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Love stories from camp

When Jamie and Quinn first met at YMCA Camp Howdy in the summer of 2005, they had no idea their lives were about to change forever. He was a Leadership Counsellor and she was a Global Adventures Coordinator. Jamie spent his downtime in the evenings often sitting on the cabin porch with his leadership group, and Quinn would join the group on occasion too. “She made an effort to get to know me and my campers and that was special,” says Jamie. “My dedication to my campers was also my distraction and it wasn’t until the last evening of camp that Quinn and I shared with each other a common interest: each other” he continues.

Fast forward ten years, and Quinn and Jamie are still going strong. In the summer of 2014, they returned to where their journey began to tie the knot: camp. Surrounded by friends and family, they got married at the beautiful YMCA Camp Elphinstone on the Sunshine Coast. Today, they are busy with their own little camper, their nine-month old daughter, who they dream “will fall in love with camp and maybe even at camp just like her parents.”

YMCA Camp Elphinstone is proud to host numerous weddings each year. The 144 acres of lush, old growth forests, quiet streams and miles of shoreline make it an ideal backdrop to Westcoast weddings. The location includes various indoor meeting halls that offers seated capacity from 80 to 300, and also boasts an intimate outdoor chapel area, ideal for wedding ceremonies. On-site gourmet catering is available and accommodation for 160+ guests is also available on-site.

Limited availability for spring 2016, but many dates are still available for this fall/winter. Booking now for spring 2017. To learn more, please contact us at


Register now for Spring Break Camps!

Ahh, spring break. Coveted by kids, but a challenge for many working parents. What to do with your kids during spring break? We’re glad you asked! The Y is pleased to offer a variety of day and overnight camps during spring break. From day camp, kinder camp and leadership day camps in the Lower Mainland, to Outdoor Adventure day camp or overnight camp on the Sunshine Coast, we’ve got you covered.

Here are three reasons why Y camps are a great option for kids during spring break:

1. They’ll have fun. From out trips and games to arts & crafts and guaranteed smiles, we’ll keep your kids having a blast all week long.

2. They’ll be safe. Not only will your kids be well supervised and taken care of, but our staff go though stringent training—staff are First-Aid certified and have a minimum of 35 hours training in topics like child protection, child guidance, safety and supervision.

3. They’ll be moving. During the school year, kids spend a lot of time sitting. School breaks are an excellent time to get moving! Our camps guarantee a minimum of the recommended 90 minutes of daily physical activity. Swimming, sports and much more.

Registration is now open. 

TV time vs active time. Who wins?

It’s raining out. You’ve had a long day at work. You arrive home and your sofa and TV are calling to you. “Hey there. You’ve had a long day. Come say hello to Mr. Couch.”

Any parent knows what’s coming next. “Mommy! Daddy! You’re home! Let’s play!”Kids seem to pick your most tired moments for their bursts of energy.

Children pick up on your habits, especially when it comes to being active.  So how do you balance between screen time and active time? There’s nothing wrong with turning on the TV on those cold days, but try to make sure you balance it with activity.

  • Who says you have to sit on the couch? Stretch those muscles while watching a movie together.
  • Don’t just skip through those commercials. See who is up for a family plank challenge during the 30-second breaks. Your kids will love the chance to beat you at your own game.
  • Watching hockey together? In between periods is great time to grab a stick and try to play like the pros.

None of these tips can replace dedicated active time together, but every little bit helps! In the month of February, you can add your family for free for a month.  Come see how every member of the family can be active together at the Y.  For more info, ask the membership services desk at any membership centre.

Ten ways to spread a little love

This month, we’re reflecting on the spirit of love and the power of relationships.

For some, it could mean the love of a child or a partner, for others it might be about cherishing strong family connections or being thankful for healthy relationships.

At heart, it might just be about good health and how that enriches all that we do. Whatever love means to you, we’re glad you’re part of our YMCA community!

Here are ten simple ways you can share the love:

  • Smile at a stranger.
  • Find out your neighbour’s name.
  • Buy your co-worker a cup of coffee.
  • Let someone else go first in line.
  • Give up your seat for someone in need on the bus.
  • Encourage someone who is having a tough day.
  • Call someone you have not talked to in a while.
  • Thank your bus or taxi driver.

Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

Love is in the air! Looking for the perfect opportunity to show how much you care for someone? I mean, what more says I love you than some tasty treats made by no other than…you! As usual, we’re always on the hunt for delicious and healthy recipes. Here are some Valentine’s Day themed ideas…

Strawberry Sorbet

  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 2-3 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Freeze sliced strawberries and bananas over night. The next day, blend them with lemon juice until mixture is nice and creamy. Freeze for two hours. Serve plain or add some sliced almonds on top. Makes 2-3 servings, easily doubled or tripled for more! Experiment with additional fruits for new flavours.

Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

Now here’s a cookie that is healthy enough to enjoy any time of year! Sugar is optional we recommend omitting it—the apple sauce and chocolate chips will give the sweet taste we often crave. The dried raspberries give a lovely pink tint to these little beauties.

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

Remember that sugar cookie recipe from the holidays? Try it again with a heart shaped cookie cutter and add a bit of red food coloring for decoration. Want to make them even healthier? Use applesauce to substitute the sugar, use ripe bananas to substitute some or all of the butter and use egg whites only to reduce the amount of cholesterol.

Fruit Kebabs

Use red fruits like strawberries, grapes, watermelon, raspberries, blood oranges to make fruit kebabs. Cut strawberries into the shape of hearts!

Yogurt Strawberries

Chocolate covered fruit may get a lot of the limelight, but what about equally delicious yogurt covered fruit? Check out these frozen delights instead. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, and quite frankly—it’s delicious!

Have more ideas to share? Visit our Facebook page and comment with your favourite healthy Valentine’s Day treats!