For over four decades, Little Mountain has been providing intentional, thoughtful, and fun activities for the children attending our camps. This year, fueled by a partnership and generous backing from the United Way of BC – Lower Mainland, we launched an additional summer initiative program called Thriving Minds. This specialized camp caters to newcomer children, nurturing a sense of community while preparing them to enter school.

The impact of these camps is immeasurable. We had two children from our first Thriving Minds cohort camp come by and say hello to staff and volunteers they remembered. Given the short length of time that these children have been in Canada, it was exciting for them to know people at their community park and play with other kids that speak the same language. At the same time, Mom got a chance to connect with staff and find critical information for their new lives in Canada.

Our Thriving Minds program took a field trip to Norquay Park and Purdy’s Chocolates, on Thursday, August 17th. The field trip brought together two of our camps with the goal of expanding the children’s communities of connection. The participants enjoyed a delicious ice cream bar with the toppings of choice and were able to hang out at the adjacent park. This experience left them with a wonderful memory of one of the most iconic buildings in East Vancouver. Some children were able to practice their English when ordering their treats and were thrilled to be understood! They have now added some important childhood words to their vocabulary. It was a lovely and sweet day all around.

A big thank you goes out to Purdys Chocolate for being so patient and welcoming and for serving up ice cream bars for our 50 summer camps participants, volunteers, and staff members. We learned a lot that day, including the fact that the factory opened in 1907 and that Purdys uses sustainable cocoa to produce all its products.