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THE Local Guide for Active Urban Families April 2011


It’s Our Annual

Green Issue!

Camp Guide, Part 1: Sleepover & Family Camps Multi-Cultural Parenting

CBC’s Margaret Gallagher April 2011


the smart choice in education enriched curriculum individualized reading, writing, math, science, computers, music, arts, French, sports, drama, yoga, dance specialized programs traditional 3 year cefa™ Junior Kindergarten program for 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 year olds; cefa baby™ for 1-2 year olds excellent faculty cefa™ certified teachers also licensed in ece and trained in montessori and reggio. Loving and nurturing teachers inspire children to learn using exclusive cefa™ educational methods and games full day or part-time school on-site chef, classrooms of 12-16 children, cinema, circus, art room and art gallery West Vancouver 2008 Park Royal South 604.913.7713 Canada Way 4970 Canada Way 604.299.2373 Langley 100-19950 88th Avenue East 604.881.2332 North Vancouver 402-935 Marine Drive 604.929.2332 New Westminster 725 Carnarvon Street 604.777.0053 White Rock 15300 Croydon Drive 778.294.2646 Richmond 10811 No. 4 Road 604.275.2332 Vancouver 2946 Commercial Drive 604.879.2332 Kingsway 4021 Kingsway 604.568.8808

604 708-CEFA (2332)

Established in 1998




April 2011


Your Passport To Summer $45.00!

Fun for “Kids” ages 4 - 15 for only days of adventure July 1st – August 31st! Including September Dates!

65+ To Do…

A different & unique event/activity every day of the summer!

Railway awly’s; West Coast Playland; Crash Cr ; Burnaby gy olo rop th An of um Heritage Park; Muse Gulf of ; rm Fa re neybee Cent Village Museum; Ho e; Maplewood Sit ric to His l na tio Georgia Cannery Na Dairy a Tour; Aldor Acres Farms; Rogers Aren tre ea Th ; ey Pr of ds ge Bir Centre; Raptor Rid ture Railway; nia Mi rk Pa ley an St Under The Stars; hop; Harbour seum; Opera Works Vancouver Police Mu t goes on! Cruise… and the lis

With a membership, $45.00 KIDSWORLDEE for both ALL events are FR parent! the child AND one

To register your kids, complete the form below, clip & mail to the KIDSWORlD office:

323 East 6th St. North Vancouver, V7l 1P7 with a cheque payable to KIDSWORlD @ $45.00/child

Fill out the form or go online at: for more information as well as Membership Application. Please Print Clearly Child’s Name ________________________________ Age _______________ 2nd Child’s Name _____________________________ Age _______________ Address____________________________________ City _______________Postal _____________ Phone # ____________________________________ Parent’s Signature _____________________ (add more names on separate sheet of paper) limited Memberships Available!

Visit our website: or call “hotline” @ 604-983-9799 4

April 2011



THE Local Guide for Active Urban Families April 2011

April 2011

It’s Our Annual

Green Issue!

Top Story

Camp Guide, Part 1: Sleepover & Family Camps Multi-Cultural Parenting

It’s our annual Green Issue!

CBC’s Margaret Gallagher April 2011


On Our Cover

Maxine, who is not yet two (and daughter of our WestCoast Mom this month), is ready for spring and sun! Photographed by Bopomo Pictures.

From the Editor 8 8 10 12 15 25 26

Editor’s Note Your Thoughts Contests WCF Presents WCF News Where to Find Us Community Calendar

27 27 WCM Profile CBC’s Margaret Gallagher 28 WCM Feature Spring Into an Organized Life 29 WCM Events

Green shopping, finds, activities and more!



It’s Camping Time! 17 Sleepover vs. Day Camps 19 Camp Guide, Part 1: Sleepover & Family Camps 22 Free and Easy Camping in the USA Green Issue! 14 Green Finds 23 Where the Wild Things Are 24 Green Shopping Guide 25 Kids in City Hall: Encouraging Your Kids to be Civic-Minded

Columns 14 16 17 22 24 30

WestCoast Finds Parenting Multicultural Parenting Help Me Sara! Sleepover vs. Day Camps Travel Free and Easy Camping in the USA In the Kitchen No Small Potatoes Last Look Spring Ladybugs!

In Our Next Issue Sign Up for Our Email Blast And get Exclusive Access to Online Contests Latest Finds & Deals Special Offers Event Listings …and much more!

May Family Travel & Adventure Guide Camp Guide, Part 2: Day Camps Pets

Follow us on Twitter! 6

WestCoast Mom: Getaways

April 2011


“Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.” ~Henrik Tikkanen, Finnish author (1924-1984)


he cherry trees are in bloom, the skies are (occasionally) blue and the capris have come out of the back of the closet—it must be spring, and, therefore, it’s time for our annual green issue. It makes sense that everyone talks more robustly about sustainability in the spring. Our gardens are ready to be worked in again, outdoor activities beckon and bikes and helmets are once again a common sight on neighbourhood streets. But the idea of being sustainable, of living a responsible life, has expanded beyond such simple acts as recycling, reusing, etc. And it’s no longer just about eating more local, organic produce and free-range meats. A more holistic tendency has begun, one that encompasses everything from community gardens and farmers’ markets to household items made from re-purposed goods and civic involvement. It seems apathy is the biggest environmental—and social—killer of all. Our current political situation is proof of that. So perhaps the best thing we can all do is get passionate again. Not about everything and everyone—most parents really don’t have the time or energy that entails—but we can get passionate about some things. It doesn’t matter if it’s your kid’s school garden, a neighbourhood initiative, or just turning part of your water-hogging lawn into a working kitchen garden. It can be as simple as turning those old clothes

Photographed by eclipseph

editor’s note

into dishrags instead of throwing them out, donating old shoes, or using free services like TerraCycle to turn non-recyclable items to good use—and keep them out of landfills. Once you start looking for ways to get involved, it’s amazing what you can find—and that goes for your kids as well. “Children are our future” may be a tired old cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. And if you’re looking to renew or ignite some passion, kids are the best catalyst around. Their innate curiosity and ability to easily embrace new concepts and ideas makes them ideal students on how to get green. Just be sure to stay consistent. If you begin to quote the perils of waste and landfills, don’t let your child catch subsequently chucking a plastic water bottle into the trash bin—the accusing glare will shrink you at least a foot. April also means the return of our annual camp guide features. This month we focus on sleepover and family camps; next month it’s day camps. Whatever you decide to do with your kids, I hope you enjoy some time together and wish you a happy—and sustainable— spring.

13988 Maycrest Way, Suite 140, 2nd Floor Richmond, BC V6V 3C3 Tel: 604.249.2866 Fax: 604.247.1331 ­ ublisher P Andrea Vance Managing Editor Anya Levykh Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Accounts Receivable & Bookkeeping Jennifer Brulé Administration / Editorial Assistant Jennifer Bruyns Advertising Inquiries 604-249-2866 For distribution inquiries, please contact: Jennifer Bruyns Contributors: Bopomo Pictures, Debbie Bowman, Krystal Brennan, Jennifer Bruyns, Linda Chu, Sara Dimerman, Tracy Ridell, Andrea Undseth, Bev Yaworski.

WestCoast Families (WCF) is an independent, regional parenting publication. As the Lower Mainland’s prime resource for happy, healthy & active families, WCF provides informative and relevant content.

your thoughts Thanks for the great article on body image last month [March, Raising Your Kids with a Healthy Body Image]. I think this is an issue that too many parents overlook, myself included, for both boys and girls. I would like to see more articles on this topic in future. Leeann K. I really like your January/February cover, cute kids! How can I get my kids on the cover?? Emily L.

While I enjoyed your article last month on hockey parents [March, Parenting], I don’t think it’s fair to single out hockey as home to inappropriate parents. My sons both play soccer and lacrosse, where I have witnessed some of the rudest behaviour I have ever seen from parents. It’s just as unacceptable as in hockey, and those parents should be banned from the activities if they don’t “manage” themselves. Better regulations and consistent enforcement in all team sports is key. Jennifer R.

All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families. PUBLICATIONS MAIL 40027247 Published nine times per year in British Columbia, Canada. Total circulation: 50,000 For queries about editorial submissions, please view the contributor guidelines on our website. To submit a community calendar event or share your feedback, please email

Editor’s Note: We are always happy to see our readers’ kids! If you’re interested in seeing your kids on our cover, please email a recent snapshot of your child to and your child may be on a future cover!

Got anything to say, rant about or praise? We want to hear it all! Email with your comments, questions and suggestions, and be entered to win monthly prizes! 8

WestCoast Families is proud to have been selected as a mom-friendly employer for the 2010 Progressive Employers of Canada List. And congratulations to our fellow inductees!

April 2011



Enter to win any of these great prizes online at!

WIN! Four (4) Tickets to Opening Night of Fiddler on the Roof! (Value $280) WIN! One Week at Digital Media Academy Summer Camp! (Value $795)

This Tony Award® winning musical that has captured the hearts of people all over the world with its universal appeal, embarks on its North American tour. Tevye, humble milkman, harried husband and devoted father to five marriageable daughters, invites us into his little village of Anatevka. Here, there is a tradition for everything—how to eat, how to wear clothes, how to pray, how to marry...all of which are happily imparted by our earthy philosopher as he draws us into Fiddler on the Roof. It is a remarkable journey traveling through secret love, forbidden betrothal, weddings, devotion and forgiveness, tempered by rejection, oppression and imminent revolution. And, emerging through it all, we find the humor, strength and perseverance of Tevye and his people, reminding us of life’s never-ending circle. WIN! Four (4) tickets to the opening night performance on Friday, April 29, 2011 at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts.

