MONTRÉAL, May 5, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association des camps du Québec (ACQ) is asking the government to provide $10 million to day camps and summer camps to ensure that as many children and families as possible can enjoy a safe summer.
Last year, $13.7 million in emergency assistance was provided to certified camps in Quebec. Of the $10 million requested this year, $4 million would go toward day camps. With the grant, the camps would not only be able to operate with the same sanitary measures as last year, but also be able to welcome more youths and make up for 2020 37% drop in attendance.
"In this special year, we firmly believe that camps are part of the solution to the mental health issues facing our youth and the stress experienced by so many families. But to be successful, we need the support of the government," says Éric Beauchemin, Executive Director of the ACQ.
Uncertainty around the opening of summer camps
At this time, the Direction générale de la Santé publique (DGSP) and the Quebec government have all the information they need to make an informed decision about the reopening of summer camps. The ACQ and the health authorities have worked closely together to develop a strict and faisible blueprint that must be approved as soon as possible.
Thus, the ACQ is asking the government to quickly put an end to the uncertainty surrounding the reopening the summer camps by clearly indicating its intention to lift the decree that currently prevents them from operating.
One third of the camps closed
Unfortunately, not all summer camps will be able to open their doors for the summer season. In fact, a survey of ACQ members reveals that, taking into account the health and sanitary protocols, one third of camps say they will not be able to comply with the new directives within the set deadlines or that it is too late to restart their site after more than a year of inactivity.
One-third are undecided, due to the uncertainty, complexity and costs of implementing health measures, and the remaining third say they will certainly be able to operate if the government allows it and supports them.
The $6 million requested for summer camps would be used to fund the implementation of health and sanitary protocols and support possible temporary closures during the summer. For those camps that would not be able to reopen despite the lifting of the decree, the funding would be used to cover their fixed costs to survive the crisis, as was the case in 2020.
About the Association des camps du Québec
Founded in 1961 as an initiative of summer camp directors, the ACQ has 385 NPOs, municipal and private organizations operating 691 sites and welcoming more than 300,000 campers each year, offering summer camp, day camp, family camp, nature class and group programs. All meet more than 70 strict standards for safety and quality of activities and facilities.
SOURCE Association des camps du Québec
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