Summer camps resume at Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa
OTTAWA -- Summer camps are underway for many kids in the capital.
For 13-year-olds Jody and Joyce Derival, they know this year is going to be different.
"I get to see people, people I didn’t see before," says Joyce. "And it's really fun because we’re playing sports right now and I like doing that."
Jody says, “If the ball goes close to someone else just let them take the ball. Just don’t go rushing to them and bump into them and stuff.”
Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa CEO Adam Joiner says having this option for kids, to spend the summer here, makes a big difference in their lives.
“It’s really hard to put into words the difference that having programming for kids in person makes,” says Joiner. "Just being able to have our members come back, and see the club again and see them again, it makes a world of difference."
Things might not look like they used to for staff and members now that they have returned. New rules are in place. Mandatory masks for all staff and members must have their temperature taken before entry into camp.
Recreational Leader Patrick Parry says there are new limitations to how many kids can be inside at one time. New cleaning procedures are in place at the camp as well.
"We have eight kids come in for two hours and for the next hour we clean everything. We scrub down the floors. We scrub down any equipment. And then the next group will come in, and we’ll repeat the process," said Parry.
The kids understand that safety is important to everyone at the club but couldn’t be happier to be back, even if things are a bit different.
“The safety and security of our families is always number one," says Joiner. "So we take it very seriously. And we’re really proud of where we’re at and how we’re keeping everyone safe."
Staying safe, and playing safe. The chance to spend time here again is something these kids and staff are grateful for.
“The club being closed for a long as it was had an impact. Isolation is challenging at the best of times,” says Joiner. "But when you don’t have a ton of resources, having a place like a Boys and Girls Club really makes a difference to so many lives. And having it reopen again is very special for us."