The pandemic has made us re-envision what our summer program is going to look like. Now more than ever the connection to those who truly understand is vital and can aid in the social isolation we are all dealing with. As such, in 2020 we constructed a platform that we hope still promotes play, laughter, support, and the message that camp provides us with every summer – we are not in this alone. In 2021, we plan on continuing online summer programs so that kids can connect with others safely from their home.
What Will Virtual Camp Look Like?
We are looking to support our community through virtual programs that will replicate some of our favourite parts of camp while maintaining our physical distance to ensure our community’s health and safety. Though we may not be in the same cabin, at the same dining hall table, or in the same canoe, we will still be connected through our love of camp and togetherness.
- Kids Camp – August 3 – 6, 2021: a 4-day session with campers aged 7-16 years old. Meeting virtually for three one-hour activity blocks per day, campers will take part in cabin group, all camp, and program choice activities.
Internet Safety: The well-being and safety of our campers are always at the forefront of our programming and while we transition online this still holds true. Some factors we are taking into consideration are:
- Platform: as virtual meet-ups and learning have become the new norm in the past year, we have been carefully monitoring and observing which platforms will best suit our needs while protecting the privacy of our campers and families
- Access: Links to our online programs will only be shared via email to those who are registered for that specific program. All of our virtual rooms will have passwords and virtual rooms will have a volunteer or staff moderator who will let people in to the group, and control participants ability to mute/unmute, share screens and enable/disable private chats amongst participants.
- Online behaviour: to create an environment of support and acceptance, at the start of every program we will go over the conduct we expect of our participants while in program. We will disable private chat functions and file sharing amongst participants to ensure that inappropriate content sharing or online bullying is not taking place.
- Supervision: We know that one of the most cherished part of camp is our incredible workforce of energetic, kind, and heartwarming volunteers. It would not be a Camp Goodtimes summer without them and as such we are happy to say that you will see some of their shining faces through your screen this summer.
We plan on maintaining our ratios and having 2 volunteers/staff per virtual room. We will maintain consistency with volunteers who are managing the club so that campers have a chance to build rapport and trust with their supervisor. The Camp Goodtimes staff will always be checking in on every virtual room throughout the day and providing support while the program is running. All volunteers joining us for our Goodtimes at Home Kids Camp will be trained before their respective program start dates, have up to date criminal record checks, and are returning to us after having done a previous summer of camp.