The City of Toronto kicked off CampTO Monday — a program aimed at giving kids a camp experience with safety measures to protect them from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The summer camps cater to children ages six to 12 and incorporate public-health measures, including physical distancing and small group sizes, Toronto Mayor John Tory said at the Parkway Forest Community Centre.
“These camps have taken every possible precaution in close cooperation with the medical officer of health to make sure that the camps are safe,” said Tory.
In May, the city announced the cancellation of city-run summer camps and recreation programs due to the novel coronavirus.
The city called CampTO a “new creative camp experience” that offers outdoor and physical activities, active and quiet games, arts and crafts, and nature-based activities on its website.
According to the city’s website, these are some of the health guidelines CampTO is following to curb the spread of COVID-19:
- Lower ratios and capacity.
- Mandatory health screening.
- Physical distancing.
- Enhanced facility cleaning.
The guidelines were designed in consultation with Toronto Public Health and in alignment with provincial health guidelines for day camps.
Tory said the city set up CampTO to do all it can to “keep people safe, keep kids safe and keep the staff safe.”
Coun. Shelley Carroll, who represents Ward 17, Don Valley North, says this an important step to get kids used to keeping themselves safe in a group setting and physically distance.
“It’s a sign at last, that children in Toronto can get off their phones and be in a camp playing with one another,” said Carroll.
Tory says camps are currently 70 per cent full and urges more parents to consider signing their children up.
“I hope the camps are a great success and I hope parents out there will think about signing up because there are some vacancies,” Tory said.