The best ideas for summer fun for all ages
The best ideas for summer fun for all ages
Two organizations have teamed up to make Lynn Valley a little bit stronger. The North Vancouver District Public Library and St. Clement’s Anglican Church have launched Caring Community Kits to help build community.
The congregation at St. Clement’s has spent much of the last decade reflecting on its place within the community. Governments have picked up many social services that were once the church’s role in the community and this has led the congregation to look for gaps it can fill to support and build the community, explained Rev. Peggy Trendell-Jensen, deacon.
“We can’t take a great neighbourhood for granted,” she said. “We saw after last March’s  tragedy the empathy, service and compassion present in Lynn Valley. We don’t want that to erode, we want to nurture the need for a ‘common good’.”
With a church fund already in place to support efforts in the larger Lynn Valley community, Trendell-Jensen turned to the library for partnership.
“This is one of the most impactful and exciting collections we have ever developed at NVDPL,” said Krista Scanlon, manager of collection services at NVDPL.
The donation from St. Clement’s has led to a new fund at the library, with the goal to foster a vibrant and thriving community.
“We thought these funds that became the Caring Communities Fund would allow the librarians to purchase materials that support in any way the building of healthy families, healthy homes, and healthy neighbourhoods,” said Trendell-Jensen.
The backpack-sized kits are to promote learning, sharing and building understanding in the community. From books to puppets to games and more, each Caring Community Kit is filled with resources on topics that promote community building, strengthen resilience, and increase interpersonal understanding.
“The kits are designed to support individual learning and understanding for all ages, while developing a sense of shared connectedness,” said Scanlon. “The hope is that they will broaden perspectives and create deeper appreciation for one another.”
Trendell-Jensen is especially proud of the diversity of the kits – both in theme and in the variety of resources.
“A family may love books, so those are in there, but not all children engage with written and visual information, so having something like a puppet is a great way to have an impact.”
The library echoes that idea. These Caring Community Kits exemplify how the library supports learning and information sharing in a variety of ways—and in the ways that our community needs in this day and age, said Meghan Crowe communications and events coordinator for NVDPL.
“Libraries have always been about sharing resources and equitable access, but we’re also about people, spaces, and connection. We offer books, films, digital resources—and we also offer puzzles, Dungeons and Dragons Starter Kits, Radon Detector Kits, and more.”
With guidance from St. Clement’s initial idea, the library staff dove into thoughtful discussions about what understanding is needed to foster the foundational values of North Vancouver.
“Our staff are experts at curating relevant and meaningful collections. So in addition to the original proposal from St. Clement’s, our staff really tapped into the topics that we know our community wants to learn about and what is relevant to community members,” said Crowe. “For example, our community cares deeply about topics like anti-racism and reconciliation. We’re seeing requests for information on these topics in other collection areas, and as we all continue our own personal growth journeys, topics like this were natural choices for some of the kits.”
For Trendell-Jensen, the inclusion of a further resources card is an important piece.
“The resources guide helps families explore organizations and books on these topics beyond just the kit,” she said. “The kits are fabulous – and not just geared to families or children. There are some for adults to cultivate community building – like conversation starters. This is an evolving project. I would love to see something like a kit on how to have difficult conversations to help people negotiate topics where there is disagreement but we need to all hear each other.”
Other topics geared toward adults are mindfulness, anti-racism and truth and reconciliation.
Check it out
There are 15 Caring Communities Kits in circulation based out of the Lynn Valley branch. They can also be borrowed by any NVDPL patron, at any branch, said Crowe. They are also in the process of adding more kits with plans to display them at Parkgate and Capilano libraries as well.
“All you have to do is search “Caring Community Kit” in the catalogue to see all of the different kit titles. Patrons can place holds on their kit of choice for convenient pick-up at any NVDPL location.”
With the Caring Communities Fund now established Trendell-Jensen hopes residents will think of it as a place to donate.
