Camp Wanapitei’s response to COVID-19

October 2, 2020 – Planning for 2021

Registration for our returning families is now open and we are very excited to be planning for next summer.  We are hoping for the best, but planning as if COVID-19 will be part of our lives for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, here are some considerations we have already put into place:

  • Group sizes from Coureur de Bois to Wilderness Leaders in Training and Voyageur I will be capped at a maximum of 10 campers.  Juniors will remain capped at 8 campers and Temagamis at 9 per group.
  • We have removed bussing as an option at registration.  While we are hoping we can offer transportation to and from camp, we have decided to delay registration for these options until closer to the summer.
  • We have increased our staffing budget to include additional positions that will be dedicated to sanitizing and cleaning
  • We are dedicating a specific budget line for COVID-19 expenses, including (but not limited to) – additional sanitizing stations around our site, increased sanitizing products for on trip, physical barriers for our kitchen and office areas, extra PPE supplies for our staff and health centre.

Planning for COVID-19 will be an ongoing process throughout the year.  We are working with advice the Ontario Camps Association, the local health unit and provincial and federal health experts.  We will continue to keep our community updated as policies are made.  We appreciate your patience.

August 31, 2020 – Moving Forward, Fundraising Initiative

With September upon us, Wanapitei is ready to turn the page and look forward to 2021.  Registration will be opening in the coming weeks, and with that we will be sharing some of the plans to ensure a safe and healthy summer season next year.

In the meantime, Wanapitei is seeking the support of our greater community to help move forward.  We have started a capital campaign to raise money for new canoes, trip gear and building initiatives that will allow our 2021 camper fees to help cover our operating losses from 2020.

Those who know Wanapitei know that our programs and experiences change lives.  Find out more about our campaign: Support Camp Wanapitei

May 19th, 2020 – Suspension of all programs

Today, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that overnight summer camps will not be permitted to open in 2020.  While we are incredibly disappointed that we will not be able to gather this summer, we respect that this decision is in the best interest of our community.  Like many of you, we were hoping that our August programs would continue.  This was a difficult announcement to hear and we are grieving the loss of our Wanapitei summer right along with you.

Community remains the most important value of Wanapitei.  Even apart, we can support each other through this.  We will be inviting our campers, families, staff, and alumni to gather online within the next week to be together during this difficult time and say goodbye to the summer we had been hoping for.

We know you may be wondering what comes next.  We will be in touch in the coming days to explain the next steps for managing payments.

Please reach out to us with questions – we are here for you in whatever way we can be.

Sending love and support,

Gill and Erin

May 14th, 2020 – Cancellation of July Programs

It is with great sadness that we must inform you that on May 14th, Camp Wanapitei made the decision to cancel our July programs for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are heartbroken to be sharing this news, but we know that this decision is best for the safety and health of our campers, staff, families and the communities we travel through.

The decision to close for July was made with the full support of our Board of Directors, after weeks of working together with information and guidance gathered from the Ontario Camps Association, health officials, provincial and federal guidelines.

You chose Wanapitei because you trust us with your children.  We have explored every option we could to allow for our programs to run on schedule, while asking ourselves: “Is there a way to do this while adhering to guidelines and, most importantly, keeping our campers, staff and the communities we travel through safe from COVID-19?” The answer, at least for now, is no.

Many of you may be wondering what this means for our August programs.  We have some hope for our August sessions, and will continue to monitor the situation the same way we did for July and make our decision in the coming weeks.

This is a huge loss for all of us.  We live for our summers and know our campers and families do too.  We are sending love and support to you in this difficult time.

We welcome any questions you may have as we navigate this unprecedented time.  We have also started an FAQ page that we will continue to update as needed.  As we are not able to work in our office, we ask that you email us and we can set up a phone call.

We will go home again.

Erin Sunstrum ([email protected]) and Gill Thompson ([email protected]), Directors