Peterborough area alternate summer camps planned, others cancelled or delayed

City of Peterborough

Finding summer camp space has been a tall task for parents in the Peterborough area due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Many camps have either closed or are in a holding pattern despite it being the second week of July.

The City of Peterborough has cancelled its summer camp program this year but has created a new Summer Play Program for children ages 6 to 11.

“They’re structured differently in order to reduce the group sizes and implement the safety measures under the protocols put in place by the province to operate summer camps at this time,” said city communications manager Brendan Wedley.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Bulk of laid-off City of Peterborough workforce yet to be recalled

There will be two locations for the alternative program: the Navy Club at 24 Whitlaw St., which begins next week and the Peterborough Museum and Archives on Hunter Street, which begins on July 27.

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Program staff will complete COVID-19 screening, updated first aid and program training prior to the camps.

Groups will be divided into small groups of six children and one staff person for the duration of the camp with the groups remaining separated with no interaction with other groups throughout the day.

All equipment and touch surfaces will be disinfected throughout the day while washrooms will be disinfected after every use.

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Participants are not permitted to attend the program if they or any family or household member has traveled outside of Canada within the last 14 days, the participant or any family/household member has experienced signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 14 days, has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days or shows any signs or symptoms of any form of illness.

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Temperature checks will be taken daily upon entry to the program and parents will need to pick up a child within 30 minutes if signs or symptoms of illness are shown.

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“The spaces are limited.  The city is monitoring demand and the uptake of that and could potentially add more spaces or more programs if the demand warrants it,” Wedley added.

Read more: Can I refuse a temperature check? What to know about the COVID-19 screening tool

Summer camps at Trent University are cancelled while Camp Kawartha remains closed.

The YMCA of Central East Ontario in Peterborough is offering an alternative summer day camp with smaller group sizes than normal.

The campers will not be swimming and extended after-hours care is not available.

According to its website, the YMCA is only allowing children of parents and caregivers who are currently required to work outside of the home to enroll.

Despite the current arenas closure, Canadian Hockey Enterprises is still moving forward with its camps in Peterborough but the start dates aren’t until August at the earliest.

Municipal-led summer camps in the City of Kawartha Lakes have been cancelled for 2020.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Cobourg and Port Hope working on reopening amenities

The Municipality of Port Hope will begin its reduced summer camp program on Monday at the Town Park Recreation Centre.

The day camp program will be available Monday to Friday for children ages 6 to 10 and registration is for week-at-a-time enrollment only this summer.

Normally, there would be 125 spaces for kids but this summer that number is limited to 24 or three groups of eight kids with two staff members.

“We can only have 10 people in one group, so that’s eight campers and two staff,” said Sherrie Aldred, municipal recreation and culture coordinator.

Groups must stay together all week and limit interactions with other participants and staff.

Read more: With coronavirus restrictions in place, will the summer of 2020 be a dud?

Field trips and busing will not be permitted, so virtual field trips and outdoor play options will be had instead.

“There’s restrictions on limiting transportation, so they can’t travel on a bus together and we can’t go on trips,” Aldred added.  “We’ve modified our camp.  We will offer a substitute to what we normally do and we will still use outdoor space and go to the beach on Tuesday.  There’s still a lot of fun activities available to the campers.”

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There will be increased screening protocols and sign-in procedures at the start of each camp day, as well as increased cleaning and sanitation protocols for the facility.

All staff and campers are expected to stay home if they are experiencing any cold and/or flu-like symptoms.

Registration is open on the day camps portion of the municipality’s website.