Chlöe’s Friend Den

How we understand geography (and social environment) is how we understand the people who live within it. Successful communities identify ways to create spaces, places and events for coming together for growth, safety and opportunity and in doing so it creates inclusion, accessibility, leadership and social change”

Find your community in Canada, here!
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Children, Youth and Teens

Passionate about community, advocates for accessibility and champions for inclusion, Recreational Respite is excited to share our newest youth program, Chlöe’s Friend Den!

An 8 or 10 week recreation group for youth ages 7 – 15 years of age. Various appropriate age groups include 7-10 yrs, 11-13 yrs and 13-15 yrs and creates a unique program that is safe, inclusive and a fun way for your child or youth to explore new interests. It’s also a great opportunity to develop coping strategies, self-regulation tools, explore anti-bullying strategies and make new friends!

Our Story

After moving to a new community we realized that there were a great deal of transitional changes for our two young children. New friends to be made, new school to attend and a new community to explore. Our youngest child had a real sense of exclusion at first and recognized the challenges of making new friends as the ‘new kid’, even with her bubbly personality. We knew there might be other children that would be feeling the same way and experiencing barriers to participation because of anxieties, sensory concerns, disabilities or mental health. Our daughter Chlöe inspired the idea that if there was a program for all kids to come together to explore recreational interests through play, make new friends and learn various coping strategies, self-regulation techniques and anti-bullying strategies, that this might help create inclusion for all and opportunities for many.

Programs

My Brain: When exploring our brains, not only do we learn about anatomy and the scientific mechanics of our emotions; we learn ways to practice self-regulation, emotional coping, and the importance of a growth mindset. We learn how to manage our emotions through the exploration of our environment, and develop empathy and an anti-bullying mindset through understanding the emotions of our peers. The brain is an important muscle to practice using-just like any other muscle-to ensure that we are happy and healthy.

Super You: Self-esteem, independence, and empathy will be fostered through the creation of your own social story and comic book. Your social story can be used as reminders for future events that require self-regulation and coping strategies.  Learning the basics of literature and storytelling will highlight how you use your power to help others in a creative way.

Capturing Kindness: Art will be captured through photography, which will not only help the development of focus and technical skill, but allow you to use an alternative form of communication to express your thoughts on friendship and empathy. We will work as a team to share both art and ways to cope and self-regulate in different social situations.

Making Choices: As a team we will critically think about decisions that can be made in difficult situations by empathetically putting ourselves in the shoes of others. We will use team-building activities to promote an anti-bullying perspective of ways in which we can express our feelings, cope with a difficult situation, and self-regulate in a healthy way

Muscles and Me: We develop our physical literacy and social skills through sport and movement. By creating and teaching the rules of our own sport, we encourage empathy and gain self-regulation. Along with new games to be played, we gain new opportunities to cope in any new environment.

Cooking Club: In the kitchen, we will not only learn the essential ingredients for making diverse meals (gluten-free, vegan, multicultural, etc.), but also the essential ingredients for empathy.  We will explore diverse recipes and celebrate cooperation, independence, and making safe, healthy choices in the kitchen.

Storytelling with Yoga: The first thought to come to mind is meditation. This is true! Yoga promotes self-regulation and coping through self-awareness. The My Brain program will have already taught the basics of mindfulness to make this program even more fun. Most importantly, challenging yoga poses create a group experience that help us empathetically relate to each other and build relationships.

Art and Mixed Media: Through Art and Mixed Media, we will continue the anti-bullying project started in Capturing Kindness. Either by adding different art forms to the photographs or making a new piece all together, we will have empathetic artwork to display to our community! Creating art helps to relieve stress. Mixed media art encourages us to play with different products, techniques and tools, which will promote to coping and self-regulation.

STEM Lego: While developing a functioning Lego boat, we will also develop emotional intelligence, self-regulation, problem solving skills, and comfort in asking for support. Our emotions will be explored through an empathetic understanding of each other’s situations, where we will share smart coping strategies. With our positive thoughts, we can work together to find a solution.

Rhythmic Round Circle: Together we will express ourselves using music, rhythm and movement. Using traditional and non-traditional instruments, the group will build on each rhythm to create our own piece of music. Music helps with cognitive, social-emotional and behavioural development, which is what makes this program essential for self-regulation and coping, and the pitch-perfect inclusive and safe environment.

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