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Fundraiser Spotlight: Virgi’s Vikings!

Over the years we’ve had a variety of organizations host a fundraiser with us to assist in generating funds for their cause. We felt it was time to shine the spotlight on some of the amazing people and organizations running a Mabel’s Labels Fundraiser. 

The reason why Virgi’s Vikings walk; Lydia’s mother with her 3 of her 4 granddaughters.

Lydia from Etobicoke, Ontario has been running an online fundraiser with Mabel’s Labels since April 2013. Each year Lydia and her team, Virgi’s Vikings, walk for The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers in support of her mom, a breast cancer survivor. Lydia has raised over $200 to assist with the required donations for each member of her team.

It was through another fundraiser that Lydia found out about Mabel’s Labels and made her first purchase. Telling us that the labels pretty much sell themselves, she finds hosting a fundraiser with Mabel’s Labels to be easy. She shares her designated link for her fundraiser on social media and is sure to tell other Moms about it.

Interested in supporting Virgi’s Vikings? Shop for your Mabel’s Labels here!

If you want to sign a team up to earn extra funds in support of an organization or charity, get started today! Visit www.signup.mabelslabels.com.

The Right Book at the Right Time

Guest blogger and book-loving mama Heather Wray talks about her favourite childhood books and how the right book at the right time can encourage children to become lifelong readers. 

Books

When my grandfather was preparing to move into a retirement residence, he gave me a small trunk which held some of his most treasured possessions: my grandmother’s wedding dress, his silver baby spoon, and three 19th century volumes of The Works of Charles Dickens. Inside one of the books, in youthful fountain penmanship, is inscribed my great-great-grandfather’s name.

Now you can walk into any library or bookstore and grab a copy of Nicholas Nickleby, and so the fact that these books have been in the family for over a century indicates that the physical item can be just as valuable to a person as the words on its pages. It is said that if children connect with the right book—one that captures their interest and imagination—at the right time, they will become lifelong readers. Were these volumes the “right” books for my great-great grandfather?

I think back to some of the books I first read—books I still have—and they are very much like old friends.  Many were read several times, and some contain birthday wishes from the relatives who gave them to me. Books like The Secret Garden, Little House on the Prairie, and Anne of Green Gables  introduced me to worlds and times beyond my own.  They offered an escape and an understanding of what it is to be lonely, to struggle, to overcome.  The Velveteen Rabbit comforted me when my favourite stuffed bunny disappeared in the hospital after a case of appendicitis. And then there was Nancy Drew – a strong female character who always prevailed in the end.

Do I expect my descendants to keep these books forever? No. They will have their own treasures that will be meaningful to them. However, I do love revisiting stories I think my kids will enjoy and reading with them. With their yellowed pages and well-worn spines, these books reflect a simpler time. I read my first e-book this summer and loved it, but there is truly nothing like the all-sensory experience of snuggling up with little ones and turning the pages together. They laugh at the funny parts and widen their eyes at the suspenseful ones, and I’m fairly certain I will never throw those books away.

Book Labels

 

Book Labels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Alert! We’re giving away a set of Book Labels  from Mabel’s Labels! To enter, simply leave a comment letting us know what your favourite book as a child was. Winner will be announced on August 21, 2012.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Ten years ago Heather made one of the best decisions of her life when she went back to school to become a librarian. She currently works in a public library and has a passion for connecting people in her community with the resources they need. She shares her life with her husband, a son and daughter, and a guinea pig named Snowy. Her children have taught her more than any book ever could.

Heather blogs about her experience raising a child with Down syndrome and the resources that are helping her along at  www.downsyndromeresourceconnection.com

 

Is Your Child Ready For Camp?

Camp season is upon us & to help you help your kiddos get ready, we’ve lined up some guest posts by LeAnne from Inter-Varsity Camps! Be sure to join us on our Facebook Fan Page for a live chat with Camp Exert, LeAnne on Tuesday, June 12 from 10-11am EST. Post your camp questions on our wall & LeAnne will have an answer for you! 

How do I choose a summer camp for my children?  Summer camp is most easily divided these days into day camps and residential (overnight) camps.  In both categories, there’s a camp for just about everything you can think of … sports, music, art, computers, sailing, biking.  There are faith-based camps, water-oriented camps, single sex or co-ed camps, out-tripping camps, horse camps, family camps, and camps for children with things like autism or diabetes or cancer.

Summer Camp is a great place for kids to have new experiences, try new activities, and make new friends.  They develop new skills, and build self-confidence, independence and problem solving skills.

If your kids have never been away from home, a day camp is a good place to start, maybe even just a half day, say for a morning.  Ask your mommy-friends for a recommendation:  reputation is important!  And maybe it’s obvious, but try to choose one that has activities your child likes.

Consider inviting one of their friends to go along – that often makes it more fun for your child, and they have someone to talk with about it when they return.  It also makes it easier when you leave them for the morning or the day or the week.  Check out the age of the staff, the camper:staff ratio, what sort of application process is in place and the training the staff are given before they are given any responsibilities with kids.  Ask about general care (hats & sunscreen), safety procedures, camp rules, and what sort of problem it would take for the staff to call you.  Get a sense of the flow of the day so you can prepare your child to know what to expect.

For a residential camp, most kids are usually ready between the ages of 8 and 10.  It’s helpful if they’ve stayed overnight at a friend’s place or grandparents beforehand.  If they’ve attended a day camp or two, or you’ve gone to camp as a family, they might be ready a year or two earlier.  I’ve found that if a young child – say 6-7 – has an older sibling who’s already been to camp and is going back, the younger child may be ready at that earlier age.  Your child doesn’t need to be extroverted to enjoy camp, but being comfortable meeting new people sure helps.  And again, taking a friend along the first time can help smooth the way.

In choosing a residential camp, be sure you ask all the same questions above, and in addition, you probably want to ask about meals, bedtime routines and accommodations.  You may want to tour the camp in advance – many camps welcome that.  You may want to educate your child on the difference between clean clothes and clothes that have been worn… and perhaps stating the obvious… you might want to avoid white T-shirts if you have boys!  Beyond that, most camps will give you lots of instructions about what to bring and what to leave at home.  Reading those will either answer or prompt further questions.

Finally, my bias.  Look for a camp with longevity, one with staying power.  In this economy, it tells you they’re doing something right.  Inter-Varsity’s Pioneer Camps have been around for over 80 years.  Located in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, they run 1 and 2 weeks programs for kids aged 5-18.  Want to give your child the experience of a life time, maybe a technology-free week filled with adventure, activities, faith and new friends?  This year they’re offering a 20% discount on fees for first time campers.  Check them out at http://www.pioneercampcontest.com?blog= or get more information at www.pioneercamp.com.  You’ll be glad you did.

About the Author:

LeAnne is married and is the proud mom of 2 boys, aged 6 and 8.  Both boys are quickly becoming veteran campers as LeAnne works as VP Camping for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship.  In this role she is responsible for leading the work of 9 Christian camps across Canada – 4Pioneer Camps and 5 Circle Square Ranches.  When she’s not working, LeAnne loves hanging out with her husband and her boys, bike riding, playing Wii, and making music together.

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