Dear NMC/NCC Community,
I hope you and your family are well!
Quick COVID-19 Update:
The COVID-19 news continues to generate a roller coaster of emotions regarding lock downs vs. openings and variants vs. vaccines . However, we remain optimistic that we will be operating NMC/NCC in August this year and have begun preparations to make it happen. If you read our COVID-19 update (link included in the recent NMC Harold newsletter), you know that the OCA has been working very hard and very closely with the Ontario government and local health units across the province to develop a field guide that will allow overnight camps to operate safely this summer. Every circumstance and consideration will be taken into account to ensure proper protocols are in place to maximize the safety and minimize the risk to every camper and staff at overnight camps. Once this document is ready and approved, we will be implementing all protocols and will of course, notify every NMC/NCC family as to what is required to ensure the safe operation of camp.
Some Possible Changes at Camp for 2021:
Health and safety is always our number one concern and this will not waiver when it comes to running camp during a pandemic. Last summer, hundreds of overnight camps ran successfully in the US and we have used a lot of data from those camps, and with the addition of rapid tests, better therapeutics, more knowledge about COVID-19 and hopefully vaccines, we are confident camp will be healthy, safe and successful. I don’t want to speculate too much on what might change, but we will be prepared to keep campers in smaller cohorts, rehearse primarily outside (rent several tents), stagger meal times, restrict numbers in cabins, rearrange the daily schedule so that part of the camp rehearses while the others do “rec” activities, have outside faculty concerts, wear masks, require pre-camp negative tests, etc….. Most likely, some of these strategies will be required but until the field guide is released, we will not know for sure. The added good news is that NMC/NCC occurs later in August and 99% of all overnight camps will have already operated (including our camp, Wahanowin) and we will have all protocols and routines in place and will have already learned from the experience of the summer.
Why is Early Enrollment Important and Still Early This Year?
We need to begin preparations for camp now because we need to secure our faculty team and they need to block off this time for camp and not plan other gigs. We also need to hire our staff and give them ample notice so they can plan their summer jobs but still allow for time at camp. Both the faculty and staff are hired based on the number of campers enrolled and the number of campers in each program and the instruments they play. Our early enrollment period until the end of February gives us a good indication of where we will be at for the summer and can hire accordingly. We only ask for a deposit with the application and if the impossible happens again and we are not allowed to operate this summer, we will provide a 100% refund of all camp fees paid once that decision is made.
“We Are All In This Together”:
So, we are asking our community to support us and register for camp and trust that everything is being done to allow overnight camp to operate in a safe and healthy manner this summer. We have, and will continue to have a “we are all in this together” approach and are committed to treating our NMC/NCC community with great fairness and respect. Ultimately, it is up to each individual family to make the best decision for their children and I will always respect the choice a parent makes for their kid. I sincerely hope you decide to register and join us this summer for a very meaningful and magical return to music, chess and camp at NMC/NCC 2021. Please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other camp issues. I look forward to seeing you at NMC/NCC in August.
All the best,
National Music Camp