bridget Bostrom

What’s new and exciting at Hopscotch Kids this season?

We just expanded our store space, and we’ve revamped our website. Since we took over the space next door, we have more inventory and a greater selection, especially for baby essentials like car seats and strollers, plus travel and outdoor gear for parents and children.

BN: Are there certain items that are especially popular right now?

BB: Oh, everything, really: birthday gifts, clothing, shoes and playwear come to mind.

BN: Why do customers keep coming back to Hopscotch Kids?

BB: We listen to them. We ask for feedback, periodically. Before we expanded, we sent out surveys asking what they wanted to see in the store, what are their favorite brands or types of furniture? Customers wanted sustainably

Summer 2024 | 29
Photos by Natalie Stephenson
30 | C A M P F I R E C E N T R A L O R E G O N weekly themed day camps • outdoor adventure camps robotics & STEM camps • teen service & leadership FUN+ for rising Kinders thru Grade 12! financial assistance available JumperS ON L LY JumperS ON LY 63040 NE 18th St. (o Empire Blvd.) • Bend Ages 7 and Under Only This is a time for your little ones to enjoy the facility in a more controlled environment. SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS 9am - 11am Bend FC Soccer Complex @ Pine Nursery Park, 3750 NE Purcell Blvd

A Bear, A Fish, And A Fishy Wish

Words by Daniel Bernstrom and Art by Brandon James Scott

WWelcome to the Wonder House


ho will get their fishy wish?” Hungry Bear hopes it will be him! Little ones will smile as Bear goes on a new adventure along the river. Follow him as he chases a fish through the flowing river, over rocks and into the forest. Watch the fish fly and the bear hide. How many silver fish will bear see? Simple words create an engaging, rhyming and gorgeous outdoor quest along with beautiful illustrations that capture the journey of Bear and a fish, underwater and on land, in deep shades of green and blue. In this summer sequel to “A Bear, A Bee and a Honey Tree,” Bernstrom and Scott are back with a fun flowing river adventure. Readers will appreciate Bear, his thoughtfulness and the funny fish.

Poems by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Georgia Heard. Illustrations by Deborah Freedman

We are all born with a sense of wonder.” In this poetry collection, even simple objects such as a window, door or tree house inspire verse. Readers walk through the Wonder House, where each room is filled with poetry. At the beginning of the book, examine the contents and drawings matching each room such as the Room of Mystery, or Science or Quiet. Poems in question format ask about fossils and oceans. You might even dig for “wriggling worms.” What will you discover in the “whooshing air?” Each poem celebrates the wonder of nature. Dotlich and Heard capture young readers' imagination and curiosity through their writing. Freedman’s illustrations are dreamlike and stunning, giving everyone a glimpse into the Wonder House.

Summer 2024 | 31
" " Leapin Lizards Thanks you for voting us #1 Good for $5 off $ one 25 Purchase 9 53 NW Wall Street | 541-382-8326


Must-Have Summer Gear for Active Families

As the sun stretches its golden rays across Central Oregon, families can almost taste the arrival of summer – a time most certainly filled with outdoor adventure. With the season fast approaching, it's the perfect time to explore the latest and greatest in kids' summer gear for enjoying our natural playground. We asked local store owners to share their musthave items for 2024. Here are their top picks:

Evoke Youth Mountain Bike Gloves

The mountains are calling! These gloves are lightweight and full-fingered for young mountain bike riders. Crafted with breathable materials and a durable suede palm, these gloves offer unpadded AX Suede Diez palms for enhanced dexterity and handlebar control, while the lightweight back ensures comfort and breathability on the trails.

$17 - Sunnyside Sports

Thule Sapling Child Carrier

This child carrier ensures safe and comfortable travels on the trail, easily accommodating different-sized parents with torso and hip belt modifications. Premium features like a child viewing mirror, removable backpack and spacious hip belt pockets enhance the outdoor experience. With its fully adjustable design and ample storage options, this carrier allows all family members to enjoy outdoor outings to the fullest.

$429.95 - Hopscotch


Five Ten Freerider Kids VCS Bike Shoes

Keep those feet on the peddles with the Adidas Five Ten Freerider Mountain Bike Shoes for young riders. They combine the durability of a leather upper with the pedal-gripping power of Stealth® Marathon rubber. Featuring a non-marking outsole and convenient hook-and-loop straps, they promote independence and ease for budding cyclists.

$75 - Sunnyside Sports

Fox Racing Youth Mainframe Helmet

Safety first! For peace of mind, choose the Youth Mainframe Helmet, delivering proven MIPS™ impact protection and extended coverage for the noggin'. Featuring optimized venting and a lightweight fit system, it offers efficient cooling and a comfortable ride. Plus, with a removable, washable moisturewicking liner, keeping things fresh is an easy feat without breaking the bank.

$80 - Sunnyside Sports

Thule Courier Bike Trailer

Bend families love to bike. The Thule Courier offers versatility for families of all kinds, functioning as both a bike trailer and a stroller. With its spacious cockpit that accommodates two children, it's ideal for leisurely rides or quick jaunts into town. Effortlessly transitioning from bike carrier to stroller, it boasts compact wheels and an adjustable handlebar for easy maneuverability, making it the perfect vessel for commuting or vacation adventures.

$799.95Hopscotch Kids

32 |

VANS Toddler Slip-On V Shoes

For those unstoppable toddlers (you know the ones!), these V Shoes are a must-have, featuring a slip-on design and stylish rubber waffle outsoles. With textile uppers, heel pull tabs and elastic side accents, they offer both durability and sleek looks for every adventurer. Classic!

