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dad westcoast

Scott Burrows

The Local Guide for Active Urban Families



camp guide part 1

sleepaway camps april 2015

green up the family home

Watch the vi d eo


q wan o e s .c a/ summ e r/ m e di a

Jump into the adventure and let friendship fill each day. Experience a world of discovery, over 75 activities, all with an amazing staff.

ER! M M SU St A CO tES w n iA d A n EnjOy thE bESt OF A CA

SUMMER CAMPS FOR ALL AGES! 1-888-997-9266 Call for our free broChure


Located on Vancouver Island, BC

April 2015


families westcoast

april 2015

• get green • sleepaway camps

on our cover... Two-year old Ashdeep gets ready for songs and stories around the campfire! Photos by Dylan Doubt

Get Green Greenology Greening Your Home

Get Green Spring Feeding Birdfeeders Bring Yards to Life

Camp Guide First Family Camping Trip

Camp Guide Camp Listings





Camp Guide Keep Campers Close

WCF Feature I’m Raising My Family... With Allergies



24dad westcoast

24 WCD Profile Scott Burrows

26 Family Interviews 27 WCD Events

from the editor 6 From Our Family to Yours 7 Contests 8 WestCoast Finds 22 WCF News 28 Community Calendar 30 Last Look Backyard Waterfall

next issue may

• Mother’s Day • Camp Guide: Day Camps 4

April 2015


from our family to yours

families westcoast

Green It Up! I love the annual Green Issue because it comes at a time us Lower Mainlanders are getting ready to welcome spring and really embrace our rich, green landscapes. This year, we’ve been lucky that it’s come rather early, and my husband and I, along with our dog, Pot Roast, have been outside exploring, hiking and strolling the beach as we shed our mittens and scarves. I also love our April issue thanks to our focus on sleepaway camps. We have countless options in our area, and we feel we’ve rounded up some of the best options for your kids, thanks to our handy listings page.

Managing Editor Andrea Vance

Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance

Assistant Editor Kelly S. Thompson

For distribution inquiries, please email

Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson

We have a great issue this month, with some features on birding and a great interview with local dad, Scott Burrows, who lives, works and breathes green living. And don’t miss our Last Look, for a waterfall craft you won’t want to miss.

Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso

Thanks, as always, to our amazing advertisers and readers. We look forward to jumping into spring with you!

Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule

Assistant Editor

Advertising 604.249.2866

For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Yolanda Brooks, Jennifer Bruyns, Krysta Furioso, Laura Grady, Jodi Iverson, Janny J. Johnson, Michael Major, Tania Zulkoskey, Kelly S. Thompson, Andrea Vance All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families

Our advertisers support WestCoast Families magazine, so we can provide you with all this great local information each issue. We’d love it if you supported them in return. And don’t forget to tell them you saw their ad in WestCoast Families!

Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802

wcf presents Earthfest Nature Festival and Open House Sunday, April 26, 11am-3pm Wildlife Rescue Association, 5216 Glencarin Dr, Burnaby

13th Annual Early Years Festival Saturday, April 11, 10am-3pm Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, Surrey

Coming in the May issue of WCF

Our 3rd annual Preschool and Daycare Guide! Call or email to book your ad 604-249-2866



Visit us online for new contests every issue!

Acne Destroyer

Attention Locomotive Lovers!

Suffering with bad skin? Don’t despair! We’re giving away TWO Derma MD’s Clearifying Wasabi Blemish Treatment Kits, which include cleanser, toner, resurfacing gel and blemish zapper. Retail value $115!

Thomas the Train is coming back to Squamish at West Coast Railway Heritage Park, with the promise of taking your little one for a ride they won’t forget! We’re giving away a family four-pack of tickets so that the whole family can take a spin.

Deadline to enter: 24 April, 2015

Retail value $115!

Enter at

Deadline to enter: May 5, 2015 Enter at

April 2015


westcoast finds

MyMayu Rainboots

Scrubba Wash Bag

These awesome kids rain boots have been designed so that newly walking toddlers won’t topple over in too-stiff traditional boots. They pack up nice and small, are super lightweight, and come in fun colours and patterns for all the best puddle splashing.

This incredible bag washes clothes anywhere, on the go! Simply fill with water and soap, rub the clothes against the interior washboard before rinsing and voila! Clean clothes on the go whether you’re camping, travelling or looking for a simple handwashing solution. | $60 | $60


Attitude Baby Products


This line of natural, scent-free products has the ecofriendly family in mind, as they are carbon dioxide neutral and not tested on animals. With detergents, wipes and bath products, these goodies keep your family clean, healthy and safe.

Litter-less lunches are the way to go, and these stainless steel food storage containers are leak free and easy to clean while not contributing to garbage dumps full of brown bags. Steeltainers are non-toxic and durable, with little to no plastic contact! | $10 and up | $6 and up

April 2015


greenology greening your home by Laura Grady

When it comes to making eco-friendly changes around your home, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a big difference. Here are 10 simple tips to get you and your family on a path to green living.

Meatless Mondays (and Tuesdays, and...) Eat your veggies and help save the planet! Choosing to skip the meat is not just good for your health; it may be the single biggest impact your family can have on the environment. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture is responsible for 18-25 per cent of global warming emissions worldwide. The livestock industry is one of the largest sources of water pollution worldwide. With so many amazing vegan and vegetarian meal ideas, you won’t even miss the meat, and you’ll be saving money too!

Grocery Shop from Home When it comes to grocery shopping, going green may actually make your life easier. Avoid the checkout lines and busy parking lots and find a comfy spot on the couch instead. Online grocery shopping is becoming more popular in urban areas and beyond. Think of it as carpooling for groceries. A recent study by the University of Washington shows using a delivery service for your groceries can cut your carbon dioxide emissions by 50 per cent.

Buy Used Before splurging on something new, consider buying something that’s new-toyou. Don’t be tempted by a cheap price tag. That brand new, five-dollar t-shirt comes with a price. By shopping used, you can afford unique and better quality items and means fewer items end up discarded in our landfills. This means less energy is used and less pollution is created. Check out second-hand stores and garage sales, and browse online websites like Craigslist. Best of all, second-hand shopping can be even more fun!


