Summer camps start to pull the plug on the season while awaiting Ontario's go-ahead

Published May 12, 2021 6:47 p.m. ET

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BAYSVILLE, ONT. -- Parents are anxious to find out if the pandemic will prevent kids from attending summer camps in Ontario for a second year.

Camp New Moon in Baysville has been hosting children since the 1950s. Owner and operator Jack Goodman wants the province to decide whether summer camps will open or not sooner rather than later. "The conditions under which we will want to operate this coming summer should be established now."

Speaking from his camp next to the Lake of Bays, Goodman, who is also with the Ontario Camps Association, said all camp operators across the province are in the same boat and need to know if they will be allowed to open before it's too late.

"I'm still optimistic, we know that the process of moving the guidelines forward has been going on for months, and we were told about a week and a half ago that those guidelines are getting ready for the approval process," he said.

Goodman added the camping association is not interested in opening if it's not safe.

He noted a lot of work and investment go into opening up the camps, and some won't afford the costs with no camp revenue.

According to Goodman, some camps have already called it a season for the coming summer because there just isn't enough time to prepare.

Lisa Spiegal has children who typically attend summer camp. She said there's a lot on the line. "There are implications for people that work. There's implications for parents that depend on a level of child care. There's implications for kids that are depending on jobs."

Goodman feels they can offer safe summer camps for children to attend this summer, but it's unclear when the province will make that decision.


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