Overnight camp programs won’t be an option until Alberta’s Phase Three of re-opening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With no set date or prediction for when this might be, some camps are closing their doors for the summer, while others try to find alternate means to interact with campers this season.
Camp Maskepetoon, based on the north shore of Pigeon Lake, made the decision in April to cancel all summer programming.
The camp boasts a core camp program of canoeing, arts and crafts, outdoor adventures, spirits, archery, and sports. This would have been Camp Maskepetoon’s 64th year of operation.
In an April 23 statement released on their website the Camp’s Board of Directors announce the decision to not run the camp for summer 2020. The Board was following protocol set forth by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr.Hinshaw, at the time, when she stated the restriction of 15 people per event and the prediction that the restriction would remain in place until fall.
The Board of Directors statement says, “as such, all summer programs for 2020 will be cancelled. This was not the outcome that we hoped for, but we are happy to play our part to ensure the safety and well-being of our Camp Maskepetoon family and all Albertans.”
Since the release of their statement, Dr. Hinshaw has lifted restrictions to allow for groups of up to 50 to gather in outdoor spaces with sufficient room to social distance.
Another camp located beside Pigeon Lake not moving forward with campers on camp soil is Mulhurst Camp.
Mulhurst Camp’s Executive Director, Sheryl Stone, says, “We don’t have any in person programming at the camp this summer.”
Instead Mulhurst Camp will be operating online programming for their campers. Months ago the camp received a Canada Summer Jobs Grant, allowing for their summer student staff to have jobs this summer at the camp.
Set to start on June 15, the summer staff will help run the online programming which includes virtual songs, campfires, chats and even organizing a potential ‘camp in a box’ which would be mailed out to the virtual campers. ‘Camp in a box’ would encompass activities and the energy of summer camp such as crafts etc.
“Mulhurst Camp would still love to have campers young and old, join us in snippets of our camp program!” says Stone in a COVID-19 statement on Mulhurst Camp’s website.
The Mulhurst Camp seasonal campground is also up and running for the summer. The campground will run at half capacity and campers will be expected to follow all rules and regulations set out by the Government of Alberta concerning COVID-19.