In accordance with the Province of Ontario state of emergency guidelines and to do its part to combat the current pandemic, Act One suspended all programs, effective March 18th. Recently, as the province has begun to reopen, the provincial government announced its approval for summer day camps to reopen, effective July 1st, subject to published guidelines for their operation this summer. Act One sought and received confirmation that its Theatre Summer Camp program does qualify as a "day camp" under the announcement. We have also been thoroughly reviewing the posted camp guidelines and determining how these impact out program format and how best we can modify things to comply. This announcement outlines the key changes we feel we have to make in order to ensure compliance with the guidelines. More specific details will be published closer to actual session start dates. We also wish to update everyone on the status of the program's sessions.
Camp Format Changes
After a thorough review of the day camp guidelines published by the Ontario Ministry of Health, we have had to make a number of modifications to the camp format. While this does allow us to offer a theatre camp experience this summer, it does have some unfortunate implications.
The key changes are as follows:
- Session Capacity: Camp Sessions will be limited to a maximum of 20 discrete “family groups” and a maximum of 24 individual campers. A “family group” is any number of campers who live under the same roof or 2-3 campers whom we receive explicit permission from their parents that they can be treated as part of their own social "bubble".
- Age Range Change: The age range for this year’s camp has been changed to ages 8-14 only. We apologize to families with younger children. This decision was not taken lightly. Based on the provincial guidelines, we could not figure out any workable structure to accommodate the younger ages, in a safe and reasonable manner, without a significant increase in camp cost (basically under the guidelines, one almost has to provide one-on-one supervision of younger children).
- Age Limits: Due to restrictions on in session camper group sizes, we also have implemented a maximum limit of ten campers per session in each of the following age ranges: 12-14, 10-11 and 8-9.
- Camp Games and Activities: We have removed a number of camp games and activities that could not be adapted to social distancing and replaced them with other activities. We are still able to offer the play and short film creation and other key camper activities.
- Camp Session Show: We will be able to present the end of session camper shows but will have to significantly reduce the possible audience. Based on the indoor pandemic capacity guidelines, Act One can accommodate up to around 45 individuals on premise (a few more if pairs are from the same family unit). As a result, audiences will be limited to 1 guest per camper, with a few campers being able to have two persons from the same family attend. For all others unable to attend, we will be producing show discs for each session and providing a free copy to each camper family so they can watch at home.
Camp Session Status Confirmation
While Act One is ready to proceed with the camp sessions, we are dependent upon getting access to the City of Pickering's Greenwood Park complex. At present, all City of Pickering facilities remain closed until at least the end of June. We have not yet received any information regarding the city’s plans for July and August. We are expecting this shortly but at present this means that we can not guarantee any session will be able to run, as this is currently out of our control.
To address this uncertainty, Act One has implemented the following process:
- Payment: We are not requiring any advance payment for any registration. A camper can register for a session, we will hold a spot and they will only have to pay on the first day of camp, if the session runs.
- Session Status: Until we receive clarification from the City of Pickering, we will be making decisions on a session by session basis. To provide a balance between giving each session as much of a chance as possible to run and at the same time giving families some advance time for proper planning, we will be making go/no go decisions regarding each session approx. ten days before the scheduled session start. These are as follows:.
- Session I: (July 6th to 17th) Go/No Go Decision Date – June 23rd.
- Session II: (July 20th to 31st) Go/No Go Decision Date – July 7th.
- Session III: (August 4th to 14th) Go/No Go Decision Date – July 21st.
- Session IV: (August 17th to 28th) Go/No Go Decision Date – August 5th.
- Session Cancellation: If a session is cancelled, all campers will be given the following opportunities:
- Act One will immediately freeze registrations for the remaining sessions for 48 hours. During this period, all impacted campers will be given the option to transfer their registration to a later session (assuming there is still space). After 48 hours all remaining sessions will be opened up to new registrations again.
- If a camper has prepaid for a cancelled session, they can choose between a refund or having the fees transferred to another session (if they moved their registration).
Act One hopes this information proves helpful for many. We look forward to being able to provide more information and certainty in the near future.