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March 24, 2020
Coronavirus Update March 24, 2020

Praying this finds you in good health - physically, mentally and spiritually! 

Updates from our camps - what are camps doing?

Here are some more ideas from camps about what they are doing during this time. If you have more suggestion, drop me a line so I can include it in future updates.

  • Camps have communicated to their summer campers that camp is running for the time being and a more definite decision will be made as more information is known (camps are giving dates at the end of May or beginning of June for reassessment decisions)
  • A couple of camps are allowing their community to order groceries through the camp's supplier and the camp is delivering the groceries
  • A couple of camps are preparing meals and offering those for sale (including camp cinnamon buns!)
  • Some camps are readying their facility (deep clean) so that they can be ready to offer their site in case more beds are needed by health care
  • Camps are posting online challenges to already engage their campers. Ideas include  
    • Lego challenge - post a picture of a lego creation of their favorite camp activity. Winning photo gets a box of lego delivered to their house.
    • Instagram photo challenge - post your summer memories
    • Recipe challenge - camp shares a favorite recipe and campers share their experience cooking and eating the "goods"
  • Camps are looking at other ways they can use their facilities if the bans are lifted - church groups, adult retreats, etc
  • Camps are talking about having a deeper staff training, LIT or leadership development programs during the Spring (if bans are reduced or lifted)

In regards to staffing and finances

  • Some camps are still running with full staff (most of these are smaller camps)
  • Many camps have laid off workers
  • Many camps are using government programs to assist in paying salaries (see links below)
  • Camps have asked their banks to suspend mortgage/loan payments
  • All camps are encouraged to keep a record of lost revenue as well as cost savings (decreased expenses) to paint a true picture of financial loss.
  • Camp are encouraged to keep dated screen shots of decisions being made by the authorities to indicate how the decisions directly affect the financial picture at the camp
  • Camps are thankful that the CRA has deferred payment of the GST remittance to August 31 (see links below)
  • Camps are relying on volunteers to help with projects where staff are laid off and where provincial restrictions allow
  • Camps are offering tax receipts rather than refunds for cancelled events. (For how to fill out a tax receipt in this event see the link below)

Links to help you in your planning

This is an interesting time for all of us. Be encouraged! We know a great God! We are innovative and creative people. We are used to coming up with contigency plans at the drop of a hat (or the drop of rain that brings us all indoors). Please share your ideas and your thoughts with me.

In the midst of hardship is when we read the well quoted verse "'I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" Jeremiah 29:11-13

Let's join together to seek Him! Join with ministries across Canada to participate in a Global Day of Prayer and Fasting on Sunday, March 29 (https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/COVIDPrayer) and remember to mark the Day of Prayer for Camp on your calendars - May 31, 2020.

March 20, 2020
Coronavirus Update March 20, 2020

What a week it has been! Last week CCI/Canada was ending our board meetings after planning for a wonderful summer and National Conference. This week we are facing group cancellations, uncertainty over summer camp, closures to businesses and layoffs to name a few. Camp directors and boards are making difficult decisions for their current operations and for the foreseeable future.

National Conference – Living Water 2020 – One Hour Special

In terms of the National Conference, Living Water 2020, we will not have our one hour special on April 7. That will be postponed. We will communicate with you at a later date about the conference itself. We are very aware of the financial constraints that camps are facing.

As safety is our top priority, I encourage you to continue to apply the recommendations of your federal and provincial governments as well as your public health officials. Changes are happening quickly and it is impossible to make any definitive recommendations about the summer season.

What are camps doing?

Although I cannot give you recommendations about what your camps should do, I can give you some ideas of what camps across Canada are considering. Perhaps some of these suggestions will also work for you.

  • Some camps are continuing to plan for a strong summer camp season including hiring staff and planning their summer programs
  • Some camps are talking about running day camps instead of overnight camps
  • Some camps are planning for a possible longer camp season if the restrictions are lifted earlier but children do not return to school
  • Some camps are discussing virtual camps or “camp in a box” delivered to the campers
  • Some camps are brainstorming other money making ideas such as preparing and delivering meals
  • Some camps have deferred making the decision to run or to cancel the summer programs to a future date
  • Some camps have cancelled their summer camp programs and have asked their summer camper families to consider leaving their registration fees as a donation for a donation receipt
  • Most Camps have cancelled bookings at their camp until at least mid-April
  • Camps offering a spring session have had groups cancel and have encouraged the groups to move their deposits to 2021
  • All camps are being more intentional about disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces including light switches, paper towel levers, handrails and other “often touched” surfaces

In regards to staffing and finances

  • Camps are checking on their insurance regarding business interruption insurance and whether that will cover the Coronavirus pandemic (Magnes Insurance is providing business interruption coverage for the virus). In the meantime, keep track of all expenses that are incurred and revenue loss due to the virus
  • Some camps are able to weather the situation for a few months
  • Some camps have begun to lay off their staff
  • Some camps are asking staff to take their holidays now
  • Some camps have asked their staff to take a pay reduction
  • Camps are being selective about which bills to pay – GST remittance, utilities, etc are being put on hold for the time being
  • Camps need to be prepared to refund prepaid camp fees but are asking parents to consider giving their registration as a donation for an income tax receipt (many organizations are matching donations at this time - take advantage of what Canada Helps, Benevity ATB cares and others are doing)

The Manitoba Camping Association reported that at 2:40 pm Wednesday March 18, Mike LeBlanc, Chief Public Health Inspector, Manager - Health Protection Unit said “It’s basically a wait and see. Rec camps are in the same boat as everyone else. It is too premature to cancel summer camps but time will tell.”

