Coffee hour will be held on Tuesday, March 8 from 10:00am to 11:00am. This month’s coffee break will be held at the DET, 88 Watts Ave, Charlottetown. Everyone is welcome… hope to see you there!
Retreat for Military Members being Medically Released: Call of Interest
The PEI Military Family Resource Centre is planning a weekend retreat (Date TBA, but likely in March) for military members who will be medically released over the next two years, and is asking for a call of interest for participants. Plans are still being finalized, and there is also the possibility that this retreat may be expanded to veterans who have already been released. The weekend will consist of information sessions on programs available to those medically released, as well as some social and recreational activities. Those interested in participating are encouraged to contact Susan Pollard (firstname.lastname@example.org; 902-892-8999). As details become finalized, we will post updates on our website (http://www.peimfrc.ca/).
Do you have a family member who is also deployed somewhere in the world?
The PEI MFRC would like to know, so that we can send our warm best wishes in the form of a “morale” package. Morale packages celebrate our Canadian holidays: Spring/Easter, Canada Day, Thanksgiving/Halloween, and Winter/Christmas. The packages contain items donated by generous Island businesses and organizations and are assembled by our team of dedicated volunteers. It’s a fun and heartwarming project, one that is always well appreciated by our family and friends in uniform. Please contact our office so your loved one receives a parcel from a grateful Island community.
Our fellow Islanders have served in many countries throughout the world during their military careers. Aside from some intense situations that do occur, we know there are heartwarming and funny stories to be told…and perhaps, need to be told. Our Canadian Forces personnel have done wonderful work around the world and we’d love to hear and share your stories in our monthly newsletter. If you have a tale to tell, please contact us or send your submission to email@example.com
New French Tutoring Program Available for Military Families
The PEI MFRC is pleased to introduce you to a new complimentary service that is being offered to children of military families.
Voilà Learning is a national non-for-profit organization that is offering free online French homework help via the Virtual Immersion Campus. The Virtual Immersion Campus is designed to assist children ages 5 to 18 years old that may be experiencing difficulty with their French homework. Teachers are present within the virtual campus to assist children in an array of subjects as well as to help them navigating the campus.
Through funding provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation this educational service is available to over 25 different school boards throughout Canada. In support of Military Family Services, Voilà Learning has graciously offered this service to all military families at no cost to them (regardless of geographic location and/or school board affiliation). The Virtual Immersion Campus includes learning activities and videos to assist in French learning. To gain the most benefit from this service, families are encouraged to access the virtual campus with specific French homework questions.
Military children can benefit from the help of a French teacher online every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5pm to 11pm Eastern time.
We are thrilled to announce that a date has been set for the 2016 fundraising run: Saturday, April 16.
We have a new race director this year: triathlete Amir Zuccolo (email Amir@WR3.ca), but we still need volunteers to sign up to help set up the day before the race, manage water tables, help serve the pasta lunch, assist with traffic control on the courses, and tear down/clean up after the race.
If you'd like to volunteer, please contact either Amir or Donna Earl (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Does your baby or toddler wake up during the night? Is bedtime a struggle?
Erin Junker, Certified Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant with WeeSleep Ottawa, will offer a free virtual sleep seminar to answer all of your baby and toddler sleep questions!
Erin will discuss the importance of sleep—how much sleep babies need, and how many naps they require at various ages—as well as common baby sleep challenges, and important tips that can get parents started on the road to great sleep for baby. Erin will also be available to answer individual questions. Let’s get some amazing, healthy rest for the whole family!
Erin’s methods are gentle, loving, and guided. WeeSleep’s goals are to help you help your little one learn a strategy for falling asleep on their own, to help them sleep through the night (10-12 hours, straight!) and get on a proper nap schedule within Erin’s 10-day sleep program.
Getting fit has been the theme for this first quarter in our virtual sessions. From Operation Building Bridges to the SISIP Money Management Series, these are all topics that help us to prioritize and value the importance of leadership and commitment to help to keep our life on track. More than 130 participants registered for the various workshops and meetings. We hope to see you and your family join in a few sessions in March.
