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Island children’s camp returns to day sessions after positive COVID-19 tests

Final week at the site of the summer season
Kids enjoy being towed along in the Camp Qwanoes rocket. (Photo submitted)

Crofton’s Camp Qwanoes is back in operation, but only for day camp rather than overnight stays after several children and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

“Staff are very excited to have one more opportunity to have campers here starting Monday morning,” noted Scott Bayley, Camp Qwanoes executive director.

“We are going to run a reduced-in-size day camp this week starting Monday morning. We wanted to give overnight campers who just had their camp cancelled to have a chance to come before summer ended.”

About 250 children arrived at Camp Qwanoes Aug. 15 for a week-long overnight camp. Bayley noted the following Saturday he became aware of one camper who had been there during the week and tested positive for COVID.

In all, more than 20 campers were infected and about a dozen more among the 174 staff members and leadership students during that week. All were believed to have experienced mild symptoms.

Related story: Several campers and staff members test positive for COVID-19 at Crofton summer camp

Last week’s camp was cancelled as a result, but the site was cleared for reopening this week for daytime operations only.

“Our Island medical health office is in support,” Bayley indicated.

He added in 2020 Camp Qwanoes ran 10 straight day camps for more than 1,200 campers without any sign of COVID.

“In 2021, we have run seven overnight camps, seven day camps, five SeaQuest overnight kayak adventure camps, six overnight youth leadership programs for well over 2,200 campers. The first COVID case was last week.”

This week’s camp is the summer season finale prior to Labour Day weekend and kids returning to school.

“We have greatly appreciated people’s encouragement and support,” Bayley noted.

“Right from the start our goal was to do all we could to help children and youth in what has been a very difficult one and a half years for them.”

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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