We strive for our Clubs to be more than just places for kids to go after school and during the summer; we want them to be places of well-rounded learning and growth. Many of our kids at our Clubs are new to Canada or have lived in the city most of their lives. So our Tweddle Club was excited to have the opportunity to take some of their kids out into the country to visit a small town and experience life on a farm. Our Danielle, a Community Program Facilitator, has family who built their lives in Innisfree – a town an hour and a half east of the city. With her family’s help, Danielle organized a day of small farm town adventures for her Club kids.
Their day started with a quick stop in Vegreville to pose with the World’s Largest Easter Egg. After taking some fun photos, they continued down Highway 16 straight to the Innisfree Post Office where they meet Grandma Melnyk. She treated the kids to a tour of the post office and helped them mail themselves letters. Many of these children have never had to use a Post Office or never received a letter. They were enthralled by this traditional way of communication!
Next, they were met by the Mayor of Innisfree at the information centre. The Mayor explained all about Cut Bank – a movie recently filmed in the little town – and went with them to visit the Innisfree Museum which was opened specially on that day just for them.
The group then ventured out of town to Auntie Leanne’s farm where they got to watch the cows eat, feed the horses themselves, and pet a sweet horse named Dairy. Being near the livestock, watching and touching the animals that provide our food, and used to be a mode of transportation was eyes opening for the kids. For lunch, they all went to Wapasu Lake for a BBQ hosted by Grandma and Grandpa Hlus. The kids had a blast swimming before coming back to the shore to have lunch.
After they finished eating everyone went with Grandma and Grandpa Hlus back to their farm where they learned about oats and barley, took a trip into the cow pasture, picked eggs from the chicken coop, and harvested radishes from the garden. The kids even got a picture in front of the seed truck that Grandpa Hlus rode in as an extra in Cut Bank!
At the end of the day Auntie Leanne surprised the kids with their very own cowboy hats from her bull-riding soon Bailey. Kids remember the things they’ve experienced better than things learned only in a classroom or Club setting. Our Clubs are committed to creating the best possible opportunities for our kids and youth to have new experience, develop new skills, and uncover new passions.
“This trip was a great example of how our Clubs aim to teach the kids and youth about the essence of real life so they know and appreciate where, how, and from whom we get our food,” says Sentsetsa Pilane, Community Programs Supervisor of the South Area. “Many of our kids have never been to a farm or met the people who raise and grow our food since they were born or since they came to Canada. So it was quite an amazing experience for them!”