Wenonah’s COVID-19 Task Force is preparing for the 2021 season. We know that kids need Camp more than ever. Our goal is to do everything we can to manage COVID-19 risks and keep Wenonah safe.
The Task Force members are:
- Chair: Tom Appleyard (Ontario 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)
- Jeff Bradshaw (Wenonah Owner & Executive Director)
Tom and Jeff continue to participate on the Executive Committee of the Ontario Camps Association’s COVID-19 Task Force. Through this work, we are in communication with Ontario’s public health and government decision makers. In addition, we are working with other camp leaders to monitor for and identify the best ways for camps to mitigate risks well this summer. Tom is leading the development of the Ontario Camps Association’s COVID-19 Field Guide, which will outline all these strategies for the 450+ camps in Ontario. The Task Force and Wenonah’s Management Team will make decisions as this information comes into focus and the Summer approaches.
Some of the issues we are watching carefully and working on include:
- Camp Wenonah and other overnight camps have some significant built-in protection from COVID-19 given the “bubbled” (outside, isolated) nature of the community we build each summer. We know that Camp may look a bit different this year, with strategies including screening and health checks, cohorting, use of masks, disinfection, and hand hygiene. As the Summer approaches, we are consulting with experts to identify what the mix of protective measures at Wenonah should be. Based on this, we expect to make changes to some Camp policies and procedures, such as Camper and Staff Codes of Conduct, visitors, and pick-up and drop-off procedures.
- COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out to vulnerable populations this Spring and health officials are planning widespread immunization. While this is a positive turning point in the pandemic, given the timing of the vaccine roll-out, we will not assume campers have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
- We know testing will help us to ensure we catch any disease quickly, so that we can prevent any spread. Ontario recently started using rapid tests for children at school, and we will use any learnings from school testing to inform our approach.
- Our current planning assumptions include our usual complement of campers and staff from outside Canada at Camp this summer. We are closely watching developments with Canadian entry requirements, and will update when we have more guidance on requirements and best practice.
- We plan to have even more dedicated Health & Wellness staff this year.
A top priority for the Task Force is ensuring that Camp families and staff have all the information they need. You can always find our latest information on the Wenonah website, or by getting in touch.