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Kwasind and COVID-19 (see FAQs below)

Last Updated: April 22, 2020

 

Kwasind is an amazing place that provides young people with hope, opportunities, leadership and fun.  One of the reasons Camp thrives is because we prioritize the safety and health of all campers, staff and guests. No doubt many of you are wondering if Camp Kwasind is still operational and if we are planning on having camp this summer in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic.  Be reassured that at the moment we want you to hear: Yes, we are!

We are following all health and safety measures put forward by our government and public health authorities and will continue to follow new requirements as they unfold. All our staff are working remotely in preparation for a safe, healthy, memorable, and fun summer in a few months.  Camp Kwasind property at this time during the state of emergency is official closed and there is no public access to the property.  We have shifted any in-person meetings and staff interviews to a virtual format. If you need to reach any of us, email is best, but we also will be responding to voice messages.

While we are planning and hiring in anticipation of a great 2020 Summer – we also recognize that we may need to adapt or change our plans in light of COVID-19.  Going forward, decisions regarding the usage of Kwasind property, any gatherings and our summer camp will be informed by directives and recommendations from government and public health authorities, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the health and safety of all campers, staff and guests.

What this means is that we have the intention of running a great camp this summer and hope to have Work Weekend happen and rental groups able to use the property, but this will only happen if it falls in line with government directives and parameters, with the support of the public health authorities and our confidence that we have put the appropriate measures in place.

Right now, we are following and monitoring the directives from government and public health authorities regarding the re-opening of schools (currently closed indefinitely) and other public facilities (many of which are closed indefinitely) before making any further decisions regarding our rental groups and summer programs.

With many weeks of camp already SOLD OUT this summer and other weeks and programs filling up fast, we encourage you to make sure you register your child(ren) now so that they have a spot reserved.  However, in these uncertain times, we want to offer a certainty in regards the financial investment you are making. In the unfortunate event that we are unable to run summer camp this summer, anyone who is registered for camp will be provided a FULL REFUND.  The other option people will have is that this payment can be used to reserve a spot for Summer 2021 (still only paying 2019 rates) or it could be transfer into a tax-receiptable donation to support the day to day fixed costs of running Camp Kwasind.

We want you to know that we LOVE our campers and their families and we want to give you the confidence that no one who has or is going to register their child to be at Camp Kwasind this summer will endure any financial loss if we are not able to run camp.

We are so grateful that we have a “home” called Kwasind – that for over 75 years has been a blessing through times of great opportunity and great challenges and continues to inspire young people to grow in confidence, character, faith and leadership.  This time is no doubt one of those seasons of great challenges, but which we will come through stronger and with renewed hope. Thank you for your ongoing support of Kwasind, for your many prayers and supportive emails that we have received during this time, and for your ongoing belief in the significant and life-changing impact that young people experience through their time at Kwasind.

If you have any questions, please reach us by phone and by email.  We will continue to post updated information here on this website, so check back regularly and be sure that you have signed up for our General Mail List to get the latest e-new updates at http://www.kwasindupdates.com/

For more details on frequently asked questions, please read the information below:

What is happening at Kwasind right now?

Kwasind’s fall programs and group rentals ended in early November. Since then, we have not had campers or groups on-site. Some staff have been working on site work and special upgrades around camp. At all times, we are practicing physical distancing actions to help prevent the potential spread of infection. Kwasind is currently closed to the public and rental groups from mid-November till end of April.  At this time, Kwasind is closed to all visitors and staff until at least May 12, 2020.

Has anything at Kwasind been cancelled?

As of the updated date at the top of this page, our “Kwasind in the City” experience for April 4, 2020 in Oakville has been cancelled and our annual Spring Work Weekend (May 1-3, 2020) has been postponed and our May rental groups have needed to be cancelled in following with government requirements. No Kwasind summer programs or guest groups have been cancelled at this point – although our offices and property are closed.

What is Kwasind's Leadership team planning to do when it comes to Summer Camp?

