The Clear Lake Chronicle is a monthly newsletter for members of the Camp Wenonah community.
Meet Wenonah's COVID-19 Task Force

In March, the Ontario Camps Association (OCA; representing 450+ accredited Camps in Ontario) struck a COVID-19 Task Force that has engaged with provincial health officials, including the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) and local public health units, ever since. Wenonah has been well-represented throughout 2020 on the OCA Task Force level with three senior members of our Management Team (Tom, Nancy and Jeff) in key roles. 
The OCA has been working with Ontario's public health senior government leaders to create protocols for all elements of Summer Camp operation. These continue to evolve and we continue to monitor accordingly.   
As we look forward to a safe and healthy 2021 camping season, Tom, Nancy and Jeff have formed the Wenonah COVID-19 Task Force. They are thrilled to be joined by Katerina Podolak; a Wenonah alumni staff from the 1990s, a Wenonah camper parent and significantly during these challenging times, Lead: COVID-19 Testing Implementation with Ontario Health. Katerina holds a Masters degree from the University of Toronto in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (HPME).
Katerina's impressive career includes numerous senior leadership roles:
  • Director, Cancer Screening, Cancer Care Ontario 
  • Group Manager - Data Partnerships, Cancer Care Ontario
  • Senior Project Manager, University Health Network
  • Manager - Health System Strategy, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Senior Consultant - Wait Time Strategy, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
In addition, a leading national voice in the health community joins our team with a special connection to Wenonah. Brent Diverty is Vice President, Data Strategies and Statistics, Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)

Brent's tremendous background includes:
  • Co-leading CIHI's pan-Canadian COVID-19 data and information response strategy, supporting and working daily with Canada's health systems governments, public health officials and the health research community
  • More than 20 years studying health systems and population health in Canada and internationally, including roles at Statistics Canada, the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare and in management consulting
  • Wenonah supporter since its inception, and parent to three Wenonah campers
  • Strong background in overnight camping as a camper and staff member over 15 years with several notable Ontario camping operations
Tom, Nancy and Jeff all bring unique skills, experiences and perspective to the Wenonah COVID-19 Task Force:
Tom Appleyard (Chair)
  • Wenonah's Camp Consultant, Director of Staffing and Advisory Board Member
  • Principal, Thomas Appleyard Consulting and Facilitation (Facilitator · Management Consultant · Emergency Manager · Public Health Consultant · Mediator)
  • 8 years with Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in senior roles with the Emergency Management Branch:  Manager: Response and Recovery; Manager: Training, Exercises & Awareness; Manager: Planning and Programs; Senior Consultant 
  • Coordinator / Pandemic Influenza Coordinator (Community Health Centres of Greater Toronto)
  • Chair: Greater Toronto Community Health Centres Flu Pandemic Task Force
  • Principal, Preparedness (emergency management consulting services for over 40 government and non-profit organizations, networks and associations)
Nancy Vandenbergh
  • Wenonah's Director of Health & Wellness
  • Nurse Practitioner - Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre COVID Assessment Centre - 2020
  • Nurse Practitioner - Infectious Diseases COVIDEO at Sunnybrook Health Sciences - 2020
  • Nurse Practitioner - Emergency Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Nurse Practitioner - Travel Medicine (immunization and vaccines)
  • Co-Chair 2020 OCA Health Committee 
Jeff Bradshaw
  • Owner/Executive Director Camp Wenonah
  • President, Ontario Camps Association
  • Vice President, International Camping Fellowship (2020-23)
  • Two-term Past President, Canadian Camping Association
  • Executive Committee Member, OCA COVID-19 Task Force  
Other key members of the Wenonah Team will work directly with the Task Force as we prepare for Summer 2021. They include: Senior Directors Mike Stewart & Jennifer "JJ" Jupp; Director of Operations Fraser "Tito" McOuat; Director of Leadership Eoin Wood; Dr. Phyllis McCord (Wenonah's Camp Doctor) and Executive Chef Cody Rector. 
As we move into 2021, we will begin regular updates in late January with our Wenonah community as further details and specifics come into focus.  
Many plans are well-underway in all aspects of our operation for a COVID safe season in 2021. These include:
  • A physically-distanced dining hall with dramatic new additional outdoor seating options.
  • Extended meal times to allow for smaller numbers at any given time.
  • Potential mobile Health Centre or, new dynamic Health Centre approach.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols.
  • A new leadership centre which will provide a significant additional indoor space.
  • Reimagined camper drop-off and pick-up routines for opening and closing days. 
  • Small cabin cohort groups with dedicated staff. 
  • A program schedule that reflects a small group cabin cohort experience. 
  • Program areas with physically distanced protocols in place. 
  • Summer Camp programs that are primarily outside; taking advantage of our extensive 100 acres of Camp property.
All of our plans will continue to evolve in line with provincial COVID-19 protocols and expectations. 
The excitement for Summer Camp at Wenonah has never been greater as we look to the 2021 camping season. We continue to plan with confidence and intent for our greatest Summer ever! Judging from our record-setting registration for 2021, we know that our Wenonah families share in this enthusiasm and excitement. 
A Note to Families & Campers

With this latest edition of the Clear Lake Chronicle, we hope that we find you and your family healthy during this time of uncertainty and challenge. 

One of the uncertainties your family might have right now is about Summer Camp in 2021. We want to share with you our optimism about Summer Camp, and our confidence as we plan for what should be a remarkable season at Wenonah.

Here is what we would like you to know:
  1. We believe strongly that Camp will take place this Summer. As we shared in the Wenonah Task Force announcement, this isn't just something we hope for - it is something we are confident about and planning for.

  2. With Jeff, Tom, Nancy, Brent, and Katerina's experience, we are well situated to be on top of the latest information about health, safety, and wellness from a wide range of reputable sources. On top of their work, JJ (Senior Director - Experience) is in her second two-year term on the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) Board of Directors and has been involved in the OCA's response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team is leading and learning from the very best on a provincial, national, and international level.

  3. The OCA is working with provincial public health authorities to create detailed COVID-19 guidelines for Ontario summer camps. We expect these to be finalized by early March, allowing us plenty of time to prepare for a safe and successful Summer Camp season.

  4. We are learning from our friends and colleagues in the United States and around the world who ran successful and safe overnight summer camps in 2020. Everything they learned and did helps us plan for a safe Summer of 2021. Guess what? Their campers and staff were safe and had fun! 

  5. We are also looking to have various testing protocols in place, ideally with point of care testing being implemented if possible. Access to safe, reliable, and fast COVID-19 testing would be terrific to have at Camp during the Summer.

  6. Camp policies, protocols, and programs may have to change to keep campers, their families, and staff members healthy. We need to be patient and flexible as guidelines are introduced and we adapt. We are confident that if any community can thrive with change, it is the Wenonah community. We will share details regarding these changes in the coming months.

  7. The Wenonah Management Team are a remarkably skilled and experienced group of Summer Camp professionals who have dedicated their lives and careers to the safety and wellbeing of the children and youth in their care. 
Wenonah has always been a place where we have fun and learn lifelong skills in a safe and respectful community. It is a place where we can be who we are meant to be, surrounded by nature and people who care about us. We cannot wait to be all of this and more in the Summer of 2021.
Coming Soon - the Warbler digital newsletter!

For over 20 years, the Warbler magazine was delivered by mail to families, staff, alumni, and friends all around the world. The Warbler brought news, photos, and many stories to the homes of Wenonah community members. It celebrated the year that was and offered a glimpse of what we could look forward to in the year ahead.

Today we're excited to announce that the Warbler is evolving to a digital newsletter! We're committed to sharing the same great stories and insight about Wenonah with you, but we'll be doing it even more frequently - look for the Warbler to land in your inbox by email every Winter, Spring, and Fall.

Our first Warbler digital newsletter will be sent in late January. This edition will feature more news and updates from Camp, including some of the exciting things we are looking forward to at Wenonah in 2021.
Registration & Payment Notes

A number of Periods are now full, including some one-month, two-week, one-week, ROOTS, POLARIS, WCIT, and WEEnonah Periods. Many other Periods are close to capacity.

Don't forget - 2020 registered families can save by paying 2020 rates for 2021 Summer Camp spots. 2020 registered families received our discount code in the July 29 and August 5 editions of the Wenonah Weekly. Can't find the code? Just email us!

Priority Fee Installment Plan - Payment Due on December 15

Those families that chose to save on their Camp fees by selecting the Priority Fee Installment Plan fee option should have received an email from us on Monday with a reminder about the next installment payment being due on December 15.

You can login to your family account to review payments and your account balance.

Payments can be paid by e-transfer (sent to admin@campwenonah.comor by cheque or money order (payable to Camp Wenonah). We are sorry that we are not able to accept credit card payments at the moment.
Supporting Canadian Summer Camps

On May 19, 2020 the Government of Ontario announced that overnight camps in Ontario were to be ordered closed throughout the summer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Day camps were allowed to open for shortened seasons, but many did not open for a variety of reasons. 

At Wenonah, we are fortunate that we can look forward to sharing our best Summer Camp season ever with your family in 2021. And we know that campers will experience the excitement of a Summer at Wenonah for generations to come.

The Canadian Camping Association is meeting with the federal government about securing the right help so that camps across the country can survive. 

At Wenonah, we are committed to doing what we can to support all those camps across Canada that are at risk. And, as someone who knows how transformative a summer camp experience can be for a child, we hope you might consider joining us in support of those camps.

The two websites listed below feature more information about the challenges some summer camps are facing, and also includes some steps you can take to support camps in Canada (including writing a letter to your Member of Parliament):

Let's Lift, Lessen, and Laugh

Here are some ideas to help you and your family during a tough time.
Wellness Apps for Children, Youth and Families

Sometimes it's great to just look at something to help you breathe.
JJ & Woody's son, Charlie (10 years old) likes to look at the circle and breathe for 2 minutes when he needs to relax.

These two free apps have simple visuals with no logins and account creation!

Happify is a space to overcome negative thoughts and stress and build resilience.

Whether you are feeling stressed, anxious, or sad, Happify helps you to regain control of your thoughts and feelings.

JJ is trying this. Fun artificial intelligence to interact with so far!
Need some good news?

Maybe read this first before other news or read it when the "regular" news is getting you down.

"Since 1997, millions of people have turned to the Good News Network® as an antidote to the barrage of negativity experienced in the mainstream media". 
Laugh and Play

We all need more laughter and lightness these days.

Funny Apps

Happy Holidays!

Wherever your family and loved ones are around the world, we are sending good wishes to you from all of us at Wenonah for a very happy and healthy holiday season. 

Please note that our virtual office closes on Friday, December 18 at 12:00 pm for the holiday break, and we will return on Monday, January 4.

We are looking forward to sharing a very special 2021 season with you. It can't come soon enough!

Until then, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!