Camexicanus is planning week-long day camps in Haliburton, Minden and Wilberforce this summer.
But before that, they’ll start with some initial one-day programs as of the first week of July, program director Amy Leis said.
“Because we haven’t been able to secure facilities for early July, we will be running exclusively outdoor activities. We hope to run weekly camps at indoor facilities starting at the end of July and throughout August,” she said.
Camexicanus is looking for a location with both indoor and outdoor green space where they can run programs outside as much as possible.
“The more open space, the better – a space such as a dance studio, church, community centre, school gym, etc. would be perfect,” Leis said. “We’re pretty adaptive, though. We want to be able to have the kids do active classes (dance and sports activities), but we need to have them two metres apart at all times.”
She said the province highly recommends splitting large groups of kids into separate groups, to make social distancing easier, so they’re planning on dividing the group in half, and running classes indoors and outdoors at the same time. Mealtimes would be held outside.
“Usually, we run programs inside of churches or at community centres, as they tend to have nice open spaces for activities such as dance classes. We don’t need a kitchen, but washroom facilities/running water would be helpful,” she said.
She said the government hasn’t provided a cap for the number of kids who can attend day camp programs but has said that participants must be kept in groups of 10 participants maximum. She said they’re planning to limit the total number of children enrolled to a maximum of 10 per week and divide those 10 into two groups. If there is a lot of interest, they may change that.
As for safety measures, she said campers would be screened daily, including temperature checks. Parents won’t be allowed inside and anyone feeling unwell, or who’s been in contact with a possible case, will be asked to stay home. Staff will be regularly sanitizing any shared materials and high touch areas and do full daily cleanings and disinfecting. Things such as art supplies will be placed in individual bags. Staff won’t be preparing any food. Kids will be scheduled to hand wash. Staff will use PPE if they have to come into close contact with children.
Leis said they will be offering programming for Grade 1 to Grade 8-aged students. It will include art, dance, acting, music, film and photography, sports and games.
“With many parents returning to work, the need for safe and secure children’s programming in the County is even more vital than usual this summer, especially since children have spent the past three months without any socialization outside of their immediate families,” Leis said.
“We want to provide this for them, as an important part of the reopening process, even if that means running on a smaller scale than normal, doing shorter camp weeks with fewer kids or working outside more. As long as we are able to make something happen for the kids, we are happy.”
If any one in the community knows of available facilities, they are looking for suggestions. Registration information will be available on camexicanus.ca. People can also get in touch at info@ camexicanus.ca.