Digital Media Academy is Vancouver’s premier computer and digital arts summer camp. Teens (ages 12-18), and kids (ages 6-12) spend one or two weeks on the beautiful University of British Columbia campus learning video game design, digital photography, filmmaking, web design or app development. No other camp offers DMA’s unique, high-tech camp experience. DMA’s instructors are industry professionals who share their experience while combining hands-on learning with high-tech adventure. Create your own unique media projects in a sophisticated and exciting learning environment. WIN! One week of camp of your choice (not including meals or accommodation; subject to availability) at Digital Media Academy! Deadline to Enter: April 18, 2011 Deadline to Enter: April 30, 2011


April 2011


wcf presents

KIDSWORLD 2011! “Your Passport to Summer!” Wondering what to do with your kids during the long summer months? Wonder no more! After 10 months in school, every kid and parent needs the 65+ days of KIDSWORLD! With your $45 membership fee per child, KIDSWORLD offers children between the ages of four and 15 years (not intended for children under the age of four years), accompanied by a parent/guardian, an opportunity to explore their community together, all summer long, while learning along the way! A different event/activity in a different location, every day of summer, with all events/activities offering FREE admission for both the child and one accompanying parent/guardian. Experience events like a Harbour Cruise; Theatre Under The Stars; Playland; Burnaby Village Museum; Crash Crawly’s; Maplewood Farm; Westcoast Railway Heritage Park and the list goes on. See ad/membership application in this issue or visit for more info.

Surrey Early Years Festival North Surrey Recreation Centre April 30, 10am-2pm Come out for a fun family day designed for families with children from birth to six years. Interactive games, arts, crafts, bouncy castles, children’s performers, face painting, balloons, community resources and much more! This year will feature Bobs & Lolo as the main stage performers and Chris Hamilton as Emcee. First 500 people will receive a free goodie bag! Event is indoors rain or shine! For more info call 604.502.6300.


Earth Fest Family Nature Festival Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion 6871 Roberts St, Burnaby April 16, 11am-3pm The Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. will be hosting this fun family event. Free activities include nature trails, chickadee bird and bee house building, canoe rides, prize draws and wildlife crafts and games, plus community exhibitors. See more info at

April 2011


westcoast finds

Green Finds Ocean Wise App for iPhone Search over 3,000 Ocean Wise restaurants and suppliers for sustainable seafood choices, search and browse different seafood species, locate nearby Ocean Wise restaurants and markets via GPS mapping, and get seafood recommendations. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Free on iTunes.

Otterbottle’s Hot New Line From the Canadian company known for their whimsical stainless steel water bottles comes a new line of insulated food and beverage containers, with the same eco-friendly build. Insulated food container, $21.99. Insulated beverage container, $23.99. See website for list of retailers.

iQ—The Smarter Cleaner Toxin and chemical free, iQ uses the water from your tap and a small cartridge of earth friendly concentrate that you mix in with your own spray bottle. Each time the cleaner runs out, you just add more water to your existing spray bottle, pop in a new cartridge and watch it dispense a complete new bottle of cleaner. Starter kit $5.49. Refill cartridge $2.79. Available at Walmart, Whole Foods, London Drugs and natural health retailers.

Scraps—Vancouver’s First Green General Store This lovely Main Street store was opened by two local moms and carries everything from eco-friendly housewares and art supplies to repurposed fashion, bags and accessories, plus sustainable and fair trade clothes, toys, jewellery and beauty products.

4770 Main St. | 604.569.0144 |

Saf and Benjamin Opens in Yaletown! With clothing lines like Mini Mioche and Knuckleheads, shoes from See Kai Run, and unique and eco-friendly gifts, this store is one eco-cool find for Yaletown and downtown parents. Online store launching in April, and strollers will be on the floor in May.

1081 Marinaside Crescent | 778.999.3510 |

G o o d R i d d a n ce ! S h ow i n g Clutter the Door by Susan Borax and Heather Knittel Splice Those Lice! Come spring and summer, and lice makes its way into many households—and heads. Lice 911 is Canada’s only completely natural head lice removal and education agency. And now they’ve launched their new Head Lice Screening & Removal Kit, with all the tools you need to get rid of those pesky nits at home, including an instructional DVD. $89.95.


A clever mixture of gentle mockery and brutally honest advice designed to rid your home of C.R.U.D. (Completely Ridiculous, Useless Debris), this humorous take on getting organized identifies the 101 household clutter items responsible for most of the congestion in our homes and explains how to get rid of the C.R.U.D. SRP $14.95.

wcf news


9:26 PM

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Tagged, You’re It! At Least Online… How many of us have taken a picture of our child with our phone, and immediately uploaded it to Facebook, Twitter or a personal site? Did you know that you could be compromising your family’s safety by doing so? It’s true. Whether you use an iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone, if you don’t make sure to turn off your phone camera’s location finder, then someone with less than honourable intentions could view your EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data and find your specific GPS coordinates. Fixing the problem is easy; simply locate your camera settings, and make sure the location finder is turned off. For help, contact your mobile service provider.

Enjoy Guilt-Free Dessert All Month For the month of April, Cactus Club restaurants in BC and Alberta are donating all proceeds from every sale of their Peanut Butter Crunch Bar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help make a wish for a dream trip to Maui come true for Grace, a twelve year old Surrey, B.C. native. Grace was born with biliary atresia and was admitted to BC Children’s Hospital for her first surgery at nine weeks old. Since then, Grace has received two liver transplants and numerous hospitalizations. Her love of outdoor activities makes a trip to Maui truly a perfect fit for Grace and her family. For more info on Grace and Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit To find a Cactus Club location near you, visit

We bring FUN science to you!

Hands On and Minds On, Mad Science is the h he Leading Fun Science Provider for Kids. Ask About our Exciting: • Birthday Parties • Events • School Programs • Pre-School Programs m re • Camps • In-Class field trips and more… Looking to spark your Children’s Imagination? ion? Give Mad Science a Call! 604-591-9115 9115 91 15 e-mail: • /vancouver /vanc ver

Zox of the Forest Why hire a clown when you can hire a ZOX? Playful skits, theatrical storytelling, animal puppet characters

& interactive guitar sing-along songs.

Zox is perfect for children’s birthday & Christmas parties too!

David Cooper (604) 710-4234 |

Love gorillas & want to save their environment... Bring your cell phone for recycling & receive 2 for 1 admission. Reduce, re-use and recycle - learn about animal poop & our composting facility!

Earth Day Celebration on April 23, 2011 Dedicated to conservation, preservation & protection of endangered species! 604-856-6825 • 5048 – 264th Street • Aldergrove, BC • V4W 1N7 • Exit #73 off Highway #1

April 2011



Multicultural Parenting Adjusting to Life in a New Country By Bev Yaworski


anada is a country that values and celebrates its rich and diverse multicultural heritage. Each year, B.C. welcomes an average of 40,000 new immigrants. In 2009, immigrants to B.C. came from over 175 countries. According to the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education & Labour Market Development, the top five source countries were Mainland China, India, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and South Korea. How do newcomer families adjust to their new country? Each family’s experience of arriving in a new country is unique. In any discussion of cultural integration, it’s important to avoid stereotypes. Adjustment may depend on many conditions such as a newcomer’s socio-economic and cultural background. Families may arrive with a mixture of excitement and confusing emotions. Delta, B.C. parents Li Feng and Jian Jun An, along with son Andrew, immigrated from China to Canada about four years ago. Li, mother of the family, recalls that life in British Columbia was very different from their family life in Mainland China. The first year in Canada was particularly hard because mother and son were separated from father Jian, who was still living in China and working to help support and establish his family from afar. “For the first year, I wanted to go back to China,” says Li. “I was very sad living here. We couldn’t communicate with anyone because of our difficulty with English. I also felt very scared. Life was much more expensive here. And could we afford to live here?” Initially, mother and son lived in Richmond, but after the first year they moved to Delta when the father arrived. Their son soon began to fit in at his new school. Li commented on the differences she notices in schooling between China and BC. “In Chinese schools, teachers are very strict and there is a lot more pressure to study, study, study. If my son got low scores in China, he was strongly criticized by his teachers. In Canada, my son finds the teachers very friendly. Even if he does not understand the teacher, he feels they are very relaxed and nice with him. He feels better about his teachers here.” Li recalls that many parents in China are quite serious about wanting to improve their children. “They tell them to study, study. Parents schedule many after-school classes—music, art, language classes, etc. With such a large population in China, parents may feel extra competitive pressure to help their children prepare for future jobs.” The policy of one child per family may also place added attention on that one single child, possibly making it difficult for some children to learn early how to get along with others. Li teaches art to children five to 15 years and notices that children in her classes with brothers and sisters tend to help each other and are very friendly with one another. Canadian parents, she feels, are more relaxed and less likely to pressure and over-schedule their children. After immigrating, parents Li and Jian opened an art studio and began teaching art classes. They now have over 70 students. Son Andrew has blossomed with his English lessons, made many new friends, gets excellent marks and is following in his parent’s footsteps by pursuing his artistic talents. He hopes this may lead to an art animation career. The family also enthusiastically enjoys snowboard and skiing outings. The Latta family of four emigrated from Burma-Myanmar to B.C. about two years ago. Their transition to life in Canada was made easier because English is taught in most Burmese schools. The family’s move was precipitated by the unstable Burmese political climate and the hope for a better life for the family. “We came here because I was thinking about my kids’ future,” says Mr. Latta. “It’s a big change here, and my children are getting a better education than in our hometown. My children studied English in their Burma schools, but we didn’t speak it, so they have had to learn how to speak English better. They are fine now and pretty happy here and have made new friends.”


