Will camps be affected this summer?
Credit: SAVANNAH BISAILLON
Over the past year, children have had their routines changed and deserve a chance to create some memories and make new friends.
As someone who got to experience many years of summer camp, valued every moment I spent there.
What a lot of people do not realize is summer camps are very structured and force everyone into a routine. At least with the overnight camp I went to, I know I had a strict routine. We all woke up at the same time, ate at the same time, shared activities together and some of the life skills I learnt still follow me.
Not only did I make friends for life, I learnt some important life skills like how to start a campfire, how to cook food with just a mosquito coil, a match and a coffee tin. I also made friends for a lifetime. As a young adult, I believe every child should get to experience camp life since there is no experience like the camp experience.
The pandemic has affected us all, and the uncertainty of returning to our regular summer activities is difficult.
What it means for overnight summer camps is unclear, since organizers need to start planning their summer schedule in advance. It takes a lot of time and preparation to plan a summer camp season and if they are allowed to operate, they will need to start planning now.
A lot of people are unaware of how much behind the scenes action goes on to make a summer camp experience memorable. In order for summer camps to function, there are a lot of people who work together to make sure the children all have the best experience.
As someone who spent nine consecutive summers going to summer camp, I am forever grateful for the experiences I was granted. At times I still think about the many nights I’ve spent around the campfire singing camp songs. Most of these songs are still fresh in my memory. I used to go to Camp Lau-ren in Deep River Ontario and I remember how structured our days were.
A lot of people do not realize how structured the camp life really is. As a young child and early teen, camp taught me the importance of keeping a solid routine. We would wake up at the same time each day, go for a polar bear dip, have breakfast and attend an activity. Then we would follow a schedule until we went to sleep, only to wake up and do it all again.
The Camp Association of Ontario has been working to find ways to make sure that camps can move forward this summer. Some camps across Ontario have already moved to creating plans to do things differently. Hopefully they get the go ahead and can operate summer camps accordingly.
Just looking back on everything I have learnt from camp I am forever grateful for the people I met, and the memories created. I was blessed with opportunities to do things I never would do in my day-to-day life. And of course I’ve been reminiscing about the camp food.
I hope that this summer, camps are allowed to open so the children can enjoy their summer. Over the past year, children have had their routines changed and deserve a chance to create some memories and make new friends.