Grey Sauble day camp squashed by pandemic for a second season

·2 min read

For the second consecutive year, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) will be forced to cancel its summer day camp program due to COVID-19.

“Given these obstacles and the worsening situation, we once again did make the difficult decision to cancel camp for 2021,” said Gloria Dangerfield, manager of information services for GSCA.

For the past several weeks, GSCA staff were working to prepare for the summer months, purchasing PPE supplies and hiring additional staff.

“When creating our operational plan goals for 2021, we did plan to run it on our day camp,” said Dangerfield during a GSCA board meeting held yesterday afternoon. “The plan was to run with our regular 30 to 32 campers, but we were going to run two groups of 15.”

According to Dangerfield, there were concerns around liability, as well as the ability to social distance properly in the event of an emergency.

“Although it's primarily an outdoor camp, there are situations that absolutely require all campers to come inside,” she explained.

“If there were a thunderstorm or a tornado, all campers would have to come in the basement of the administration centre at the same time and there's definitely not enough space in that basement to accommodate all 30 campers plus staff, and maintain the required social distancing.”

GSCA staff looked at the option of reducing the number of campers to 15, however, even if the authority increased the program cost to $37 a day, it would still be left in the red by approximately $7,000.

Grey Sauble day camp provides kids the opportunity to explore GSCA properties, learn about wildlife, habitats and take part in planned activities such as swimming, crafts, games and fort building.

“We are looking forward to the 2022 programming in hopes that we can resume and improve on this valuable program,” Dangerfield added.

Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca