Camping in Ontario for Youth Not Allowed Under Current Ministry Guidelines
As of September 5th, 2020, the Ontario Government has not yet lifted the ban on overnight camping for youth.
Shining Waters Council and all groups operating in Ontario need to follow the Provincial Guideline which currently notes "Overnight stays at camp for children" are deemed high risk for the time being. See the "Ontario Guideline" link below for further info.
What does this mean for us as Scouters?
Our Pandemic Program Modification Standard
states "1c. Incremental or greater requirements specified by Federal, Provincial and / or Municipal health and safety restrictions supersede those outlined in this Standard."
as part of our planning process for outdoor activities, we need to take care to review our municipal, provincial and federal standards to ensure we are not unintentionally working outside of the government guidelines.
Here are the links you will find useful in keeping up with additional guidelines:
Gosh. This is overwhelming. I've read through the different guidelines, but I'm still not clear about whether or not I can meet outside/camp etc with my section or group.
This is understandable. We are all trying our best and doing everything we can to make sure our youth enjoy great, safe, scouting adventures.
If you or any of your scouters need assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to your GSS or RM. That's what we're here for.
But! We really miss camping! What can we do instead?
Here are some ideas to help whet our camping appetites.
Run a practice event. No overnight stays are allowed, but we can still plan and offer a day-time camp with a campfire, so long as we follow the standards and a signed AAF is completed in time for the activity to take place.
Run a virtual camp. Many groups ran some fantastic virtual camps over the summer. We know, it's not the same, but it's still a great way to collaborate and enjoy the outdoors.
Plan a special adventure with your youth. Remember, our program is still youth-led. What sort of adventures can we facilitate during this pandemic? What ideas do the youth have in mind for outdoor adventures not requiring overnight stays?