Make Your Own Cleaners Get rid of those toxic cleaners clogging up your cupboard. Make your own green cleaning products using regular household ingredients, such as white vinegar, lemon juice, Borax and baking soda. These simple cleaning solutions benefit your health and the environment. While you’re at it, back away from the paper towels and single-use products and use a microfiber cloth instead (or old towels). Just remember, a clean home should not be measured by the chemicals you smell in the air.

Turn Out the Lights Is your family up for a challenge? See how long you can go without turning on a light. Open those curtains and enjoy the natural light. With long summer days ahead, this can be an easy way to use less energy. If you are doing renovations, consider adding a skylight. When things do get dark, make sure you are using energy efficient bulbs.

Green Laundry The greenest thing to do when it comes to laundry is nothing at all. Skipping the wash all together may not be an option, but washing your clothes less is. When you do run a load, chose a detergent that is biodegradable and phosphate-free. Also, give soap nuts a try. Soap nuts are a natural, biodegradable and petroleum-free laundry soap alternative. Also, make sure you use cold water, as a whopping 90% of energy used for washing clothes goes to heating the water, then hang to dry as much as possible. Not only are these tips good for the environment, they’re good for your clothes too.

Cut Down on Junk Mail Everyday your mailbox is full of flyers and unsolicited mail. Take the time to unsubscribe and cut out the unnecessary junk coming into your home. Head to for some tips on keeping ad-mail out of your mailbox. You may have to contact individual companies and asked that you be removed from the list. Also, consider online subscriptions to your favourite newspapers and magazines.

Clean the Air with Plants A good old-fashioned houseplant is the perfect addition to your green home. All houseplants improve the quality of indoor air, since they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Plants also work to remove dust particles floating around your home. Chose a plant that requires low light and low water. Water your plants with water you would normally toss (water used for boiling eggs, tea and half finished glasses of water).

Skip the Rinse Did you know pre-rinsing dishes before loading them in the dishwasher can use up to 20 gallons of water? Modern, energy efficient dishwashers are meant to do the work for you. By simply scraping food off your plate and skipping the extra step, you are saving lots of water and money. Dishes sitting overnight? Your dishwasher has it’s own rinse feature. It uses a fraction of the water needed to hand rinse.

Grow Your Own Food It doesn’t take much effort or space to grow your own food. From a small container garden on a balcony to a large backyard plot, gardening is a great way to go green. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is the most organic you can get! You’ll be helping the environment and saving money at the same time. Gardening is super fun for the family and a great way to teach your kids about food and sustainability.

April 2015


get green

Spring Feeding Birdfeeders bring yards to life by Yolanda Brooks, Wildlife Rescue | photos by Paul Steeves


backyard birdfeeder is a great way for your family to enjoy and learn about wildlife. You can see which species like to flock together, learn which ones want to be alone, sneak a peek at squabbles and courtship routines, and watch as the birds come and go with the seasons. Different birds eat different types of food. Some common birds like blackcapped chickadees and bushtits will eat a range of offerings. Others, such as evening grosbeak, are much more particular and will only eat one or two items from the menu. If you’re looking to appeal to a range of birds, a popular and common feeder filler is black sunflower seed. It has a high fat content, a thin shell and is favoured by lots of different species. Striped sunflower seeds have thicker shells and are also eaten by a wide range of birds. Nyjer seeds, peanuts, safflower and white proso millet are also ingredients found in high quality birdseed. During the winter, suet feeders are an excellent, high-fat choice for birds that need the extra energy to stay warm. Avoid cheap birdseed with lots of filler such as red millet, oats, flax, wheat, beans, lentils, split peas, dry rice, and barley. This will end up uneaten on the ground and will attract larger birds such as pigeons. It sounds healthy but it is just filler that songbirds and finches will leave for larger birds and mammals to eat. To keep pests at bay, sweep up regularly and avoid accumulating stale and mouldy seeds by only adding enough to last a couple days at a time. As for feeders, there are many different types of feeders on the market. Different designs are adapted to the habits and physiology of different birds, and certain seeds can only be stored in specialized feeders. Squirrel-proof feeders are available but these bushy-tailed bandits are a resourceful bunch that often work a way to get to any feeder. Visit a specialist wild bird store or garden centre for the right advice. If you don’t want to be worrying about birdseed mixes and mess, the easiest feeder to maintain is the nectar feeder for hummingbirds. These distinctive red plastic and glass feeders are cheap to buy and only need to be filled with a nectar solution that is one part sugar to four parts water.


If you have an outdoor cat or neighbourhood cats roam your garden, choose a site that is high enough to avoid making your avian visitors easy prey. Birds of Prey may also take an interest in the easy pickings, so consider placing feeders close to evergreen trees to give hummingbirds a place to dash for cover. Birds also injured themselves by flying into windows, so make sure the place your feeder within three feet of a window or more than 30 feet away. If the feeder is less than three feet away, the bird won’t have time to pick up enough speed to injure itself if it does hit the window. A feeder further away will keep the bird out of harm’s way. To keep birds healthy, clean seed feeders once a week and nectar feeders every other day with a 10% bleach solution, leaving them to completely dry before refilling. Change feeder locations periodically to encourage natural foraging, reduce waste build-up and decrease the chances of attracting unwanted pests. Never scatter seeds or use anything other than proper bird food - especially avoid feeding bread or using peanut butter pine cone feeders. Birds’ digestive systems are designed to cope with bread, and peanut butter can smear on feathers making it hard for the birds to preen them and stay warm. And don’t forget the water. Birds prefer to drink and bathe from shallow containers on the ground. By following this advice on bird food and feeder care, you will be helping our feathered friends while enjoying your own wildlife drama right in your own backyard.

Your Own Bird’s Eye View! Hummingbirds Anna’s hummingbirds are year-round residents with green/grey silver feathers and the males have a rosey-pink throat. The feisty Rufous hummingbird spends spring and summer here and can be identified by their orange/red feathers and the males are famous for their iridescent, copper-coloured throat feathers.

