Sask. summer camps adjust to follow COVID-19 guidelines
REGINA -- Saskatchewan summer camps are working to reinvent the way they operate under the province’s COVID-19 guidelines.
Overnight camps are still not permitted under the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, so some are turning to day camp programming.
According to the province, all day camps must follow the requirements of the public health order including physical distancing and wearing a mask.
Under the guidelines, competition and gameplay are currently not permitted and singing is not recommended.
Any sports, dance, drama or arts camps will have to follow the capacity and distancing restrictions found in the sport and activity guidelines.
For all camps, groups of children and staff members assigned to them must stay together and not mix with other groups in the camp. Staff should stay with the same group for the duration of the camp.
"There's a lot more cleaning then we've ever been used to, we wear masks on the bus, instead of doing more camp wide activities, we have to stay in our groups," Kylie Orr, camp manager at Lumdsen Beach Camp, said.
Orr added that a lot of the activities at the Lumdsen Beach Camp, like archery, canoeing and hiking, don't have to be changed because they can be physically distant, but other games and activities had to change.
Day camps that are within a special care or personal care home are subject to the general restrictions of that facility and must ensure there is no interaction between the campers and residents or staff.
Pickup and drop-off locations should be outside if possible and support physical distancing. The province recommends separate entrances for different groups, staggering entry times and limiting pickups and drop-offs to one parent or guardian.
Families are also being asked to assess their children daily for symptoms of COVID-19. Children who are sick will not be allowed to attend the camp.
"We ask the same questions that everyone has been asked at the beginning of each day," Orr said. "Like how are you feeling, have you been in contact with anybody who may be positive or anyone waiting to be tested. So we make sure that if you are feeling a little under the weather, you stay home and stay safe and keep everyone else safe."
The Saskatchewan Camps Association said it is staying in contact with the province and Saskatchewan Health Authority in hopes overnight camps can be added to the re-opening plan.
"The earlier we get vaccinated, first dose and second dose including all children 12 and older, the more confidently we can have all those activities," Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, said.
Dr. Shahab said there are discussions around adding overnight camps to phase-three of the re-opening roadmap, but it's all dependent on Saskatchewan's vaccine rollout.