Campgrounds in autumn have a spiritual essence. Often somber after long summer days of splashing and cycling, the crisping leaves rustle a little louder and the misty morning air invigorates.
If you can fight the September hustle and bustle attached with back-to-school mayhem, coupled with the urge to reinstate family routines, it’s worth the effort to try fall Glamping.
Whether canoeing at Kejimkujik National Park, exploring the Valley or embracing the vibrant colour of Cape Breton Island, here’s some Glamping advice on planning for those warm autumn days and crisp nights.
Sites with electric hook-up are great for early- and late-season camping. Whether in a tent or pop-up, having the option to run a little tent-friendly heater is essential for those chilly, early-morning hours.
Hot water bottles are a great backup to a heater. Put one in your sleeping bag a half-hour before bedtime.
“It’s the best kept secret in Sackville,” says Ruth Baxter (73), lifting her quads and pumping her arms inwards and outwards during Norma J. Hustins older adult fitness class.
Baxter, crippled by a virus a few years ago, says she feels better when she does the classes. “Anyone can do it … there are women here between 50 and 80-years-old.”
Foot cancer caused Joan Richardson to have her leg amputated below the knee almost 20-years-ago. Richardson lives in Bedford and began the older adult fitness classes in 2012. She says she was skeptical she wouldn’t be able to do the exercises. “I can do almost everything here,” she says, not missing a beat while Hustins belts out instructions to 50 women at Stone Ridge Fellowship in Sackville.
“She does a lot of arm exercises and lot of working the big muscle in the rear, so you can get yourself up off of chairs … its good for seniors because you need to be able to get yourself up and be able to walk well,” says Richardson.
Hustins has taught this group of women for eight years and says she saw a need to get older adults moving. “It’s fun, it’s social, but the key factor is all of this is helping women maintain their independence,” says Hustins, a nutritional consultant and older adult fitness instructor.
“Once we lose our get-up muscles, we lose our independence.” She says she works the ladies hard, focusing on range of motion and balance exercises.
Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a six-part series about camping in style.
*Disclosure: no hermit crabs or jelly fish were harmed in the making of this blog.
Camping with kids creates lifelong memories for a family. Some recollections are not always glampy for the adults (packing, unpacking, hauling, pitching), but we’ll bet they’re always amazing for the children.
Hopefully our glamping tips inspire a happy adventure for all (even if ‘happy camper’ isn’t in your vocabulary).
From buntings to table linens here’s a few crafting ideas to glamp your camp. And don’t forget the mini-glampers in your family. We love nature-inspired ideas to keep them busy and connecting children with nature is probably the most gratifying and important aspect of camping. Putting away tech and teaching simple earth lessons will last a lifetime, when the lessons are married with a family holiday experience.
Bring binoculars and pack a local bird book and give your children a great opportunity to identify who’s habitat they’re sharing (and what creature is crooning that 5 a.m. wake-up chirp). On a recent trip to South Mountain Campground in Annapolis Valley we were sharing a site with (what I believe to be) a yellow-bellied sapsucker. If I’m wrong, send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. A helpful online resource is www.whatbird.com.
Make a woodsy or sea-themed wind chime with treasures you find on hike or beach stroll. Bringing along some string or twine and scissors. Our girls have never forgotten an enchanting sand mermaid they discovered on Mount Desert Island while glamping in Maine. Her sign offered sand dollars in exchange for sea glass. A local university professor collected the sand dollars for swapping and his wife was the sand sculptress.
Share a local author in your glamping experience, like making a dream catcher and reading local folklore like, “The Sharing Circle” by Theresa Meuse-Dallien. We read the girls one of our favorites, East To The Sea, by New Brunswick born author Heidi Jardine Stoddart, before camping at Ovens Natural Park on the South shore. They especially loved hearing the tale of sea monsters living in caves called The Ovens.
Rock-pooling and nature walks make for great discovery and campfire conversation.
Stargazing and searching for mythical heroes. At Kejimkujik we picked up a great sky chart to search constellations. If you have wifi and don’t mind putting technology towards some starry education, there’s ‘plenty an app for that’! Star Chart is free and well rated. The Night Sky is 0.99c but has a free Lite version.
Environmental care: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and practise the campers motto ‘leave no trace’. Parks Nova Scotia practices waste sorting and recycling, so bring along a blue bag for recyclables, a clear bag for rubbish and an organics waste pail and get the children involved. Check ahead for the garbage guidelines at your campground.