“It is a way to have a very direct impact on the health and wellbeing of the neighbourhood. If you are looking to help out the community or remember someone, my hope is people will think of it and make a donation.”
There has been much discussion in the daily updates for Covid-19 about Halloween. Dr. Bonnie Henry, at this point, is adamant it can go on. There have been guidelines written by the BC Centre for Disease Control and creative minds working throughout the community.
We have been thinking about how we can help the community enjoy the annual tradition in the most safe and responsible way.
First and foremost: If you are sick, do not trick or treat and do not hand out candy.
We are building a map and will continue you to add homes and displays to visit in the days leading up to Halloween weekend. We will continuously add to it throughout the month of October. If you click on the map (or the square with the arrow in the upper left), we have layers letting you know which homes are fun for all ages and which are spookier. There are definitely some favourites on here like the Haslers and the Tindales on Wellington.
From Sykes to Peters and many nooks and crannies in between, we see so many get in the spooky spirit of Halloween. LynnValleyLife will be putting together a Halloween Map. If you go over the top wth house decorations or know of a great display, please send it our way. We want families to enjoy the community spirit of Halloween – without door knocking – in the days around the holiday. You can use the from below or this link to add to the map. These don’t have to be your home, please add your neighbours homes too – if they have a display they want people to see it.
Source: BC Centre for Disease Control
For the last few months Sarah Dugan has been working for the United Way as a Community Builder. Her territory includes various parts of the North Shore including Lynn Valley.
“We want to help bring a little bit of happiness to life,” said Dugan.
She has been working over the last several months with direct outreach to local community members as well as creating initiatives that bring people together.
“Community builders reach out to members of the community and help their specific needs like cleaning supplies or groceries, help for seniors, virtual check ins, mental health support – connecting to resources if they need it. It can be hard to navigate systems online – to figure how to get the help that you need – and I can help them. Having someone who has lived in the community and growing up can be an important part of that.”
To learn more about the ongoing projects follow check out the initiative’s Facebook page. If you or someone you know need support you can reach out to the United Way through Dugan ([email protected]) or visit the United Way online.
The last big project for the community builders is to support the residents with their own initiatives to build Local Love, said Dugan. The Local Love project offers grants of upto $1000 to people with ideas to connect others within our community.
“This is a way for people to get involved and get to know people in their neighbourhood,” she said. “When we are spending so much time at home, we aren’t seeing our neighbours as much and we aren’t having people in our home spaces. Sometimes families with young kids get to know each other but it is not as easy when you are older. Adults sometimes don’t know their neighbours in the same way, it would be nice to see some kind of connection created.”
Examples across the Vancouver area include physically distant block parties, comfort and hobby bags.
“We now want to focus on a bit of long term community between the people who are hosting the projects and those participating in the projects, so it’s not just a drop off situation,” she said. “You need to be a little bit creative in figuring out what kind of project can do that. We are really pushing for ones that have some sort of community aspect – and it doesn’t have to be in person. It can also be something online.”
Dugan really loved the creativity and connection fostered by one project that received funding in another Local Love region. She explained two women hosted art classes and had families sign up and dropped off supplies each week. The families shared their completed art with the organizers, who in turn when dropping off supplies the following week dropped off images of other projects sharing with the community of participants what everyone had made.
“We would like to help build relationships that go beyond the length of the project,” said Dugan. “I would really like to see different residents come together and meet each other.”
Dugan explained there is an application process – and interested people should contact her directly so she can walk them through the application process With her guidance there tends to be less back and forth and a quicker funding result, she said.
“Each neighbourhood has a budget – the North Shore has used about half of it and we have space for about four to five more in Lynn Valley,” said Dugan.
How to get started:
It was a busy summer on the Shore. The local trails have been inundated with users of all kinds, even with parking lots closed walkers, hikers and bikers from all over the region made their way to our trails. It means a lot of work for hundreds of volunteers that build and maintain terrain.