Black-capped chickadees These busy bundles of energy were voted the official bird for Vancouver for 2015. They live here year-round, and are curious, social birds that are happy to eat a range of food.

Pine siskins These birds bring a dash of colour – yellow – and like to travel in flocks. Like bushtits, these social songbirds chatter and twitter to each other constantly.

Downy woodpeckers Downy woodpeckers are the smallest species of woodpecker in Canada and they are known for their acrobatics and willingness to balance on almost any type of feeder. Both male and females have black and white checkered wing feathers but the males can be distinguished with their flash of red on their crowns.

April 2015 13

camp feature

First Family Camping Tips and tricks for exploring nature by Michael Major


’ve always had a passion for the outdoors, be it fishing, hiking or camping. I spend as much time as I can in the majestic beauty that we in British Columbia are so fortunate to have at our doorstep. When I became a father, it became important to me that my two sons grow up to experience and love the outdoors as much as I do. Camping in one of our provincial parks is a great way to expose children to nature and unplug from the rigours of modern life. Taking young children on their first camping trip can seem a bit daunting, but having tackled it for the first time last summer, I can share some lessons learned and a few tips I picked up along the way. Location, location, location! With hundreds of parks to choose from, picking the perfect park for your family can seem an overwhelming choice. Start narrowing down the list by choosing a park that is relatively close to home, has full washrooms and showers and if your children are quite young, pick one that has a playground. The BC Parks website has a search feature allowing you to search by activity or facility. For our trip, we chose Alouette Campground in Golden Ears Provincial Park and picked a campsite close to the playground, showers and water, while still being a short walk to the beach. Keep Brains Busy After setting up camp, my boys wasted no time turning a dirt embankment into a construction site and they happily played in the dirt, explored the woods, swam at the beach and played at the playground. But looking back, I should have brought some board games, colouring books, balls, kites and maybe even some water guns. Without technology keeping young modern minds occupied, it can be a challenge, so bring along some lowtech distractions. Also, keep in mind the kids will go to bed and you will have to occupy yourselves as well. Camping Clothes As for clothing, you can safely assume children will get dirty pretty much constantly, so pack many changes of clothes. Don’t forget jackets, sweaters, warm hats and rain gear, especially in BC. Our trip started out with at torrential downpour, but luckily I brought my boys their rain suits and a poncho for my wife. No matter the forecast, be ready for rain. Foodie Fuel When it comes to food, we brought way too much, but this is a situation where it’s better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. Bring food you know your children will eat; there is no sense in making mealtime a battle on vacation. The cheap collapsible water jugs we brought barely lasted the three nights, so a rigid, tough water container is on my list of must haves. Food prep brought with it new challenges, space being the biggest one of them. A folding table would have helped a great deal for food prep, as the picnic table the site offered became crowded quickly with the four of us around it. Keep in mind that you’ll have to warm up your own water for washing up. A large pot over the fire will do the trick while saving your camp stove fuel.


Tell a Story Sitting around the campfire is a great way to connect as a family without the distractions of technology. I still chuckle to myself thinking about the campfire stories my five-year-old told, all involving various characters embarking on an epic quest to acquire a cookie of some sort. Unfortunately, I found myself at a loss to remember any good campfire stories, so next time I’ll get a book or two to read to the boys. Packing Tips You may end up bringing along too much or too little on your first camping trip, but just learn from every trip and amend your checklist until you have it down to a science. Google will provide you with thousands of camping checklists to give you ideas for what to put on yours. But one item you don’t want to forget is the first aid kit! It is inevitable that there will be a few skinned knees and elbows, but also bug bites, ticks, sunburn and reactions to plants like stinging nettle should be planned for. Of course, you’ll also have to have a tent. If you need to buy a tent, remember that if a tent says it sleeps eight, it really only sleeps four. After inflating the air mattresses and bringing in the clothes and sleeping bags, the tent you thought was pretty big will suddenly seem very small. And Above All Else… …Have fun! Children are naturally curious, so let them explore and experience nature. If you explore and experience with them, you’ll have fun and maybe even learn a thing or two. Camping is a good opportunity to teach too, be it how to make a fire, go fishing, tie knots or wildlife viewing. A positive first experience can yield a lifelong love of the outdoors, making our children good conversationalists and keeping our forests pristine for generations to come.

Top 10 Camping Must-haves 1. A good quality tent 2. Rope and tarps 3. First aid kit 4. An axe and a good fixed blade knife 5. Lighter and waterproof matches 6. Lanterns and flashlights  7. Very sturdy water container  8. Camping stove with plenty of fuel 9. Toys games and bikes 10. At least two quality coolers 

April 2015 15

camp 2015

•••••••••••••••••••••••• Advertisers listed in bold

sports camps Aspengrove Equestrian Academy


Horses and adventure

Dave Murray Ski Race Camp


Ski racing

Island Escapades

Salt Spring Island

Kayaking, surfing, outdoor sports

SLS Summer Rugby Academy

Shawnigan Lake

Rugby skills

Timberline Ranch


Horses and adventure

Webbs Holiday Acres


Horse camp

arts & technology camps Camp Narnia

Nanoose Bay

Foster imaginations, sharing new experiences

Comox Valley Youth Music Centre


Musical theatre, instruments

Debate Camp Canada


Public speaking and debate

Digital Media Academy

UBC Campus

Empowering a generation of innovators

Film & Television School

Galiano Island

Hands on media training

Guitar Workshop Plus


Music education

outdoor adventure camps Camp Arrowflight


Outdoor adventure

Camp Grafton

Shuswap Lake

Outdoor adventure, leadership

Camp Jubilee

Indian Arm, Mt Seymour

Sports and outdoor adventure

Camp Potlatch - Boys and Girls Club

Howe Sound

Outdoor adventure

Camp Pringle

Shawnigan Lake

Outdoor adventure, leadership, theatre, science

Camp Squeah

Fraser canyon

Outdoor education

Camp Summit


Outdoor adventure and education

Camp Thunderbird - YMCA


Outdoor adventure, science, French

Evans Lake Summer Camp


Forest education, adventure, leadership

Fireside Adventures

multiple locations, BC

Outdoor skills training & leadership development


Gambier Island

Outdoor adventure, family camp


Port Moody

Outdoor adventure, leadership, education

Silver Lake Camp


Arts, culture, outdoor adventure

Strathcona WYLD Camp

Strathcona Provincial Park

Wilderness youth leadership, education

YMCA Camps

Gibsons & Kamloops

Outdoor adventure


More online! Go to to see even more camps!

