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Cultivating Resilience: Covenant House Vancouver’s Holistic Approach to Youth Care

At Covenant House Vancouver, we are more than a shelter. We are committed to nurturing the holistic well-being of the youth we serve, by recognizing that their journey towards independence and fulfillment encompasses more than just meeting their basic needs. Through a variety of engaging recreational activities, we work to uplift their spirits, foster a sense of belonging, and empower them to thrive.

Extensive research confirms what we have long believed: that activities such as sports and arts hold immense transformative potential in youth development, particularly for those who have endured various forms of trauma. These activities serve as catalysts for healing and personal growth, and offer not just temporary respite, but a roadmap towards resilience.

In recent weeks, our passionate team of youth workers and excursion leaders have curated a vibrant calendar of events tailored to the unique interests and needs of the youth in our Crisis Program. These initiatives represent more than just recreational outings—they are vital components of our holistic approach to care, and are designed to nourish the mind, body, and spirit of each young person under our care.

Origami Oasis
Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, is a wonderful activity that enhances concentration, fine motor skills, and creativity. For youth, it provides a calming and meditative practice that helps reduce stress and anxiety. Engaging in origami encourages patience and persistence, important qualities for personal development and overcoming challenges.

Adventure Awaits at Lynn Canyon
Youth were immersed in nature and spent time hiking at Lynn Canyon. Being outside in nature offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. The hike not only promotes physical fitness but also allows youth to connect with nature, which can be profoundly healing. The experience of overcoming the physical challenge of the hike boosts confidence and fosters a sense of achievement and resilience.

Creating with Clay
Working with clay is a therapeutic activity that allows for self-expression and emotional release. The process can be grounding and calming, and can help youth to process and articulate their feelings in a creative way. This hands-on activity enhances artistic skills and provides a sense of accomplishment, as youth create tangible objects from their imaginations.

Pedal Boating Adventures
Pedal boating is a fun and engaging way to promote teamwork and physical activity. Being out on the water offers a unique environment that encourages relaxation and enjoyment. This activity helps build cooperation and communication skills as youth work together to navigate their boats, which can help reinforce the importance of working together towards a common goal.

Gardening for Growth
Gardening is a nurturing activity that teaches responsibility and patience, while rewarding those who care for living things. Gardening has been shown to have significant therapeutic benefits, including a reduction in stress and improvement of mood. For youth, gardening provides a sense of purpose and achievement as the young people watch their efforts blossom into something beautiful and tangible.