The North Shore Mountain Bike Association’s Joe Woywitka knows firsthand how busy the trails are. He spends five days a week working on taking care of the region’s trails as its trail crew lead. The covid restrictions initially changed the make of users on the trails, but as the months went on, the numbers continued to rise, he said.
“I am out working on the trails and the influx of new riders, trail runners and hikers has been huge,” said Woywitka. “We are seeing a lot more beginners out there – which is a good thing. I think they are seeing what goes into the trails. It’s great. It means more people for the sport, more people to support the association and get involved in advocacy for the trails.”
The NSMBA is thrilled to see more riders out – it aligns with their mandate of “Trails for all. Trails forever.” Their goal is to grow the sport to more people and with more diversity. A cause the covid pandemic has helped in its own way.
With many riders and families spending their season out on the trails for the first time, they are seeing for the first time what it takes to keep the trails on Seymour, Cypress and Fromme safe, said Woywitka.
“Growing up here there wasn’t the same amount of trail maintenance going on – which means fewer beginner trails or trails that made it easy to get into the sport,” he said. “What the NSMBA has been doing over the last 10 years or so is to make the trails more inclusive and help people get into the sport and also maintaining the more challenging terrain the North Shore is known for.”
It takes a whole community to keep the trails environmentally sustainable, safe and fun. More than 1,600 volunteers shared their time with the NSMBA last year for more than 13,000 volunteer hours.
The NSMBA uses a dedicated group of 500 volunteers – the Shore Corps – that have all undergone training to lead its community trail days and corporate trail days. Giving a few hours to the trails is something Woywitka would like all riders to consider. With no experience necessary, the Shore Corp takes the lead on guiding volunteers.
“They are the core group of builders we can lean on to help maintain the trails. Some have ‘their own’ trails that they are the lead builder on and are dedicated to maintain,” he said.
Today the Corps is needed more than ever as covid protocols require smaller groups further apart. With the trail work days resumed, it is a chance to give back to the sport you love.
“Volunteers are what drives our organization and lets us get the majority of work done. You will see how not only do we maintain the trails but how we make our trails fun,” he said. “The primary focus when we are out doing any sort of trail work is sustainability. When you participate in any form of outdoor recreation there are going to be environmental impacts and our goal is to offset what comes from mountain biking and the trail maintenance. ”
There are a few plans in the works to add more terrain to the North Shore. For the first time, the NSMBA is working with the City of North Vancouver to establish some trails in Greenwood Park, just south of the Upper Levels.
“We have found a suitable place to build,” said Woywitka. “The terrain is a little bit easier and it isn’t super steep like many parts of the North Shore mountains. It would be a great place for beginner and intermediate trails.”
With the expansion and redesign of trails focusing on newer riders completed over the last few years, the NSMBA is also looking to better service the experienced riders that have been using the trails for decades.
“Over the last several years we have really rounded out the beginner and intermediate trails and we are hoping to push for a new advanced level trail,” Woywitka said. “Somewhere higher up on Fromme would be the best place for it. It is something the community has been calling for and we want to make sure we are advocating for the higher level riders.”
Among the many changes of Covid-19 are the loss of community events. The big one for many families this fall will be the changes to Halloween. We have been thinking about how we can help the community enjoy the annual tradition in the most safe and responsible way.
We are about seven weeks away from ghouls and goblins, creepers and princesses taking over the streets of Lynn Valley. The past few years celebration have centred on Wellington Drive and Dovercourt Road – where the Dovercourt Crypt has been stepping up its spookiness year after year. Last year the streets were wall to wall people with kids tightly lined up at doors that never closed.
That can’t happen this year but the celebrating can still go on in new ways. Dr.Bonnie Henry has just released this information. There is the expectation that Halloween has smaller celebrations and families will choose carefully how they celebrate. More specific guidelines will come in the weeks ahead.
We want to bring the community together – but still safely remain a part. Schools likely won’t be hosting pumpkin patches or fall fairs. We know this will leave a big hole in the heart of the community this fall.
We have some ideas and would love to hear yours – how can we embrace this holiday as a community but a part? Email us your ideas at [email protected].
We have one plan in the works and a contest or two.
We know there are a great number of Halloween displays all over the community. From Sykes to Peters and many nooks and crannies in between, we see so many get in the spooky spirit of Halloween. LynnValleyLife will be putting together a Halloween Map. If you go over the top wth house decorations or know of a great display, please send it our way. We want families to enjoy the community spirit of Halloween – without door knocking – in the days around the holiday. You can use the from below or this link to join the map.
When many young people are enjoying their last taste of summer, Lynn Valley’s Jake Musgrave is donning a mask and taking up a crusade across Canada raising money for Covid relief and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – all by bike.
August 28th 23-year-old Musgrave will clip into his pedals and hit the road, aiming to arrive in Halifax a month later. He hopes the ride will do more than take him across the country. Musgrave hopes to raise money as well.
His dual causes – Covid-19 relief and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – hit close to home and are more linked than it would first appear. Musgrave lost his father Randy at eight-years-old to leukemia. It’s a disease that feels powerless to fight and a surprise when it hits, he said.
“It was so sudden,” said Musgrave. “He was healthy, active, a firefighter. He didn’t know what was happening. He inspires me to live an active, healthy life.”
Musgrave sees Covid-19 as a situation where we don’t have to go it alone.
“Let’s be in this together, let’s protect each other,” he said. “Wear a mask so you can protect others. I don’t want someone else to have the trauma of losing a loved one.”
He is taking his own advice and is planning on riding all 6,021 kilometres while wearing a mask.
“When I first approached I thought it would be tough. It certainly is harder to ride with the mask on – I have noticed that after some longer rides. It’s awkward but doable,” said Musgrave. “Wearing a mask and doing something small to keep everyone safe is huge support. Just think about it – wherever you go, grab your phone, your wallet, your keys, your mask.”
The trip has been laid out with varying distances each day from the shortest 112km to the longest 250km, with the goal to finish in 30-33 days. It could be less if he surpasses his expectations, he said. The sections were divided based on elevation gain.
“I am planning on the Coquihalla and through the Rockies at Golden and Revelstoke,” he explained. “Pretty much along the Trans Canada but I have spoken to cyclists who have done it to hear about better routes where the shoulder is wider or secret spots where I won’t get blown away by big trucks.”
While Musgrave has plenty of riding experience this will be his biggest adventure to date.
“I have been riding from age six or seven when my dad got me out on my mountain bike – he was a very active man,” said Musgrave. “But it was really my aunt Lesley [Tomlinson] an Olympic [mountain bike] athlete who got me into road racing in Grades 11 and 12.”
To date Musgrave’s longest ride is 240km, just short of his expected longest ride of the trip.
He works at the cycling gym TaG and gets in plenty of riding but is also intensifying his training working at longer distances at his goal pace around 30km/h.
“Since I decided to do this ride I have decided to step it up,” said Musgrave. “I have always done TaG two or three times a week but I need to train harder and do it almost every single day.”
The ride will take Musgrave the furthest east he has ever been in Canada. He credits fellow North Shore and TaG rider Jane Weller for inspiring him to aim big.
“She rode across the country alone – which is phenomenal. I figured if she could do it I could give it a try.”
Musgrave, on the other hand, is choosing with his tighter timeline to be supported on the road by friends driving with a trailer. As for challenges, he is preparing for saddle sores and wind.
“I’ve been through a lot. I think I am pretty mentally strong.”
Last year, the Pearmain family from Lynn Valley travelled for the second time to Zambia – suitcases stuffed with donated local soccer jerseys and reading supplies. It proved to be a powerful catalyst for Argyle student Hope Pearmain, who will embark on a four-month internship to teach literacy after graduating this summer.
LynnValleyLife shared the story of Project Samuel last spring. It is worth a read but in a nutshell: The Pearmain family is helping to support the education of 24 orphans in Africa inspired by their friendship with former North Vancouverite Kim Close who is on the ground working and living in Zambia. Now with her own connection to Zambia, their daughter Hope is planning her third trip in as many years.