In March, we will continue with the money management theme and add some personal fitness as we share with you the opportunity that has the DFIT program available to all CAF and Veterans families simply by using your CF1 Card.
What? You don’t have your CF1 Card yet? Check out this link: https://www.cfappreciation.ca/Pages/default.aspx If you are a; CAF, CAF family member, Veteran, Veteran family member, or RCMP member, find out more about the CF1 Card and its thousands of dollars of saving potential at the upcoming interactive virtual workshop on Tuesday March 1 at 730pm AST from the comfort of your home computer.
On Tuesday, March 8 at 730pm AST, we will give you the opportunity to learn all about mortgages as we welcome The Canadian Community Defense Bank, BMO to the virtual stage.
Is getting physically fit part of your goal for 2016? Now you can have help with the excellent in home resource called DFIT. DFIT.ca helps prepare Canadian Armed Forces personnel for the physical rigours of today’s complex and demanding operating environments. All that you need to join the DFIT training is your CF1 card. AND NOW families of CAF and Veterans are included in this program, which is a complementary online resource featuring general fitness tips and a more family friendly, total lifestyle approach to active living. Enjoy access to all the benefits of DFIT.ca with customized features for you! Join us on March 21 at 12 pm to learn how to effectively use the DFIT program to take your training to the next level.
March 29 will bring you a presentation on Staging your Home. Staging your home is not just for moves—learn a few tips that can make your home even more comfortable as we host a speaker who will give simple and valuable tips to help make the most of any space in your home.
Finally, with the success of the operation Building Bridges guest speaker series, MFRC-PEI in partnership with Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare and Canadian Military Family Magazine are celebrating International Women's Day with an open forum panel featuring a few of the successful women in the military community who will share their journeys and their stories. Come meet Cyndi Mills, founder of the Canadian Military Family Magazine, Karen McCrimmon, Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carlton, and two other phenomenal women from our Canadian Armed Forces Community. This wonderful session will take place Monday, March 7 at 730pm AST all from the comfort of your home computer.
There is something for everyone in the interactive virtual classroom. MFRC PEI has started a section on their webpage for virtual program recordings http://www.peimfrc.ca/virtual-recordings/ If you missed any of these great sessions, feel free to listen to the recordings and message me any of your questions or comments at Virtual.email@example.com
Give virtual programming a try by registering for a tour of the virtual classroom. Invite a friend from a previous posting. There is something for everyone in the virtual classroom. My virtual door is always open. Enjoy the connections!
Cheers Margaret MacKenzie
Hello PEI MFRC volunteers! Our volunteer meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30pm. Location: HMCS Queen Charlotte, 210 Water Street, Charlottetown. Please send Lynn a quick email if you are able to attend (Lynn.Milligan@forces.gc.ca)
We are always looking for volunteer team members to assist with various upcoming projects and activities. For more information, please contact Lynn (Lynn.Milligan@forces.gc.ca) or call 902.892.8999.
Telfer Entrepreneurship Program for Military Families
Military Family Services has contracted the Telfer School of Management from the University of Ottawa, to facilitate an intensive two-day entrepreneurship training session at four MFRCs across the country in early 2016. This program is designed for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs and will take participants through the business start-up process in a dynamic and interactive way. Furthermore, participants will not only leave the training with a wealth of business knowledge, they will also be given a certificate from the University of Ottawa.
The training is complimentary to all military and veteran adult family members and will occur at the following locations and times:
March 12-13, 2016: MFRC Shilo, Manitoba (English)
March 12-13, 2016: MFRC Bagotville, Québec (French)
Please note that these are regional trainings and participants from outside the hosting MFRC region are encouraged to participate. The cost of the training and lunch will be covered; however, out-of-town participants are required to pay for their travel and accommodation. Low-cost or complimentary childcare will be available throughout each session. To find out more about funding, please contact Donna Earl at the PEI MFRC…call 902.892.8999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please visit: www.telfer.uottawa.ca/mfs. Interested military and veteran family members can also apply at this link.