Is there anywhere to discuss options?

If you are looking for a place to discuss responses to the virus with other camp professionals in both faith-based and non faith-based camps, a small group of Camp Pros have been working on a COVID-19 megaDoc: https://zoic.ca/camps-covid-19. This is a space where resources for camps are being collected with ideas for communication and summer procedures.

 

As Paul said to Timothy (2 Tim 1:12), “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day”. We know that God is in control!

Let us pray together that at this time the hearts of both youth and adults become more receptive and they meditate more than usual on what life is all about, and that they would turn to Jesus, the source of life and hope. Let us pray that our churches and camp teams will find ways for taking the Good News to the people around them. Pray for our health, the health of camp teams and for the panic to subside. Pray for Divine guidance concerning plans for summer camps.

We are here to support our members. I am praying for you all! If you need specific prayer or need someone to talk to, give me a call, call your Member Care Provider, your Regional Team Leader, or another camp. WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER!

 

March 07, 2020
Coronavirus Disease 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-2019)

What can Camps and Conference Centres do to minimize the opportunity for transmission of the coronavirus? What policies should we have in place? 

Here is a brief summary of the guidelines provided by both the Public Health Agency of Canada and Campnurse.org. Below the summary are links to the documents.

  1. Be informed - the risk to Canadians remains low.
  2. Health screening should begin at home prior to attendance at camp. Keep parents informed about what they can do before registration and the health screening policies of your camp. Health screening on registration day should include questions about travel and current symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. 
  3. Develop policies to reduce opportunity for transmission of viruses. Begin immediately.
    1. Staff and campers ill with fever and/or infectious respiratory symptoms should stay home. Staff should self-evaluate daily for influenza-like symptoms.
    2. Consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.
    3. Regular and routine environmental cleaning of the facility.
  4. Have a well-established communicable disease/outbreak plan for your camp that includes all the steps of prevention, intervention, communication with parents, debriefing, and a plan if the camp is placed in quarantine.

 

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), in collaboration with Canadian public health experts has developed a guidance for the prevention and management of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools and childcare settings. I think that we can apply this to camps as well. 

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/guidance-schools-childcare-programs.html

Specifically note the lines "There is currently no widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Canada; therefore, PHAC recommends that schools take standard respiratory illness precautions, the same precautions that are recommended every year for cold and influenza season. At present, school closures are not recommended for the prevention of COVID-19." I would extrapolate this to include camps and conference centres.

It is very important to reduce opportunities for transmission through hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, "no-sharing" policies and cleaning and disinfection.

Campnurse.org out of the United States created the following publication for camps and conference centres with specific sections on camp implications and suggestions for policies and procedures.

https://www.campnurse.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Coronavirus-FAQs-Mar-2020-1.pdf

Campnurse.org also has a publication in regards to communicable disease management at camp.

https://www.campnurse.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Communicable-Disease-Management-Strategies-for-the-Camp-Setting-2019.pdf

 

Praying with you for wisdom as you plan for the season. Praying for health and safety at our camps and in our country!

Sharon Fraess
National Director
CCI/Canada

February 01, 2020
SHOUT OUT February 2020

SHOUT OUT FEBRUARY

 Graphic saying Shout Out

With Valentine’s Day in the middle of February, there are a lot of messages about love this month. Let’s make February “SHOUT OUT” month. The dictionary defines “Shout Out” as a message of congratulation, support or appreciation. Who would you like to give a "Shout Out" to?

Today my SHOUT OUT is to Gregg Hunter, President and CEO of CCCA. 

It was January of 2012 and I was in my first year as National Director of CCI/Canada. A National Conference was the next big event on the agenda. Honestly, I was worried. This was beyond my knowledge and my abilities and I felt sick to my stomach with fear. I did not think I was at all up to the task of organizing or implementing something at that level.

When freaking out, PRAY!

I chose to trust HiGod at His word. I was praying at my desk and was reminded of the verse from Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous, do not be discouraged or afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. I believed that God was putting that verse on my heart as a verse for me to grab hold of, knowing that He would walk with me.

Within an hour the phone rang. It was Gregg Hunter, the President/CEO of CCCA (CCI in the USA). He welcomed me to my role and let me know that he was available if there was anything I might need. He then asked me if I was interested in joining with the States for a joint conference in November of 2012. I would work hand in hand with his team.

The conference theme was “Strong and Courageous”.

 

Of course it was.

 

Over and over again I have been reminded that my God is an awesome God! Even before we call, He answers (Isaiah 65:24).

 

 

 2012 National Conference - Strong and Courageous  

I quickly agreed and we worked together on the joint Conference in San Diego in 2012. The CCCA footed the bill for any of my travel, they allowed me to see behind the scenes of hotel negotiations, program planning, communication, stage production and all the various areas that go into putting together a National Conference. I learned so much and I will be forever grateful.

A huge SHOUT OUT to Gregg Hunter and his team at CCCA. I am very thankful for you all!!