spark some fun
with your grandkids

Grand Sparks is a one-week activity day camp that will challenge grandparents to interactive outdoor play and recreation with their grandchildren.

Registration opens February 15th!

For the fifth year running, Grand Sparks will be a fun week for children and their grandparents at the Edge of Walton. Registration for 2019 opens February 15th at 9:00am! The day camp will run July 8-12, 9am to 12-noon each day, cost is $125/person and includes lunch every day.


What is Grand Sparks?

Grand Sparks is a one-week activity day camp that will challenge grandparents to interactive outdoor play and recreation with their grandchildren (ages 5 and up). The ultimate goal of Grand Sparks is two-fold: 1) motivate older-adults to become more active and find a recreational activity that becomes a shared, routine, interactive pastime with youth, and 2) educate and encourage children to make healthy nutritional choices by getting them involved in meal preparation.

Small local businesses and individuals will lead sessions in adventure hiking, canoeing, biking, yoga, and much more. This program will also include nutrition workshops daily, where lunch is prepared together, after a morning of physical activity.

You don't have to officially be a senior, or a grandparent, to participate. You only need to be an older adult bringing a youth partner, and lots of sunscreen. Don't worry if you feel you are "out of shape!"We can modify the activities to suit the physical abilities of the participants.

Cost to participate: Early Bird (May 1/19) $125 per Person, Ages 5+

Grandparents can bring up to 2 grandchildren each. So, $125 for Grandpa, $125 for Grandchild, and $125 for an additional grandchild. This cost includes a delicious and nutritious lunch each day. Cost to participate after May 1st: $135.00

You will also be taking part in rural health research!

The primary research question: What motivates people to get active and stay active? Many people will start an exercise program with good intentions, but often lose interest or motivation to sustain that activity over time. We are curious whether a program like Grand Sparks, that focuses on building relationships through a shared activity, is a more sustainable exercise program. We will request follow-up surveys of all adult participants at the end of our week together, and 6-months after Grand Sparks. 

Secondary question: What do children know about nutrition, and are they putting that knowledge to use? Although adults usually do the grocery shopping, their meal choices are heavily influenced by their children's requests (or demands).We will be developing a quick survey tool to measure children's knowledge of nutrition, and how much they are putting that knowledge into practice. Currently, no tool exists that can quickly gauge nutritional knowledge/practice in children. We will request short follow-up surveys of the children at 6-months. 

In 2016, Healthy Kids Community Challenge - County of Huron provided funding to help us make water the first-choice beverage f or kids, and reduce sugar-sweetened beverages. In 2017, HKCC provided funding again to help boost fruit and veggie consumption. water as the first-choice beverage for kids, and reduce sugar-sweetened beverages. Their funding will also help us cover the costs of food, and development of our nutritional information handouts.

This program was started in 2015 with the financial assistance of the Ontario Senior Communities Grant, funded by the province of Ontario. We acknowledge the help of the province in getting this program launched.


Where is this happening?

All activities will be held at the Edge of Walton outdoor adventure park (map) from Monday, July 8th to 12th, 2019.




Edge of Walton Challenge Course
(519) 440-9424


All activities held at
The Edge of Walton
42932 Walton Rd, Walton, ON
Click here for map.


July 8th - 12th, 2019
9am - noon each day


Who is running Grand Sparks?

Building the program has been a team effort between Jay McFarlan, (Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health), and The Edge of Walton Community Project. Some key individuals that have helped develop the program: Alanna Roy, Julia Huber, Rachel Hayles (all past summer students with Gateway), Rob Bundy, and Brett Lee (Edge of Walton). 

The various activities will be run by local businesses...something different each day!


Canoe with Dwain Forrest of Timber's Outfitters

Adventure Hiking & Biking with Brett Lee & Hope Melady of The Edge of Walton

And more!


Water Does Wonders!

The importance of clean drinking water for optimal health cannot be understated. It is an essential part of life! In recent decades, the water in our diets has been replaced by sugar-sweetened beverages, which has been linked to a variety of poor health outcomes. There are many resources for helping children (and adults alike) reduce their consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, but we really like this information booklet [PDF] and this poster (below) from Sip Smart Ontario.