Tisdale has hired both its play leaders in preparation for its annual summer FunZone, which will begin in July.
FunZone is a free daytime drop-in camp for children ages five to 11, offering a variety of activities such as crafts, stories and games in an outdoor setting.
The goal behind the program is to promote positive physical and social development for the youth.
Lesley Thibault, Tisdale’s director of recreation and parks, said that they expect the program to be similar to previous years, but are waiting to see what regulations to be.
“We’re going to play it by ear,” Thibault said. “We’re going to do an online registration this year but numbers will be based on what will be allowed with restrictions from the government.”
The program will take place in the Step 2of the province’s reopen plan, which will begin on June 20.
As of June 20, all remaining restrictions on youth and adult sports will be lifted; there will be a limit of 15 people at private indoor gatherings, including household gatherings; and a limit of 150 people at public indoor gatherings and private and public outdoor gatherings.
Current province-wide masking mandate will remain in place
Last year, the FunZone allowed 12 registered youth with social distancing, and parental signed waivers at the beginning of the season.
In pre-pandemic years, the number of youth participants could be anywhere from a dozen to 30, but a normal day would typically get between 15 and 20.
“Last year was the first time we actually did a registration because we thought, ‘How are we going to control numbers to partake in group activities without a registration,’” Thibault said.
“We’ll carry forward with that again, but hopefully we’ll be able to open it up a bit more so we’re not at a small limit for an outdoor gathering.”
Thibault said their hope is that with both play leaders they can establish two different groups, doing different activities at the same time.
While the majority of the activities is left up to the play leaders, of which two are now hired by the town, Thibault said it usually revolves around weekly themes.
“Usually there are crafts, there are activities, there are games and there are snacks all kind of revolving around the themes. In the past I’ve seen Disney characters, or outer space or zoo animals – anything like that. I leave it up to them to be creative.”
The FunZone will start on July 5, Monday to Thursday for seven weeks primarily taking place at the Lions Spray Park.
“The Lions Spray Park is a great addition to our community,” Thibault said, adding that the park will remain open for families through the program. “Everyone is welcome to come to the park, even during the program hours.”
The program is funded by the Town of Tisdale, with a $5,000 grant from the Community Initiatives Fund and donations from the Tisdale Lions Club.
Registration will be posted to facebook.com/FunZoneTisdale once it becomes available.
Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal