Camp Awakening

May 24, 2022

The health, safety and well-being of our campers/participants, volunteers and staff has been Camp Awakening’s top priority since our founding 40 years ago.  As we prepare for our awesome return to in-person Camp Awakening programs for the summer of 2022, we will need the support of your family to help implement the following COVID-19 protocols:

BEFORE CAMP:

Having campers and staff arrive at Camp Awakening free of COVID-19 is the best way for us to maintain a safe environment for everyone.  Prior to the start of their session campers/participants and their families are required to:

  • All campers, volunteers and staff at Camp Awakening are required to be fully vaccinated as determined by Public Health Ontario at the time of acceptance to camp. While the booster is not mandatory to attend camp it is highly recommended as an additional protection for your camper/participant and the greater camp community

  • As much as possible, self-isolate 5 days before your session begins. In instances where total isolation is not possible (grocery shopping, school, no possibility of remote work, etc.) we ask that all members of your household please wear a mask and maintain physical distance when interacting with those outside of your household.

  • Each camper/participant shall take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test 12-24 hours prior to the start of camp. Should that test be positive, campers will not be able to attend camp until their quarantine period is over and they are symptom-free.

  • Each camper/participant will be required to take a second COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test once they arrive at the camp gate (before being allowed on camp property) and/or before boarding alternative transportation to camp.

  • Families must complete and submit their COVID-19 Screening and Attestation Form the morning they depart for camp. If the camper is unwell and/or showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 they must complete the required quarantine period at home and be symptom-free before arriving at camp at a later date.


DURING CAMP:

  • Camp Awakening will follow best practices throughout the camp session regarding COVID-19 safety. These guidelines may change throughout the summer, or even during each session, based on risk level for activities, working with our Host Camps, and information provided by Ontario Ministry of Health and regional Public Health units.  

  • Camp Awakening will follow and interpret Ontario Ministry of Health and regional Public Health unit guidance when making decisions regarding symptoms, testing, exposure to possible COVID-19 cases, and appropriate interaction with Host Camps

  • If a Camp Awakening camper/participant or staff member begins to show signs or symptoms that are associated with COVID-19 they will immediately be assessed by the Host Camp’s health care team.

  • Understand that additional COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing may be performed if this is deemed necessary based on the Host Camp health care team’s assessment.

  • Any camper/participant displaying symptoms will not be able to participate in any camp programming and will be isolated to the best of our ability

  • Parent/guardians or someone designated by them, must remain available throughout the duration of the campers/participants’ time at camp to pick them up within 12 hours of being notified by camp staff that they are displaying signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and/or have tested positive for COVID-19

  • Masking (or appropriate face covering) may be necessary for certain activities. Campers/participants should bring disposable medical masks with them to camp for use throughout the session

March 29, 2022

Just 94 sleeps to go until the start of camp!  We are so excited to return to the shores of Gull, Eagle and Wannamaker lakes and have been working hard on planning each aspect of our return carefully with everyone’s comfort and safety in mind. 

While there is still uncertainty on many of the specific details of how camp will run day-to-day, with the support of our Board of Directors and Medical Advisors, we have made the following decisions regarding transportation and vaccinations:

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

We are committed to supporting the health and safety of our camp community.  As such, we have established a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for staff and campers for the 2022 camp season. This policy requires that all eligible staff and campers attending Camp Awakening be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as defined by current Public Health Ontario guidelines.

Bus Transportation for Traditional Camp & M.I.L.E.S Programs (ages 8-18)

We have made the decision that busing between Toronto and Camp for this summer will not be automatically provided. This was a difficult decision to make, but based on our limited capacity for the summer; the exorbitant cost of bus transportation; and busing being a higher risk activity, we have decided to explore other options – with your help. 

We fully recognize this is a potential barrier for some of our families and are here to support you. We hope you may have an option to drop off and pick up your camper personally. However, if your family is not able to provide your own transportation, please contact us to discuss alternative transportation options.

Thanks for your continued support!

Keep Paddling,

Tracy Morley, Executive Director
Emily Langer, Program Director

February 3, 2022

Camper, Leaders-In-Training and Adult Camp participant applications are now open for summer 2022!  You can find details about our various outdoor recreation programs under the Camp Programs menu.

With the start of camp more than 5 months away there is still quite a lot of uncertainty regarding the policies and regulations we will need to put in place in order to operate our programs this summer. To prepare for camp we are working with our Host Camps and the Ontario Camps Association, as well as following mandates and guidelines provided to us by The Government of Ontario.

While we are still working to finalize our plans, we expect there to be mandates and guidelines regarding mask wearing, cohorting, physical distancing, vaccinations (for staff and potentially for campers too) and testing.

As we continue to plan our exciting return to camp, we will keep you informed of additional health regulations we are putting in place.

