MAPLETON – The township will offer a children’s summer camp program for the first time this year.
On March 23, following a report from recreation manager Amy Grose, Mapleton council approved a plan to operate a summer day camp within the municipality and to hire camp staff.
The plan calls for the township to offer a weekly, themed summer camp for up to 30 children aged four to 12.
Campers would be divided into groups of 15 campers and three staff members. Camp hours of operation would be 9am to 4pm, with extended care options available from 8 to 9am and 4 to 5pm.
The report notes the majority of the cost to operate the camp would be covered by registration fees.
Grose told council more than 100 local families responded within 24 hours to a recent survey and indicated interest in a summer camp program.
“We’d like to provide the opportunity for our kids to attend their own Mapleton summer camp, as we are aware that many of them actually go to neighbouring municipalities for camp,” she noted.
“If there is enough interest in either Alma or Moorefield, will you be running day camps in either or both of those?” asked councillor Dennis Craven.
Grose noted no decision has been made on location, but said the plan calls for only one camp this summer.
“I think for this year we are looking at potentially starting in one location and letting it grow from there,” she explained.
“The location is to be determined and at this point we’re going to look at all of the areas within the municipality and just decide which one works best.”
Grose added, “The goal would definitely be to be able to expand and offer … more programming.”
Mayor Gregg Davidson pointed out “a large majority” of the people that responded to the survey “prefer the location of the camp being in Drayton.”
Councillor Marlene Ottens said, “People from this area have been driving their kids to Palmerston, so I don’t think it’s a stretch for someone from Moorefield to drive their children to Drayton for the same programming at this point.”
Ottens reminded councillors the new camp program would be starting up while dealing with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So this is a pretty good program for something new and I’m excited to see the expansion. Hopefully we can do it all over the township,” said Ottens.
Councillor Michael Martin suggested “the reverse argument would be true – that it wouldn’t be a stretch for Drayton people to drive their kids to Moorefield, if in fact the amenities are better in Moorefield, and I would suggest it might be (better) to run day camps out of the Maryborough Community Centre with the ball diamonds there and everything really close, compared to the arena (in Drayton) which really has nothing around it.”
Grose replied, “It definitely is part of the consideration. I think the other thing that we are balancing is those additional public health protocols that are in place due to COVID-19.
“We just have to work all those kinks out and determine which location will work best for that ultimately as well.”
The motion to operate a summer camp and hire staff was approved unopposed.