After last year’s cancellation of summer camp due to the pandemic, staff at Mennonite Church B.C.’s Camp Squeah are hopeful that a regular camping season can resume in summer 2021.
Gatherings such as group camps are currently prohibited in B.C. A decision on overnight camping is conditional on restrictions being lifted and operational plans approved by regional and provincial health authorities.
“The future is still rather murky,” admits camp director Rob Tiessen. “One week we are optimistic with the advent of vaccines, and the next we’re discouraged by the continued emphasis on lockdown and news of lack of vaccine availability.”
Nonetheless, Tiessen says, “We are tentatively still making plans for a summer of ministry.”
Final decision-making will come later this spring: mid-April for a decision about forecasting for July camps, and mid-May for assessing August program plans.
“We’re hoping that our plans for summer 2021 at Camp Squeah will be able to adapt to whatever restrictions may be in place,” says a link on the Camp Squeah website. “We will endeavour to continue keeping campers safe while providing a fun place to make lasting memories together.”
If youth camps do proceed, safety measures will be put in place. These include close contact limited to small groups, as close as possible to the traditional summer camp experience with limitations based on physical distancing requirements, but not including the usual backpacking overnight camping experience.
“Naturally we wish we could plan with more certainty, as program prep, staffing, et cetera, is a process that can’t wait until the last minute,” says Tiessen.
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