Things to know about Edge Camp 2021

March 1st, 2021 Update # 1:

2021 shows promise to be our 11th year of running Edge Camp for the parishes that offer the Edge ministry at their parishes. Obviously 2020 the camp was not run due to Covid-19. We do look towards this summer with great optimism that we can provide the opportunity for our grade 5 to 8 students to return to the excitement, joy and faith-filled experiences that Edge Camp can offer. Having said that, there are things that will need to be done differently to ensure the safety and confidence of our Edge campers and their families. This is our first “Things to know” bulletin for 2021, but rest assured there will be more to come:

  • * Edge Camp, like all other camps across the province are awaiting Ontario Public Health to provide guidelines for camps to offer their services for kids this summer. On Monday, February 8th Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod announced that the Ontario cabinet was looking at how summer camps can re-open this summer. The directorship of Camp White Pine (where Edge Camp takes place) is involved presently in the policy formation of these guidelines. Edge Camp will follow as a MINIMUM standard whatever Public Health deems necessary to operate Edge Camp this summer
  • * We anticipate that a level of pre-screening and preparations will be necessary and expected of all campers coming to Edge Camp this summer
  • * We have brought on an Infections Control Consultant with over 17 years of experience as part of our leadership team in 2021

Differences at Camp in 2021

  • * Camp White Pine has invested in two extra-large outdoor event tents to create additional, widely spaced eating areas.
  • * Far more activities and sessions with the campers will be run outdoors than has been done previously
  • * Parish cabin cohorts will be created as a basis for groupings and activities

Medical protocols at Camp in 2021

  • * Edge Camp will continue to have a minimum of two nurses and/or doctors staffed during Edge Camp and ensuring that required PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) is readily available at the camp
  • * The camp infirmary will continue to be utilized to assist with dispensing medications and handling first aid situations
  • * An isolation room/building will be established to assess any campers who demonstrate or feel any symptoms that could be identified as covid-19 related. We will be working with our medical staff, the staff of Camp White Pine and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit to create a process of care, analysis and follow up should any symptoms be shown that require testing and follow up.
  • * Campers that display symptoms will be subjected to the protocols laid out by Ontario Public Health for screening, testing and quarantine. Campers will need to know that should the onset of symptoms meet the Public health criteria, they will not be permitted to rejoin their camp cohort.

Behaviour

  • * Ensuring the safety and security of all campers will be of paramount importance this summer. This must be stringently communicated before your child comes to camp. It will be made abundantly clear at camp as well. Campers choosing to disobey guidelines regarding spacing, physical contact or any other rules laid out for camper safety will be removed from camp activities. There will not be second chances or opportunities if a camper violates any health/safety protocols this summer. We hope at their age they understand the gravity and importance of ensuring and respecting everyone’s safety around them.
  • * Camp tends to bring a lot of activities, excitement and energy. Historically elements of camp have led to campers wanting to scream and yell during some activities. It is not uncommon for some campers to develop some ‘raw throats’ due to excessive scream/yelling. It may seem unfortunate, but any sort of yelling or screaming (ie projecting voice) will be actively discouraged and directed to be stopped. Not only to reduce the possibility of droplet projection, but to ensure that a sore throat does not develop and become a “flag” for covid symptoms. Campers who continually defy the rules in this manner may be removed from activities until such behaviour can be rectified and agreed to be discontinued.

Transportation

  • * At present, Edge Camp is working with five different bus companies to attain their protocols for bussing during Covid-19 circumstances. They are being assessed for cleaning protocols and population seating plans and limitations. Buses will be able take campers to camp. We are working to see what protocols bus companies and Public health provide for us.
  • * This year, Edge Camp will openly allow parents/families to provide their own means of transportation to/from Edge Camp at their own risk. On the registration form a parent/guardian can choose to “opt out” of the bussing option and agree to provide their own transportation.
  • * Should parents/guardians choose this option, it will be understood that they will not be permitted to stay at camp any longer than is necessary to drop off/pick up their child due to the parking and road constraints at Camp White Pine. Timing of getting on/off buses between the three weeks of Edge Camp is crucial and blocked roads/routes can lead to extensive delays for an entire camp.
  • * If a parent/guardian decides to provide their own transportation for their child, but later changes their mind after the bus contracts have been completed and the seats have been designated, Edge Camp cannot guarantee a bus seat if none are available.

Registration, Payment & Ongoing Communication

  • * The online registration portal is broken up into two sections – i) general registration and ii) health registration. An online registration is not complete until both sections are complete. A parent/guardian can however complete SOME of the form and complete the rest at a later date. We recommend holding off on the health section until Ontario Public Health completes its guidelines. If you complete the general registration (which includes contact information) we will email you to let you know when the health portion has been updated, completed and ready for your child’s information.
  • * Registration will be extended to approximately July 10th, 2021 or before if the available spaces at camp fill up
  • * A fully-refundable deposit of $100 is due to the parish by June 1st, 2021. The balance of the camp fee is due by July 15th. Any cancellations of camp after July 15th may result in some payments not being entirely refundable as some expenses for the camp may have had to be filled after July 15th
  • * This information page will be consistently updated over the course of the summer and families will be emailed any updates on policy, rules, or guidelines regarding health and safety at camp only AFTER they have registered for camp.
  • * Parent meetings and updates will be made available over an online videoconference platform later in the spring and over the summer for those wishing to have an interactive engagement.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your parish youth minister. If you require further details beyond that, please contact John MacMullen at the Office of Catholic Youth of the Toronto Archdiocese at jmacmullen@archtoronto.org with your questions or a request for a phone conversation.

About the Author, John MacMullen is the Associate Director of Youth Ministry at the OCY and can be reached at 416-599-7676