MONTREAL – As the school year draws to a close and summer quickly approaches, the Association des camps du Québec calls on the provincial government to support the camps as they prepare to welcome another wave of ‘children ready to get away from it all.
Night camps were only given the green light to operate earlier this month and are facing increased costs due to the pandemic, or are unable to restart operations on short notice.
“We are very clear in our request,” said the vice-president of the Quebec Camps Association, Shauna Joyce. “What we need is $ 6 million for the overnight camps, and that is for the overnight camps which will operate in the face of increased costs and also ensure the survival of the camps which have chosen not to. function.
In a press release, Alice Bergeron, press attaché for the young Minister of Education Isabelle Charest declared: “The collaboration between our government and the Association des Camps du Québec continues. As we have said time and time again, our government wants to do what is necessary to ensure that children have a safe and fun summer at camp. “
But not all camps are in difficulty. Some like Dirt Camp in Bromont – a summer camp focused on mountain biking – took advantage of the growing popularity of cycling during the pandemic.
“We were originally a rest camp and that was in balance as we waited to see what was going to happen, if they would approve it. It really is our bread and butter, ”said owner Jeff Silas, who made the decision to upgrade to a day camp earlier this year.
Despite its success, Silas believes the camp is bigger than it is every year after COVID-19 restrictions and that those in need should get help.
“If the government can help the camps that are not in such a fortunate position as we are, I think it would be the right thing to do.”
“(For) the kids really, (the camp is) such a big outlet,” Silas said. The kids who attend Dirt Camp agree.
“After such a socially difficult year, it allows us to bond with other people,” said mountain bike camper Charlotte Mainville. She said she was feeling COVID fatigue and was happy to be back on the slopes.
“I think it will give me some motivation. I think I’ll be happier when the summer comes out, like maybe I can face this year.