As we approach the end of the year, things are looking very different for families over the December break. With little chance of traveling, you may be wondering what kids might do over the break. How about a winter camp? Camps provide a tailor-made and safe solution to the mental and physical health challenges associated with current social and physical restrictions.
As we know, during a pandemic there are no zero-risk activities so families need to make decisions that work for them and their child. To help with your decision process, SMUS has put in place a comprehensive list of safety protocols to deliver fun and safety-focused winter camps this month. We are also regularly communicating with Island Health and monitoring the ongoing provincial health orders, and will make necessary adjustments to our programs if things change.
The health and well-being of all participants, including campers, faculty, staff, parents and campus visitors, has been placed above all other considerations when planning for camps and when running them. Just as in our successful summer programs, which we operated safely through July and August, we have a comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan (PDF), with specific measures to keep our community safe:
- Daily health screening will be required for campers and staff.
- All campers are required to wear a face mask outside of physical activity, snack and lunch times.
- Camp capacities are reduced to allow for physical distancing and to minimize contact.
- Each day camp will operate as a self-contained unit, independent of one another.
- For drop-off and pick-up, we ask that it is limited to ‘one caregiver per child’ to avoid crowding during busy periods.
- Parents/guardians and campers are all required to wear a face mask during drop-off and pick-up times.
- Enhanced hand-washing procedures will be in place.
- Enhanced facility cleaning will happen throughout the day and every night.
- Limited sharing of equipment in each camp to reduce cross-contact.
- No sharing of food, drink and personal belongings between campers.
- No indoor outtrips or use of the public transportation system.
Even with these measures in place, we recognize some families may still feel cautious about sending their child to an in-person camp. As an alternative, this year we are also offering several online programs to keep your child engaged while at home. We have a Marine Scientist Camp for kids to learn more about marine ecology and scientific research with fun Kahoot trivia games; there’s the Budding Entrepreneurs Camp, where campers will select a business idea and learn business skills to make a Dragons’ Den style pitch on the last day; and we have Be Quantum Smart Camp, for those who want to dive into the mind-bending world of quantum physics with fun videos, role-play scenarios, games and hands-on activities that can be done at home.
To learn more about all of this year’s camps, running December 14 to 31, or to read our safety plans, please visit our website. To register for any of the camp offerings, please visit smuscamps.campbrainregistration.com.
Fun is a click away! We look forward to welcoming you to one of our Winter Camps this year.