I hope you had an enjoyable Pesach and that this email finds you and your family in good health.
I want to start on a positive note by sharing with you that the Ontario Camping Association (OCA), under the guidance of Dr. David Williams (Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health) has been promoting the motto “Plan For Camp”. More importantly, Dr. Williams has publicly acknowledged his support for the careful opening of overnight camps stressing the “importance of camps in general to the development, physical and mental well-being as well as long-term resiliency of Ontario’s children and youth”. This strong message of support from the Ministry of Health fill us with hope that, B’Ezrat HaShem, with continued diligence, planning and guidance from experts, we will see Camp being re-opened this summer.
In light of this, we would like to share with you some of our updated plans for Camp Moshava 2021. Please keep in mind that we are still awaiting the final government guidelines and that these will take precedence over the information provided below.
Session Length Changes
As mentioned in previous communications, my team and I are working around the clock to prepare for the day that we can once again open our gates to campers and staff!
We are committed to providing the amazing Camp Moshava chavaya (experience) that our campers and staff have come to love, while not compromising on the safety that our parents expect. This means planning for many fantastic, exciting and innovative activities that bring smiles to the faces of each and every camper. At the same time, we are planning for enhanced safety measures that take into consideration the current environment and government guidelines.
Despite our best attempts, inevitably these two goals come into conflict, with some of the additional safety measures potentially impacting the camp experience for campers and staff, including:
- Government restrictions on travel into Canada – each year we employ over 50 non-Canadian staff members and welcome over 40 non-Canadian campers. If they are unable to enter Camp this year, our staff numbers will be down and the overall decrease in numbers will affect the “full camp” experience, notably in the last two week session.
- No exit and re-entry to Camp – this safety measures means that in addition to new campers not being able to join for the final two weeks of Camp (impacting total camp numbers in that session), staff will be required to stay on the campsite for 7 weeks straight (impacting our ability to attract staff for the full 6-week session).
- Quarantine requirements – staff returning from their Shanah B’aretz (year in Israel) require two week quarantine time before entering camp. In addition, Rosh Hashana starts earlier than normal this year and coupled with quarantining requirements in Israel means that staff leaving for their Shana BaAretz need to leave Canada earlier this year.
While we are all but full for the first four weeks of Camp and have a waiting list for the first 2-week session, the above factors and others have presented us with lower than usual camper and staff numbers in the last two weeks of our regular 6-week session. As a result, we have made the decision to reduce the length of Camp for the 6-week registered campers to a 4-week session, postponing the start of Camp by a week (details below) and focusing all our energies on making the first 2-week and 4-week camp sessions the best ever.
We realize this may cause disappointment to many of our stakeholders who were looking forward to a 6-week camp experience. However, this solution will ensure we can better balance this year’s additional safety needs with our goal to provide every camper and staff member with the fantastic camp experience they’ve been waiting for all year (and in most cases, longer!). I also want to reassure everyone that we expect to be back with a full six weeks of fun next year!!!
– 2-week campers will have the ability to increase to a 4-week session before or during camp.
– For the families that were registered for 6 weeks, we will be updating your account with your new balance reflecting the 4-week session price. If you have paid in full, we will be in touch with you directly.
Our staff hadracha (training) week was scheduled to begin on June 23rd. As noted above, to ensure that staff returning from Israel on their Shanah B’aretz can fulfil quarantine requirements, as well as the need by some of our older staff who are teachers to still be in school at that time, we are postponing the start of camp to June 30th.
Therefore, please note our new camp dates are as follows:
Hadracha week – June 30 – July 6th
2 week session – July 6th till July 20th
4 week session – July 6th.- August 3rd.
Between now and June 30th, we will be in touch with some of the amazing programming and activities we’re planning for this summer, as well as providing updates from the Provincial government on the reopening of Camp and new safety guidelines.
In the meantime, please take a moment to read our latest Covid -19 Guidelines for Camp 2021. This will answer many of your questions on the measures we are taking to ensure the safety of your child/ren at Camp Moshava this year.
Also, as mentioned in our previous email, please note that your balance of payment will be processed on April 7th. Again, please rest assured, if camp is unable to open, you will receive a full refund.
Finally, subject to Government guidelines and parent interest, we are hoping to offer a Family Retreat experience following the end of Camp. Indicative dates at the present time are August 6th to August 11th. Final details including cost will be confirmed at a later date. There is no fee for registering your name now but it will help us gauge interest.
As such, if you are interested in this opportunity to enjoy a couple days relaxing with your family in the beautiful Camp Moshava settings, with full use of all our facilities, please be in touch with me.