TORONTO – Sending your children off for a week of camp away from home will not be possible this summer. The provincial government announced on May 19th that there will be no over-night camps this summer as Ontario continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement was part of several announcements made by Education Minister Stephen Lecce that day which included that students were not going to return to in-class learning until September 2020, and that the province has launched an enhanced summer learning program.
“Our plan will ensure students receive the best educational experience during this difficult time,” Lecce told reporters at Queen’s Park. “That is why we are strengthening summer learning opportunities, reopening summer day camps, and it is why we will continue to make the case for synchronous, live, and dynamic learning.”
If public health indicators continue to improve, indoor and outdoor summer day camp programs may be allowed in July and August.
Programs will have to follow strict health and safety guidelines from the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development, and local public health units like the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said that some team sports may even be allowed.
“Perhaps at that point we could look at outdoor team sports, so there is a chance,” Roumeliotis said.
“But of course with certain precautions and presuming we are progressing with our opening stages.”
Currently sports activities are limited to single person sports like tennis or pickleball.
No contact or team sports are allowed.
The province’s new summer learning plan will see learning programs expanded online in an effort to keep students engaged to start the 2020-21 school year.
Lecce said the province has worked to identify and make available low-cost, high-impact solutions to improve its Learn at Home program. No other details of the programming were offered by the Education Minister at the announcement but the Minister said that more details would be offered at later announcements before the end of June.