With education support being the underlying goal of all their visits, Debbie and Hope Pearmain spent last spring working with literacy teacher Susan McLean and gathering a few items for the children before heading off to Project Samuel, in rural Zambia.
“We want to say thank you to Lynn Valley and the North Shore Girls Soccer and North Shore Football Club,” said Debbie Pearmain. “We wear able to take over 100 soccer jerseys, cleats and balls. We were able to give the high school enough jerseys for their entire team.”
Soccer is a powerful social connector, explained Pearmain. A local church, North Shore Alliance, sent a team to Zambia and was able to lead a soccer camp reaching up to 100 kids a day. In a place where many can’t afford education or don’t have the literacy to attend high school, community engagement like sports makes a huge difference, she said.
On their first trip to the Chibombo District of central Zambia, Pearmain noticed a number of challenges facing the youth at the Project, as well as others in the community.
“We helped raise the money to keep these kids in school but we were compelled to go back because I realized half the kids wouldn’t pass their Grade 7 exams because their English literacy is poor,” she said. “If they can pass their government exams they can stay in school. Once they can read – it’s their ticket to achieve their potential.”
Pearmain emphasized the students and teachers do a lot with what they have but it’s so different from the resources North Vancouver students experience it’s almost unfathomable.
“The teachers are working so hard, but they have 100 students in a classroom. Sometimes they have no desks, they have no paper and they for sure don’t any have books. No LAC (learning assistance class). No literacy centre,” she said. “They are also double ESL – they are learning English, their third language, from their second language Tonga – one they may only have been speaking for a year or two and only speak at school. By Grade 7 all exams are in English and if they can’t read them, they can’t answer them. If they don’t pass, they don’t get to go to high school.”
It was a huge yet simple challenge that resonated with Pearmain, in part because her son also struggled with early reading. He was well supported here at home, an experience that connected them to, now-retired, literacy teacher Susan McLean. The Pearmains worked with McLean, and Boundary teachers Nancy Dale and Leigh Koeingfest, to learn a simple method to teach literacy. In addition, McLean gifted her personal resources after her retirement which lay the foundation of the Pearmains’ plan.
“Hope and I would return to focus on literacy. We started the program with the house moms and the older kids at Project Samuel before taking it to the local schools,” she said. “We taught a very simple way of teaching kids how to read – a seven-step process. And it totally worked!
“So then Hope and I taught some of high school kids and we literally worked with the kids at the Project everyday and they started reading. It was unbelievable. About two weeks in, we went back to the schools we had visited the year before and we did professional development with the teachers. When we did the professional development, we brought them the resources we had gathered here and we gifted them to the schools. Then we got to go into the classroom and were able to teach.”
The work put in by the students, teachers and the Pearmains quickly bore fruit.
“One Sunday I went outside and I literally started crying because there were all these older kids from the Project in these random places – on a rock, under a tree, on the stoop, over by the chickens – with the younger kids reading them books. It was beautiful,” she said.
The students continue to work and improve their skills.
“I get emails from Kim [Close] – stories like this boy, 15 years old, who wants to be a truck driver. He had no hope of passing his driver’s test because it’s in English,” said Pearmain. “Now – he’s learning to read. He has a future. It’s the game changer for their future.
“Fifty percent of kids in rural Zambia drop out of Grade 7. You can see during the day, there are tons of kids working in the fields or the shops or caring for babies.”
Hope Pearmain had visions through Grade 10 and 11 to be a nurse, said her mom.
“But after this past summer, she came back and said ‘I am going into education and I want to teach LAC and help kids.’ As a mom, to watch her in the classroom was amazing – to see that sparkle and to see your kid light up teaching and doing something she was good at.”
The experience led Hope to apply for an internship to return to Zambia. She will be spending four months there after her Argyle Secondary graduation, along with Carson Secondary grad Sofia Stanley.
“She is going to go back to the rural school we worked at and be there every day in the classroom helping Grade 3s with literacy,” said Pearmain.
March 7, 2020, the Pearmain family is hosting a fundraiser at the Hollyburn Country Club to fundraise for the Project Samuel kids. Those interested in supporting the event with donations or silent auction items or to secure tickets can contact Debbie via email. To donate directly to Project Samuel go to: icmsgo.com. Then click: DONATE, select: Canada, agency: Project Samuel Foundation, supporting: Children and Project Giving.
“When Hope returns we want her to bring more advanced resources – it all has to go in suitcases. Books are heavy!”
Argyle students harvested a bumper crop of Remembrance Day poppies from the most unlikely place – their metal work shop. Selling out in under two hours they have raised more than $100 for the Lynn Valley Legion.
“It started last year, when a student Ava Johnson – a gifted artist – said, about Nov. 10, she was going to use some scrap to make a poppy,” said Ryan Edgar, a metalwork teacher at Argyle Secondary School. “It was phenomenal and I decided this would be one of the first projects students work on this year.”
As a simple project involving copper and enamel, Edgar had students trace, cut, clean and apply several coats of enamel in red and black. The process takes time and involves repeatedly heating the copper until the enamel powder melts.
“We made over 100 and sold them for a minimum donation of $1 for the legion,” he said. “We started at one lunch hour and by the next morning when teachers who didn’t have a donation the day before came to me – we were sold out.”
The class project saw a clear shift in the students. Like any project, as the classes went on they began to lose a bit of interest, he said.
“That was the cool thing – once they realized they were giving back to the community – that there would be a significant financial gift – from their hard work, they were back at it,” said Edgar. “Students are way more socially conscious than when I was their age and even more than they were when I started teaching 16 years ago. They really want to help others.”
Edgar and students are well aware they are creating “forever poppies” and took the time to speak to purchasers to encourage them in future years to donate to the Legion.
“We still want people to put a little something in the jar, even if they aren’t getting a poppy.”
With the success of this year’s poppies Edgar hopes to make even more next year. Keep your eyes peeled on the streets of Lynn Valley for these small works of art, and know its our local teens taking the time to remember.
This is a busy time for the legion membership, whose core volunteers are diligently donating hours upon hours.
The Lynn Valley community can help at the legion in many ways this time of year. The main fundraiser and awareness campaign is Poppy Tagging – that is handing out poppies to members of the community and collecting donations.
Lynn Valley community members are asked to volunteer by visiting the legion – 1630 Lynn Valley Road – any day until November 11, beginning at 12 noon. Poppy taggers will be given a tray, a short briefing and assigned a location in Lynn Valley. The work is flexible for whatever time the volunteer has. Locals are also encouraged to pick up a poppy tray to take to their workplace. Call the branch (604) 987-2050 to learn more or volunteer.
Royal Canadian Legion 114 – LV Legion
We have an idea. There are great partners in Lynn Valley – we have a wealth of experience and knowledge between our hills and we want to share it with our community. Starting this Fall, we will be leveraging the knowledge of our neighbours and sharing it around with a series of workshops at the Legion.
We want to share and discuss topics that are relevant to you. We know our community is diverse. We have families just starting out. We have couples working and playing hard. We have parents supporting their children and taking care of their own aging parents. We have seniors who have called this place home for decades. We have immigrants diversifying Lynn Valley’s future. While every topic might not be for you, our aim is to have a topic for everyone.
There is a lot going on in Lynn Valley and we will try to offer something for everyone. Our goal is to provide these workshops and experiences for free or very low cost.
We are going to start slow and do this smart. Our goal is to have Life Learning sessions that will take place throughout the Fall and Winter.
We are partnering with the Lynn Valley Legion to use their well appointed facilities, with space, audiovisual equipment, free parking and fantastic walkable location it is the perfect place to launch a community program.
We’d like to tailor these workshops to you so feel free to share your ideas with us HERE as we get started in this process.