Both families credit the services of the Delta School District Settlement Worker program and staff, such as Della Li, for helping them through initial challenging times by providing them with direction into English classes, help with completing paperwork, employment leads and valuable ongoing support. Richmond Family Place Family Support Workers Rekha Naik and Ana Machado also assist families with settlement and integration into Canadian culture. Through the Early Years Bridging Project, they provide support for new and current refugee families living in Richmond with children under six years of age. Programs such as “Play & Learn Drop-In” or “Bridging Out Trips” involve socialization activities in locations such as parks, pools and playgrounds. Naik and Machado emphasize that families arriving in Canada as refugees face different challenges from other immigrants. Refugees come less prepared for life in a new country. Many have lived in camps and experienced years of crisis, trauma and insecurity. The choice to leave their homeland has not been their own. English skills are usually much less when they arrive. A refugee family’s adjustment to Canadian life can take much longer. Newcomers may undergo genuine culture shock, report Naik and Machado. They may feel overwhelmed with all their experiences: paperwork not in their native language, school arrangements for children, loss of extended family support, loneliness, isolation and depression. Many immigrant parents come from countries where a more autocratic, authoritarian parenting style is the norm. It can come as quite an uncomfortable, shocking surprise to see Canada’s more democratic parenting methods. Organizations like Richmond Family Place offer parenting courses to help in this adjustment to learning to listen to children, “to talk with” rather then “talk at” their children—and encourage a permissive parental approach that allows children more freedoms than might have been allowed in the native country. Sensitive parenting issues such as discipline may be very different in the new country. Immigrants may have come from countries where spanking was accepted and “talking back” to an adult is not tolerated—only to find that now they must learn a new way of handling child/parent conflict. Newcomer parents may question the value of family activities such as non-structured play and learning and the drop-in type of approach to learning that uses songs, rhymes and toys. These parents may feel that their children should be involved in more “productive” organized activities like doing the dishes or practicing the piano. It can be difficult to retain one’s own culture while adjusting to a new one. Many settlement agencies now offer Family Life Education aimed at equipping families with the proper knowledge, skills and attitudes so that they can successfully go through various developmental stages and life transitions. Most B.C. helping agencies believe that immigrant parents of young children should have access to culturally appropriate Early Childhood Development (ECD) resources to help build the foundation of their children’s development. This foundation will reinforce Canada’s policies of multicultural harmony, diversity, equality, tolerance and respect.

Resources Delta School District Settlement Workers in School | 604.952.2899 North Shore Multicultural Society | 604.988.2931 | Richmond Family Place Early Years Bridging Programs 604.278.4336 | Reach Community Health Centre/Multicultural Family Centre (Vancouver) 604.254.6468 | S.U.C.C.E.S.S Family Life Education | 604.408.7266

help me sara!

Sleepover vs. Day Camps By Sara Dimerman


rowing up in South Africa, sleepover camps weren’t nearly as popular. Or maybe it was just me who didn’t care to know much about them. I hated the idea of not having a washroom in my cabin and having to make my way to one with only a flashlight to guide me. And I didn’t want to sit around camp fires listening to ghost stories that I feared would keep me awake at night. My husband, on the other hand, looked forward to the entire sleeping away from home experience. He loved the independence, camp-outs, sharing a cabin with 11 other boys his age, trekking through the wild wooded area and portaging to the river. I think he especially loved the friendships he made and all the activities such as windsurfing and archery that he might never have been exposed to closer to home. So, after our older daughter was grown up enough to choose between day camp and sleepover camp, I had to think really carefully about how I was going to help her make her decision. I ultimately encouraged my husband to play a larger role in sharing his positive experiences with her. We also requested that certain overnight camps send us their promotional DVDs so that she could see all that they had to offer. Since she already had a good taste of spending days away from us at summer day camps, she was then able to compare the two. Being more reticent and less adventurous in nature, she ultimately chose to stick closer to home. Over the years, she enjoyed her experience at a couple of wonderful day camps. She loved the spirit and camaraderie on the bus to camp. The campers and counsellors named their buses, decorated their interiors and sang songs to and from camp. Far enough from home and surrounded by nature, she felt as if she was experiencing the great outdoors. She loved swimming— both instructional and recreational—twice a day and especially loved the giant waterslide. She loved the farm animals, the arts and crafts, the drama and dancing classes and participating in all the sports activities. At the end of the day, she arrived home exhausted but looking forward to returning the following day. Ultimately, she became a counsellor at a day camp and continued to enjoy that experience. My younger daughter is more like her dad. She is an explorer and a lover of nature. She is less bothered by creepy crawlies and adapts easily to new situations. Now that the time has come to think about going to sleepover camp, as many of her friends are, she is fully contemplating it.

Here are some things to consider when choosing between day and sleepover camp: 1. Know your child. Every child is different and while it’s true that some children need to be encouraged to take on challenges and overcome fears, others can be quite traumatized if they are forced into an experience that they are not ready for. 2. Slow and steady. I’m not a big fan of sending very young (six- or sevenyear-olds) to sleepover camp. I think that young children are better suited to enjoying activity days closer to home. For a first time experience, children may do better with shorter periods away from home (up to 10 days), rather than going away for a month as a first time experience. 3. If you remove the sleeping-away-from-home component, many day camps offer as enriched an activities experience as do overnight camps. Its best to try to find a camp that offers activities that meet your child’s interests rather than sending your child to the most popular camp or the one closest to home. 4. Engage your child in the decision between day or sleepover camp. Even though children do not have the life experience to make this kind of decision alone, let them have their say. If possible, visit camp sites ahead of making your decision so that you can all take a look around and meet the counsellors and staff. 5. Its best, when possible, to have your child attend camp—especially for the first time—with a friend or family member. Chances are that he or she will branch out very quickly, but most children say that it’s comforting to have a familiar face close by.

Sara Dimerman is a board-certified psychologist and provides counselling to individuals, couples and families. She is the author of two parenting books, Am I A Normal Parent? and Character Is the Key, and is one of North America’s leading parenting experts. Find out more at

April 2011



camp guide, part 1: sleepover and family camps The Zajac Ranch Set on the shores of Stave Lake, this camp provides a summer camp experience to children with life-threatening illnesses or chronic disabilities. The ranch sleeps 120 in dormitories with some private rooms available. Where: Mission Cost: Varies depending on length, medical needs, sponsorship and other factors. 604.721.3732| www.


SPECIAL NEEDS CAMPS BC Easter Seals Camp Offering free overnight summer camping programs for children and teens with disabilities at three camps in B.C. Where: Squamish, Shawnigan Lake and Winfield Cost: Through volunteers, corporate donations and the Lions Society, this camp is free of charge. 800.818.4483| Camp Goodtimes Programs for children, teens, young adults, and families with history of childhood cancer. Siblings, parents/caregivers welcome. No cost to families. 24 hour medical staff available. Transportation reimbursement available. Where: Vancouver and Maple Ridge Cost: Free through the Canadian Cancer Society 604.675.7141 | www.

Camp Jubilee Providing a safe, fun and memorable environment while helping young people develop communication, cooperation, self-awareness and leadership skills. Campers experience the independence of being away from home, develop new friendships and create lifelong memories. Ages seven to 18. Where: Port Moody Cost: $359-$499 604.937.7388 | www. Camp Summit Camp Summit offers a traditional over-night experience for campers ages four to 15 for three-day, five-day, one-week and two-week sessions. Leadership development programs for 16 and 17 year olds. Boys and girls from across Canada and all over the world come together to appreciate the outdoors and indulge themselves in an experience they’ll never forget. Where: Squamish Cost: $450-$2,459 604.898.3700 | 866.550.1118 | www.

Dave Murray Whistler Summer Ski and Snowboard Camp Designed for skiers and snowboarders who want to improve their skills in the half pipe, terrain park or ski racing course. The worldclass private pipe and park guarantees an awesome learning environment. All-inclusive with coaching, accommodation, great food, and awesome summer sports activities. Family options, as well. Where: Whistler Cost: $1,025-$2,195 604.932.3238 | www. Evans Lake Forest Education Society Come explore the outdoors through our games and forest education activities. The staff will make this a summer to remember whether this is your first year at Evans Lake or your eighth! Where: Squamish Cost: Varies between sessions 604.294.2267 | www. Horne Lake Outdoor Camp Situated among 650 acres of spectacular parkland, and located in the Beaufort Range Mountains near Qualicum Bay. Certified guides and experienced adult counsellors enthusiastically share their love of nature and aim to foster personal growth in all campers. Where: Qualicum Beach Cost: Varies depending on camp 250.248.7829 | www.