$37.95 - Tactics

ThinkBaby Safe Sunscreen

Protect the most delicate skin in your family. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen shields baby from harmful UVA/UVB rays using mineral-based, non-nano Zinc Oxide, boasting an SPF 50 rating and water resistance for up to 80 minutes. ThinkBaby is a safer choice, being BPA-free, mineral-based, biodegradable, reef-safe and free of harmful chemicals like parabens and phthalates. Pediatric-dermatologist tested and devoid of toxic ingredients, it ensures worry-free protection for sensitive skin.

$20 - Hopscotch Kids

Bling2o Fin-ley Bass Fish Swim Goggles

Little swimmers will love Green Gills Finley, the bass fishthemed goggles. Perfect for water enthusiasts, they feature fin-themed gaskets and a scale-textured strap. Made from 100% silicone, latex-free material, these goggles offer UV protection, anti-fog lenses, and are suitable for ages three years and up, complete with a hard protective case and adjustable nose piece.

$25 - Hopscotch Kids

Happy Hour Heart Ons Sunglasses

Protect their eyes and spread some summer vibes with the Happy Hour Heart Ons Sunglasses. They come in a variety of fun colors and feature UV400 protection with adorable heart-shaped frames - perfect for adding a touch of flair to any sunny day adventure!


DAKINE Kids Grom Mission 18L Backpack

Get ready for those summertime romps with the Dakine Kid's Mission 18L Backpack – perfect for camping trips or just hanging out with friends. Its DWR weather resistance keeps all gear dry during spontaneous water fights or unexpected summer showers. Plus, with tech pockets for gadgets and plenty of room for snacks, sunscreen and sunglasses, nonstop outdoor fun in the sun is guaranteed!

$57.95 - Tactics

SunnyLife Buddy Float Bands – Unicorn

Designed for three-to six-year-old kids, these colorful arm floaties will have those little ones swimming with confidence in no time at all. They are made with durable non-toxic PVC and add a touch of unicorn magic to summer water fun. Who’s cool now?

$15.00 - Hopscotch Kids

Nuna TRVL Stroller

Whether navigating Bend’s riverside paths or jet-setting to far-flung vacation destinations, the Nuna TRVL™ stroller offers seamless convenience for parents on the go. With its self-folding mechanism and ultra-lightweight design, it effortlessly transforms into a compact package for easy storage or transport. Compatible with PIPA™ series car seats and accommodating infants and toddlers up to 50 lbs., this travel stroller ensures comfort and style for every journey.

$450 - Hopscotch Kids

Summer 2024 | 33
HEAD OUT AND SHOP LOCAL IN BEND Hopscotch Kids 1303 NW Galveston Ave., Bend | Sunnyside Sports 930 NW Newport Ave., Bend | Tactics 933 NW Wall St., Bend | 33
34 |
“Toys are used like words by children, and play is their language.”
Lark Song Counseling
Voted Best Children’s Therapist Supporting Adults, Teens, Children & Families Meet Kara, the Therapy Dog. Working Most Days. 1180 SE Division St. Bend, OR 97702 (541) 229-8861


Bend Farmers Market

LOCAL – Showcasing 100% Oregon-produced goods, this family friendly event features food, drinks, flowers, crafts and more. 11 am–3 pm

Brooks Alley, Downtown Bend | Free


Backpack Explorers

EXPLORE – Come on an adventure! Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers learn science, art, music and more together with an assortment of hands-on activities. Borrow a backpack filled with exciting objects to aid in exploring the museum’s nature trails and exhibits. New themes are added each week for exploration! High Desert Museum | $15

Saturdays (Starts in June)

NW Crossing Farmers Market

LOCAL – Discover a bounty of seasonal produce, locally-raised meats, fresh eggs and cheese, handmade items, beautiful flowers and much more! Saturdays from 10 am–2 pm NW Crossing | Free


In-Depth Observatory

Nighttime Visit

LEARN – Seek the stars at the nation’s largest collection of publicly accessible telescopes. Two-hour sessions include an educational presentation, night sky viewing through various telescopes with staff astronomers and a guided constellation tour. Ages 5 and up are welcome. Wednesdays from 9–11 pm.

Sunriver Nature Center | $35/person, ticket must be purchased online in advance

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Open Play

PLAY – Kids Ninja Warrior gym is a wonderful space for kids to stay active and have fun! Toddler Open Play is available Thursday-Sunday and Kids Open Play on Saturdays. This clean, fully padded space is bursting with fun-filled movement. Free Spirit Yoga + Fitness + Play | $1518 for 90 min

1st and 3rd Saturdays

Guided Wetlands Walks

NATURE – Join guided bird walks in the award-winning Crooked River Wetlands Complex in Prineville. Nature and wildlife abound. Amenities include 5.4 miles of new walking, running and hiking trails, 3.25 miles of which are paved for use year-round. Dogs on leash and strollers are welcome. Walks start at 7:45 am.

Prineville | Free events

Sundays Turf Tunes

LOCAL – Bring a blanket or a lowprofile chair and enjoy SHARC's FREE outdoor concerts in the grass amphitheater. Concerts are suitable for all ages. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. No glass or pets, please! Located in Sunriver every Sunday from 6/16 thru 7/21.

SHARC | Free turf-tunes

May 9-12

Little Shop of Horrors

THEATER – Thoroughly Modern Productions’ Teen Theater brings you this deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical. In the play, the meek floral assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” – after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it – blood!

