So what does a typical day at camp look like from a health and safety perspective during a global pandemic?
First, let us begin by indicating (as we seem to do in every conversation this year) that this information is based upon what we know today. STEM Camp completely understands that the situation of the global pandemic may change by the start of camp. And while we anticipate that by the time summer camp starts a large percentage of Canada’s population will have been vaccinated, we are nevertheless making some changes in 2021 to make summer camp as safe and as fun as possible.
So, a typical day at camp in 2021 (currently) looks like this.
At drop off, parents will be allowed to park and bring their child to the outside registration area to drop them off at camp. No parent will be allowed in any facility and must social distance from other parents. Parents will need to fill out screening and declaration information each day to indicate they have not been experiencing any symptoms. Once the screen is passed the child will be escorted by a friendly counsellor to wash their hands. Once this is completed, the counsellor will escort the children to join others in the fun activities that are taking place while they await the start of camp that day. Every camper will be required to wash their hands (supervised) as soon as they come to camp every day.
Once camp starts at 9:00 a.m. campers will be immersed in daily activities such as coding and robotics (campers must bring a laptop or tablet with them to participate) or one of our new STEM Camp experiments that are occurring that day. There will be multiple activities throughout the day; and, all STEM-based of course. At mid-morning campers will enjoy any snack they have brought from home. There is a strong possibility that cohorts will be utilized in accordance with anticipated government regulations. STEM Camp is monitoring guidelines and procedures that are implemented in provincial schools.
At lunch, campers will eat with their designated groups, eating the food that they have brought from home. There will be no snack program at STEM Camp during the pandemic and children will not be allowed to trade or share their food with their friends. The afternoon is electives time, during which campers are provided with their choice of activity in which they would like to engage. Some may choose to keep working with their robots or continuing with their coding challenges on their devices while others may elect to do one of the several experiential projects at STEM Camp. Every piece of product will leave the warehouse COVID-free and will be sanitized prior to use by one of the staff on site at each location. It is important to note that STEM Camp will have a dedicated employee at every location whose primary responsibility it is to help enforce health and safety procedures such as social distancing, regular washing of hands, monitoring campers for symptoms, traffic flow and many other health and safety measures that can be found in our Return to Camp Guidelines found on the FAQ page on our website (stemcamp.ca) and in the registration documentation.
Every STEM Camp activity has been re-designed with safety in mind and many of the activities can be conducted outside to take advantage of the incredible summer weather and provide increased safety simply by being outdoors.
At pickup time campers will be outside waiting for their parents who will sign them out by showing their I.D. Remember, even the Camp Director in Head Office needs to show her I.D. when she picks up her child and every parent must as well (even if the staff know you). In the interest of camper safety, there is no wiggle room on this policy. Parents may not walk to the area where campers are congregated and must wait to have their child brought to them.
It is important to remember that summer camps will still be a much needed place for children to have fun and a great experience. After months of uncertainty, social isolation and a general feeling of stress it is vital that summer camps provide the best experience they possibly can; the safest way possible. STEM Camp is committed to doing so and we look forward to seeing your family this summer. If you have any questions regarding health and safety or the typical day at STEM Camp, just call our office (519-475-6600) and our awesome support staff will be glad to chat with you!