By LeRae Haynes –

There is huge range of exciting programs and events for families and individuals through the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, with even more coming up this spring. Everything from bees and trees to knees and cheese, from the Lazy River to climbing the walls, there’s something for everyone and something to delight every family.

Ellery Hengstler, four years old, Lea Hengstler, Henry Hengstler, two years old, and Dallas Hengstler enjoy a family swim in the new pool. Photo: LeRae Haynes

One new program running through February 21 is Piyo for moms and babies. It’s a fun way to enjoy hands-on fitness with your baby on board, strengthening your core, increasing flexibility, and working on overall strength training.

Another innovative program that will blast you from winter blues to spring is the first Tri-Aqua-Thon, an indoor fitness challenge for all ages that includes swimming, biking, and running. An opportunity for co-workers, friends, and family members to have fun and challenge each other, the event’s fun finish line is March 15.

And then there’s the new pool and fitness centre. “We have so many families coming in to use the new pool areas,” said Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex recreation co-ordinator Denise Skarra.

“It’s great entertainment. The kids can hit the leisure pool, and mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa can go down the Lazy River. It’s the best family entertainment.

“People of all ages and abilities can take part: everyone loves the leisure pool. It’s four degrees warmer, and is nice for all.
“This facility is second to none. Every morning I wake up and can’t quite believe I get to come to work here. Sundays are smokin’ busy now and there are line-ups for the pool. It’s amazing.”

A great family event coming up at the Complex is the 28th annual Nutrition Run on April 8. A celebration of healthy eating and active living, it’s a wonderful reason to enjoy the beginning of spring with your family, according to Skarra, who said people walk, run, ride bikes, push strollers, and bring their dogs. “You name it, you’re there,” she continued.

“People love it – it’s the beginning of spring. You don’t have to register; you just show up. One of our fitness leaders does a warm up with everyone to kick off the event. The 5-km route is always the same; sometimes we have 400 people show up.”

She said to keep your eyes open for the new Active Living Guide coming out in April. “We’ll have double the adult programs as last year—a huge range,” she said.

For more information about the exciting programs available through the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, visit its Facebook page, watch for the upcoming Active Living Guide, or phone (250) 398-7665.

LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of lots of music with kids.

On Monday, February 12, BC celebrates Family Day, a statutory holiday dedicated to families coming together to spend time and remember why family connections are so important.

If you are looking for some ways to spend Family day enjoying the company of your loved ones, here are some suggestions.

Connecting in an Over-scheduled World

Finding the time isn’t easy when members of a family are going in eight different directions. Here are some quick and easy ways to make quality connections when schedules don’t match up, on Family Day and every day:

  1. Eat together: Everyone must eat; may as well sit down together. If someone is stuck at the office, use Skype.
  2. Cook together: Plan meals where everyone pitches in.
  3. Use the early hours: Wake kids up 30 minutes early for quiet tea on the couch before the chaos of the day begins.
  4. Turn off the screens: Plan for at least one hour each night where the screens are off and the phone is in a drawer.
  5. Walk after dinner: 30 minutes minimum to maximize the benefit.
  6. Fix things together: Restore, recycle, repair … everyone can help.
  7. Ask questions: Show interest in kids’ school, activities, and interests.
  8. Drive your kids to school: Uninterrupted time in the car is prime for conversation.
  9. Leave a note: On the counter, in the lunch kit, on the bathroom mirror to let family members know you’re thinking about them.
  10. Make the time: Carve time out of each day for quality time together. You have the time; chores, after hours business, and errands can wait—time and opportunity will not.

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