Province gives Alta. summer camps green light, uncertainty on level of restrictions
EDMONTON -- The Alberta Camping Association met online with AHS Friday morning to discuss what the government’s reopening plan will mean for summer camps throughout the province.
AHS announced both day and overnight summer camps can move forward with restrictions under Stage 2 of the government’s reopening plan. Summer camps can operate without public health restrictions once the province enters Stage 3 in July.
While it’s the green light Alberta’s summer camp industry has been waiting for, there’s still some uncertainty towards overnight camp operations and what safety guidelines will look like this season.
Some camps may not be able to pivot as quickly into overnight camps while others may have to halt operation all-together.
Gerrit Leewes, Executive Director at Camp Warwa, said Alberta’s camping industry is one that’s characterized by its ability to make plans on-the-go.
Last summer, overnight camps were completely prohibited while day camps ran with restrictions. Camp organizers are waiting on official guidelines from the government but most are planning to stay at 50 per cent to ensure everyone’s safety.
Leewes said that capacity number could change from site to site depending on size and what AHS ultimately determines is safe.
One thing that has been certain is how summer camps have been able to provide child-care for many parents over the summer season.
“We strongly believe that camps are an essential form of childcare,” said Leewes. “They provide high levels of physical, social, and emotional well-being and camps are going to continue to provide that incredible experience no matter what happens.”
There are 77 camps represented by the Alberta Camping Association.