Information For Our Families Regarding COVID-19

May 10, 2022


Northway COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

At Camp Northway and Camp Wendigo we are committed to keeping all campers and staff healthy. This summer we are taking steps to minimize potential disruption to our summer schedule and continue ensuring the safest possible environment.

Northway and Wendigo will be following the recommendations of Public Health Ontario, and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) regarding vaccinations. Both groups recommend vaccines for people 5 years of age and older unless there are medical exemptions.

The term ‘fully vaccinated’ refers to a complete primary series, received at least 2 weeks prior to the start of camp. The term ‘up-to-date’ means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.

Therefore, unless medically contraindicated, it is required that all staff and campers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and we strongly recommend all staff and campers be up-to-date on their vaccines.

Ontario’s Vaccination Recommendations as of May 2nd , 2022 are:

    • Everyone age 5+ should receive their primary series of vaccines
    • Children age 5—11 are considered fully vaccinated and up-to-date with a primary series
    • Everyone age 12+ should receive a first booster dose after completion of a primary COVID-19 vaccine series to be considered up-to-date
    • Everyone age 12-17 may receive a first booster dose 6 months their primary COVID-19 series
    • Everyone age 18+ may receive a first booster dose 3 months their primary COVID-19 series

All staff and campers will be required to provide proof of all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada.

Our policy will be subject to change as we approach the summer, based on any guidelines or regulations that may be put in place by federal, provincial, or municipal governments, as well as our local public health unit.

November 7, 2021


Northway COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

At Camp Northway and Camp Wendigo we are committed to keeping all campers and staff healthy. Therefore, contingent upon vaccine availability and unless medically contraindicated, it is required that all employees, staff, contractors, mentors, and campers aged 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

All employees, staff, contractors, mentors, and campers will be required to provide proof of all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada.

The updated vaccination policy will be available early 2022. Our policy will be subject to change as we approach the summer, based on any guidelines or regulations that may be put in place by federal, provincial, or municipal governments, as well as our local public health unit.

March 25, 2021


We are busy preparing for another summer at Northway and Wendigo.

Northway and Wendigo have always provided our campers with the opportunity to meet new people, form lasting friendships, foster independence and growth, unplug from an increasingly technology-filled world, and to do so in our exquisite natural setting. Campers learn lifelong skills from their time spent simply in nature that help them navigate their world with confidence.

This summer, Northway and Wendigo’s unique experience will be more important than ever—it will be everyone’s much-needed re-connection with friends and the wilderness, in their second home.

COVID-19 will make overnight camp different this summer. Camps in Ontario are confident we’ll run, but we don’t yet know all the COVID-19 precautions public health will require.

How will it be different?

The answer to this question will likely change as we continue to learn about case count trends, variants, vaccination rollouts, and the Public Health Guidelines.

We do know that:

    • Last year, the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) formed a Task Force whose mandate is to ensure all Ontario camps can open and operate safely in 2021.
    • In the fall, the OCA was invited to prepare a draft guidance document for how summer camps will operate in 2021 by Public Health.
    • That document was reviewed by a panel of experts at SickKids Hospital in Toronto in January and is currently being reviewed by Public Health. We’re all waiting for their response.
    • The draft guidance uses cohorting, testing and limited access to camps, along with the known safety precautions we’ve all been undertaking this past year: increased handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing, and wearing masks when distancing isn’t possible.
    • Keeping COVID-19 out of camp will be the best way to stay safe at camp. This will likely require staff and campers to have a negative test and then isolate for a short period prior to arriving at camp.
    • There may be additional testing throughout the summer. COVID-19 in the general population and within camp will probably influence the amount of testing done
    • Reducing access to camp means it’s likely only campers and staff will be allowed at camp this summer; parent tours on arrival and departure days may need to be cancelled.
    • Cohorting will likely be based on a group of tents, with those campers and their counsellors living like a little family within camp.
    • Cohorts will help decrease any spread of COVID-19 at camp and allow for contact tracing if there is a positive test at camp.
    • When campers/staff are within close proximity of someone from outside their cohort—a counsellor teaching a lesson for example, they’ll use masks
    • Our Dining Hall experience will be different due to distancing, we’ll likely be eating outside more often, or serving meals in shifts.
    • Happily, plenty of our camp life already happens outside.
    • Northway and Wendigo staff and campers are flexible, resilient, creative, and inventive. We know how to make the best of every situation. Camp will look and feel like camp. We’ve been thriving in the wilderness for 115 years, and we’re looking forward to doing so again this summer.

