COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update
Tuesday June 2, 2020
Dear Centre Camp Families, Supporters, and Community Members,

I hope that everyone is staying healthy and keeping well. COVID-19 has taken us on a journey that has presented many challenges for communities all around the world, and today, it has presented us with a challenge that we know with your support, we will get through together.

As a long-time summer camper, staff member, and camp professional, it pains me to share this update. It is with a very broken heart that I inform you that we have had to make the tough decision to cancel all Summer 2020 in-person programs at The Jack and Pat Kay Centre Camp. This decision has been made in consultation with public health officials, the Schwartz/Reisman Centre and Prosserman JCC Senior Leadership Team and the Board of Directors, and the guidance and support of the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) and the Jewish Community Centers Association (JCCA). We waited to announce this decision until today with hopes that we could run camp in some form as the economy continues to reopen and community members return to work. We know so many of you were hoping for some form of program for childcare. We also understand that you will need to make alternative arrangements, and we didn’t want you to wait any longer. It is for these reasons why we have come to this decision.

The health and safety of everyone in our camp community is always our highest priority.

Based on the information, guidance, and advice of our local health care experts and leaders, we have determined that we cannot currently meet the health and safety parameters necessary to operate camp in a safe and responsible way. It would not be right for us to operate under these circumstances. We care more for the well-being of our campers, staff, and community members more than anything else in the world. We want everyone to stay safe. 

Our mission is to provide a terrific, high quality and impactful experience to campers and, sadly, we are not able to fulfill that goal in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So many of the hallmarks of JCC Day Camp that you and your kids know and love – fun, friendship, Jewish identity-building, and memories that will last a lifetime – are predicated on being together and dancing at Flagpole, on the sports fields, in our pools, and inside our beautiful facility to take a break from the bright sun. As wonderful as technology has been in connecting our community in recent weeks, we would be remiss if we set expectations to achieve these goals via Zoom or other social media platforms. To do so would not only demonstrate a lack of integrity on our part, but also would lead to unnecessary disappointment for you and our campers. We will continue to provide engagement opportunities for the community on our social media pages, and down the road we will consider some virtual opportunities to connect for creative programming and community building. Make sure you “like” us on Facebook , “follow” us on Instagram , and check out Virtual J for more details to be shared down the road.

We pride ourselves in providing top-notch child care, and a nurturing environment where campers can depend on their staff to keep them comfortable and smiling all summer long.

I always remind our staff during staff training that as camp staff, we take on the role of parents as soon as campers arrive to camp each day, and it doesn’t stop until they are back in the hands of their own parents at home. Our campers need someone they can depend on for a high-five or a hug from time to time. It makes them feel like they are at home, which is what camp is all about. Physical distancing measures would not only restrict us from providing this contact when appropriate, but it would also make it very challenging to enforce on the campers themselves. We love our campers, and it would be heart-breaking to not be able to provide this level of comfort to them.

As promised from that start, we have made a number of options available for you to choose how your camp fees are handled under the circumstances. We will soon share instructions on how to select your choice using your CampMinder account. Please stand by for another email later this week which will provide you with the following choices below.
CAMPER DEPOSIT ($250.00 PER CAMPER)

OPTION 1:
Keep your deposit on file with us for Summer 2021 and you will pay Summer 2020 Early Bird rates.

OPTION 2:
Keep your deposit on file with us for Summer 2022 and you will pay Summer 2021 Early Bird rates.

OPTION 3:
Donate the full amount of the deposit to our Send a Kid to Camp scholarship fund and receive a donation receipt for the full amount.

OPTION 4:
Donate a portion of the deposit to our Send a Kid to Camp scholarship fund and receive a donation receipt for the full amount donated (minimum of $36.00). The remaining balance will be refunded.

OPTION 5:
Request a full refund of the deposit, which will be processed as soon as possible.
ADDITIONAL CAMP FEES PAID (ON TOP OF THE DEPOSIT)

OPTION 1:
Keep your remaining fees (a minimum of $500.00 per family plus the deposit for each camper) on file with us for Summer 2021 and you will pay Summer 2020 SUPER Early Bird rates.

OPTION 2:
Keep your remaining fees (a minimum of $500.00 per family plus the deposit for each camper) on file with us for Summer 2022 and you will pay Summer 2021 SUPER Early Bird rates.

OPTION 3:
Donate the full amount of the additional fees paid to our Send a Kid to Camp scholarship fund and receive a donation receipt for the full amount.

OPTION 4:
Donate a portion of the additional fees paid to our Send a Kid to Camp scholarship fund and receive a donation receipt for the full amount donated (minimum of $36.00). The remaining balance will be refunded.

OPTION 5:
 Request a full refund of the additional fees paid, which will be processed as soon as possible.
In light of this news, we are going to hold a virtual gathering and Q&A session tomorrow night (Wednesday June 3, 2020) at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom.  You will need to register for the event ahead of time by clicking here .

All family members are welcome. This will be a chance to hear from us face to face, and to ask any questions you may have regarding this news. It’s important that during this challenging time that we are here for one another, so let’s come together as a community for a big virtual hug. We know many of our campers and staff are going to need this. 

Our summer leadership team and the rest of the team at the J are heartbroken. This pandemic compels all of us to deal with forces beyond our control. We are thinking of each one of you in light of this disappointing news and we are here for you. We are all strongly and deeply devoted to the Centre Camp and JCC communities, not just during the summer but throughout the year and especially at this challenging time. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you and our campers. We’re already looking forward to creating the best-ever camp program for Summer 2021, and we know that when we’re back together then, we will pick up right where we left off. We will be back, stronger than ever before!

The team at the J is busy putting a plan together for the safe reopening of our buildings. In the event we are able to provide any sort of in-person programming or childcare you will be the first to hear about it. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Maya , Naomi , or myself . We’ll be happy to answer your questions as well as we can at this time and in this era of so many unknowns. For now, alongside the greatest camp team in the world, we send only the best wishes to everyone in our camp family and wishes for healing and wholeness to those who have been personally affected by this virus. We appreciate your patience, partnership, and ongoing support. We look forward to being in touch again soon.

To conclude, I cannot even describe the amount of time and planning that has gone into exploring all possible options for camp this summer. Maya and Naomi have worked so hard to prepare for all possible scenarios and engagement opportunities despite the high level of uncertainly throughout this entire process. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to our camp and our community. Working from home has not gotten in the way of anything and we continue to prepare for the bright future of The Jack and Pat Kay Centre Camp. I know they look forward to sharing more activities and opportunities for gathering online very soon.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay strong. Camp may not be running this summer, but camp is always here for you, just like you are always there for camp.

Sincerely,
Evan Roth
Camp Director, The Jack and Pat Kay Centre Camp
416-636-2267 ext. 3
Previous Summer 2020 Updates
In case you missed our previous email updates regarding Summer 2020, you can view them here by clicking on the links below: