RELEASE — The Township of South Frontenac has made the difficult decision to cancel Swim and Day Camp programs for the 2020 season due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
The cancellation comes after careful consideration from the Township’s Emergency Control Group (ECG) regarding the safety of South Frontenac residents and staff. Following the lead of the provincial government’s recent announcement to cancel the remainder of the school year, the ECG determined the risks of offering the summer programs are too high.
“Running these programs at this time would create scenarios where physical distancing would be virtually impossible,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “We recognize that many residents will be disappointed that these programs will not take place this year, but the safety of our children and their families must come first.”
The Swim & Day Camps’ promote socialization through structured activities; children are encouraged to interact with each other and build healthy social skills. The Township recognizes that creating, and implementing protocols that would comply with physical distancing and other protective measures would be very challenging for these types of programs. Additionally, the provincial government has not yet approved the re-opening of public beaches and it is unclear when restrictions around usage will ease. With all of these factors considered, the Township feels that safe, high-quality programs cannot be guaranteed and need to be cancelled for the 2020 season.
South Frontenac has offered the popular Swim & Day Camp for over 20 years. The programs have been running annually and have become a tradition for many South Frontenac families. These programs also support local youth by providing summer employment opportunities. Under normal circumstances, employing youth is considered a cornerstone of Swim & Day Camps. However during the COVID-19 pandemic there are concerns around placing that level of responsibility on youth.
“It is not fair to ask our student employees to take on the responsibility for the safety of our children during a global pandemic”, says Tim Laprade, Arena & Recreation Supervisor. “Running the programs would be putting our children, youth, and members of their families at risk. We are not comfortable with that,” says Laprade.
The Township is looking forward to welcoming swimmers and campers back to the programs next year when it is safe to do so. For more information regarding the Townships response to the COVID-19 pandemic please visit southfrontenac.net.