To read a letter from Dr. C. Williams, MD, MHSc, FRCPC (Chief Medical Officer of Health) to the OCA and Camp Operators, please click here.

If you have any questions please email info@campnorthway.com

Sincerely,
Brookes, Joan, Wilson and Becca Prewitt

October 31, 2020


Northway and Wendigo’s registration for Summer 2021 will begin on Monday, November 2, 2020.

While we don’t know all the guidelines and procedures for COVID-19 that we will be following yet, please know that we are committed to having a safe, healthy and happy Summer 2021 at camp, and will be holding our delayed celebration of Northway’s 115th season this year.

Health Officials, the Ontario Camps Association (OCA), and Canadian Camping Association (CCA) are currently collecting data and working to create new Standards and Protocols for dealing with COVID-19 at camps next summer.  The first draft of these guidelines will not be available until early 2021, and we expect that as more is learned about COVID-19, this first draft will have changes and updates.

As we learn more about this, we’ll keep you informed on what Northway and Wendigo will be doing to keep camp safe.

Sincerely,
Brookes, Joan, Wilson and Becca Prewitt

 

Click on the following links for More Resources:


NWL Bingo Game

 

Statement from the Ontario Camping Association (OCA)

 

How to Help Your Child Cope with the Cancellation of Summer Camp 

Self-Care Reminders for Parents & Guardians

Self-Care Reminders for Staff Members

 

Ontario Camping Association Press Release

Ontario Government Press Release

June 23, 2020


Statement from the OCA:

The OCA is founded on the understanding that running a camp is a complex and risk-filled operation. The OCA exists to support and accredit camps to meet high standards of addressing the multitude of risks that camps can face. OCA Member camps know that a scandal or tragedy in any camp hurts the entire industry, and therefore we all have a stake in how camps in Ontario are run.

With the constraints placed on both overnight and day camps this summer, the OCA is concerned about a proliferation in less formal “camp” arrangements arising as substitutes. These are expected to take the form of backyard or driveway camps, or rent-a-counsellor programs. While the OCA recognizes the efforts of those trying to meet the need created with the restrictions on camps, the OCA believes that many of these programs may fall short in their levels of management and organizational infrastructure and/or risk management expertise to run safe and effective programs given the numerous risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the kind of thoughtful rigor that the OCA accreditation process provides, these non-accredited programs raise risks for campers, families, staff, volunteers and potentially for the industry as a whole.

Further, the OCA urges its member camps to be cautious about providing these camp experiences themselves and in particular, developing any relationship with these newly-formed programs, including referring campers and families, or lending support for rent-a-counsellor programs that are not directly under member camps’ supervision. For any member camp who does choose to have a relationship, the OCA strongly recommends being very clear on the restrictions in place, seeking legal advice and advising insurers. For any of these programs that intend to run child care programs instead of camps, the OCA additionally recommends that they review the restrictions on childcare in place and the differentiation between childcare and recreational programs as outlined in the Child Care and Early Years Act.

 

May 19, 2020


We know you have likely been following the news regarding whether overnight camps will be operating this summer. Unfortunately, today the Provincial Government of Ontario has announced that all overnight camps will be closed this summer. As such, we are sadly announcing the cancellation of our 2020 summer at Northway-Wendigo.

