Wenonah’s COVID-19 Task Force, which is led by Tom Appleyard (Emergency Management Consultant / Wenonah Camp Consultant), Katerina Podolak (Lead: COVID-19 Testing, Ontario Health), Brent Diverty (Vice President, Canadian Institute for Health Information), Nancy Vandenbergh (Nurse Practitioner, COVID Response, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre / Wenonah Director of Health & Wellness), and Jeff Bradshaw (Wenonah Owner & Executive Director, Vice President International Camping Fellowship and Past President Ontario Camps Association & Canadian Camping Association), continues to meet on a regular basis to develop plans and protocols for the Summer Camp season.
The Wenonah Management Team is hard at work making sure that Camp this year will be the same excellent experience as always, while managing risks associated with COVID-19. We are planning for all of our usual in-Camp activities. Some activities may look different based on recommendations received from public health authorities.
In mid-April, we plan to share a more detailed plan about the Summer Camp experience for 2021. We will follow up with our Final Forms & Details package for families by email in early May.
We are developing protocols with the current public health guidelines in mind. While engaging in this exercise now, we also anticipate these guidelines may be less restrictive as we get closer to the start of Summer Camp and we will review our protocols on a regular basis and update as needed. If we were to begin Camp today, these are some of the protocols we would likely have in place:
- establishing camper cabin group cohorts
- use of masks in indoor washrooms
- regular testing for campers and staff at Camp
- social distancing during meals in conjunction with our new outdoor seating space on the Lodge deck and in other
- spaces around the Lodge
- frequent handwashing
- regular health screening
We expect that Camp drop-off and pick-up procedures will be different this year. This may include longer drop-off and pick-up windows on opening and closing days. And we are reviewing bussing options for those that require it from the Toronto area.
We anticipate that families can do several things in the weeks leading up to Summer Camp to minimize the chances of bringing the virus into Camp. These include all members of the household minimizing contacts with others and using the COVID-19 Alert App (available in Canada). It may also include campers and staff being tested before Camp. Wenonah’s COVID-19 Task Force is exploring the role that testing will play at Camp this year and will release initial guidelines and expectations in April.
We are so excited for Camp because we know that so many things inherent to the Summer Camp experience allow us to be optimistic. For example, there is some significant built-in protection from COVID-19 given the “bubbled” nature of the community we build each Summer. The Camp community can isolate on our large, private site. The outdoor nature of so many of our programs also helps protect us from the spread of COVID-19. We also have an excellent health care team lined up for the Summer who will provide senior leadership at Camp. All of these factors and numerous others make us very optimistic about Summer Camp 2021!
We will continue to share regular updates as we look forward to a successful Summer Camp season. Look for our next major update to be distributed in mid-April.