Summer in Vancouver — is there anything better?!
From downtown, you are minutes away from beaches, the ocean, and a plethora of both outdoor and indoor concerts, festivals, events, and shows. There are many more people outdoors and experiencing what Vancouver has to offer.
Not only is getting outdoors and attending various functions fun, but there are also many benefits to these experiences. Here are reasons from multiple sources that explain why getting active and attending a variety of functions are good for you.
According to WebMD, getting outside helps:
- You get exercise
- You get vitamin D
- Lessen anxiety
- You get social — Human contact and a sense of community are important to your mental health
- Improves your sleep
- You feel better about yourself — This is especially true if you’re near water or green space
- Improve your focus
- Improve your immunity
- Boost your creativity
- You keep a healthy weight
According to Health Fitness Revolution, the benefits to attending live concert/music events are:
- Reduces stress
- Releases happy hormones
- Pain relief — the brain can release endorphins that help with pain relief
- Provide social connection and community
- Burn calories — dancing, singing, and moving to the music is like exercising without even knowing it
- Improved brain function — Live concerts unlock and activate more areas of your brain than any other activity
- Helps fight depression
And, according to Psychology Today, going to live theatre events can:
- Create empathy for the people and cultures depicted in the shows
- Change political attitudes about issues presented
- Increase the charitability of attendees
CHV Youth Field Trips
At CHV, we like to take advantage of the summer months too and plan a variety of excursions and events for youth to attend.
Kevin, Director of Housing Supports at CHV, shared the story about youth attending a National Indigenous Peoples Day event that had live signers, bands, and one youth even participated in a traditional dance. The group went to Starbucks after. In of itself, that sounded like a very enjoyable outing, but if you look at the lists above, the benefits of that outing are many.
Brittany is a volunteer at CHV. She has been taking youth on outings for seven years. She has taken youth to events, concerts, bike rides, coffee chats (including coffee at a cat café), bowling, and live theatre.
Observationally, she mentioned that some youth have a hard time leaving the building, whether that’s an effect from COVID or from something else, but just getting them out is a win. She notices that these outings are definitely positive mood changers for youth. She also mentioned that for many youth, these kinds of activities are not in their budgets, so she is so appreciative of organizations and donors who make these outings possible for youth.
Recently, youth went to the Arts Club where they experienced a drag-based theatre production and another time they participated in a drag bingo event. These events were well attended by youth from a variety of communities and were enjoyed immensely.
Another popular event was the get together at Catoro Pets cat café. Brittany enjoys these more interactive outings because she gets to know the youth better. It’s a chance for youth to discuss things like looking for a job, why they are at CHV, and things that they struggle with. It’s a safe space for them to discuss things freely, outside of CHV, and Brittany said that sometimes the youth will ask the volunteers about their work and education as part of the discussions.
Many youth at CHV are new to Canada. Brittany took a group of youth to experience Fly Over Canada for the first time. She commented, “It was super cool to see their expressions. Some youth are new to Canada and had no idea how big or beautiful it is.”
Not all experiences go without a hitch, but when the social hiccup happens, it’s an opportunity for learning and support. Brittany was part of an excursion to Stanley Park to rent bikes and ride along the seawall. For many, this was their first time exploring the seawall and they were blown away by its beauty and by the drum circle at Third Beach.
One youth had never ridden a bike before. The youth tried, but really struggled, so they rented a tandem bike where the youth could start to get the feel of riding a bike, while Brittany navigated.
At one point, a youth stopped his bike and shared with the group, his knowledge of a particular plant — the yarrow. He mentioned its applications and how it was useful to those during WWII. This youth had knowledge about an array of topics and shared them with the group during the outing.
Towards the end of the ride, a chain came off one of the youth’s bikes. Unable to put it back on, the youth decided to walk it back to the rental shop. However, instead of riding off, all of the youth decided to dismount and walk their bikes with that youth. A lovely gesture of support and solidarity. The day ended with a visit to Tim Horton’s to chat, enjoy some treats and have a laugh.
Outings are an integral part of the holistic approach that CHV takes in supporting youth. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of the organizations and donors who help make these outings a reality. We couldn’t do this without you!