Fifteen Alberta mothers and their combined 28 children were at The Salvation Army's Pine Lake Camp last week for this year's edition of Moms & Tots Camp, themed Soul Food: nutrition for the body, mind, and spirit. "This week gives families, who may not otherwise get a vacation, time to step away from the rigors of everyday life to spend some quality time together and try new things," stated Karen Livick, Executive Director of Community Services Calgary and leader of this year's camp. Moms participated in sessions about parenting, nutrition, journaling, photography, meditation, and experiencing God in their everyday lives while their children enjoyed canoeing, vacation bible school, the climbing wall, and the playground. There was also plenty of time for families to explore nature, go for a swim, and enjoy all the activities camp has to offer.
Chelsea was attending camp for the first time with her three month old daughter, the week's youngest camper, and her three year old stepdaughter. "This week has really been a great bonding experience for me and my stepdaughter, and I have really enjoyed the quiet time for myself," said Chelsea. "My stepdaughter is having so much fun she doesn't want to leave!"
This was the second year that Sofia has taken a week off from her job to come to camp with her two sons. "We had so much fun here last year that I was checking in and calling every week to make sure I didn't miss out on this year's registration," laughed Sofia. She also credits last year's camp as the motivator that got her attending church regularly again when she went home. Since last year's camp, one of Sofia's sons received an ADHD diagnosis which has been difficult on the whole family. "I love talking with all the other moms here," she said. "As we talk we learn that we share many of the same experiences and challenges with our kids."
Moms & Tots Camp is also a special time for the camp counsellors. "We love babies!" said one group of counsellors when asked what they liked most about this camp. With many counsellors returning year after year, they love meeting the kids and seeing them grow into future campers!