Tower Theatre | $35 (plus $4 Historic Preservation fee)

Summer 2024 | 35
Bring the kids to Troy Field July 8 for the Kids Summer Sprint (part of Bend Summer Festival)!
Photo by Andy Tullis
36 | F o r 2 6 Ye a r s ! Dine I n Take Out Delivery (5 41) 3 3 0 -9 09 3 8 11 N W Wall S t . Downtown PizzaMondoB end .com 3 WEEKS TO CHOOSE FROM • July 15 - 18, 2024 • July 22 - 25, 2024 • July 29 - Aug 1, 2024

May 10-11

Stained Glass Flowers for Mother’s Day

LEARN – This is an evening of creativity, music and conversation for kids (14+) and their moms. Learn how to create a bouquet of stained glass flowers together! This workshop will teach you the four-step process of copper foiled (Tiffany) stained glass. Class is for both beginner and experienced glass artists. Friday 5:30–8:30 pm, Saturday 12–3 pm

DIY Cave | $239 | Free for Mom

May 11

Happy Girls Run

RUN – Calling all women and girls! Running is a great way to achieve personal goals, overcome obstacles and get in some much-needed girl time. The race features gorgeous scenery along the Deschutes River. Choose your distance: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or the Happy Little Kids Run (for ages 3-10).

River Bend Park | Prices vary

May 11

Birding for Breakfast

LEARN – The High Desert Museum provides excellent habitat for many migratory bird species. Join museum staff and volunteers to explore the grounds looking for birds. Learn about different species that live in our area and the museum’s efforts to make the buildings more bird friendly! Coffee and light breakfast items provided. 7–9 am

High Desert Museum | $25, Members receive 20% discount.

May 11

Central Oregon Taco Fest

FESTIVAL – The Central Oregon Taco Fest celebrates Latin culture and its influence on the world. Come with the whole family and enjoy mariachi bands, taco trucks and Chihuahua dog races. Old Mill District | $25 | Kids under 12 free

May 11

Family Kayaking Expedition

LEARN – Join Wanderlust Tours in partnership with A Novel Idea and the Deschutes Public Library for a day of kayaking with the family. Guides will instruct everyone on kayaking techniques and lead the group while sharing natural and cultural history. Registration required for ages 5 and up. Space is limited!

TBD | Free

May 14

Reading Readiness with Music

LEARN – Come to the library and experience movement and literacy to foster beginning readers. Program begins at 11:30 am.

Deschutes Library Downtown | Free, but registration required.

May 14

Mother’s Day at the Museum

LEARN – It’s Mom’s Day, so treat her to a fun visit to the High Desert Museum. The best part is her entry is free! Explore various exhibits indoors and out while spending the day together.

High Desert Museum | Free for Mom

May 15

Central Oregon Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

MUSIC – Revel in local music! This assembly of 35 music students of all ages from across the region is led by COCC music professor Travis Allen and conducted by Redmond Proficiency Academy’s Jonathon Moore. A variety of ensembles take the Tower stage. Tower Theater | Prices vary

May 17

The Jungle Book

MOVIE – After a threat from the tiger, Shere Khan, forces him to flee the jungle, the man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery with the help of the panther, Bagheera, and the freespirited bear, Baloo. This is a free family movie night beginning at 6 pm. Free books available in the lobby.

Tower Theatre | Free

May 18

Selco Pole Pedal Paddle RACE – Grab your friends and register for the annual Pole Pedal Paddle race, a Central Oregon tradition. This multi-sport event is one of the biggest in the PNW and is the largest fundraiser for MBSEF, featuring legs for biking, running, alpine and Nordic skiing and kayaking. Or just come out with the rest of the town and cheer on our local teams!

Around Bend | Prices vary based on team size and age

May 19

Selco Mini Pole Pedal Paddle RACE – Kindergarten through 5th graders are invited to compete in teams for their own PPP race! Starting at Seventh Mountain Resort, teams will work together to solve challenges, weave through an obstacle course and experience the excitement of the race with their peers. This is a great event for competitors and spectators alike! Seventh Mountain Resort | $180/ team of six

Summer 2024 | 37
4Peaks Music Festival offers a special kids’ area this year. Check out Kidlandia – June 20-23. Photo courtesy of 4Peaks Music Festival Don’t miss the Central Oregon Youth Orchestra Spring Concert at the Tower Theatre May 15. Photo courtesy of the Tower Theatre
38 | BEST DATE NIGHT 900 NW Wall St, Bend, OR 97701 Excellence in care. Every age, every stage. Pediatric Care Providing expert care and advice for infants, toddlers, big kids, and teenagers. Bend Old Mill District Clinic 815 SW Bond St 541-706-2555 |

May 25

Mad Science Family Program

LEARN – Unleash your inner mad scientist while your family experiments with fun and messy chemistry. See if you can inflate balloons using chemical reactions, experience the chaos of making slime and lava lamps, break Newton’s laws of viscosity with Oobleck. All ages welcome with an adult. 10:30 am–12:00 pm Sunriver Nature Center | $15/adult, $12/child (ages 3+)

June 1

Oregon Ballet Theatre 2

DANCE – The dynamic and vibrant young dancers of OBT2 share their artistry, ability, professionalism and innovation of Oregon Ballet Theatre, serving as a cultural ambassador for the performing arts from the state of Oregon. This year’s tour features work by Ben Stevenson, Dani Rowe, Shannon Alvis and Dominic Walsh. Tower Theatre | $12 - $22

June 1-2

Free Fishing Weekend

LOCAL – Sponsored by ODFW, on free fishing weekends, you don’t need a license to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon. That’s no license, no tag and no endorsement needed. Various locations | Free

June 6-9

Bend Yoga Festival 2024

FESTIVAL – This event features more than 70 different workshops to both deepen and elevate your practice including: asana intensives, 1:1 posture labs, yoga philosophy, chanting, wellness & health, themed practices, sanskrit studies, Smith Rock excursions, paddle boarding, forest bathing, hiking and more! Riverbend Park |Prices vary

June 20-23

4 Peaks Music Festival

FESTIVAL – This year’s festival returns to Stevenson Ranch in SE Bend on summer solstice weekend. A curated community experience for the entire family, 4 Peaks proudly presents worldclass music, featuring national, regional and local acts for music enthusiasts of all tastes. Festival goers look forward to grand Cascade Mountain views, grassy fields, music on multiple stages, camping under the high desert stars, morning yoga, chill areas and an array of local vendors. This is a family event and the little ones won’t want to miss Kidlandia! Stevenson Ranch | Prices vary

June 21-22

Western Days Festival

FESTIVAL – In its 19th year, the Prineville Western Days festival is a well-loved community event, featuring 150 vendors, food trucks, live music, a kid’s area and more!