Eureka Camp Society This is a unique outdoor camp for kids with invisible disabilities such as ADHD, mild autism, Asperger’s, etc. One and two-week co-ed camps for children eight to 18 years. Where: Squamish and Princeton Cost: $750-$1,500 604.520.1155 | www.

April 2011


camp guide, part 1: sleepover and family camps Peel Academy Students spend their first week executing hands-on activities and academic-based courses. During the second week, students travel to Pearson College daily and participate in workshops related to marine and aquatic life unique to the West coast and take in presentations by faculty and staff. They will also have the opportunity to view the killer whales in the Juan de Fuca, visit the Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, discover the Royal BC Museum and take in an IMAX film as well as absorb the sites in and around Victoria. Where: Victoria Cost: $2,750 www.

YMCA Camp Elphinstone Located on BC’s Sunshine coast near Gibsons, a 40-minute ferry ride from Vancouver. Camp Elphinstone offers both day and residential camp programs. It offers wonderful one-week, twoweek and four-week camping adventures for campers five to 17 years. YMCA Camp Elphinstone offers land-based activities and a kilometre of oceanfront with extensive water-based activities. Where: Sunshine Coast Cost: $172/week for day camp/$617/week for residential 604.939.9622 | www.

Sasamat Outdoor Centre Sasamat Resident Camp is where healthy outdoor lifestyles and life-long friendships begin. These camps offer an inclusive, ageappropriate program of outdoor activities and fun. Whether you are paddling a canoe, swimming in the lake, or climbing into the treetops on the High Challenge Course, Sasamat Outdoor Centre’s Resident Camp makes every day an adventure. Ages eight to 12 years and teens 13 to 15 years. Where: Belcarra Cost: $410 for five days 604.939.2268 ext. 1 | www.

Comox Valley Youth Music Centre Prepare to surpass your expectations! CYMC has been providing musical instruction for forty three summers. Programs include classical, musical theatre, piano, and vocal jazz. Faculty from Vancouver and Victoria operas, symphonies and beyond! Where: Comox Valley Cost: $800 plus $800 tuition 250.338.7463 | www.

YMCA Camp Deka Hidden in the Interlake district of the famous Cariboo Plateau, this camp’s 95 acres overlook the north arm of beautiful Deka Lake. There are hundreds of lakes to paddle and trails to explore in this vast wilderness of breathtaking vistas, beaver dams, eagle nests, fish runs and deer paths. Programs ensure a unique personal experience full of adventure. Where: Mahood Lake, South Cariboo Cost: $388 604.939.9622 | 250.372.7725 | www.



Digital Media Academy Your child or teen will love the Digital Media Academy camps where they can combine summer fun with cool topics such as game design, digital filmmaking, animation, and game modeling. There are many options available; kids ages six to 18 are bound to find their ideal summer camp that will keep them entertained while learning new computer skills. Kids and teens will learn how to make their own film, game, or digital art at summer camp with enthusiastic, energetic staff, while also making new friends with other campers through fun activities. Where: UBC Vancouver Cost: $1,255-$2,799 866.656.3342 | www.

Eaglearts Academy Eaglearts is a summer camp offering exciting and challenging arts programs for motivated youth who want to develop and refine artistic skills and explore their creative potential. Professional artist/educators offer classes and electives daily in visual and performing arts in a fun summer camp setting. Where: Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island Cost: $1,295-$1,695 250.896.4664 | www. Green English Adventures Art and ESL nature-based camps with afternoon adventures (kayaking, hiking, swimming and a boat tour)! One-week camps in July with only 12 children per week! Where: Pender Island Cost: $1,700 250.629.3915 | www. Guitar Workshop Plus Week-long workshops in a musical environment at superb facilities. Guitar, bass, drum, keyboard, and vocal courses are offered for all levels and styles including rock, blues, jazz, acoustic, classical, and songwriting. Professional music faculty and world famous guest artists teach and perform for participants. Students to participate in daily classes, clinics, ensemble and student performances, and evening concerts. Participants also take away a DVD of their live performances!! Ages 12 through adult. Where: Quest University, Squamish Cost: $850-$1200 905.567.8000 |

RELIGIOUS CAMPS—CHRISTIAN Camp Artaban Society Camp Artaban is an Anglican camp located on scenic Gambier Island. It provides children, youth and adults with opportunities for personal and spiritual growth in a fun, recreational environment. Camp Artaban’s activities include sailing, canoeing, swimming, the Blob, hiking, volleyball, climbing walls, crafts, campfires, music and games. Where: Gambier Island Cost: Please check website. 604.980.0391 | www. Camp Douglas A Christian sleep-away camp for families and children of all ages. Our program includes beach, ocean and forest activities as well as crafts, sports and campfire fun. Where: Roberts Creek, on Sunshine Coast Cost: Varies depending on camp and program 866.885.3355 | www. Camp Imadene Worship, bible teachings, and fun activities including rowboats, canoeing, kayaking, wall climbing, and tons of other adventures! Grades two to 12. Family camps are available. Where: Shores of Mesachie Lake, near Lake Cowichan, on Vancouver Island Cost: $173-$397 800.445.7575 | www.

Camp Qwanoes Camp Qwanoes is a youth-focused, year-round camp and retreat centre with a heart for kids of all ages. Founded in 1966, Qwanoes is an ideal place for fun-filled, life-changing adventure. Where: Crofton, Vancouver Island Cost: $385+ 250.246.3014 | 888.997.9266 | www. Cultus Lake United Church Camp Cultus Lake United Church Camp is a fully accredited camp. Located on 15 wooded acres at the southeast shore of Cultus Lake in a park-like setting with cabins and dining and recreational facilities for up to 64 campers plus leaders. Ages 6 to 18. Family camps are available. Where: Chilliwack Cost: $175-$285 604.858.6033 | www. Green Bay Bible Camp Beach, sun and sand on the shores of Okanogan Lake in beautiful West Kelowna, BC! Green Bay Bible Camp is a destination not soon forgotten! Both kids and family camps are offered. Where: West Kelowna Cost: Varies, please see website 250.768.5884 | www. Camp Squeah This camp provides space for children to discover themselves in a safe and loving environment through a Christian perspective and helps them become confident, mature, and fun loving people. Camps are age grouped from six to 17 years. There is also a family camp for all ages. Camperships are available by application for those families who may require some financial assistance. Where: Hope Cost: $115 to $450 604 869 5353 | www.

Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre The theme this year: Under the Sea. There’s canoeing, kneeboarding, wake-boarding, tubing, torpedo max, remote control cars, archery, crafts, drama, wall-climbing, vertical playpen, rappelling, zip-lines, soccer, frisbee golf, geo-caching, hiking and wilderness, giant tree houses and comfy cabins to chill in. Sessions for ages five to 16. Where: Cultus Lake Cost: $201-$360 604.858.6845 | 800.507.8455 | www.

RELIGIOUS CAMPS—JEWISH Camp Hatikvah Camp for eight to 15-year-olds stresses Jewish values. Swimming, boating, water-skiing, sports, overnight camping, outdoor cooking, photography, and arts and crafts. One-week program available for six to seven-year-olds and two-week program available for eight to nine-year-olds who are first-time campers. Leadership training for 15-year-olds. Where: Oyama, near Kelowna Cost: $695-$2,705 604.263.1200 | www. Camp Miriam Camp Miriam offers a diverse Jewish camping program for children completing Grades two to 11. Through creative activities, and in a supportive community, campers experience a value based education and gain knowledge of Israel, Jewish history, Hebrew, social justice and the environment. The program is enhanced with swimming, sports, arts and crafts, drama, overnight hikes, canoeing, kayaking, Israeli dancing, and music. Where: Gabriola Island Cost: $730-$2,085 604.266.2825 | www.

April 2011



Free and Easy Camping in the USA By Debbie Bowman


ou’ve heard it said that nothing in life is free, that everything has some cost involved—and in some cases that may be true. But oftentimes, the other platitude, the one that says that the best things in life are free, speaks more truth. While on a road trip through the southwestern United States, we camped at many different spots, from one end of the spectrum to the other. And without a doubt, our favourite camping spots—and the experiences that will stay with us forever—were the ones that didn’t cost us a dime. Last year, while driving down to Arizona through Nevada and Utah, we often worried about finding a suitable camping spot. We had a map that listed established camping sites, but in some areas they were few and far between. We stressed, crossing our fingers, hoping we’d make it to the next spot before it got dark. And when we were on our way to the popular National Parks, we worried even more. Would any spots be available when we arrived? Or would we be forced to spend the night in an expensive hotel? Our concerns were valid; at Zion National Park we actually got the last available spot—and that was at 10 in the morning. Then one day, a kindly soul told us about the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands. These government-managed lands are massive. In fact, they make up one-eighth of the entire United States. Though BLM lands are distributed throughout the entire country, most of the BLM public lands are located in the western states. Some states have more BLM land than anything else. Nevada’s BLM lands, for example, encompass 76% of the total land mass of the state. Utah is second at 70%. Even hugely populated California has a total BLM land mass of 35%. That’s pretty impressive, especially when you realize that most BLM lands are free to access any time of the year. Imagine, all that open area we drove through was riddled with places to camp, and we never even knew it. The BLM offices call overnight use of its lands “dispersed camping,” but we just call it a great deal—and a great adventure. And camping on BLM lands is easy. You just need to bring your own water and toilet paper. Some sites will have bathrooms (outhouses) but some won’t, so you need to be prepared for that possibility. Some BLM lands, especially near the very popular areas like the Moab, have proper BLM campgrounds with demarcated sites, tables, fire pits and bathrooms. These developed sites normally have a very small fee (from five to 10 dollars a night), but most BLM sites are free—and that’s where the real fun comes in.


Camping on BLM lands is so much more interesting and adventurous than camping on a normal site. It’s fun to find your own little spot. We had a great time driving the back roads looking for suitable places to set up camp for the night. With such a huge area to choose from, you really feel like you’re adventuring. Once settled, the kids loved to run around exploring their temporary home. And there’s something entirely unique about spending an extended amount of time completely isolated from other people. The views are fantastic and you obviously don’t have to worry about noisy neighbours— unless we consider the non-human variety. For example, one of our favourite sites was right next to a warm, flowing stream. We cooled down in the stream throughout the day, and enjoyed the amazing display of stars after nightfall— as well as the sounds of amorous frogs. You can find BLM lands randomly, sort of a “seat of the pants” approach, but you may want to work out your itinerary beforehand. In that case, it’s a good idea to contact the BLM office beforehand. The BLM lands of the western states are split up into jurisdictions, and each area has its own BLM field office. Most BLM land rules are uniform, but some have special considerations. By contacting the appropriate office before you set out, you can learn about any special information particular to the area, and you can also acquire detailed maps of each district, as they’ll send them to you in the mail. So next time you venture down into the United States for some camping adventures, consider looking into the BLM lands. It will be a unique experience you and your family will never forget. Debbie Bowman is a freelance writer based out of the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island who hopes to visit the BLM lands in Utah again this year.

BLM Resources To find a BLM field office, go to or You can request information from these offices or visit them in person. Be sure to request maps of the local areas so you can be guided to the best areas to camp. To find a developed campsite on government lands, visit This site will allow you to search for outdoor activities on public lands, including national parks and national forests. Alternatively, maps can be ordered online at the Public Lands Information Center ( This is a great source for ordering maps online. They offer BLM land topographical maps as well as CD-ROM maps, area atlases, and guidebooks.

green feature

Where the Wild Things Are

White-capped chicka

dee. Photo: Tracy Rid del

By Krystal Brennan The Lower Mainland is home to many natural spaces, but how much do you know about the creatures that inhabit them? Many of us have seen skunks or raccoons scurrying around and the occasional bald eagle hovering overhead, but much of the region’s wildlife remains hidden from view. With a little knowledge and a keen eye, you and your family can turn a jaunt in the woods into a journey of discovery. You won’t have to trek far for your West Coast safari. Although there are numerous regional parks within easy reach, that unsung local trail or your neighbourhood park will provide excellent opportunities for your family to explore the wildlife of the West Coast. So grab your camera, pull on your boots and head outside, you’ll be amazed at what you might find! Start with the five-sense warm up. It will help kids feel the forest vibe and make them more aware of the many birds and other animals that make their home amongst the trees. Have a good look around. What animals can you see along the trails and what food might be available for them to eat? Close your eyes and feel the ground, then sniff the air, and finally listen for different sounds. Cup your ears and silently count the different sounds you hear for 30 seconds. Once you hear birdsongs, try spotting the birds they belong to. A common but distinctive call is that of the black-capped chickadee, a year-round resident of our woodland areas. Its call is easy to learn and fun to repeat! Chickadees are named after their call: chickadee-dee-dee. Male chickadees will make a territorial call in the spring and summer that sounds similar to: cheeeese-burger. If you’re out at dusk, look out for owls perched in tall trees. If you hoot at them, they will often call back to you. Great horned owls make two short and two long hoots: who-who-whooo-whooo. Even if no animals are visible, if you look closely you will find a goldmine of animal signs on “wildlife trees”—dead standing trees that often have missing tops and provide food and shelter for creatures such as owls, chickadees, raccoons, woodpeckers, bats and squirrels. Look for hollow portions at the base, top, or in tree knots. If you see tiny round holes, it’s a sign that bugs have been chewing at the soft wood. Woodpeckers chisel larger holes to get at the bugs or make a cavity nest, and the resulting holes are often used later by other birds or squirrels. The big flat tops of dead trees make great nesting areas and perches for larger owls and eagles. Wildlife trees are also often riddled with various types of fungus that aid in the decomposition of the bark. A dead tree is a vital part of the forest ecosystem. When it falls, it supports

Wildlife tree. Photo: Krystal Brennan

the growth of fallen seeds and becomes habitat for bugs, salamanders and frogs. Look for these animals by carefully rolling over fallen logs to see what lies beneath. Never pick up a salamander or frog, as their skin is very sensitive. You can, however, pick up a slug and play the slippery slug game by touching it and seeing what you can pick up from the forest floor with the oozy but harmless slime it deposits on your finger! Some animals leave behind subtle traces of their presence as they travel. Look on the ground for a tree cone that has been nibbled on by a squirrel, or examine a tree trunk for signs of a squirrel run—strips of missing bark worn down by heavy squirrel traffic or torn away to line their nests in the spring. The bug shake is a favourite activity for all ages at any time of the year. Take an old white cloth and lay it under a bush. Shake the bush and look at all the bugs that fall out. If you bring along a bug viewer or magnifying glass, you can enjoy a close-up look before gently shaking the cloth off. Depending on where you live and the conditions under foot, you may be able to spot the footprints of animals, such as raccoons, skunks, bears, deer and cougars. During your eco-adventure you can also show your kids how to respect the forest habitat and its wild residents by staying on the paths to prevent erosion. And if you see a wild animal, do not try to touch it or feed it, for its safety as well as your own. And as the wise saying goes, take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints. Krystal Brennan is the Education Coordinator for the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC (WRA). For more information about local wildlife and summer camps, call the WRA at 604.526.2747 or email If you find a wild animal in distress, call the Care Centre at 604.526.7275.

Onya Bags

the plastic bag alternative! From pouch to bag experience

Onya Bags are made from soft, silky, strong parachute materials. They are small, light and conveniently pack into their own pouches, clipping onto your handbags, belts, key rings... with handy carabiners.

April 2011


green shopping See ad this issue Online Stores Abby Sprouts Bambini Bags Better Baby Bums Coco & Tini Cozy Bums 877.724.2699 | Earth Kits for Kids 877.632.7847 | Every Little Bit 604.936.7249 | Fashion Fruit Kids 604.878.3713 | Green Planet Parties Hankettes 800.917.1377 | Kaikids 416.318.1501 | Lalabee Bathworks Lavish & Lime 877.216.5463 |

L’il Wonders

The Ultimate Green Store 800.983.8393 |

Little Earth 778.737.7004 |

Mama Goddess Birth Shop 604.340.2452 |

Toots ‘n’ Tots 888.420.1017 |

Mountain Equipment Coop 604.876.6221 |

My Organic Family 604.599.1977 |

Trees and Tots

Pebble Baby 604.568.6923 |

Natural Belly & Baby 866.763.7214 |

Vancouver/North Shore/ Burnaby

Room for Two Maternity & Baby 604.255.0508 |

Many of these stores also sell online, please check their websites!

Surrey/White Rock/ Tri-Cities/ New West

Active Baby 604.986.8977 |

Baby Cheeks 778.292.0495 |

Beansprouts 604.871.9782 |

Crocodile Unique Baby Store 866.761.2762 |

Crocodile Unique Baby Store 866.761.2762 |

Dandelion Kids 604.949.1862 |

Dandelion Kids 604.676.1862 |

Dimpleskins Naturals 604.395.mama |

Dream Designs 604.254.7030 |

Natural Essential Therapy 604.583.1112 |

Ethic Baby 604.338.5001


New and Green Baby Co 604.323.4146 | Onya Bags 778.865.0835 | Organically Hatched Organic Kids Peach Tree and Plum Kids Boutique 877.779.7586 | Peatoes 877.732.8637 | Raspberry Kids 888.950.5437 | Sleepy Sheep Snug as a Bug 800.539.9517 | So Green Baby 877.852.2284 |

Granville Island Organix 604.681.4243 |

Baby On Board 604.273.0884 | 800.272.0884 |

Hip Baby 604.736.8020 |

Pinky Blue 604.204.2720 |

InBed Organics 604.630.2337 |

Westcoast Kids 604.288.1168 |


in the kitchen

No Small Potatoes By Andrea Undseth

The days are starting to be longer and the sun is shining—sometimes. Accompanying all that wonderful change to our season is a plethora of fruits and vegetables that will start to show their colours. In the meantime, we still need to search for what is typically in season for April. Potatoes are healthy vegetables and available in a wide variety of shapes, colours, sizes and flavours. They have calcium, vitamin C and iron. They can satisfy even the pickiest of eaters and that is no small potatoes.

Curried Potatoes, Peas & Cauliflower


Serves 4 to 6, with some for freezing



2 tbsp oil 5 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed into approximately 2” pieces 2 shallots, sliced 1 head cauliflower, chopped 1 cup peas, frozen 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tbsp each of methi seed, fenugreek seed, and turmeric 1 tbsp cumin ½ - 1 cup Water

Add oil to a large skillet and fry the potatoes for about 4 minutes until a little brown. Add the shallots, garlic, methi seed, fenugreek seed, turmeric and cumin. Mix thoroughly and sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and sauté for a couple of extra minutes. Start adding some water, about ½ cup and stir around to coat all of the vegetables. Once the water has evaporated, add the peas. Add another ½ cup of water and coat the vegetables. The consistency should look like the potatoes are turning a bit mashed. Once potatoes are soft and slide off a fork, the dish is ready.

