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The community of Stanley Mission finds ways to have fun together, even while apart

When children and youth in the community of Stanley Mission were required to keep their distance and stay isolated from people outside of their household, Robynn Dorion, a Northern Community & School Recreation Coordinator, decided to take on the challenge of finding ways to keep everyone active and having fun.

“I was thinking ‘What would I want to do if I were at home with my children?’” said Dorion, a mother of three. “I tried to come up with stuff for the whole family to be interactive.”

In addition to finding safe activities that would be enjoyable for multiple people, Dorion was also tasked with making sure the projects could be easily done by those living in Stanley Mission, where, given its far northern Saskatchewan location, some items are hard to come by.

“I wasn’t trying to make these little challenges extreme and wanted to make sure it was something people could easily do at home with their kids.”

With her objectives and those limitations and boundaries in mind, Dorion turned to social media and the internet. Utilizing popular sites and platforms such as Pintrest and Tik Tok, she was able to come up with several ideas ranging from fort building in the living room to household item scavenger hunts, dance challenges, contests and more.

Once she had a good selection, Dorion began sharing the activities and tasks with others through the community’s Facebook page, which allowed people both in and outside of Stanley Mission to take part.

“I would upload videos or photos and tell people ‘Let’s do this challenge!’” she said.

As families completed the challenges, they were encouraged to post their work back on the Facebook page, giving other members of the community the opportunity to see their finalized projects. In some cases, the Facebook page even allowed community members to select the winners by voting for their favorites.

For Dorion, the activities ended up creating a sense of togetherness even though they weren’t allowed to be physically together.

“It became a great way to reach out through social distancing and show each other what we can do.”