Barrie kicks off first week of summer day camp
BARRIE, ONT. -- Today is day two of Camp Barrie, and for some kids, it's their first time socializing with other kids in months.
While summer camp is back up and running, there are several safety measures and modifications to ensure the safety of staff and kids.
Rather than running 20 camps as with previous years, the city created one this season, which operates at five different locations across the city, including Parkview Community Centre, Eastview Arena, and Dorian Parker Community Centre.
The Barrie Community Sports Complex has roughly 20 kids.
Camps are running at a significantly lower capacity for safety reasons.
City of Barrie's Steve Lee-Young said that typically 5,000 to 6,000 kids are involved in their camp program. "This year, we are looking at 400 kids," Lee-Young said.
Activities have also been modified to minimize the amount of contact and risk of spreading the virus.
Camp groups have been divided up into groups. "A cohort of eight will stay together for the entire week," said Lee-Young. "All of their activities together, as opposed to years past where we would have had them interacting a lot more and doing large camp-wide activities."
Parents need to stay in their vehicles when dropping off and picking up, and a list of who enters the camp is recorded.
Camp leader Nikki Delaire said there's a big emphasis on social distancing, especially with the younger children.
"We tell the campers, 'make sure you leave room for Steven the snake,' which we say is a six-foot snake that you have to leave enough room for," explained Delaire.
Delaire said that the energy is good overall, and the campers are happy to see their friends, adding that for some, it's their first time out of the house in a long time.
The camp is operating Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Lee-Young said anyone interested is still able to sign up on the City of Barrie website.