COVID restrictions have been released and Taber’s Safe Haven has been going full-steam ahead with their free six-week summer camp this year. “We do all kinds of things. We have pizza with the Taber Police, go to the Vauxhall and Taber pools, head to the Birds of Prey (in Coaldale) and do yoga back at Safe Haven," said Ashton Thompson. Adding Safe Haven wasn't even sure they would be able to run the camp this year due to COVID restrictions, so were really happy when restrictions were lifted. “Our Summer Day Camp has been an important resource for families in our area, and especially when these kids were isolated and didn’t have anything going on the past year. Everything was online and they weren’t able to get hardly any social interaction. Now, it’s possible for them to get it all in a safe environment. There was a need in the community and especially in this area, there is nothing in the area that offers a camp like this to these kids," noted Thompson. The Summer Day Camp is targeted towards children who have experienced or witnessed family violence, have been subjected to peer bullying, who identify as low income or to those who may be facing social difficulties. Thompson mentioned the Summer Day Camp has 80 kids enrolled this year, which is lower compared to the 90 from 2019. “We had to do everything really fast, so we’re really happy we applied for the grant, so we could make all this possible," said Thompson. The program is funded by the Community Funds Grant through United Way, while camp counsellors are paid over the six weeks through Canada Summer Jobs. Postings for these positions typically go up around May.
Kenyon Stronski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Taber Times