guide listings

• part 1: sleepaway camps religious camps Camp Bow-Isle

Bowen Island

Christian Science, outdoor adventure

Camp Douglas

Roberts Creek, Sunshine Coast

Christian, outdoor adventure

Camp Fircom


United Church, kids & family camp

Camp Firwood (Bellingham)

Bellingham, WA

Bible camp

Camp Hatikvah


Jewish, outdoor adventure

Camp Homewood

Quadra Island

Christian, outdoor adventure

Camp Imadene

Mesachie Lake, Vancouver Island Christian, outdoor adventure

Camp Luther


Christian, fun adventure

Camp Mackenzie


United Church, outdoor adventure

Camp Miriam

Gabriola Island

Jewish, outdoor adventure

Camp Qwanoes


Christian, sports & outdoor adventure

Camp Tulahead


Christian, outdoor adventure

Cultus Lake United Church Camp

Cultus Lake

United Church, outdoor adventure

Gardom Lake


Christian, outdoor adventure

Green Bay Bible Camp

West Kelowna

Baptist, outdoor adventure



Christian, leadership, family and kids camps

Keats Camps

Keats Island/ Gibsons

Christian, outdoor adventure, leadership



Anglican, outdoor adventure

Pioneer Pacific Inter-Varsity Camps

Thetis Island

Christian, outdoor adventure

Salvation Army Camp Sunrise


Christian, outdoor adventure

Stillwood Camp

Lindell Beach

Christian, outdoor adventure

Sunnybrae Bible Camp

Shuswap Lake

Bible camp, outdoor adventure

specialized camps Camp Goodtimes

Vancouver & Maple Ridge

Cancer - for children and their families

Easter Seal Camps

Shawnigan, Winfield, Squamish

Physical or mental disabilities

Eureka Camp Society

Squamish & Princeton

Invisible disabilities

Fireside Adventures

multiple locations, BC

Outdoor adventure for ESL students

Latona - Vancouver Aquarium

Gambier Island

Marine Explorers

Tamwood Camp




Cowichan Lake

Leadership for teenagers

Venture Academy Summer Program


Troubled Teens

Zajac Ranch


Life threatening or chronic illnesses

We’ve done our best to ensure the information shown here is accurate, but it is always a good idea to check with each camp to confirm

April 2015 17

keep campers close Don’t let sending your little one off to camp be a sad experience for you both! Wave them off happily with these tips and packables to reminder your child that they are loved, missed, and encouraged to have lots of fun! These tricks also help build communication and connection while separated.

Stuffed Animal or Favourite Toy Encourage “Selfies”

Having their treasured toy or stuffie can put your child at ease that there is part of home with them.

Send along a camera and have your child snap pictures of all of the interesting things they see while camping. They make for great conversation once home!

Notes Leave encouraging notes for your child to find, spreading them throughout their luggage and more. (The best notes hide in socks and shoes!)

Stamps, Envelopes, and a Pen Include this “old-fashioned” correspondence toolkit so your child can mail a letter home. You can share them together once they return!

Camp Bucket List


Create a list of things your child wants to do while camping, then make it a scavenger hunt of fun activities while they’re away, crossing off their “to do” list!

Writing down fun memories, feelings and thoughts can enrich a childhood camping experience. Parents can keep their own journal too and share upon the end of camp.

Books Make your own family book club so that when your kid comes home, you can chat about what you read.


April 2015 19

i’m raising my family...

with allergies by Tania Zulkoskey


hen my twins started school, I used to be annoyed with the no-peanut policy. Peanut butter was our staple to make it through to the end of the week. It felt like the allergy kids were creating an inconvenience for the rest of us. While I didn’t doubt that there could be severe reactions, I questioned how strict the rules were for the community. Then, out of the blue at five years old, my son had his first allergic reaction, which ended up being a severe anaphylactic reaction. At dinner he complained his mouth burned after eating some fish. At first, we thought it was the garlic, but after trying to soothe it with milk, we headed to the emergency room. By the time we got there, his face was a red splotchy balloon and he had thrown up. We couldn’t believe it, as we had eaten fish multiple times before. He was treated immediately with epinephrine, which was delivered with a painful needle in his leg while we all watched him cry. Witnessing his distress, his twin sister crawled onto the stretcher to cuddle him and soothe herself. Her thoughtfulness was heartfelt, even though it was challenging to keep all the monitor wires from getting tangled. While we waited months for the allergy testing, we suddenly discovered the frustrating world of living with an allergy. I had to read every food label, taking double the time to pick up groceries. Every label read “may contain peanuts or processed in a facility that has nuts.” Even raisins were off limits! Initially, we didn’t know if it was fish or nuts, so we had to exclude all possible exposure until the testing was done. Then I learnt that fish hides in BBQ sauces and Caesar salad dressings and salmon cream cheese! Of course, I knew certain foods would be off limits but I didn’t expect the risk to have such a wide berth. I wanted to blame someone. I just wanted to have one of those quick, top-up lunch items but shopping was now much more complicated and time-consuming. Not only was his lunch going to change, but his sister and ally was also about to embark on a new routine. We decided to take one step at a time on this new frontier. We saturated ourselves with peanut, nut, and fish allergy information. Our son could not have a hamburger grilled on the same BBQ as a fish burger. He could not have French fries if fish was made in the same oil. He could not feed the cat her food, or as a teenager, kiss someone who has just eaten sushi. It is unlikely that banning fish from school is going to protect him, but we worry it will be a friend who offers him a bite of something contaminated. It is hard to deal with other

people questioning the severity and the risk of exposure. My child needs to have epinephrine with him at all times. There are no exceptions, because the risk of anaphylactic shock is too high. Parents who have kids with allergies do not need to be questioned if they’ve tried walnuts or cashews or if they’ve tried halibut or salmon. They don’t need to be asked if they have tried homeopathic tolerance-exposure or if they will grow out of it. They have heard these comments and suggestions multiple times before. While some parents of young children may wish for allergen-free classrooms, but my wish is that you will not offer my child any food without asking his moms first. While our words and actions may appear to be overreacting or overprotective, it is a proactive step to limiting his exposure to risk. There is no reason that our son developed this allergy and his twin sister didn’t. But we are adjusting. Slowly, we are discovering vegetarian restaurants in our city. Our pizza deliverer knows to use a clean board and knife to avoid anchovy cross-contamination. And our son is sporting a very cool looking EpiPen® carry case. Until we get our sea legs, we won’t rock the boat. We will avoid buffets and travelling to delicious South-East Asian countries, and our favourite sushi restaurant will be for date night only. Tania Zulkoskey is a
mama of five-year-old twins. She is also a counsellor in private practice in East Vancouver, working with parents and families on relationship issues, LGBTQ issues and trauma.

April 2015 21

wcf news

>> Rethink Breast Cancer Breast cancer is a scary diagnosis for any woman, but comes with a unique set of issues and complications for younger woman who also need to consider fertility, early menopause, and support methods. Rethink Breast Cancer has released new guidelines with 10 issues for health care workers to consider and address when caring for young women with breast cancer. “The Care Guidelines will help close the gaps in care and empower young women to advocate for their unique care needs.” says MJ DeCoteau, Rethink Breast Cancer’s Founder and Executive Director. ”We are calling on all Canadian healthcare professionals to endorse and adhere to these guidelines for treating young women.” In particular, these guidelines address a young woman’s need for support and connection with others who have survived the disease, creating a sense of comradeship and unity. With more consideration for the unique needs of young women with breast cancer, better care leads to better health.

>> Join Our Journey In the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), there is no end to the career possibilities that these interests can lead to. Kids who express interest in STEM often look for outlets for their creativity, and Energizer has heard the call. Their “Join Our Journey” campaign encourages children to create drawings of their dream toy to then have it come to life with the help of those in the STEM profession. “We want to inspire Canadian children to push the boundaries too, actively exploring the opportunities that the fields of STEM offer,” said Michelle Hodd, senior brand manager at Energizer Canada. Last fall, Energizer worked with two children to develop their dream toys into reality, using a 3D printer and powering them with Energizer batteries. Now, they hope other children, between the ages of 5-12, will submit their dream creation to win the chance to have their toy brought to life. Parents simply need to send a video or photo to the website, where users can then go to vote for their favourite! Not only will a child see their dreams imagined, but they will also win a $10,000 RESP contribution. Submit your dream toy today!


>> Tap Map

>> Homesteader’s Emporium Want to get more in touch with your inner cultivator? Homesteader’s Emporium has you covered with supplies, classes and events to help you make or grow your own food, live sustainably and healthily, or even keep bees! The website is a hub of information on canning, candle making and more to help any family be more self-sustaining. You could also opt to take one of their many workshops, including education on raising bees for small-scale beekeeping, making feta cheese, growing wheatgrass, or making silken tofu! They also run amazing events that allow you to keep your pulse on growing our own food in the Lower Mainland. But the best part of their website is their illustrated pages that outline simple steps for sustainable projects in your very own home. Check out their storefront on Hastings or their website today, and get cooking!

There’s nothing worse than being out and about, only to have your child complain that they are thirsty and need a drink immediately. Some of us turn to the easiest solution, which is to buy a bottle of water, however, routinely drinking from plastic bottles isn’t just negative for your health, but also for the environment with endless plastic waste going to landfills. Thankfully, Metro Vancouver has you covered and wants to encourage the city to use some of the 550 water fountains available in our area. Tap Map is a handy application, created by Metro Vancouver, and is free to download. It will pinpoint your location and direct you to the nearest water fountain, where you can fill a reusable water bottle anytime you pass. Don’t get caught running errands without access to safe, healthy drinking water!

April 2015 23

dad westcoast

Scott Burrows green graffiti artist By Kelly S. Thompson | Photo by Dylan Doubt


“It’s that little bit less concrete to look at, it’s making conversation and it’s making the city.”


cott Burrows is a self-proclaimed “green graffiti artist,” lining the city in living walls in his role as Site Supervisor to Gsky Plant Systems, a company that creates green walls worldwide. But his green thumb and passion for the outdoors has been carefully honed over a lifetime. From the moment he flooded his mother’s garden with a hose (with action figures to be rescued from the depths of the soil some fifteen years later), Scott knew he wanted to work in the soil and breathe in fresh air during his workday. This vigour for all things nature is something Scott hopes to pass on to his kids and those who walk past his living garden creations. Born and raised in the Lower Mainland, Scott is a proud stepparent to two boys, 10 and 14, and has a 10-month-old son with his partner of six years, Harmoni. Originally an office worker, Scott knew he wasn’t happy or fulfilled, so he quit his well-paying job to work minimum wage at a local nursery. “I was at office jobs, good jobs, and I just said, I’m done with it. It was time to do something for myself,” Scott said. “I went to work at a nursery for minimum wage because I knew I loved plants, I loved the outdoors and I loved the creativity.” From his work with the nursery, where he developed an experiencebased knowledge of plants and flowers, Scott decided to pursue a living as a landscaper, opening his own thriving business until an acquaintance at the nursery passed his contact information to the owner of Gsky Plant Solutions. The owners called him the following week and he started in his new role immediately. “The way I had come up through the business, I learned my plants,” Scott said. “I had worked in carpentry, plumping, and with landscaping, and this is exactly what I needed at Gsky.” The living walls that Scott helps to plant have become a new movement of art, gardening, and conversation pieces, but involve complex trellises of watering systems and designs that make for true works of art. “It’s about taking the outside in and the inside out,” he says. For Scott, making living walls isn’t just a job, as gardening and loving the outdoors stems into every aspect of his life. When he talks about the work he creates, what intrigues him is the conversation starter aspect, allowing viewers to stop, forgo their electronics for a moment and appreciate the beauty of living plants turning a concrete jungle into a living, breathing entity. “It’s taking the city out of the city,” Scott says of his work at Gsky. “It’s that little bit less concrete to look at, it’s making conversation and it’s making the city.” It isn’t just the work itself that Scott loves, but also all that it contributes to the cities around him, particularly the environmental benefit of greenery

