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Step-Up News: 
October 11th, 2020

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Happy Thanksgiving !!

We all know the story of the first American Thanksgiving when the First Nations Peoples of the Eastern North Americas shared their harvest with strangers to their lands around 1621.  The Canadian Thanksgiving- Read the story of Thanksgiving here  - began around 1538 in Newfoundland but didn’t become a holiday until 1957 when Parliament settled on the second Monday of October.

There are always two sides to every story.  The times of the 1400 to 1700’s were different from the times we live in now.  I prefer the stories of today when we gather around our table to ‘give thanks’ for all that we have now, especially each other.   No matter where we all are in the world, our table still has a seat for everyone we are grateful for.  The good memories we’ve shared and the adventures we have yet to experience together are still part of our Thanksgiving table.

Now I’m going to switch up the story to another time of ‘giving’ we can learn from.

Have you heard of the story of Robin Hood?  A long time ago when most people weren’t gifted with the opportunities to learn to read and write, stories were told through singing them as ballads.  It was an actual job for some who chose it, to hear the stories, put them into music and share them with the next village.  This was the newspaper of the day.  These people were called ‘Minstrels’. 

Robin Hood and His Merry Men lived in Sherwood Forest in Nottingham, England.
The expression, ’robbed from the rich to give to the poor’ describes the main story, but for me, as a young girl,  the most impressive thing in the story was the ‘Old English Oak Tree’ - see the video of it below.  It was huge ! It protected the Merry Men known as outlaws or robbers with its grand branches and thick foliage.  You could even hide behind it’s very wide trunk.  It supplied the dead, dried wood for the large fires that kept the ‘band’ and their families warm and fed.  It stood alone but gave so much !

In 1971, I visited that same tree in the real Sherwood Forest. It was awesome ! Touching it, I felt the history of Robin Hood and stories like it as proof that sharing and giving had survived the century that the old English Oak Tree had always stood strong for.  It has survived for over 900 years, possibly 1000.  Grateful for its standing strong, today the people who live near it make sure it survives for a long, long time to come.

That tree gave history an important lesson which is repeated in the Thanksgiving
story of ‘today’.  It gave protection and warmth to the people who shared its shade then.  Now the people support the tree’s needs to live longer just like the First Nations peoples on lands they respected, helped the pioneers survive their first winters on lands new to them. 

This is the same around our Thanksgiving table.  We give thanks for what all peoples share together to support each other during tougher times, no matter who we are or where we live.  Our table can belong to everyone even though only a few seats are really filled.

We are living through a tough time and this Thanksgiving our table may be smaller but each of our strengths come together in gratitude for who we ‘really’ have around that table.  Together helping to cook the dinner, setting the table, washing the dishes shows us real purpose in giving thanks for all that we really have.  Most of that purpose is in each other !

Our smiles are our greatest gift on such a day.  It is important to keep our tables filled
with our smiles every day.  The memory of these smiles, just like the Old English Oak Tree will also last a long, long time !

May your table be filled with pungent scents, lots of colour, happy sounds and most important, those smiling faces !

     Thinking of You !! 
     The Prep to Step-Up Team - Doreen, Erica, Anne, Cassandra
                                                             Ian, Abby, Aleksa and Stacey



Home Workbook Programme

Our next Workbook #2 will be available for pick-up on
Wednesday, Oct. 28th from 1 - 3 pm at the home of Anne Crawford.

If you would like to buy in to the Home Workbook Program
at this time, please see our website, www.preptostepup or contact for more information.

We’d love to hear from you!

At this time of celebrating gratitude, I’d like to acknowledge the creative and knowledgeable talents of Kristen Harding, Erica Jutras, Anne Crawford, Abby Stevens, Aleksa Pahapill and the helpful support of a certain young man at Staples who
completed the printing of the first workbook without hesitation!


Thank you!  Thank you! Everyone!

Prep at Home Feedback

If you have been using the 1st Prep at Home Workbook, we would love to hear what you think!


Please fill in the short FEEDBACK SURVEY so that we can find out what you liked and what you would like us to do differently.

Reporters Needed

For the November Newsletter, we are again calling on all Step-Up News Reporters to submit their photos and reports of anything they’d like to share! 

Please send them to before November 10th, 2020.


We enjoy hearing about all that you’re up to!  It’s nice to share with friends in the Circle!


Robin Hood is what we call a ‘classic’ story.  Walt Disney put it on film in 1973 with cartoon animals but the story was actually written by American, Howard Pyle in 1883. It began in the 1200’s in England when real stories of very kind, brave men and women fought secretly to keep the good values of sharing so that people could live comfortably, not poorly. There were greedy people as well who only thought of themselves and always wanted more. These stories were put into ballads which were passed along from one century to another to keep the history of these good deeds alive; a history of good we can all learn from.


Message from the Prep Circle:


I spent the summer with my sisters at the Cabin in Havelock. Today I’m collecting firewood because it’s cold at night. 

We will be closing up for winter now.


~Reporter John

I played Jenga at the trailer last weekend.  Great weather and so much fun!

~Reporter Jessica

Happy Fall season everyone! Hope you are all doing well. As usual, I have been finding ways to spend time outdoors.


I explored a couple farms and enjoyed the pumpkins, corn maze, sunflowers, apple orchard, and fresh air.


I look forward to starting our Zoom sessions.


Talk to you soon!



Harry Working on ‘Prep at Home’ !

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Jessica 1.JPG

Even the Maple Leaf knows to Social Distance !


The cities of Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton have installed these rubber mats on their beaches for wheelchair or walker access.  Volunteers give their time several times a day to re-set and clean them.  We say “Thank You!”

Thanksgiving Stories and Activities


Play this music, watch the leaves falling, relax and breathe

Halloween Stories and Activities


Hallowe'en is Coming Soon

(can be sung to the tune of London Bridge)

Hallowe'en is coming soon, coming soon, coming soon,
Hallowe'en is coming soon,
Oh, what fun!

Black cats sitting on a fence, on a fence, on a fence,
Black cats sitting on a fence,
Meow! Meow! Meow!

Owl's a-hooting in the trees, in the trees, in the trees,
Owl's a-hooting in the trees,
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

Witches flying on their brooms, on their brooms, on their brooms,
Witches flying on their brooms,
Eee! Eee! Eee!

Jack o'lanterns grin at you, grin at you, grin at you,
Jack o'lanterns grin at you,
Oh! Oh! Oh!

Hallowe'en is coming soon, coming soon, coming soon,
Hallowe'en is coming soon,
Oh, what fun!

The Owl

There's a wide-eyed owl
(forefingers and thumbs around eyes)

With a pointed nose,
(forefinger and thumb to make a point)

He has pointed ears
(clenched hands, forefingers up for ears)

And claws for toes:
(make hands into claws)

He sits in a tree
And looks at you;

(circles around eyes again)

Then flaps his wings and says,
(hands to chest and flap elbows)

"Tu-whit, tu-whoo!"
(hands cup mouth to hoot)

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