Keep Paddling,

Tracy Morley, Executive Director
Emily Langer, Program Director

October 1, 2021

As we reflect back on a second year without overnight summer camp, we cannot thank you enough for sticking by us, investing in our campers, and supporting Camp Awakening in these challenging times.

Last spring, when facing a second season without our core on-site, in-person camp programs, we worked hard to expand and improve the Camp Awakening virtual experience, as well as introduce NEW opportunities for engagement and NEW programs.  We look forward to sharing highlights from Summer 2021 in an upcoming issue of The Portager newsletter.

While the past two summers without in-person, on-site camp programs have been challenging, we are so EXCITED for an awesome return to overnight camp at all three of our locations next summer!

Not only are we returning to in-person camp in 2022, but it’s also Camp Awakening’s 40th Anniversary!

Keep Paddling,

Tracy Morley, Executive Director

March 29, 2021

Hello Awakening Community,

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. 

This past year has been challenging, yet we are so proud of our volunteers and staff for embracing alternative ways to build connection and create community for youth with physical disabilities.  

However, given our concerns about health & safety; current government restrictions; public health requirements; and the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the suspension of all Camp Awakening overnight summer camp programs for summer 2021.

We, and the Board of Directors, feel confident that this is in the best interests of our entire community, but like you, we are incredibly sad and disappointed.

This doesn’t mean there’s no Camp Awakening!  

We have just launched our year-round outdoor club – Compass Crew – open to all community members ages 9-99. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month to build strong and positive nature connections and foster a love of the outdoors.  

For kids & teens 9-18 years of age, April Break Camp is scheduled for the week of April 12-16, 2021 and you can learn more and sign up HERE.  

In addition to these two new programs, we are working on expanding and improving the Camp Awakening @ Home summer program for kids & teens, as well as leadership development for young adults 9-24 years of age. 

And last, but certainly not least, we are brainstorming ways to connect with our camper families in-person through “camper family experiences”. We’re still figuring out the details, but this will be our gift to camper families and a small way to keep the camp spirit alive.

These three alternative camp programs will run for 7 weeks this summer beginning on July 5th! 

Thank you all for sticking by us, investing in our campers, and helping us fulfill our mission to create fun, safe, and supportive environments where youth with physical disabilities can increase independence, learn new skills, develop confidence and make lasting friendships” – albeit in new and very different ways.

As we continue to work from home, if you have any questions, please use the Contact Us form.

Keep Paddling!

Tracy Morley, Executive Director
Andy Halse, Assistant Director

January 14, 2021

Thanks so much to all who were able to attend last night’s 170 Days To Camp check-in! We were excited to share our VERY tentative summer 2021 plans. With all the continuing uncertainty, these plans are most definitely subject to change.

At the moment, we are looking at:
July – 3 weeks of virtual Camp Awakening @ Home
July – a few GTA-based in-person day programs
August – 4 weeks of overnight camp

As these plans change (or become more concrete!) we will do everything we can to keep our wonderful community updated.

Keep paddling!

September 30, 2020

While the summer of 2020 was not what we had planned or hoped for, we are proud of our campers, volunteers and staff for embracing the alternative Camp Awakening @ Home program.

Together, through a combination of ‘camp-in-a-box’ care packages and virtual cabin group and all-camp gatherings, we created opportunities for kids, teens and young adults with physical disabilities to get outside, get active, get creative, try something new, and build connection & community.

We ran our Youth Leadership Development (YLD) Retreat for young adults under the umbrella of Camp Awakening @ Home too.  The participants spent their six weeks engaged in a group marketing project. They prepared materials encouraging teen campers to attend the YLD Retreat once they graduate from summer camp.  What an amazing initiative!

While it could never replace the magic of being together in person, at camp, we are pleased the Camp Awakening @ Home program allowed us to successfully fulfill our mission in a new & different way.

But…we can’t wait to get back to the shores of Gull, Eagle and Wannamaker lakes!

April 30, 2020

Hello Awakening Community,

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

We have written, and rewritten, this letter several times because we have news to share and while likely not unexpected, it will be disappointing to hear.

The health, safety and well-being of our campers and staff has been Camp Awakening’s top priority since our founding more than 38 years ago – and is the deciding factor in today’s announcement.

At a recent meeting of the Board of Directors, we came to the difficult decision that Camp Awakening must suspend all on-site and in-person camp programs for summer 2020 as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

We are following the advice of health, government, and camping authorities and Camp Awakening’s own volunteer Medical Advisors. We feel confident that this is in the best interests of our entire community, but like you, we are incredibly sad and disappointed.

However, we pledge to continue our mission to “create fun, safe and supportive environments where youth with physical disabilities can increase independence, learn new skills, develop confidence and make lasting friendships”.  We are working on new and innovative ways to reach our campers and staff through the summer as kids of all ages and abilities need connection and community now, more than ever.

The Awakening community is strong, thoughtful and supportive, even when we’re not together in person.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Keep Paddling!

Tracy Morley
Executive Director