Ochoco Creek Park | Free

June 21-22

Big Bend BBQ

LOCAL – Alpenglow Park hosts Bend's summer festivities including the Big Bend BBQ, a new event promising a weekend filled with great food, music and community fun. This free-to-attend event invites everyone to come with their picnic blankets and enjoy a day under the sun, immersed in the joy of live music while being tempted by the tantalizing aroma of barbecued delights. Alpenglow Park | Free

July 4th

4th of July Festival and Bike Parade

HOLIDAY – Celebrate Independence Day in The Village at Sunriver! Children of all ages will enjoy live entertainment, contests, carnival style games, pony rides, delicious food and more! Village at Sunriver | Free

July 4

4th of July Parade in Redmond

HOLIDAY – It’s a celebration of freedom, community and the shared values that make Central Oregon great. Gather your loved ones, put on your most patriotic attire and join in the festivities as we paint the town red (and white and blue) this Independence Day! 10 am–12 pm Downtown Redmond | Free

Summer 2024 | 39
Shop local every Wednesday at the Bend Farmers Market – a true Central Oregon tradition. Exploration and learning come hand in hand at the High Desert Museum. Check out Backpack Explorers every Wednesday. Photo courtesy of High Desert Museum
Photo courtesy of Bend Farmers Market

Family Connects is an evidence-based, nurse visiting program available at no cost to all families with newborns in Central Oregon.

We use a universal approach to reaching all families of newborn babies, including foster and adoptive parents, to offer a nurse visit and connection to local services to meet your unique needs.


Seven Peaks School Summer Camps

Seven Peaks School

Ignite your child's creativity at Balanced Artist Camp!

July 8 - 12th

Monday through Friday, 9am - 3pm Ages 7-15 years Cost: $450

Don't Miss this Artistic Adventure – Enroll Now! Give your child the gift of a summer filled with creativity, exploration, and new friendships. Sign up for Balanced Artist Camp at Seven Peaks School today!

Embark on a Theatrical Adventure at Balanced Actor Camp!

July 15 - 19th Monday through Friday, 9am - 3pm Ages 10-15 years Cost: $450

Calling all aspiring performers to the stage of creativity! Balanced Actor Camp at Seven Peaks School invites young talents to elevate their craft to new heights. Immerse in three captivating disciplines – Shakespeare, movement, and improvisation, igniting a passion for the performing arts. / (541) 382-7755 19660 SW

Mountaineer Way, Bend, OR

July 7-27

Too Darn Hot!

THEATER – Sing, dance and act in a high-energy musical revue to be performed at the Tower Theatre! Ponderosa Players’ revue is the perfect opportunity for students of all experience levels to sharpen their skills and grow as performers this summer. Students ages 11-18 will be featured in large and small groups where they will prepare, over the course of the month, working toward a culminating performance. In addition to gaining performance experience, students will get valuable dance and voice training throughout the intensive rehearsal process. If you’re itching to get onstage, this class is the perfect step!

Ponderosa Players Studio | $500

July 12-14

Bend Summer Festival

FESTIVAL – Celebrate the arts, culture, music and community! Downtown Bend comes alive during Summerfest with activities for kids, live music and vendors of all kinds. Don’t miss the kids’ area and enjoy the beautiful arts and crafts.

Downtown Bend | Free

July 13

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

LOCAL – The world-famous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show takes place in downtown Sisters for its 49th year! This year’s theme is “Dreamscape.” Stroll through the quaint streets of Sisters admiring amazing hanging quilt creations on every building. The entire town becomes a tapestry of quilts. Check out the classes and talks too.

Sisters | Free

July 19-21

Fairwell Festival

FESTIVAL – Fairwell Festival returns to Deschutes County Fairgrounds! Say hello to three days, three stages and 36+ performances highlighting the sounds of folk, blues, rock, country and soul.

Deschutes County Fairgrounds | Tickets vary; children under 8 free with paid adult

July 17-July 21 & July 24-28

Oregon High Desert Classics

EQUESTRIAN – The Oregon High Desert Classics is a hunterjumper horse show taking place the last two weeks of July at the J Bar J Boys Ranch. The Oregon High Desert Classics is the premier fundraiser for J Bar J Youth Services. The show attracts over 600 horses and 3,000 professionals and amateur competitors from all over the United States and Canada.

J Bar J Boys Ranch | Prices vary

June 22 & 23

Mary Poppins

DANCE – Join in the timeless story of magic, adventure and a nanny who changes everything! Presented by Central Oregon's only Royal Academy of Dance studio, Académie de Ballet Classique. Saturday 6 pm, Sunday 1:30 pm Caldera High School | $18 - $41

July 26-28

Balloons Over Bend

FESTIVAL – Watch the skies come alive with hot air balloon launches at dawn and end the nights with music, food, marketplace shopping and glow-in-the-dark hot air balloons. Bring the kids to the Balloon Blast race which is part of the Kids Rock the Races series! Jewell Elementary, COCC and Deschutes County Fairgrounds | prices vary (launches are free)

June 26

Balloon Blast Kids Race RACE – Head to COCC early for one of Central Oregon’s favorites: a kids-only obstacle race course, perfect for kids ages 3-10. The exciting obstacles are appropriate for children with a wide range of skill levels.

