After a too-quiet 2020, when summer camps were cancelled due to the pandemic, Camp Squeah of Hope, B.C., is once again a place to hear the sounds of children’s laughter and families gathering this summer.
This summer, a modified schedule of “Go Beyond” day camps, family camps and self-contained family camps has replaced the traditional week-long children’s and youth camps. Spaces have been limited due to fewer staff, but Rob Tiessen, Squeah’s executive director, is grateful for the “adaptable, flexible and eager-to-serve” team members who are serving. Families can also reserve spots at Squeah for self-contained camping weekends.
“Our aim is to ensure COVID-19 does not become the central theme of our time together, and pray that God will use this time to bring healing and relief to those of us starved for community and connection,” Tiessen says. “We are hoping families will invite friends, extended family members or care-group families to camp together at Squeah, an opportunity that is rare during the summer.”
Camp got off to a sweaty start, as a heat dome settled over B.C. in late June, just in time for staff training week.
“While we were impressing on our staff how important it would be for us to spend as much time outside as possible, as per a camping association COVID-19 safety guideline approved by the Provincial Health Officer, we were in this 47-degree C-plus weather, which indicated we should move indoors to avoid the intense heat,” Tiessen says. “Needless to say, there was much adapting to schedules and training priorities day to day.”
An open fire ban is also in place due to the danger of forest fires, putting a damper on a favourite camp activity.
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