creating fresher, cleaner air. “For the buildings, the exterior walls actually have an insulating benefit to them,” says Scott. So on top of reducing carbon dioxide, living walls can lower heating and cooling bills. But Scott’s love of living walls goes beyond their beauty and benefits, as he also loves the idea of building something with stature and permanence; something his children can appreciate later in life. “Because of what I do, when the kids are grown up, these walls will be there,” he says. “I’ll know I was a part of something; monument and structure and design. I build green happiness.” Although he loves his work, what Scott is really passionate about is his family. He can’t help but share photos of his little one, almost all of them notably taken while the family explores the rich landscape of the Lower Mainland. He prides himself on leaving work at work, but his love for gardening creeps into family life with countless houseplants, mini living walls in his kitchen and the tidiest lawn in town. “I’m a landscape freak,” he says with an unapologetic shrug. “The lawn and garden are always nice.” But Scott also employs his work philosophy at home, with both him and Harmoni enforcing technology restrictions so that their children take the time to appreciate the outdoors, engage as a family, and step back from technological white noise that can stifle family time. “I want them to get outside and get active,” Scott says. “I want TV to be a secondary choice.” True to his commitment to a healthy family, the Burrow’s brood can consistently be found feeding birds, exploring nature, talking about plants and riding their bikes. Scott also holds an admirable “try anything once” attitude towards the world, and insists that he wants his son to explore everything before placing judgment or risking missing out on an experience. He also believes that his son shouldn’t be insulated from reality and encourages him to explore, touch and engage with the world. His passion for outdoor living is absolutely infectious, even for those unable to keep a houseplant alive. Most impressive of all is Scott’s work ethic and dedication to following passions and dreams to find true happiness. “I can bring him up to show him work ethic and show him the rewards of working hard,” says Scott of his son. For Scott, the greatest reward is family and excitement every day he goes to work. Although the grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence, Scott Burrows proves that “charging right through the fence and falling over,” are all part of the ride of life. Wherever he goes next, with his family and shovel behind him, Scott has shown that doing what you love for a living doesn’t have to be a pipe dream.

April 2015 25

wcd feature

Fabulous Family Interviews     Get to know your family better!     By Janny J. Johnson

“When I grow up, I want to be a giraffe,” my three-year-old daughter declared during one of our annual family interviews. The following year she wanted to be an artist. When she was six, she decided she’d like to live on a ranch and draw her horses instead of ride them! As parents, we all measure our kids’ growth in feet and inches. But how do you measure their ideas and dreams? Recording yearly interviews with your children will provide a unique way of capturing who they are at that moment in time. Here are a few ideas for you to conduct annual family interviews of your own.     Before the Interview A little preparation will smooth the way. Create a list of questions and adapt them to each child. To keep the session from becoming tedious, limit your queries to about six or eight questions. If your child is in an interesting phase, be sure to craft questions that will provide insight or laughter in the years ahead. For example, we asked our seven-year-old son what grownup thing he’d like to do. He replied, “I want to drive the car. I already know how to drive. I’ve been watching.” Decide on a quiet place where you can interview your children comfortably. Anywhere from the living room to a bunk bed—even the sandbox, if that’s where you can keep them in one spot for a few minutes. Talk to your kids about what the family interview is all about. Let them know that you want them to answer a few questions honestly, but also be able to have some fun. Be sure to tell them that you’ll be videotaping the interviews. Hand your kids some sort of microphone, even if it’s just a paper towel tube or a banana. Make sure that you have your recorder running before the children get into position. Turning on a device in front of kids can make them clam up, and you’ll want to capture any goofiness as they arrive.      The Questions To avoid one-word answers, ask open-ended questions. You might want to share some of the questions with the kids ahead of time so they can think about how to answer. If they get stuck, take a break, change the wording of the question, or make suggestions. Even if most of the interview is constant

giggles, which may feel frustrating at the time, many years later your whole family will love watching the recording of the silly session.     Conducting the Interview Keep the interview fun. Let your kids choose what to wear. When our son wanted to be a cowboy, he wore his fringed leather vest. When my daughter was eleven, she wore a horned Viking hat because she thought it was hilarious. Invite your children to bring something special with them, a recent art project, their stuffy—even a pet—and be sure to have them tell you what they brought and why.      After the Interview Gather your family together to view the recordings. Or you can save them to be enjoyed later. Some of our favorite evenings have been watching funny moments of our recorded interviews from years past. Whichever way you choose, family interviews can be a wonderful tradition. Whether you conduct them on New Year’s or at the same time every year, this twist on measuring your kids’ development will spark imagination and excitement in every family.   

Suggested Questions For Family Interviews  1.  What is your name? How old are you? What grade are you in?   2.  If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for?   3.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?   4.  Who is your best friend, and what do you like to do together?   5.  If you could change a family rule, what would it be?   6.  What is something you are thankful for?   7.  What is something in your life that is hard/frustrating/confusing?   8.  Tell me something that you’re afraid of.   9.  Is there something in your life that makes you sad? 10.  What do you do that is really great? 11.  If you had to eat one food every single day, would it be? 12.  What grown-up thing do you wish you could do right now?


timeout Indian Arm Studio 16, Vancouver April 9-18 Indian Arm is the story of a family dealing with unspeakable tragedy. A ruthless exploration of what it means to live together, to lose everything, and to survive unimaginable grief. Tickets are $25. The Five Things that Kept Your Child from Sleeping Last Night! Cobblestone Children’s Consignment April 9, 7-8pm Sweet Dreams Sleep Solutions invites you to learn how to help your entire family get restful nights sleep. Learn how to banish bed time and nap time battles in a gentle way. Free, but must register. 604.221.5905 | My Fair Lady Massey Theatre, New Westminster April 11-26, 2 & 7:30pm My Fair Lady is the story about Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from Professor Henry Higgins so that she may pass as a lady. Ticket $26 - $47. The Active Lifestyle Show Tradex, Abbotsford April 10-12, check website for times Live a healthy, active life with exhibitors, prizes and more. Admission is $6.00. 604.613.9419 Langley Spring 2015 Home Expo George Preston Recreation Centre April 10-12, various times With over 100 exhibits, get ideas for interior design, landscaping, windows/doors, heating/ cooling, bathrooms, kitchens, and roofing. Free. The Original Bridal Swap Croatian Cultural Centre April 12, 11am-3pm Bringing together Past Brides & Brides to Be to buy & sell gently used wedding decor & dresses in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Early Bird Access: 10:30am 604.671.4564 |

Kid-free Events for Mom & Dad!

eWomenNetwork Vancouver Success Summit - Super Size Your Success Arbutus Club, Vancouver April 14, 11:15am-3pm Sandra Yancey, Founder and CEO of eWomenNetwork, will demystify five fundamentals that all entrepreneurs need to know that can change the course of your business and put you on path for super-sized success. $85 for members of eWomenNetwork, $95 for non-members. Artisan Easter Craft Fair Murrayville Hall, Langley April 14, 5-9pm Enjoy Easter shopping with 40 talented artisans and crafters from all over the Lower Mainland and BC. Meet the designers and makers of the gifts you give this holiday season as you support local small business! Admission and parking is free. Mission Street Food Fest Mission April 18, 11am-5pm Try a variety of different eats with 20 food trucks that will be lining 1st Ave in Downtown Mission. Vancouver Sun Run BC Place Stadium April 19 Runners, joggers, walkers, & wheelchairs make their way around the route along the streets of downtown Vancouver for its 31st year. 604.689.9441 |

Salon Speaker Series: Mike Dangeli April 23, 7pm Place des Arts, Coquitlam Mike Dangeli is a renowned carver and artist whose works include masks, drums, regalia, paintings and limited edition silk-screened prints, as well as 20 totem poles and a 30foot ocean going canoe. Mike will discuss the traditions and techniques of his art form and give a carving demonstration. $5/person. 604.664.1636 | Just Between Friends Children’s & Maternity Consignment Sale Croatian Cultural Centre April 24-26 The three-day family event will feature local businesses and entertainment for children. Unsold items kindly donated from our consignors benefit Aunt Leah’s Place and Crabtree Corner. 604.671.4564 | www.vancouverbc.jbfsale. com Daffodil Dash Creekside/Science World, Vancouver April 26, 10am Gather your friends, family and co-workers to create a team, dress in yellow and dash your petals off at this family friendly, timed 1k walk/5k run event. Funds raised will support life-saving research, lead prevention initiatives and deliver support programs to those touched by cancer. EAT! Vancouver Food & Cooking Festival BC Place Daily from April 26-May 3 New hands-on workshops, exclusive guest chef dinners and special events throughout the city. EAT! Vancouver has over 250 exhibitors, including celebrity chefs celebrating all things food, drink and cooking.

Come Party With Us! Join the WCF Family Camping Facebook Party! Tuesday, April 21, 1pm Prizes, camp info, tips and more! April 2015 27

community Leisure Fair 2015 Trout Lake Community Centre April 1, 6:30pm Explore recreation activities for children and youth with disabilities. Enjoy demonstrations by Sirota’s Alchymy at 6:30pm and Special Olympics Rhythmic Gymnastics Team Burnaby at 7pm. Free. 604.301.3831

Easter Egg Hunt Kilby Historic Site April 4-5, 12noon & 2pm There’ll be games, crafts, and an extra special prize for the lucky finder of the golden egg! New this year: Book the whole family into our restaurant for a traditional Easter lunch!

Easter Train in Stanley Park Stanley Park, Vancouver April 1-6, 10am-5pm The Easter Train runs rain or shine, and is fully covered to protect you from spring showers. Bring your own basket and go on an egg hunt, participate in craft workshops & join in games.

Easter Fair Surrey Museum April 4, 1-4pm Join in crafts, games and an Easter Egg scavenger hunt in the Museum’s galleries. Learn about the real Easter Bunny and friends as you discover local wildlife and meet rescue animals, from rabbits to reptiles and dogs to parrots. Drop in, by donation 604.592.6956 |

Easter at the Cannery! Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, Richmond April 3-5 This is the annual Easter holiday event for the little ones! Regular admission will apply. Cineplex Sensory Friendly Screenings Cineplex Cinemas, Langley April 4 & 18, 10:30am This program provides a sensory friendly environment for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families to view new release films in theatres across the country. SensoryFriendly Fraser Valley Food Truck Festival Abbotsford Centre April 4, 11am-5pm Fraser Valley Food Truck Festival Is heading to Abbotsford Centre. 20 Food Trucks, artisan market, family fun entertainment, live music & beer garden. $2.00 at the door, kids under 13 are free!

Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt VanDusen Botanical Garden April 4-5 Bring your kids to hunt for eggs in the garden, interact with animals at the CinemaZoo exhibit, make crafts, meet the Easter Bunny and much more! Tickets are $15 and include garden admission for one child and up to two parents or guardians. 604.257.8463 | Easter Extravaganza! April 5, 10am-2pm Port Moody Station Museum Come and enjoy a day full of entertainment! There will be a magician, dancing dogs, a scavenger hunt, story time on the rail car and many crafts and games! $5/person 604.939.1648

Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Scramble Fort Langley National Historic Site April 5, 10am-5pm The all-ages scavenger hunt includes fun activities that will take you exploring around the fort and earning chocolate as you go. Bring the little kids (age 5 & under) for the Easter Egg Scramble at 12noon & 3pm. Critter CapersWho’s Crashing in My Tree Cavity? Burnaby Lake Regional Park April 6, 12noon- 4pm Someone has taken over the chickadees’ tree cavity, but who? Solve the mystery by examining fur, saliva, and other evidence. Allow at least one hour to complete. Meet at the Burnaby Lake Nature House. Ages 6+ Free. Drop-in. 604.432.6359 13th Annual Early Years Festival Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre April 11, 10am-3pm All parents/caregivers and children 0-6 years of age are invited to attend this free event. Take part in interactive games, arts and crafts, face painting and a bouncy castle! Fleetwood Family Fun Run Fleetwood Community Centre April 11, 10am-2pm Gather your friends and family and join us for our 2km or 4km run, walk, or stroll. 604.501.5026

We can deliver WestCoast Families magazine free to your event! Email us at or call 604-249-2866 28

calendar Kids Pet Show Sullivan Hall, Surrey April 12 This is a fun community event for kids ages 0-18. This is not an adult pet show. Our goal is for families to come with their kids, have fun and go home with some fun prizes. Vancouver Symphony Presents Tiny Tots Singin’ Safari April 17- Vancouver Playhouse Theatre April 18- Terry Fox Theatre, Port Coquitlam 10am &11:30am Move & sing along to the award-winning original animal tunes and the classic pieces from Camille St. Saen’s Carnival of the Animals. Tiny Tots is a four-concert series for the little ones, from toddlers to five years of age. Surrey Clean Sweep Week Various locations throughout Surrey April 18 to April 25 Show pride in your city and contribute to the beautification of our parks, neighbourhoods and streets by helping pick up garbage. Gloves, bags, and litter pickers will be supplied, as well as a t-shirt while supplies last. Hummingbird Homecoming Richmond Nature Park April 19, 11am-3pm A naturalist will share interesting facts about hummingbirds. Learn to identify different types of these dainty birds, how to attract them to your yard, and how to feed them throughout the year. All ages. Admission by donation.

Family Day at PdA! and Ensembles Concert Place des Arts, Coquitlam April 19, 1:30-3pm Gather up the family and participate in a variety of free art activities, including an open Tag, You’re It workshop with Joy Kirkwood. Make luggage tags, paint photographs with watercolours and create harmonicas with household objects. Stay after the activities for a concert featuring Place des Arts Student Ensembles at 3pm. Admission is free. 604.664.1636 | Shop Until You Drop to Support the Kids Creekside Community Centre April 22 Join Distinctive Women Magazine and the CKNW Orphan’s Fund for an evening of wine, canapés from Joey Restaurant Group, giveaways, networking, amazing women and SHOPPING! We will be featuring new and lightly used women’s clothing, shoes, purses and jewellery. 100% net proceeds will benefit CKNW Orphans’ Fund and special needs children in BC. $25 events/Canada/Vancouver-BC/ Tri-Cities Healthy Kids Fair April 23, 9:30am-12:30pm Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex Community partners will be available to provide parents of tots and preschoolers with information on safety, health, literacy awareness, recreation and other community programs. Admission is free. Arts Umbrella Dance Company Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver April 23, 12noon The energy and skill of a new generation takes the stage for the April edition of the Discover Dance! series, when the exceptional young dancers of the Arts Umbrella Dance Company perform a varied and stimulating program of contemporary ballets. Tickets start at $12. 604.606.6400 |

Annual Open House and Fish Release Nicomekl Hatchery, Langley April 25, 11am-2pm Come out and help release 20,000 Chinook salmon into the creek. There will also be tours, hot dogs and pop by donation. Timberline Ranch Family Festival 2015 Timberline Ranch, Maple Ridge April 25 This event will feature western shows, pony rides, hay rides, a petting zoo, a western photo booth, archery, climbing wall activities, door prizes, and a whole array of other exciting activities that are fun for families of all ages! Party for the Planet City Hall Plaza, Surrey April 25, 10am-6pm This is a free event for the whole family, which features a day of live entertainment, exciting eco-information and interactive activities, and highlights of the city’s great green initiatives. 604.591.4811 EarthFest Nature Festival & Open House Burnaby Lake Regional Park April 26, 11am-3pm Featuring trail walks, kid-friendly outdoor activities, guided tours of the wildlife hospital, activities with local nature groups, free bird and bee box building and the chance to meet our wildlife rehabilitators, as well as entertainment and raffles. 604.526.2747 |

Visit for more family friendly events this month! To have your event included in the WestCoast Families community calendar, please email your details to Go to to see more local and community family events in your area. April 2015 29

last look Backyard Waterfall by Jodi Iverson

Spring has sprung and the kids are ready to play outside! Encourage outdoor play with this fun and educational DIY project.

materials • Base – We used a piece of garden lattice, but this could be your fence, a pallet, or a frame you build, use your imagination! • Zap straps and electrical tape for attaching your objects to the base • Various objects for the water to flow through – we used things we found in our own home. Get creative! • A large tub or two to collect and reuse your water • Box cutter

make it! Step 1: Lay your materials out in a pattern you like (I took a photo of my configuration so as not to forget during assembly!) Step 2: Use cable ties and electrical tape to secure your materials to the base. Step 3: Once your materials are secured to your liking, it is time to test. This is the fun part! Encourage children to hypothesize: Will the water make it? Will we need to make adjustments? Step 4: Make the necessary adjustments to properly direct the flow of water.

get them engaged! • Gravity causes the water to flow downhill. How else can we see gravity in action? • One reason we recycle the water we use is because it benefits our environment by preserving water for other purposes. What are some of these purposes? • Engineering is the science of design, building, and use of machines and structures. What are some jobs that require engineering?


From the farm

to your family.

At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in Canada. Product availability varies by restaurant. ©2015 McDonald’s



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WestCoast Families April 2015  

The April 2015 issue of WestCoast Families - Camp Guide Part I, Green Up your Family!

WestCoast Families April 2015  

The April 2015 issue of WestCoast Families - Camp Guide Part I, Green Up your Family!