COCC | $10

Summer 2024 | 41
Hot air balloons fill the skies! Don’t miss Balloons Over Bend – July 26-28. Oregon Ballet Theatre 2 brings magic to audiences June 1 at the Tower. Photo by Roseann Dennery Photo courtesy of the Tower Theatre

Build Your Adventure-Ready First Aid Kit

Summertime adventuring is what we live for in Central Oregon. The lakeside strolls, river wading, tadpole catching and lazy paddles fill our idyllic summer days. If your kids are anything like mine, they can often be found rock jumping, traipsing barefoot around campsites and scrambling up any tree in their path. As we let kids be kids and explore to their heart’s content, we as parents expect lots of cuts, bruises and blisters to follow.

To help you prepare for your family outings this summer, we set off to build the perfect travel-ready first aid kit to accompany you on any day or overnight adventure. This kit fits perfectly in a backpack or cooler and has just what you need for your little explorers’ scrapes and tumbles.


What’s Inside

Adventure Medical Kit Ultralight/Watertight Kit .5

Coming in at only 4 ounces, this bag is super lightweight and takes up minimal space. It comes pre-filled with basic first aid supplies to treat any common outdoor injury. The watertight feature is a big must for floating and other waterside activities.

The Bug Thing

Don’t let a mosquito welt or bee sting ruin the weekend. The Bug Thing is a suction tool that removes insect saliva and venom to minimize impact. Removing the poison lessens itching, stinging and swelling from mosquito, wasp and ant bites.

Lavender Hand Sanitizer

Spray sanitizer is an excellent natural remedy for taking away the itch from insect bites. It has antiseptic properties that prevent bites from getting infected and provides relief. Bonus – the lavender scent is both calming and soothing.

Wet Ones

Mole Skin and Scissors

There really is nothing that will ruin a day hike or river adventure quicker than a nasty blister. Luckily, mole skin can cover a hot spot and prevent water and hiking shoes from further rubbing tender feet. Simply cut a strip of mole skin and cover raw skin. Small sewing scissors are also useful to cut the covering to size.

Welly’s Bandages

Having some cool bandages of different sizes in your kit is a must. Welly’s are flexible and come in all sorts of playful prints (even glow in the dark), and there’s just something fun about this brand that kids love! Throw a handful in your kit and cover up those owies in style.


Lollipops can cure just about anything. Have some on hand to soothe tears after a fall or bruise; they’re easy to tuck into the first aid kit for a quick distraction. Want to skip the artificial ingredients? Yum Earth’s Organic Pops are recommended and kid-approved.

Car sickness can put a major damper on any road trip. Kids Dramamine is an excellent item to have on hand to get ahead of the gurgles from those off-the-beaten-paths. Put a few in a

Late night s’mores, star-gazing and excited giggles can make for some long camping nights. Have a few of these at the ready in a Ziplock inside your kit for times when amped-up kids

botanicals, with a pleasant smell is a must when mosquito season is in full swing around the Cascade lakes. Spray the little ones at the trailhead for an

Alba Botanica Mineral

Although this may not fit directly in your kit, keep a mineral sunscreen nearby for easy access to protect sensitive skin from the

Summer 2024 | 43
44 | Offering youth sports leagues and programs for boys and girls in Bend Basketball Soccer Flag Football N ZONE SPORTS MAKES YOUTH SPORTS EASY AND FUN! Practices and games are held back-to-back on weekends only Fun first, recreation leagues with focus on skill development Equal playing time, regardless of ability THE ULTIMATE IN YOUTH SPORTS! New season starting soon! 541-719-8223 NZONESPORTS.COM/CENTRALOREGON 541-383-3005 In-clinic, phone and video visits Sliding scale available Complete Care for Kids From birth to age 18 BEND • REDMOND • MADRAS • PRINEVILLE • SISTERS
200 NE Greenwood Ave.
Se habla español

in the fun for Central Oregon Kids

A Complete Guide to Summer Camps

Abstract in Motion Camp Ages 6 and up 541-505-3318 / campsandevents

Apex Football Ages 6-12 541 977-1358 These four-day camps taught by experienced soccer professionals have a specific theme each week and focus on dribbling, shooting, receiving, as well as feature smallsided games. Three weeks at Big Sky Park are available: July 15-18, July 22-25 and July 29-August 1. Register at

Athletic Club of Bend Ages 6-10


Avid 4 Adventure Grades Pre-K-12 720-249-2412

BEAT Children’s Theater

Ages 4-16


Bend Elks Baseball Club Ages 7-14


Bend Endurance Academy Grades Pre-K-12


Bend Forest School Ages 3-8


Bend FC Soccer Camp Ages 6-11


At Pine Nursery Park, experienced coaching staff will group youth players by skill level to maximize each camper’s development and enjoyment of the game. Bend FC summer camps encourage all players of various abilities to enjoy creative play through small side games, competitions and introductory techniques. Have fun with ball skills, footwork exercises, strategy and teamwork.

