'I wish corona wasn't here': Kids get used to pandemic summer camp

Monday marked the first day summer camps can operate in Ontario, but the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) has outlined even stricter guidelines than businesses originally thought.

The biggest challenge for many camps is the prohibition of any kind of indoor physical activity.

For owner of The Little Gym, Mari Hughes, that meant switching up her entire program outline.

“It takes away a little bit of the fun for the kids because they’re not going to be allowed to do the gymnastics and swing on the bars and be on the beam. The fun things they love to do,” she said.

Other guidelines include the use of masks indoors, strict cleaning protocols and a cap on the amount of campers in a cohort, something the City of London camp programs are taking seriously.

“The playground programs will support a maximum of 20 participants separated in two cohorts of ten and a maximum of 40 campers per day camp at each location,” said City of London Mayor, Ed Holder.

Monday was a challenge for students and councillors getting into the groove of the new look of summer camp.

“I just had a little girl inside tell me ‘I wish corona wasn’t here,’ and it was so sad,” said Hughes.

But the MLHU says these guidelines are temporary.

“Some of this is still being developed, some of this guidance is changing in real time from the province so make sure you check back often to see if there are any updates and, of course, you can reach out to your health unit contacts,” Dr. Alex Summers, MLHU associate medical officer of health, said in an online update.

The ban on indoor physical activities and large group capacities will be lifted once the province enters stage three of the re-opening plan.