Overnight camps cancelled, future of summer day camps still uncertain
KITCHENER -- Camps are usually an opportunity for kids to learn, play and meet new friends, but because of COVID-19 these facilities will be operating differently this year.
The province has already announced there will be no overnight camps allowed to operate this summer, but it is still uncertain if day camps will be allowed to go ahead.
The YMCA has cancelled all overnight programming, including Camp Ki-Wa-Y in Waterloo Region and Camp Belwood in Fergus.
“Right now we will be offering refunds for parents that need those refunds and won’t or can’t take advantage of any day camp offerings,” says Peter Sweeney, CEO of the YMCA.
According to the YMCA, staff are still considering offering day programming to families.
In the tri-cities, whether or not summer camps will be offered is still up in the air.
“We are still monitoring it and there has been no decision made at this point in time,” says Waterloo Region chair Karen Redman.
City of Waterloo officials say they intend to hold summer day camps but are still reviewing the provincial orders and will wait to consult with public health before making an official decision.
Meanwhile, in Kitchener alternative options are being considered.
“We have staff exploring various options, ranging from virtual program options to small group program options,” says Kitchener mayor Berry Vrbanovic.
However, some parents are already fed up with online programming and are waiting to find out if any form of a traditional summer camp experience will go ahead.
“We have decided to wait until the end of June, just to see if there’s anything that might open up here,” says parent Sherrilyn Thomas.
It is a waiting game for city officials as well, standing by for provincial guidance on gatherings for camps and public health directives before making the final call.