46 | Enjoy Going to Church Again Sundays at 9 & 11 am | Sundays at 11 am Does your student struggle with things like time management, planning, self-monitoring, and organization? You are not alone. These are called Executive Function skills, and they can be taught! My services: · 1:1 coaching with students & families · Parent group coaching · Presentations and teacher training Who I work with: · Students in grades 6-12 · College students · Adults · People with (and without) ADHD, Autism & other learning differences (541)771-7195 Carrie Bonnett Executive Function Coach Executive Function Coaching thank you for the opportunity to serve your families, our community and each other! A Kazillion wonders honored! we’re Best grocery store 100% employeeowned grocery store We’re proud to be Bend’s only local

Bend Park and Rec

All ages


Grab the BRPD’s latest playbook for a wide variety of affordable summer camps for all ages. From overnight adventure camps to daily art classes, the offerings are extensive and inspiring. There truly is something for everyone! Check out the website for more information and to register for all sessions.

Bend Rock Gym

Ages 6-16


Bend Science Station Grades 1-8


Big Lake Youth Camp

Ages 7-17


Camp Fire Central Oregon Grades Pre-K-12


Through playful, inclusive, affordable and powerful out-ofclass experiences, Camp Fire Central Oregon connects young people to the outdoors, to others and to themselves. They provide young people with a space where they feel like they truly belong through a progression of youth programs, including afterschool and out-of-school programs, teen service and leadership camps, summer camps and STEM programs.

Camp Homestead

Ages 6-12

Camp Invention Grades K-6

Camp Tamarack

Ages 8-12


Cascade Indoor Sports

Ages 7-13

541-330-1183 sports-camp

Cascade School of Music

Ages 6-15


Step into the world of music this summer! Kids interested in learning a musical instrument will delight in these quality summer camps. Beginners learn basic chords and strumming patterns in the Ukulele Camp (ages 6-10, grouped by age), while older rock band enthusiasts won’t want to miss Feedback Band Camp (ages 9-15, with a max of eight students). Check the website for specific camp dates and times.

Cascades Academy

Grades K-5

541-382-0699 camp-create

Camp CREATE stands for Creatively Redefining Education through Adventurous Teachable Experiences. Enjoy fun-filled, experiential-based camps perfect for elementary students. Each camp theme is based in one of the following experiential learning modalities: Robotics, STEAM, Nature or Arts/Music. Camps are offered seven weeks from July 8 –August 16, 9 am–3 pm. Financial aid offered for low-income students.

Central Oregon

Gymnastics Academy

Ages 6-12


Chockstone Climbing

Ages 12-17



The Circuit Gym

Ages 6-12


The Circuit offers award-winning summer bouldering camps from June to August, Monday through Friday, 9 am–2 pm. Kids climb in a fun, social environment where they problem solve and build confidence on and off the wall. Camps are offered weekly with scholarships available for lowincome families.

COCC Youth Camp

Ages 10-15

Dana’s Discovery Kids

Ages 3-8


The Dance Connection


Spend time this summer with Bend’s premier dance studio that focuses on training dancers of all ages and skill levels. Brought together by a common bond of movement and music, they connect, create and celebrate dance. Check the website for all the details of these exciting dance camps.

Diane’s Riding Place

Ages 7 and up 541-408-1731

summer CAMPS

FC Timbers

Grades 1-6


Offering six weeks of summer camps at Pine Nursery Park, FC Timbers welcomes youth soccer players who are looking for a bridge between recreational and competitive play, while still enjoying camp games and activities. Learn ball manipulation and other important elements in small groups that are divided by skill level. Multi-week and sibling discounts are available.

Free Spirit Yoga + Fitness + Play

Ages 4-13


High energy kids will get their ya-ya’s out this summer, while making new friends and learning important skills. Depending on your child’s age, choose between the Nano-Ninja camp (ages 4-6), the Kids Ninja Warrior camp (ages 6-10) or the Ninja Elite camp (ages 9-13). For future yogis, enroll them in the Kids Yoga camp (ages 5-8) or the Tween Yoga camp (ages 9-13). Check the website for specific dates and times.

High Cascade Snowboard Camp

Ages 9-20


Spring 2024 | 47
48 | Roller skating and sports in the heart of Bend! Schedules, fees and details at The Pavilion 1001 SW Bradbury Way • (541) 389-7588 Open Skate & Skatepark Drop-in Friday Night Roller Dancing Saturday Night Adult Roller Jam $5 Sunday Family Skate $5 Parent-Tot Skate & Play ROLLER SKATING | IN-LINE SKATING SKATEBOARDING | SCOOTERING ROLLER HOCKEY LEAGUES & CLINICS COVERED OUTDOOR RINK & SKATEPARK FEATURES let’s roll the pavilion Schedules, fees and details at The Pavilion 1001 SW Bradbury Way • (541) 389-7588 Friday Night Roller Dancing Saturday Night Adult Roller Jam $5 Sunday Family Skate $5 Parent-Tot Skate & Play ROLLER SKATING | IN-LINE SKATING SKATEBOARDING | SCOOTERING ROLLER HOCKEY LEAGUES & CLINICS Roller skating and sports in the heart of Bend! Schedules, fees and details at The Pavilion 1001 SW Bradbury Way • (541) 389-7588 Open Skate & Skatepark Drop-in Friday Night Roller Dancing Saturday Night Adult Roller Jam $5 Sunday Family Skate $5 Parent-Tot Skate & Play ROLLER SKATING | IN-LINE SKATING SKATEBOARDING | SCOOTERING ROLLER HOCKEY LEAGUES & CLINICS COVERED OUTDOOR RINK & SKATEPARK FEATURES let’s roll the pavilion 541.241.6371 Pediatrician & Lactation Consultant Choose experienced and personalized care for your kids In-network with many insurance plans Nutrition services by Lori Brizee, RD Telehealth appointments available. In office appointments are spaced out, limiting contact between patients. 541.848.6642 Offices in Bend and Redmond Dr. Blair Struble Dr. Madeline Peterson Dr. Jacqueline Gambee for Voting us Best Orthodontist! Thank You Central Oregon *actual patient smiles

