As many of you were probably feeling, we too were excited to usher out 2020 and welcome in 2021 with the glimmer of hope and renewed excitement, as we look forward to better days ahead.
Throughout this pandemic, we have been working closely with the Ontario Camps Association (OCA), in particular, with the OCA Covid-19 task force. They have been an incredible advocate and resource. As our advocate, they are working on our behalf with the government and continuing to lobby for legislation on the safe reopening of Overnight Summer Camps in Ontario.
While we do not know yet of what the government or our local public health unit guidelines will be, we are looking to the OCA Covid-19 task force to be a tremendous resource, as they will be creating a field guide to help camps work through reopening guidelines and identify the best ways for camps to mitigate risks this summer. We are thrilled to have their support so we can fully understand the guidelines and make decisions that are right for HOC as the information becomes clearer to us.
Having said that, as the task force continues to work through these plans for our industry in general, we are simultaneously working hard to prepare our own HOC camp specific plan. All planning to-date has been done in anticipation of understanding the possible restrictions and regulations we may be faced with this upcoming season and how we plan to adapt, adjust, change or just prepare. This plan will be a working document and will need to be fluid, making decisions and adjusting to new information as it arises from now until camp commences.
We expect camp to look different this upcoming season as it is our intention that we will be making changes to camp policies and procedures including; camper and staff pre-camp requirements and code of conduct, onsite screening/health checks, pick-up and drop-off procedures, cohorting, on-site health care practices, wearing masks procedures and increased disinfection and hand hygiene.
Here’s a Glimpse into HOC’s 2021 Plan To Date:
50% Registration Capacity
We opened up registration in late fall based on 50% capacity. With an understanding of our specific camp format, program, schedule and environment, we felt that this capacity restriction would help us better determine and react to possible government restrictions as they apply to regulated community indoor/outdoor capacities, physical distancing guidelines and cohorting requirements.
Health Care Team
We are grateful to welcome back many of last year’s health care team members (including our doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses) and want to thank them for all they have done in the past year to keep their communities safe in the fight against COVID-19.
We have already begun and will continue to retrofit some of our cabins, our commercial kitchen, health centre and the dining hall to help ensure that we can follow the best safety practices. In addition, we have looked to purchase a couple of commercial marquee style outdoor tents that can be multifunctional for programming or meal service, allowing for more outdoor spaces and further provide an opportunity to separate cohorts.
This summer, the goal of the schedule ‘revamp’ is to cohort our camp groups or what we call our ‘sections’ separate in both camp programming and mealtimes. This revamp would also include extending time blocks for cleaning and sanitizing.
We are well underway with interviewing and the hiring process for all our 2021 staff candidates. All of our candidates are missing camp tremendously and are so eager to get back to summer camp. If you know of someone that has a passion for summer camp, hockey training or both, please feel free to spread the word as we are still accepting applications for many different positions this summer. Check out all the details at https://www.learnhockey.com/site/hoc-camp-staff