Currently we have all intentions and plans in place to run a high quality, safe, fun and memorable camp experience this summer. We are and will continue to follow any further directives and recommendations from the government and public health authorities to determine if we can run camp this summer. We will communicate with you as we know of any changes that may affect summer camp.

Will I get a full refund if summer camp is cancelled?

Yes! We are committed to ensuring that you will receive a full refund of payments made if camp is not able to run this summer. We also ask that if come the summer time we are able to safely with government approval and public health authority support run camp, that if you still have concerns about your child attending camp that we will make financial accommodations for making that request with us on an individual basis.

What is Kwasind doing to ensure Summer Camp is safe?

The safety and health of campers, staff, guests and community is core to the functioning of Camp Kwasind. It is important for Kwasind to make decisions related to the health and safety of camp from government officials, public health and other agencies as related to large group gatherings, standards for cleaning and sanitizing protocols as well as requirements for other public hygiene guidelines. We recognize during this time that we need to adapt our plans as the situation evolves and we will be keep parent(s), guardians, guests, campers and staff informed on specific initiatives as we get closer to the summer.

Who is advising camp leadership in regards to safety?

Camp Kwasind has a health care coordinator and has a health and safety protocols already existing. We are also tracking all relevant information from national and local authorities to stay informed on the situation. Over the last 5 weeks we have been connecting with government agencies and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit which updates information regularly. It is also encouraged that all interested review the public health websites https://www.ontario.ca/coronavirus and www.canada.ca/covid19 for a full list of updates. Camp Kwasind is also a fully accredited member of the OCA and have always exceeded their high and exacting standards. We are in regular contact with them regarding best practices for summer camp and will follow with the implementation of requirements for opening camp that is to be be shared late May or early June as related new requirements in light of COVID-19.

What will be done their Summer to ensure increased safety?

Kwasind has always lead with a high emphasis on safety – so we are already leading with special measure to ensure the health of campers arriving and while at camp. We do recognize however, that as we are living in a new reality, we are receiving new information daily and at times hourly at has us adjusting our summer safety plans. Over the coming month and half we will be appropriate revising and updating our policies and procedures to best reflect the current reality. We have a Crisis Management plan in place and are revising it in concordance with best practices around COVID-19 protocols. A few measure we are looking to further developer are: 1. Enhanced screening at arrival for symptoms related to this virus. This screening could include a health questionnaire (by all coming on to property) 2. Reinforcing public hygiene practices through increased hand washing stations, protocols for usage of our medical grade hand sanitizer in dining hall, lodge, and other meeting spaces along with adding best practices recommended by OCA to prevent the spread of illness at camp 3. Increased training for staff during our staff week in regards to sanitation and cleaning, particularly in high traffic areas of camp as well as the management of the health and safety cleaning in the cabins

We deeply value our partnership with families in providing campers with the life changing experience of camp. To be in partnership with you in these difficult health and financial times we will be at the end of the summer waiving any cancellation fees and offering a full refund if we are not able to provide summer camp.

Having said this, the good news for campers is that at this point we are still plan to host summer camp sessions this year. With camp sessions filling up (we are over 70% full) we are encouraging everyone to still register with the comfort of knowing that any deposit and payment fees will be returned to you if camp is cancelled.

As we are in partnership, it is important that you know that there are many fixed costs which apply to our camp, regardless of whether campers attend our programs or not. If our summer camps are unable to happen this summer, we completely understand your need or desire for full refund. We also humbly ask that you consider leaving a part of your camp fees with us as a tax-receiptable donation or for reserving your spot for Summer 2021.

Can I still apply for camper sponsorship for my camper?

Yes! Kwasind’s policy has always been that camp should be available to everyone, regardless of financial situation. Please request financial support through our campership fund by emailing Leslie Hall at register@kwasind.com. We will be delaying approval of all camper sponsorship requests until June 1, 2020.

With this outbreak, we are predicting that Kwasind’s financial situation will change as well – some families will need more support, and it is likely that we will see a drop in donations for camper sponsorship. If you want to support our camper sponsorship program, please give here.

 

If you have any other questions about Kwasind’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact our Executive Director, Matt Wilkinson at matt@kwasind.com.