Andrea Undseth is a local personal chef who provides meal service and other culinary solutions for busy families. A parent herself, she understands the gift of time. For more information visit her at

Where to pick up your copy of

Kids in City Hall

green feature

Why We Should Encourage Our Kids to Be Civic-Minded By Debbie Bowman

Vancouver East Sunset Community Centre West Coast Chamber Music Circus West Kiddie Castle Vancouver Public Library—Riley Park The Family Place Marpole-Oakridge Family Place Vancouver West Gator Pit Vancouver Breastfeeding Clinic Lifesong School Classy Kids Consignment TJs The Kiddies Store Gymboree Kerrisdale Community Centre Vancouver Downtown Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House Beansprouts Strathcona Community Centre KJD Kids Wee Ones Reruns Vancouver Art Gallery North Shore Centennial Theatre North Shore Family Place Maplewood Farms Kuddel Muddel Kids Capilano Fish Hatchery Parkgate Community Centre Richmond Minoru Aquatic Centre Sylvan Learning Centre Pinky Blue Practical Mommy Ocean Silks Coquitlam/Poco/Port Moody/ Maple Ridge Yeuns Martial Arts Centre Raser Valley Regional Library—Terry Fox Earth Angel Place Des Arts Maple Ridge Family Place Crash Crawleys Place Mallairdville Burnaby Pacific Fertility Bonsor Recreation Centre Burnaby Village Museum Shadbolt Centre For the Arts Burnaby Community Connections Canlan Ice Sports Eileen Daily Recreation Centre Surrey/Delta Sungod Aquatic Centre Surrey Public Library—Strawberry Hill Bear Creek Park Train Canadian Kids Wear Newton Community Recreation Services

“So how did you guys like it?” I asked my kids after we attended our first city hall meeting. “It was okay,” said my twelve-year-old. “It was sort of boring,” said my more outspoken thirteenyear-old. Ah well, you can’t win ‘em all, and parts of the meeting were difficult to follow—we were new to town, after all. Still, I knew I was setting an important example for my kids. By attending the meeting and learning about our community’s issues, I was modelling a civic-minded nature that I hoped would rub off. We all have our complaints about the world we live in. But problems like global warming and the homeless situation in our city won’t change for the better until we all take action. Specifically, it’s a civic-mindedness that will cause people to step up, step out, and do something to create change. Thankfully, there are many Canadians who believe in a cause to such an extent that they dare to make a difference –people like Rick Hansen, Robert Bateman, David Suzuki and Craig Kielburger. The causes they champion are different, but they all have faith enough to believe that they can make change happen. Our city is blessed with ordinary citizens who have banded together to create changes that will benefit us all. VTACC (Voters Taking Action on Climate Change), one such community group, is comprised of dedicated individuals who believe that through the actions of citizens, global change can be accomplished. Kevin Washbrook is a director of VTACC and one of its founding members. Kevin devotes his days to a cause he’s very passionate about—the environment—but he knows that to create lasting change the entire citizenship needs to take part. Even so, Kevin understands why some of us are reticent to become involved. “I know we don’t always feel like we are part of our immediate community, especially in big cities,” he states, “but at some level we are and we have a responsibility to play a role in our community, to make sure it is functioning properly.” Kevin believes that positive, lasting change is possible when we each make the choice to get involved. “It’s really by working together and building community that we can make a difference. Lots of people are concerned about issues, and when they join forces that can be quite powerful.” Organizations like VTACC are effecting change, but so are groups of young people. In fact, our city is brimming with youth who are excited about what they can do to make a difference. Emily Chan, a senior attending Windermere Secondary School, has volunteered since she was eleven years old, and is involved in numerous projects. And she’s in good company. In fact, Emily says that she’s “thoroughly

surrounded by actively involved youth.” Besides helping to organize C3, an annual climate change conference for students, Emily’s energetic peer-group is involved with various projects such as an organic garden that provides produce for their school’s cafeteria, a sustainability network that encourages alternate forms of transportation, and a student-body newspaper devoted to social awareness. When an individual like Emily acts for the common good, everyone benefits. Emily states that her efforts have positively shaped her character and taught her lessons she can apply to all facets of her life. “Through these experiences, I’ve realized that life is more than you and me. It’s about creating a community to make major movement and changes in the world; to achieve your highest goals in whatever you’re passionate about.” When asked about encouraging kids to get involved in local and global issues, Kevin states, “It’s a socialization process. Some kids may be naturally empathetic, but many are self-absorbed and need to learn to be cooperative, responsible, sharing members of their communities. They are going to take over some day, and they need to learn the values that make it all work.” But how can we make sure that our kids grow up to be teenagers like Emily and adults like Kevin? The most powerful thing we can do as parents is to model the behaviour we want to instil. It’s imperative that our kids see us getting involved. Whether we write letters or lick envelopes, march in rallies or march door to door canvassing for signatures, our kids need to see that we care enough to take time to become involved in issues we’re passionate about. Kids can become directly involved too. They may not always get excited to talk about politics or the environment, but just like adults, kids are personally affected by the community in which they live. If given the chance, most kids can become inspired to get involved in initiatives that closely affect them. Concerns such as school closures, bicycle lanes, skateboard parks and the environment are all topics in which children can take part. Since our efforts are compounded when we work together, it’s a good idea to find advocacy groups in which children can become involved. There are school groups like leadership programs and environment clubs that kids can join, and sometimes groups are linked to churches and community centres. And remember, if an appropriate group can’t be found, kids can always create their own. Finally, before our kids start volunteering, it’s important that we talk to them about the issues at hand, so they understand the intricacies involved. Around the dinner table is a good place to discuss the challenges we face in our communities. But we shouldn’t just talk at them; we need to talk with them. Oftentimes kids have a fresh perspective that we adults need to hear. We should ask them for their opinions on issues, and for their creative solutions to the problems we all face. If we do, we might just be impressed with the answers they give. Speaking of being impressed, that’s how I felt a bit later when my kids started to discuss the town meeting they had just attended. Turns out they were listening after all. To visit VTACC go to For a list of community organizations visit

April 2011


community calendar Night Time Nutties Cameron Recreation Complex, Burnaby Ongoing to May 16, Mondays, 5:45-6:45pm Kids got lots of evening energy? No space to play inside? Drop in for an hour of supervised playtime in a fun and safe environment. Play in the sports hall with balls, hoops, sports equipment, tunnels, planned parachute games and more! $4.55 drop-in. 10 months to five years. 604.421.5225 | Explore the New Amazon Vancouver Aquarium Ongoing until April 30 Explore new creatures and experiences from the most species-rich area of the world. Playful Goeldi’s monkeys, emerging butterflies, and the all new Dora and Diego’s 4-D Adventure will engage and delight explorers of all ages. 604.659.3400 | North Langley Community Church Kids’ Swap Meet 21015-96 Avenue April 2, 10am–1pm Refresh your child’s closet with some great bargains for spring! Other items will include toys and children’s furniture. Admission: $1.00. 604.888.0442 Can You Dig It? Fraser River Discovery Centre April 2, 1pm Archaeologists decode clues to interpret how people lived in the past. At the Discovery Centre, kids ages five to nine and their families are invited to discover their inner Indiana Jones while digging for clues to find the location of a hidden treasure. 604.521.8401 | Community Wellness Fair Port Moody Recreation Complex April 2, 10am–3pm Get ready to be inspired! Find answers to fit your lifestyle at Port Moody’s Community Wellness Fair. Discover active living and healthy choices for the whole family, with demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and free consultations. Children enjoy active fun in the Kids Zone with The Purple Pirate. Free admission. 604.469.4556 | Radical Reptiles Science World April 2-3, 11am-3pm Learn more about lizards and snakes and iguanas, oh my! Get there by 1pm to witness a really rad reptile exhibition at Centre Stage. 604.443.7443 | Circus Terrifico Evergreen Cultural Centre April 3, 2pm When three circus performers miss their train, it takes every trick in the book (and their suitcases!) to create an impromptu show to raise money for new tickets. But it works! By watching these clowns, the Train Conductor finally agrees to be their new Ring Master and together they arrive at the theatre just in time to present their magnificent “Circus Terrifico” - hilariously unkempt microversion interpretations of their favourite ballets, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker! 604.927.6550 |


Vancouver’s 125th Birthday Celebration Jack Poole Plaza April 6, noon-9pm In honour of Vancouver’s 125th birthday, there will be a free party at Jack Poole Plaza. Join the fun and visit the new 125 Vancouver website for events happening all year long! 604.873.7000 | Peter Pan 13055 Huntley Ave, Surrey April 11-14, 7pm Betty Huff Theatre Company is presenting the musical Peter Pan. Tickets are $6 and available at the door. 604.585.3104 Marché français/French Marketplace École Herbert Spencer School Gym, New Westminster April 14, 2:45-7:30pm Come and experience a bit of French culture at this popular event! Meet vendors of hardto-find French resources such as books, games, music and interesting French-themed items. Enjoy delicious crêpes and maple treats. There will be a children’s activity and craft area as well as a raffle. Admission is free. Everyone is welcome! Please email any questions. Evening Frog Song Minnekhada Regional Park April 15, 7-9pm Spend a spring evening at the marsh. Learn about frogs and other amphibians and sing along with the frog chorus. Ages 6+. $5.25/ child/youth/senior, $8/adult, $21.50/family. Registration required. 604.432.6359 Kids Only Swap Meet Port Moody Recreation Complex April 16, 9am-1pm Check this out for a bargain hunter’s delight of gently used children’s items, and one-of-a-kind treasures. Over 170 vendors in two arenas. 604.469.4556 | Introduction to Geocaching Tynehead Regional Park April 16, 2pm Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. GPS device will be provided. Ages 5+. Registration required. 604.432.6359 North Shore Mothers of Multiples Spring Kids’ Swap St. David’s United Church, West Vancouver April 16, 9:30am-noon With hundreds of gently used toys, clothing, books and gear for babies and children for sale, the event will also feature 50/50 tickets and delicious refreshments. Admission $2 for adults (children are free). Partial proceeds for the event go towards a local charity. Earth Fest 2011 Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion April 16, 11am-3pm There will be local environmental exhibits, interpretive nature tours, canoe lake tours, a scavenger hunt, plus a variety of kid-friendly prizes, crafts and activities—all free of charge. Also, the very popular nest box making, where families can build and take home a bird or bee house for free! 604.526.2747

Goodbye Chums! Bell Irving Hatchery April 17, 11am Make a wish for a fish as you release tiny salmon fry into Kanaka Creek. Join in fish-friendly activities, make natural cleaners, enjoy a puppet show, and learn about local stewardship groups and tour the Bell Irving Hatchery. 604.530.4983

Eco Easter Egg Hunt Surrey Nature Centre April 23, 10am-2pm Search for Easter eggs in the forest! Take a picture with the Easter Bunny and enjoy eggthemed crafts, activities and entertainment. Every child receives a candy treat. Don’t forget your basket! Rain or shine. All ages. $5/child. 604.502.6065 |

Watershed Creek Fish Release Watershed Creek April 17, noon-2pm The public is invited to assist with the fish release of 25,000 chum and 5,000 coho fry. Previous years have attracted many families with young children, who have enjoyed pouring buckets of tiny fish into the creek.

Tri-Cities Healthy Kids Fair Pinetree Community Centre April 28, 9:30am-12:30pm Organizations will be available to provide parents of tots and preschoolers (0-6years) with information on safety, health, literacy awareness, recreation and other community programs. Admission is free. Non-perishable items are being accepted for the local food bank. 604.949.7200

Green Week Science World April 18-22 Celebrate BC Green Games’ stories of student environmental action during Science World’s Green Week! Participate in “Hot Stuff” our live science show about climate change, and partake in a week’s worth of activities exploring all the great ways we can help support the long and healthy life of our one and only Earth. 604.443.7440 | Children’s Easter Fair Bear Creek Park Train April 22-25, 10am-5pm Join the fun of our annual Easter weekend activities. Meet the Easter Bunny, get a candy treat and enjoy fun activities under the celebration tent. Easter Eggstravaganza False Creek Community Centre April 23, 10:30am-noon EGGstra fun is in store at this annual Easter event, which includes a continental style brunch, games, crafts, family entertainment, and an Easter Egg Hunt. Registration required and an adult must accompany children. This event is suited for children under 10 years. $5/person. 604.257.8195 | VanDusen Botanical Garden A-Mazing Egg Hunt 2011 VanDusen Botanical Garden April 23, 10am-noon Join us for crafts, games and a photo opportunity with Mr. Bunny and Purdy’s mascot, Philbert the Hedgehog. The hunt begins at 10:30 in the Elizabethan hedge maze for children ages six to 10, and the heritage garden for ages two to five. Limited tickets are available in the Garden Shop and are $6 each for children ages two to 10 (members and non-members). Regular garden admission applies to non-members; Adults ($10.25) and seniors over 65 ($7.50). Children must be accompanied by an adult. Enter the A-Mazing Egg Count Contest to win a basket from Purdy’s Chocolates and an annual membership to the garden! Please note: Tickets are limited and must be bought in advance. Easter Fair 2011 Surrey Museum April 23, 1-4pm Join in Easter fun for the family with spring crafts and holiday games. Learn about the real Easter Bunny and friends as you discover local wildlife and meet rescue animals, from rabbits to reptiles and an assortment of dogs and parrots. All ages, by donation. 604.592.6956 |

Fiddler on the Roof Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts April 29-May 1 John Preece stars in the classic Tony Awardwinning musical about the precariousness of life and the importance of family. Vancouver Celebrates International Dance Day Scotiabank Dance Theatre April 29, noon-9pm Initiated in 1982 by UNESCO, International Dance Day is marked annually on April 29 across Canada and around the world. Join The Dance Centre for a program of performances and events celebrating the vitality and diversity of dance in Vancouver! Full program to be announced. 604.606.6400 | Birds a’ Humming Burnaby Lake Regional Park April 30, 10-11:30am Look for tiny hummingbirds hovering over the spring blossoms and listen for their buzzing hum as they zip and swoop in a daring courtship display. Share in learning about these tiny birds as you walk along nature trails, and play hummingbird games. $12.23 + HST per child/adult pair. Registration required 604.421.5225 Suburban RUSH Kids Race Rocky Point Park, Port Moody April 30, various times Ready to create memories and introduce your kids to a fitness lifestyle? Depending on the child’s age they will be riding/pushing or walking their bike between 500 meters to 1 km. Tricycles, push bikes and training wheels welcome. Kids will participate in an age appropriate checkpoint activity 1/2 way through such as a bean bag toss. Then back on their bikes to cross the finish line. Check online for more details. Surrey Early Years Festival North Surrey Recreation Centre April 30,10am-2pm Join us for a fun family day designed for families with children 0-6 years. The event will include interactive games, arts, crafts, bouncy castles, children’s performers, face painting, balloons, community resources and much more! This year we will be featuring Bobs & Lolo as our main stage performers and Chris Hamilton will be our Emcee. The first 500 people will receive a free goodie bag, so arrive early! Free! 604.502.6300


Margaret Gallagher What’s the lowdown on you? I’m mom to one wonderful daughter (Maxine, just turned 18 months old), longtime partner to a great guy (Maxine’s papa), and a somewhat neglectful cat owner to a feisty old calico. I’m a reporter for the Early Edition, CBC Radio One’s Vancouver morning show. I also host a weekly jazz show called Hot Air. It’s been on the air since 1947, making it quite possibly the longest running radio show in Canada. (Though I’ve only been with the show for a year now.) I’m half Chinese-Indonesian, half Irish-American, which I figure makes me fully Canadian. My daughter is also part Palestinian, FrenchCanadian and British, so our family is doing our part to add to the multicultural landscape. Oh yeah, I’m big sister to Attila the Hun and Coach Tanaka from Glee, because actor Patrick Gallagher is my brother. How did your career come about? To make a long story short, through luck and curiosity. I was a technical writer for years, but did freelance writing and some documentary work on the side, just out of interest. I have always loved CBC Radio, and happened to be doing some freelance work at a time when a job came up at the Early Edition. I still feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to do this work, which I am truly passionate about. What are some of your biggest challenges in work? In life? It’s the same old tale for everyone I think—finding enough time in the day to get everything done, and keeping that work/life balance. Something’s gotta give, and in my case, it’s always the housekeeping. You should see our “piling room”—the so-called office into which we randomly shove all our clutter, laundry, hockey gear, etc. No, wait, you shouldn’t.  >>>

Photographed by Bopomo Pictures | April 2011


wcm feature

Spring into an Organized Life and Save By Linda Chu


ow that the clocks have sprung ahead, signalling a change of seasons, our minds are shifting to warmer, sunnier days to come. An exciting prospect—if it weren’t for all those disorganized piles cluttering our path.

Eight in 10 Canadians are disorganized, especially those with children in the household. While the majority of disorganized Canadians have attempted to become more organized, their efforts have largely been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, disorganized living can be costly—not just in terms of money, but also time and space. Here are a few tips to get more organized and save on all three. 1. Start with the area in your home causing you the most grief. Most likely, this area is the catch-all for all those unfinished tasks and items that did not have a home. 2. Identify items in your piles based on categories and outstanding actions. This might mean seasonal decorations, kids’ artwork/memories, or to-do’s like bills to pay, consignment, and laundry. 3. Purge, purge, purge. Be clear about your goals for each room in your home. If space is an issue, you may have to let go of some items in order to make room for your intentions. 4. Determine how often you need to access your possessions. Frequency of access plays an important role when developing an organizing system.