High Desert Museum

K-5th grades


Jordan Kent Multi-Sport Camp

Ages 6-12

888-832-6984 (voice mail)

MBSEF Cycling

Ages 8-19


Mudpies and Lullabies

Ages 3-5

Enjoy nine weeks of messy, sandy, sticky, out-of-this world, adventurous fun! Themed camps run Mondays-Thursdays with morning and afternoon sessions available, as well as Friday Fun Days, featuring a water slide or bounce house. Please email for more information. Sessions start June 24 and end August 23. Children must be potty trained.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Grades K-12


Oregon Olympic Athletics

Ages 5-11


Outward Bound Summer Adventure Camps

Ages 12-18


R.A.D. Camps

Ages 7-17

541-410-7258 /rad-camps

Rhinestone Ranch

Ages 5-18

541-241-6149 summer-camps.html

Samara Learning Center

Ages 6-17


Seven Peaks School Grades 1-9


Offering two camps this summer: Balanced Artist Camp, July 8-12 and Balanced Actor Camp, July 15-19. Seven Peaks believes that learning should be fun, engaging and transformational. Campers will have an opportunity to explore several different mediums including music, visual arts and theater. Learn creative skills and make new friends! Open to students not enrolled at Seven Peaks, too.

Sunriver Nature Center

Ages 4-14


Sylvan Learning Center Grades 1 - 6


Explore the amazing world of robotics by programming with Lego’s® latest technology. Students use creativity and problem-solving skills while building innovative robots that come to life during Robotics Camp (Grades 1-5). Students investigate software engineering skills in the new Coding Camp (Grades 3-6) and learn to create their own programs, games and interactive stories as they apply basic coding skills. There are six weeks of camps offered in Northwest Crossing, Mondays through Thursdays. Check out the complete schedule online.

Terpsichorean Dance Studio Ages 3-17


Think Wild Grades 1-6

summer CAMPS


Tula Movement Arts

Ages 3 and up 541-322-6887

Tula is THE place for kids’ fun! There is something this summer for all ages, including Paint and Play (in collaboration with Let’s Paint Central Oregon), Preschool Summer Camps, Aerial Mini Summer Camp, Tula Tumble and Fly Camps, and don’t forget, the Magical Summer Showcase! Find out all the details on their website.

Tumalo Creek Kayak Kids Paddle Sports Adventure Camp Ages 8-15


Upstream Explorers Summer Camp Ages 6-10


upperdeschuteswatershedcouncil. org/ join-us/summer-camp/

Wildheart Nature School Summer Camps Ages 3-12

541-625-0273 summer-camps

Wondery Art + Adventure Camp Ages 6-12


Summer 2024 | 49

May 21, 2024 | 4pm - 6PM

We started the OnPoint Savers Account for children 17 and under so that kids can get a head start on learning healthy savings habits. Just open your child’s membership with a minimum of $25 and we’ll deposit an additional $55*. Plus, they’ll earn 5.00%* on the first $500. Not a bad way to start for a beginner, don’t you think? Get started today. Visit

*Rates subject to change. Stated APY (Annual Percentage Yield) is for balances up to $500; balances over $500 earn posted Regular Savings Account rate. Account must be established for members age 17 or younger by parent or guardian with a minimum $25 deposit. Parent or legal guardian must be on the membership and present to open the OnPoint Savers Account. When primary member attains the age of 18, accounts will be converted to Regular Savings Account, earning that account’s published rate at that time. Fiduciary memberships, including UTTMA and Minor Settlement Accounts are not eligible for OnPoint Savers. One OnPoint Savers Account per member/TIN. One $55 bonus per tax ID for new members only. Bonus will be included on a 1099-INT for tax purposes. Cannot be combined with other offers for opening a new membership, such as new branch promotions or Refer a Friend. Federally insured by NCUA. 4/24

50 |
We’re celebrating 30+ years of serving Central Oregon families with food, desserts and a ribbon cutting at our new Bend location! 2500 NE Twin Knolls Dr Bend, OR 97701
The winner of the Central Oregon Parent Educator/Home Visitor of 2024 will be announced!
Family Resource Center of Central Oregon’s
Parking is limited Carpooling encouraged!
Learning to save is a skill that lasts a lifetime.
Bend Downtown Bend South Redmond


Park Ranger!

“Learn, Explore, Protect”

Families who have visited one or more of the U.S. National Parks may be familiar with this motto and the Junior Ranger program. This is a super fun and educational way for kids to learn about the variety of natural landscapes throughout the country. Plus, you get to collect cool badges!

I have a healthy respect for park rangers. In fact, I’m downright jealous. Of all the careers in the world, it seems one of the most exciting. Imagine spending your days surrounded by the majestic scenery of Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon or many other of the most beautiful places in the world. And besides, have you ever met a park ranger who isn’t friendly?

Families can participate in the Junior Ranger program by picking up an activity booklet when they arrive at participating parks, usually at the visitor center. Some parks have them available online for those eager to get a head start. Next comes

to determine the health of the water, learning about constellations on a spooky night walk or seeing birds of prey up close.

Fortunately, there is no time limit to complete the required activities. When done, your child will return the booklet to a park ranger and recite a motto, taking an oath of their own to “protect parks, continue to learn about parks and share their own ranger story with friends and family.”

Congratulations! Your child is now an official Junior Ranger and receives a badge specific to that park.

