SAVE NEXT SUMMER
ADVOCATE FOR CAMP GUIDANCE
HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR KIDS AND CAMPS
Choose Your Country
As the parents you want the best for your most important people in your life, your children. As camp professionals, we hope parents understand that camps want the same things for your children that you want: an amazing camp experience while being assured that everything possible is being done to protect children from contracting or spreading COVID-19. With the mix of distance learning, hybrid education, and the lack of normalcy, children need the camp experience more than ever.
Camps across the country showed during the summer of 2020 that camp can be done in a safe and responsible manner. Following the guidance from the local, state, and outside authorities, alongside the Field Guide provided by the American Camp Association (ACA) and EH&E (Environmental Health & Engineering) we have a blueprint for success.
No camp operator wants to reopen before it is safe to do so.
Camps are not asking to open prematurely. They are asking for operating guidelines and support so that when state and local authorities determine it is safe to open, camps can open as quickly as possible.
Camps across the country eager to plan for reopening their doors and welcoming their campers and staff. Unfortunately, the majority of the states do not recognize the urgency to provide camps with the guidance to operate their programs. Without guidance, camps are not able to plan, hire, or enroll campers in ways that are informed by the preparations they need to make. Camps are being asked to draft a team without knowing what sport they are going to be playing.
Each day that camps have to wait for guidance is like a week. Camps need the lawmakers, state, and local authorities to act now. By providing the guidance, we will ensure that our youth will be able to attend camps in the summer of 2021, and will continue to grow and enjoy the camp experience. Without guidance to re-open camps in the near future, camps will not be able to operate, and this vital part of American childhood will be another victim of the pandemic.
What can you do to help camps?
Camps have been advocating with their state and local officials to ask for guidance since spring of 2020. Unfortunately, many politicians think that because camps operate primarily in the summer, they can wait for summer to give camps guidance. Camps need guidance now.
There are three things we're asking for your help with!
We're asking for you to contact your state and local officials and share the value of camp to you as a parent. You can find the contact information for your representatives at this link. By clicking on your state at the bottom of this page you can find a page with specific tools to help you advocate in your state. If you don't know what to say, here's a basic template you can use. Just change the parts in red.
We're also asking you to ask your children to share their experiences with camp, and the impact on them if their camp could not operate this summer. The voices of children are being drowned out during this crisis, and we want to promote their voices and help them learn how to advocate for issues they care about, like camp opening. You can find resources for your children at our campers page.
Finally, can you share our message on your social networks? There is no more powerful advocate for camp than a parent who knows that camp helped their child. You can help other parents see the power in sharing camp stories so that they will also share. Together we are a powerful voice for children and camps! You can find suggestions for what to share on our share this story page. And as always, please use the hashtag #SaveNextSummer
City, State Zip
Dear Assemblymember or Senator,
First, let me thank you for your leadership during these particularly challenging times. I know that it has been difficult for you and your colleagues to carry out legislative duties, meet with constituents, campaign, and other activities that have been affected by the ravages of COVID-19.
I am writing to you today to seek your assistance with a critical issue, the re-opening of organized resident (overnight) camp programs that serve the children and youth in your district and around the state. Explain your relationship with your camp, the impact camp has on your child’s life, the impact camp has on you why you love your camp.
Last summer (2020) day and overnight camps operated across the nation with little to no COVID-19 transmission. This was especially true in camps that followed the guidelines prepared by the American Camp Association. I am asking that YOUR STATE consider camps when making decisions about how and when to reopen moving forward. Explain how you need to plan for next summer starting now, and the impact that being able to look forward to camp would have on your family
Explain the impact of camp on your child and your family. Tell legislators all about how important camp is.
It may seem like summer is a long way from now, but families and camps need to be able to know what they will need to do to keep campers safe. Camps are not asking to be allowed to open now, but to have the guidance they need to prepare for next summer. We cannot afford another summer without summer camp. Please release guidance for camps now.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. The children and youth of your community thank you in advance for your support.
HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR KIDS AND CAMPS
As parents, you want the best for your most important people in your life, your children. As camp professionals, we hope parents understand that camps want the same things for your children that you want: an amazing Canadian camp experience that fosters growth, development and fun while being assured that everything possible is being done to protect children from contracting or spreading COVID-19. With the mix of distance learning, hybrid education, and the lack of normalcy, children need the camp experience more than ever.
If you’re not a parent, you’re here because you know how impactful and necessary an experience camp is – welcome! We deeply appreciate your support.
Camps across Canada showed during the summer of 2020 that camp can be done in a safe and responsible manner through the safe running of day camps.
Camps across Canada also demonstrated camps are an essential need for children in the huge positive response and engagement in virtual camp programming.
Canadian camp industry leaders are hard at work to make Summer 2021 a reality for more than three million children across Canada. They are researching the approaches of camps that operated successfully during COVID-19 and merging those successful approaches with the findings of Public Health, our government, and experts, collaborating on guidelines to help camps run.
Canadian camps need your help. As a seasonal industry hit hard by COVID-19, more than 1,000 camps are at risk of permanently closing their doors.
Please write to your Member of Parliament, Member of Provincial Parliament, and even your Mayor to ask for their support of the Canadian camps industry.
Together, we can #SaveCanadianCamps
How can you help?
Write a letter to your MP - find them here https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en
If you’re a parent, help your child write their own letter! If they’re younger, encourage them to draw a picture of camp, and if they’re older, have them write a letter using the resources found on our Camper page!
Share your camp story on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, using #SaveCanadianCamps and #SaveNextSummer. Please tag the camping association for your province and the Canadian Camping Association!
Member of Parliament
Their office address
Dear (Name of Member of Parliament),
I’m writing to you today as someone with a strong interest in the ongoing survival of Canada’s children’s camps. The Canadian camp industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the financial strain is forcing camps to make decisions that will affect whether or not their doors will stay open.
My experience/relationship with camp/ If you’re a parent: your child’s experience with camp, the impact camp has had on you/your child, and/or the impact camp has on children/youth in general in Canada.
It’s been encouraging to hear that leaders in the camp industry are having an ongoing constructive dialogue with the federal government about securing the right help — including with senior leaders from the Prime Minister’s Office, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the office of the Minister of Economic Development.
As a constituent of your riding, I am asking for support or encouragement that you can share with their offices to keep those conversations going will be deeply appreciated.
Canadians — including the kids who attend camps, and the 70,000 young adults who get employed by in the camps industry — will need summer camps more than ever once the pandemic is behind us. Anything you can do to support camps today will make a very important difference.
I look forward to hearing back from you.