You can read the official announcement here:  Provincial Announcement on Closure of Schools and Overnight Summer Camps

We understand this is very disappointing news.  We know how much Northway and Wendigo mean to our camp family.  It is a place to spend time with old friends and to make new ones; a place to experience growth and independence; a place to learn new skills in a beautiful outdoor setting, without distractions from technology and social media.  Most importantly, there is a magic in coming together at camp—that indescribable feeling of joy that comes from being in your special place, with your friends from around the world.

While we know how sad this news is, it is very important to us that Northway campers and staff are safe. The closure of camps will ensure that everyone remains safe while at home, and hopefully flatten the curve even more so social distancing restrictions will be lifted. While this summer at camp is cancelled, we can look forward to a great time together in summer 2021!

Regarding the deposit you have on account for this summer, we have options available for you below.   We are happy to be in touch with you individually by phone or email to discuss what you would like to do.

Option 1:  A full refund of your deposit

Option 2: Carry your deposit forward to the 2021 season and guarantee your child’s spot in the session they were registered in this year (with 2020 fees in effect for summer 2021)

Option 3:  If you would like to help support Northway during this unprecedented season, you can give a portion of your deposit as a gift to Northway-Wendigo.

We are unsure of what permanent changes will be required at camp to adjust to the new normal we will be experiencing in Summer 2021.  This may result in increased costs to be able to implement long-term social distancing, etc.   A gift to Northway will be used to offset these potential costs.

We will continue to provide additional information, but since this announcement has just been made, we wanted to communicate as quickly as possible with you.

We will also be sending a short message to all campers whose email addresses are in our database.

If you would like additional information you can call 905-468-4455 or email info@campnorthway.com at any time.  If you would like to set up a time to speak by phone, please email to let me know a few convenient times to call, and I’ll confirm a time.

Sincerely,
Brookes, Joan, Wilson and Becca Prewitt

March 17, 2020


In light of the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are writing today to let you know about the approach that Northway-Wendigo is taking to keep our campers safe and healthy at camp.

At this time, we are cancelling the scheduled Teas in Toronto (April 26, 2020) and Ottawa (April 19, 2020).  While we are sorry not to be able to see everyone who would attend, but it is just part of the social distancing that everyone is being asked to undertake.

In order to ensure a safe experience for everyone at Northway-Wendigo, we are monitoring this issue carefully and will continue to do so. We have consulted with our local public health unit for Algonquin Park, The Renfrew and County District Health Unit and we are working with the Ontario Camps Association to ensure we are following best practices.

We will continue to monitor closely the updates from Public Health Ontario, Health Canada, and the World Health Organization.

We are proceeding with all our regular planning to ensure we are properly prepared for the start of camp, as we have in the past.  We’re remaining hopeful for the customary start to camp on July 1st.

We will keep in touch and communicate any new information to you regarding Northway-Wendigo’s summer as early as possible.

Please email or call any time if you would like to talk about camp.

The following websites can provide further information, and you can check with your own local Public Health Unit for information in your local area:

Health Canada:   COVID-19 Website

Public Health Ontario:  Coronavirus Resource Site

World Health Organization Information for Members of the Public:  Information for Members of the Public

We realize that helping your children cope with the uncertainty around COVID-19 can be challenging. They may be worried about what they are hearing in the news—worrying about themselves, their friends and you, their family.  The links below are for 2 articles on the Canadian Pediatric Society’s website.  They might be of interest to you.

Parenting During COVID-19: A New Frontier

By Kassia Johnson, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Kassia Johnson is a developmental paediatrician in Hamilton, Ont., a member of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Early Years Task Force, and a mother of two.

How Can We Talk To Kids About COVID-19? Be “Realistically Reassuring”

By Dr. Robin C. Williams, CM, MD FRCP
Dr. Robin Williams is a Past President of the Canadian Paediatric Society, and a former Medical Officer of Health for Ontario’s Niagara Region.  She is currently Chair, Early Years Task Force, Canadian Paediatric Society

 

Sincerely,
Brookes, Joan, Wilson and Becca Prewitt