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Kwasind and COVID-19 (see FAQs below)

Last Updated: Dec 7, 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. As we look to Summer 2021 we are moving ahead with plans to be able to operate our Overnight Camp experience, with like a few modifications to ensure safety in light of COVID-19 and to meet public health and government regulations.  So Yes, we are aiming to run summer camp in 2021.

It is important to know that 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. Our staff are currently working remotely in preparation for a safe, healthy, memorable, and fun summer in a few months.  Camp Kwasind property at this time is official closed (currently a construction site for the Kwasind Centre) so there is no public access to the property.  We have shifted any in-person meetings and our planned 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 2021 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 in late Spring, 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 management of schools and other public facilities (different restrictions for different regions) before making any further decisions regarding our rental groups and summer programs.

As we open up registration on Dec 10, 2020 we want you to be able to register with confidence.  While we will be restricting our capacity at this point to 60% each week, 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 as which happened last summer.  

We want you to know that we LOVE our campers and their families and we want to give you the confidence that we are seeking to provide a safe, healthy and memorable camp experience in 2021.

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?

Our property is currently a construction site as we ae building the new Kwasind Centre.  Some staff have been working on site work and special upgrades around camp in preparation for Summer 2021. At all times, we are practicing physical distancing actions to help prevent the potential spread of infection. Kwasind is currently closed to the public.

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 how and what format we are able to 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 due to government restrictions on camp. 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.  To best keep up to date on this information – visit our webpage – www.kwasind.com/health-and-safety

Who is advising camp leadership in regards to safety?

Camp Kwasind has a health care coordinator, is adding medical representative to their Medical Advisory Team 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. We continue to be 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 likely early in 2021 as related to adapting 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 and are there for doing to be adjusting our summer safety plans accordingly. Over the coming months we will be appropriate revising and updating our policies and procedures to best reflect the current reality and bring about ENHANCED health and safety measure. We have a Crisis Management plan in place and are revising it in concordance with best practices around COVID-19 protocols. A few measure will be in place for Summer 2021 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 hand 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 is that things are looking positive for an EPIC 2021 Summer for campers – so we are encouraging everyone to register as early as possible, with the comfort of knowing that any deposit and payment fees will be returned to you if camp is cancelled or needing to be significantly adapted in the future.

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, 2021.

With this outbreak, we are going to be investing significant dollars to enhance our Health & Safety and respond to COVID-19 requires but we are seeking to not significantly increase our campers costs – if you can support Kwasind in this area that would be greatly appreciated with a donation – 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.