Crafting to glamp the camp:
East Coast Glampers teamed with local bloggers DIYPassion recently to share an easy sewing project to add a little luxe to camping.
Our Glamping Lap Mats were quick and simple, especially for an amateur like myself, who had not sewn since high school, aside from Operation Tilly Overhaul, where we recovered our pop-up trailer’s cushions and curtains.
1. Make a burlap bunting with a campy insignia.
2. Table linens: Four simple, straight sides to stitch and you’ve sewn your own tablecloth. Matching napkins can be made with any leftover material. Don’t have a machine? Visit a local sewing room, like Patch Halifax on Robie street where machines can be rented hourly and inspiration is shared with other crafters.
3. Potholders: Don’t damage a linen or oil-back tablecloth with a hot-off-the-fire pot. Potholders are a small easy projects (google online). Try a campy VW fabric like the one we found on Fabric.com.
Rain held off and sun shone upon two slick new activity courts at the grand opening of the Annex at Glen Arbour playground on Aug. 9. More than 50 people came to see the expansion, including the only playground bocce court in Nova Scotia, an elaborate shuffleboard court and a horseshoe pit.
“You can be two years old or you can be 99 years old and you will be able to use the facilities,” said Sylvianne Forbes, president of Glen Arbour Homeowners’ Association, as children gathered around HRM Councillor Matt Whitman (Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets Bay) and Hammonds Plains-Lucasville MLA Ben Jessome during the ribbon cutting.
Forbes gave a special thanks to the city and the province through the department of Health and Wellness, for their donations of $5,000 each towards the project and said the overall playground construction and expansion took about six years, with the expansion costing upwards of $35,000.
“Through our area rate, you can do projects that benefit all people in the community, not only residents of Glen Arbour subdivision,” said Forbes. She says the community is geared towards anything outdoorsy and fitness-oriented and the facilities can be played by all ages. “Glen Arbour residents are very active … we do more than golf.”
Matthew Mallard, Sarah Mallard and Patrick Cooke tryout the new shuffleboard court at the opening of Glen Arbour playground expansion, including a shuffleboard court, horseshoe pitch and the only playground bocce ball court in Nova Scotia.
Grant Jarvis given local children a demonstration of shuffleboard at the new Glen Arbour playground expansion opening on Aug. 9.
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a six-part series about camping in style.
When considering a family holiday, I think of rest and relaxation from the busy pace of everyday life. And I crave a break; from cleaning, from cooking and from the everyday chores synonymous with family life.
Camping simply doesn’t tick those boxes.
This week’s column shares a few tips on getting a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors and taking the grunge out of washing-up.
For more tips, recipes and tales of glamping around the Maritime follow our blog or like us at East Coast Glampers on FaceBook.
Entrusting a child into daycare or family-run childcare can be a daunting experience for parents. Researching available choices can help navigate these waters, finding the best option to fit the needs of every family.
Angie Bryant knows the benefits of both larger childcare centres and smaller family-run facilities. Bryant is executive director of Fox Hollow Child Care Centre and Family Home Agency in Upper Tantallon.
Angie Bryant, executive director of Fox Hollow Child Care Centre and Family Home Agency in Upper Tantallon created a fairyland oasis at Fox Hollow, filled with cosy corners, nooks and natural landscapes.
“For a stay-at-home mom who wants to mind other children along with her own, she doesn’t have get licensing through Department of Education and Early Childhood Development services,” says Bryant — a former EPA — provided they don’t exceed six children.
Family Home Day Care Programs provide care options for children from birth to school age, in a home monitored by a regulated family home daycare agency.
“Most families of preschool-age children between three and five-years-old, want to know their children are being prepared for going into primary school … they want to know if a facility offers a school readiness program, and our answer to parents is yes,” says Barb Wade, director at the Sackville location of Adventurers Child Care Centre.
A view to nature and a commitment to local lies at the foundation of newly built Prospect Bay Children’s Centre, opening its new 5,600 square foot modern, light-flooded premise in early August.
Spanning 7.4 acres of natural landscape, proprietor Lynda Noble says she designed the new location to be an extension of the outside.
“It’s very natural,” says Noble, holding her detailed workback schedule, with 26 years experience at Prospect Bay Children’s Centre and more than 38 years in the business.
Inspired by a work study in Reggio Emilia, Italy, with it’s world-renowned approach to preschool education, Noble says the large, bright ‘Common Room’ is the heart of the building and a style seen throughout the Italian region.