OTTAWA -- An Ottawa family is finding new and creative ways to spend time together during the pandemic and to pay it forward to their community. 

"We have consistently tried to stay hopeful and look for things that would keep us busy," says Karen Scott. Her family wanted to make sure they stayed positive during lockdowns.

Their pandemic activities started after 22-year-old Kaylee Scott’s university formal dinner was cancelled last year. She suggested their family have their own dinner together. 

"I had bought a dress, my brother Nicholas really likes dressing up so I thought I could get some use out of my dress and make it exciting for Nicholas because he was feeling kind of down," said Kaylee Scott.

Since then, the Scott’s have held many theme nights, when they dress up in costumes and have family dinner. Themes included Sens night, Tex-Mex night, and Disney night.

Nicholas Scott, 18, says it was a family effort to make all the costumes.  

"(Disney night) was the most work, getting all the costumes ready. I was Olaf (from the movie Frozen). It was so much fun," said Nicholas.

In the most recent lockdown, the Scott’s challenged themselves to be active. Their goal was to cover 1000 kilometres combined.

"We just needed a little spark to try to get through this latest lockdown," says Karen Scott. "At day 26, we walked around our short block and that brought us over the 1,000 kilometre mark and that was kind of special. We finished it off together in our little neighbourhood, walking around the block together." 

Their initiatives also helped the community. Their outreach with the Old Forge Community Resource Centre included making greeting cards for vulnerable populations, delivering groceries, making friendly calls to seniors, and carrying out driveway concerts. 

"I love bring joy to people’s lives and it has been a passion of mine to work with others," said Nicholas Scott.

"It was something fun to do as a family. You kind of lose touch when you are in the real world," said Dan Scott, adding he is thankful for the memories. "I believe this has brought us closer together." 

Kaylee also finished her degree at the University of Ottawa and Nicholas finished high school virtually while continuing family pandemic activities. 

The Scott’s say even when the pandemic is eventually over, the hope to continue to find unique ways to spend family time and are encouraging other families to do the same.