Nearest to Bend, the Newberry National Monument offers the Junior Ranger program. At Newberry, families will learn about the cataclysmic volcanic history of the region, identify various rocks, search the area for local birds and get lessons in geology, geography, and other sciences. Have you ever explored the

Summer 2024 | 51 PhotobyJoshuaSavage PhotobyRoseannDennery

Another spot within driving distance is Crater Lake, Oregon’s only national park. Here, young rangers imagine and create their own ideal park in their activity book. They also learn tips about how to protect the wildlife, explore the history of Mount Mazama and get to play Bingo! Some Oregon State Parks also offer the Junior Ranger program as well. Stop by a ranger station or visitor center during a visit or check online to verify.

According to the National Park Service, over 200 badges across the county can be earned. Many badges have unique shapes and sizes. Some are made of wood, others of cloth, but most are plastic. They all display the name of the national park. Visitor gift shops often have banners or vests to purchase if you want to proudly display them all in one place, or get a wooden box like we have to keep them as souvenirs.

The Junior Ranger program creates an opportunity to spark a lifelong interest and appreciation for our country’s natural beauty. It’s an outstanding way to learn about the diverse region and landscapes of the United States.

While my girls are working through the booklets, I often learn along with them. Honestly, I’ve earned a few badges on my own as an adult. I’m not sure if it was technically allowed (most Junior Rangers are between the ages of 5 and 13) but the ranger could probably tell I was a kid at heart.

The Junior Ranger program creates an opportunity to spark a lifelong interest and appreciation for our country’s natural beauty. It’s an outstanding way to learn about the diverse region and landscapes of the United States. And you’ll have keepsakes for years to come as mementos of your adventuring together. Make sure to add this experience to your list of family must-do’s this summer!

Where to go OUTDOORS

Check out these regional destinations that offer the Junior Ranger program!

Crater Lake National Park

Junior Rangers discover the explosive history of Mount Mazama, read the legends of the Klamath peoples, search for wildlife and more at Oregon’s only national park.

Newberry National Monument

Central Oregon’s closest spot to earn a badge, this national monument offers Junior Rangers a chance to explore a lava tube, learn about fascinating rocks and hike the rim of a volcano.

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Learn about ancient life and interesting landscapes of Oregon and view fossils of plants and animals dating back to over 40 million years.



Junior Rangers learn about John McLoughlin, the Father of Oregon, with the option to drive to nearby Vancouver, WA to see one of the first airplanes ever used in flight.

Oregon Caves National Monument

Near the California and Oregon borders are the “Marble Halls of Oregon” where Junior Rangers tour caves, learn about the critters who live inside (like bats and insects) and more.



the End of the Oregon Trail

Find out how early settlers made it across the United States to the Oregon Territory. Junior Rangers load wagons, make candles and see remnants of how homesteaders survived the trials and tribulations of early life in Oregon.

Summer 2024 | 53
Photo by Joshua Savage


Will you share one highlight of motherhood?

I thought I’d mourn the loss of my kids being “little.” Like most parents, the pre-teen and teen years scared me, if I’m honest, but as my girls have entered this new phase, I’m finding it to be such a sweet time. I cherish the moments when they suddenly pour out their hearts (always right before bed when I’m exhausted, of course) and I’ll never forget the nervous giggles when my almost 14-year-old recounted the boy who planned to ask her on her first date (which she politely declined… phew!).

What do you hope your children will take with them into adulthood?

My husband and I always remind ourselves that we aren’t raising kids, we’re raising adults. We “imagine the end” when our kids are 18 and on their own, so we’re more concerned with who they are than what they do. I hope we’ve helped shaped their hearts to desire the right things and the right choices for themselves.

What has it been like to be a full-time working mom juggling your professional aspirations and home life?

I’ve always felt a little torn between this calling and also the calling I feel to be a mom. I am so blessed with a husband who has encouraged me and arranged his schedule to support my working. Being a pastor family who cares for other families hasn’t been without sacrifice, but my kids love that their mom puts on “the best” events for the community, like Pumpkin Patch and Easter Party and that they get to be a part of it all. Now, as they get older, they love to be a part of serving others as well. How is being a children’s pastor like being a parent?

Things I’ve said as a parent and as a kid’s pastor are, “We don’t eat playdough,” “How many boxes of goldfish crackers do we have left?” “This is a glitter-free zone.” and “You are loved no matter what.”

Kirstin Vlodica, Children’s

Pastor at New Hope Church

Kirstin is a wife, mom and a pastor at New Hope Church in Bend, where she has worked in family ministry for 16 years. She and her husband, Tyler, have two daughters, Avaree (14) and Maycie (11). When she doesn’t have her nose stuck in a book, she loves family time, riding bikes on the river trail and having friends over for dinner.

What is your advice for parenting this upcoming generation? Every child needs to hear another voice saying the same thing a loving parent says. I’m learning this first-hand. Even though my kids might not want to tell me everything, they have other trusted adults in their life they can talk to. Statistics (RAAP data) show that kids who don’t have at least one other trusted adult in their lives are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and are more likely to experience depression and thoughts of self-harm. Parents, it’s time to widen our circle of influence and invite other trusted adults into the lives of our kids.

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of advice when you were in the throes of raising young children, what would it be?

I would remind myself that my kids don’t need me to be perfect and that more is accomplished through my honest admission of my shortcomings than trying to hold it all together. And I would say, “I’m sorry” and “Forgive me” more often. I want my kids to know that they don’t have to be perfect, because I didn’t hold myself to an impossible standard of perfection, either.

What are some of the biggest issues facing parents in our community?

At New Hope, we’ve been focused this past year on parenting with mental health in mind. A child’s mental health has the power to influence everything in their world. It’s almost a guarantee that your child or someone they know will struggle with a mental health challenge. Depression, anxiety and other emotional challenges are on the rise. We know it and feel it as parents. Access to resources, training for parents and developing a faith that is relevant is where I’m focused when it comes to supporting parents this year.

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