5. Choose containers and systems that are conducive to how often you need to access your possessions and information. Archive taxes must be kept but not accessed daily, unlike bills to pay. Remember that your piles did not collect overnight, so to tackle an entire room in one go may be too overwhelming. Instead, consider my “15 Minute Sort, 15 Second Touch” approach to create momentum. Set your timer for 15 minutes. Touch everything in your disorganized room and within 15 seconds, make a decision as to which category or action this item belongs to. After your alarm signals 15 minutes, stop and reward yourself. Just don’t reward yourself by going out and buying more stuff…

Linda Chu is a professional organizer, productivity consultant and founder of Out of Chaos, an organizing company that effects change by giving people the tools and knowledge to get organized at work and at home, using customized solutions to manage their space, time, information and piles. Linda served as President of Professional Organizers in Canada and founded the BC Lower Mainland Chapter of the same association. For more information, visit

wcm profile cont’d What would you describe as some of the biggest rewards of your work/family? It’s always about the people. For work, I get to meet some fascinating people and hear their stories, and have a chance to try to share those stories with others. Hopefully, if I do my job well, we can all understand each other a bit better. It’s a job where you’re always learning, and I work with some great folks. For family, I am amazed every single day by my daughter and the love we all feel for her— and she for us. It is so incredibly fun to watch her grow and change, and become a family together. It’s all one big adventure. Plus, seeing my sweetie and my gal at the end of a long day...those are the best smiles ever. Do you manage to take time-out for yourself? If so, what does that entail? Does watching recordings of Top Chef while folding laundry in the middle of the night count? Actually, I’m pretty lucky, because I do get a wee bit of time to myself. Still, I wish I could be in two (or three) places at once because it never feels like enough AND I still long to spend more time with my family. But I try to get out with friends once in a while, plus I play on a couple of ice hockey teams. And I’ve been known to do some midnight baking.


Any must-haves? Until a few months ago, I would have said the Ergo baby carrier. Maxine went EVERYWHERE in it, including a month-long trip through Malaysia and Indonesia when she was 10 months old. It was the best piece of baby gear ever...until she started walking. We still use it (it’s the easiest way to get around in a crowd), just not everyday. I recommend it to all expecting parents. And I eat a shocking amount of chocolate. Tell us one or two of the most important life lessons you have learned through being a mom/broadcast journalist. The number one lesson: It’s not about you. Works in both cases. Number two: Appreciate everything. Anything else you’d like us to know about you? I can’t say enough about my extended family. Maxine’s grandparents on both sides help us enormously with childcare and general love and support. I can’t begin to express how my already huge love for my family has deepened. I love my parents even more now, not because of who they are to me, but because of who they are to my daughter. Finally, I remember when Maxine was very small, and was feeling those first surges of truly boundless love that you get as you hold this magical being who has suddenly come into your life. I looked at my mom and asked in disbelief, “Did you used to feel this way about me?” And she just smiled and said “I still do.” It’s good to know, for so many reasons.

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Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town! Nifty for Fifty Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver April 3, 11am-8pm Nifty for Fifty is back! More than 18 Vancouver designers will be gathering under one roof to sell everything from dresses to shirts, shoes, and accessories, from sizes 0-24, all for $50 or less! Bring your pocketbook; this is a mostly cash-only event. Free entry. 778.997.1944 If We Are Women The Theatre at Hendry Hall April 8-9, 13-16 & 20-23, 8pm Three older women (a mother and two grandmothers), discuss their pasts and presents poetically, poignantly and with wry humour as they attempt to pass down the wisdom of their years to the granddaughter. This Canadian drama/comedy is NVCP’s entry into the Theatre for BC North Shore Zone Festival. Tickets are $14-$16. 604.983.2633 |

Babies to Bellies Celebration Croatian Cultural Centre April 10, 11am-4pm This is a one of a kind event, offering a unique opportunity for new and expectant parents and grandparents to explore and shop for trendy baby fashions, décor and so much more! Community resources and support services will be on hand to answer questions for new and expecting parents.

Karaoke Pub Night Paddlewheeler Pub, New Westminster April 14, 6:30-11:30pm This will be an evening of fun, food and good times! Tickets are $20/each and include your choice of a beef, chicken or veggie burger, a beverage plus a brownie dessert. All proceeds will benefit animals in the care of the Burnaby Branch of the BC SPCA. Come and raise your voice and a glass and help raise funds for animals in need. 604.291.7201

Mama Renew for Working Mothers Pomegranate Community Midwives, East Vancouver April 11, April 25, 7-9:30pm Each group is a community of mothers who not only share in the joys and challenges of motherhood, but also in supporting one another as we seek renewal & balance as women. Explore your core needs and how to nurture all of you. Move beyond the myth that we can “do it all”, and cultivate the art of saying Yes and No. Cost is $150.

Spring Fling Gala: Old Hollywood Ramada Abbotsford Conference Centre, Whatcom Rd Apr 15, 5-11pm It’s a girls’ trip back to the time of the silver screen, starlets and glamour! Come for an evening of fun and entertainment from the golden era! There will be a silent auction, door prizes, shopping, sit down dinner and a cash bar. Tickets are $40.

Scotiabank MS Walk Various locations throughout the Lower Mainland April 9-10, check in 8am, walk starts 10am BC Scotiabank MS Walk participants will come together to raise funds in support of enhancing quality of life for those with MS and in support of research for a cure. Join in for a great cause. Register online. 604.602.3221 |

Vancouver Fashion Week 750 Hornby Street April 12-17, please check website for more details Highlighting the Winter & Fall 2011 collections, showcasing emerging & established designer talents from around the world, VFW continues to deliver a high fashion, multicultural & diverse fashion experience. 778.862.1507 |

Vancouver Sun Run April 16-17 The Vancouver Sun Run is an annual tradition, a fun run everyone can enjoy, from serious competitors to walkers and is one of the largest road races in North America. Register online.

An evening with Judy Brooks on Metrics and Filters Network Hub, 422 Richards St April 19, 7-9pm How are you making decisions in your business and what are you using to measure the outcomes? What is the best way to navigate through the noise of business and ensure you are on target? As an expert in business, brand, and culture, Judy is asked to contribute advice and insight to media, as a keynote speaker and panelist. A strong contributor in the community, Judy mentors small business owners and sits on several non-profit committees. Health Starts Here Buffet Kitsilano Whole Foods Market April 26, 5-7pm Try a great selection of our new Health Starts Here deli and bakery items and donate to The Whole Planet Foundation! Items change every month; stop by to see what’s new! $5 604.739.6676 | Jeans Day Anywhere! April 28, all day This is a fun and easy event for people of all ages to participate in and show their support of BC’s kids. By purchasing a $5 button or $20 lapel pin, you get a chance to wear your jeans to work or school with all proceeds going to BC Children’s Hospital. Check online for official retailers where you can buy your pin. 604.875.2444 |


A magical comedic fun-filled show, with one of 30 costumed characters. Performing: Singing, Dancing, Magic, Animaloons, Joking Puppets & Face Painting. For: Parties, Holiday Celebrations & Promotional Events.

736★0876 / 729★4987

The Children’s Party Specialists Face painting, balloon animals, arts and crafts, and more.

604-318-1261 •

Love Those Loot Bags Unique fun-f Unique, fun--fille illed, ed affordable loot bags that both kids and parents will love! Call: 604.888.6772 or visit:

Children’s Kingdom Montessori Centre Preschool & Kindergarten Register Now! September and January Enrollment Mandarin, Art & Music classes are included 4720 Elgin St. Vancouver (near Knight & 31st Ave.)

Tel : (604) 872-8898

April 2011


last look

Spring Ladybugs!

By Shari Pratt

Suitable for ages 3-7

Supply List • • • • • •

Tempera paint Oval shaped sponge (approx 3”) Brushes, paint tray White paper (I used 11 x 17 cardstock) Masking tape Red stickers, foam, paper, or felt (cut in to oval shapes and then cut the ovals in half ) • Google eyes • White liquid glue • Optional: photographs or books about LADYBUGS

Preparation 1. Watered down glue: in a small bowl mix 60% water with 40% white glue. 2. Tape each child’s paper to a surface (can be a table, desk, piece of cardboard from a box) like so: tape around entire paper

Instructions 1. First paint the entire paper in a background colour (I used yellow, light blue, and dark blue). Allow to dry. 2. Next paint 4-6 flowers on the background in a variety of colours. Allow to dry. 3. Talk about what LADYBUGS look like. Show pictures or read a book about LADYBUGS. 4. Dip the sponge in black paint and print 4 oval shapes onto the background. Allow to dry. 5. Next glue 2 red wings onto each black oval shape using the white glue. 6. Next, allow your child to dip their finger into the black paint and finger-paint spots onto the ladybugs wings. 7. Attach google eyes using white glue. Optional: attach pipe cleaners for antennae.

Artistic Influence Pablo Picasso (Oct 25, 1881– Apr 8, 1973) was a Spanish painter, printmaker and sculptor. He is best known for co-founding the cubist movement.

Title: La Pique en Rouge et Jaune (The Bullfight in Red and Yellow), 1959. Relief Print Relief printing is similar to using a stamp. The artist applies ink or paint to the raised portions of the template and, while it is still wet, applies it to a canvas. Shari Pratt is a local artist and teacher and owner of Creative Kaos School of Art and Imagineering.


Of all the things he discovered today, this will make you the happiest. McDonald’s® Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap® Happy Meal®. With 100% seasoned chicken breast, crisp lettuce, shredded Monterey Jack and light cheddar cheese, you’ll love it just as much as he will.



At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in Canada. Product availability varies by restaurant. © 2011 McDonald’s.

April 2011


WestCoast Families April 2011  

WestCoast Families April 2011

WestCoast Families April 2011  

WestCoast Families April 2011