The PEI MFRC offers on-line second language training for military family members and veterans and their families. Licenses are currently available and registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration is free of charge, but there is a $10.00 fee for the headset required for the course. Application forms and policies are available upon request. For more information, please call 902-892-8999 or contact Lynn at Lynn.Milligan@forces.gc.ca.
March Activities at PEI Libraries
Don’t let the winter blahs get you down! Activities for all ages and interests are available at 25 public libraries across the Island every month. For a look at their Winter/Spring Program Guide for 2016, go to http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/pls-guide.pdf
Scavenger Hunt (all ages), Stratford Public Library, March 12 @ 11:30 a.m.
Fête des camions monstres, Bibliothèque publique J.-Henri-Blanchard de Summerside, 23 mars à 18 h
Journée violette, Bibliothèque publique J.-Henri-Blanchard de Summerside, 26 mars à 10 h 30
Welcome Baby Program
Did you or another military family you know recently welcome a new addition to their family? Let the staff at the PEI MFRC know, so we can offer our congratulations and a Welcome Baby gift bag!
Many national businesses offer discounts to CAF members and their families through the CF Appreciation Program (https://www.cfappreciation.ca/).
One discount worth highlighting is to the PEI Provincial Home Show, which takes place March 11-13 at the Eastlink Centre, Charlottetown. Admission is only $3 for CF members—both currently serving and veterans. Get ready to renovate and find inspiration for your home and landscaping projects! This is your show to come and shop, learn about new projects, get expert advice, find inspiration for your home projects, and plan large and small renovations. Military receive 50% off show admission (regular adult admission).
If you are a PEI business and would like to offer a military discount, get in touch by calling the office (902.892.8999). We'll add your business to our local directory!
The PEI MFRC has entered a partnership with Career Development Services (CDS). Career Development Services offers services in six locations across the Island: Bloomfield, Charlottetown, Souris, Summerside, Wellington, and Montague. All services are free of charge.
Whether you are looking for work, changing your career, returning to the workforce, or exploring career and training opportunities, CDS can help. They offer a friendly and confidential environment where you are able to learn about career options, discover your skills and abilities, and search for employment. Website: http://cdspei.ca/home
Here are two definitions for the word resilience: 1. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. 2. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
There is no way around it. Life is all about change and the ups and downs of emotions associated with those changes. The military asks a lot from families as it moves forward in its mission. The lifestyle can be more rewarding when the capacity to cope with change is increased. One of the characteristics important to capacity building is resilience. The more able you are to confront issues and use your strengths and skills to find solutions, the more enjoyable life will be as confidence builds a more positive attitude. However, resilience is a process over time. Reviewing past challenges and reflecting on how you managed, what resources you used, and what strengths emerge will help each time another stressful event occurs. You will have the ability to rebound more quickly.
The Military Family Resource Centre exists to help families build their capacity to face, head on, the changes and challenges that come with living the unique military lifestyle. One of the programs offered is a workshop, The Emotional Cycle of Deployment. Deployment and other work-related separation has been analyzed by stages: pre-deployment, deployment, and re-integration/post-deployment. Each stage is examined in terms of common feelings and reactions at that particular stage. The value of having this knowledge is twofold: one is recognizing that it is a cycle, which helps a person recognize the normality of their feelings and reaction. The other is comfort in knowing that everyone goes through a similar process…you are not alone in those feelings and reactions.
Of course, it follows that the more often you go through the process, the faster you move through the stages. It doesn’t mean the feelings are less painful or the events less stressful, it means you’ve built up your resilience!
So, over the next three newsletters, I will introduce one stage of The Emotional Cycle of Deployment. As you read, examine your own experience and think about your common feelings and reactions. As well, acknowledge your strengths, skills, and resources that helped you manage.
Submitted by Program Coordinator, Bernie Mullin-Splude