While the local YMCA offers in-person day camps this summer by starting the day with their version of O Canada featuring YMCA-inspired lyrics, other organizations are turning to virtual or borrowing camp models.
The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre and Tiny Township are two such groups that have opted for a less-contact approach as the region tries to keep COVID-19 at bay.
“Wye Marsh is offering Camp@Home instead of our in-person day camps,” said Wye Marsh event & volunteer coordinator Amanda Swick.
“The Board of Directors made the decision to cancel our day camps as a precaution for the safety of campers, staff, volunteers and their families. We did still want kids to have the fun of camp however, and we have come up with these kits!”
Swick said the Camp@Home kits will bring all the fun of day camp right to a campers’ backyards.
“We were disappointed not to be able to run our regular programming, so we have developed kits in four themes to bring nature and fun into kids’ own yards for them to explore,” she said, noting themes for the kits found here, include Birding Bonanza, Nature Detective, a Bug’s Life, and Crazy for Camp.
And while the Wye Marsh’s visitor centre remains closed, there are still 25 kilometres of trails to explore from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
“Admission is still just by donation at the entry to the trails,” Swick said, noting there are porta-potties in the parking lot for visitor use.
“And as for the most common question we get, yes, the trails are pet-friendly as long as your pet is on a leash.”
In Tiny, meanwhile, the township is offering two options to help have fun during those lazy, hazy days of summer, including Camp in a Box that’s designed to bring the magic of camp into your home.
The township has developed eight weekly themed boxes with each containing activities, craft materials and written instructions. Information on the kids is available here.
The township’s recreation department has also created free sports equipment, loaner kits since team sports are not currently permitted.
The innovative offering allows participants to borrow a kit from Thursday to Tuesday with several different activities featured, including tennis, volleyball, bocce ball, giant lawn bowling and frisbee golf.
Additionally, sports-related video content will be posted on the township's YouTube channel throughout the summer months.
Kits can be borrowed from Thursday to Tuesday, so that participants can use and enjoy them over the weekend. Once reserved, kits can be picked up at the Wyebridge Community Centre (8340 Highway 93, Tiny) between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on one's designated Thursday, and returned between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on the following Tuesday. Equipment will be cleaned and sanitized by staff after each use.Kits can be reserved here and may be borrowed for up to two weeks in total. If you prefer to reserve your kit using a different method, contact recreation administrative coordinatorJaelen Josiah by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 705-526-4204, ext. 288.