‘We have to make some tough decisions moving forward’: Summer destinations closing for the season
SASKATOON -- Multiple camps around the province such as Camp Easter Seal are a lot quieter than they usually are at this time of year, and that’s because all of their campers are still at home.
“Our board of directors made the decision that it was best as obviously the health and safety of our clients and our staff are a priority,” said Christine Epp, Easter Seal camp manager.
Camp Easter Seal is the province’s only fully accessible camp geared towards kids, teens, and adults with disabilities.
Epp said they are now focusing on ways to reach out to their campers online.
“We’re really working hard at developing and then implementing a plan to engage with all the people who would have come to camp through online and remote programming,” Epp told CTV News.
“We really want to make sure that our campers still feel very connected to us, can see familiar faces, interact with us.”
- 1 new COVID-19 case in Sask.; active cases drop below 50
- COVID-19 updates for Saskatoon and area for Monday, June 1
- 'I’m not alone in this circumstance': Former MP says she was denied medical appointment because she's from northern Sask.
Epp said they are taking advantage of the empty site, doing repairs and maintenance to get it completely ready for when they can accept campers again in 2021.
Other overnight camps such as Living Waters and Red Berry Bible camp have had to not only cancel their summer camps, but their cabin rentals as well, financially affecting their whole year.
“Between March and June we had about $50,000 worth of business booked but all of that has of course been lost,” said Roland Thiessen, executive director at Red Berry Bible camp.
“It’s hurt us big time, hurt us financially to a point where we have to make some tough decisions maybe moving forward,” said Matt Bombay, camp director and chair of Living Waters.
The Doukhobor Dugout House National Historic Site may not take overnight campers but they are in a similar situation, having to shut down for the summer and missing out on peak months.
“We are a non-profit organization and we depend on the visitors of Saskatchewan and we do see well over 3,000 people through our season,” said Brenda Cheveldayoff, owner of the Doukhobor Dugout.
Cheveldayoff said she has been working with the provincial government to find a way to safely open but as of now, she said she was told the site won’t be included in any of the re-opening phases.