Parent Bulletins

Camp updates & information for parents of our summer 2020 campers

COVID-19 Update 4/1/20

Pathfinder health update: covid-19 / coronavirus - April 1, 2020
Camp Pathfinder continues to plan for another terrific summer season on Source Lake.
The Latest ... No Fooling...

Pathfinder and all OCA accredited camps continue plans for the summer, in concert with Ontario and federal government task forces. 

Still, summer camp seasons are in the balance. Today, Canadian and U.S. authorities extended school closures, stay-at-home orders, medical and economic relief efforts, and cautions that physical distancing/online learning will be necessary for many weeks to come.

As a board member of the Ontario Camps Association, I have spent the past two days and much of the past two weeks in Zoom meetings working with colleagues, officials and experts. Meanwhile, Paige Clark and I launched “Virtual Pathfinder” to bring some Pathfinder fun, learning and spirit into all our households. Watch that web page, and our social media feeds, for regular updates!

Camp professionals across Ontario are doing what Camp Pathfinder is doing. Preparing to run our camp seasons, and augmenting our best practices in all areas. We are setting up a fantastic 107th season on Pathfinder Island, and - depending how well our societies distance and deal with COVID-19 - we are also preparing to adapt if changes come through civil orders from government and public health leaders.

So many parents have told me recently how much their boys need camp this summer. But health and safety come first. 

A Special Effort for Extraordinary Times …

Your boys know the Pathfinder way.
In a headwind, we lean in and paddle hard in perfect unison. We are all Pathfinder people, and we're all in this together.

As of today, Pathfinder is suspending the requirement to pay camp tuition balances, normally due April 1. Rest assured, you campers’ enrolled places and current payments are secure, and no further payment is required until the summer program is certain.

Should circumstances beyond our control require it, ALL payments for Summer 2020, including deposits, will at your discretion be credited forward or fully refundable, at a designated time. If necessary due to a forced closure, Pathfinder will need to take steps to survive as an organization. The camp will ask for your partnership by leaving a portion of your payment with camp as a credit toward 2021. This is purely voluntary.

For now, it is very likely Pathfinder WILL operate. In recent weeks, some of our veteran parents have held off enrolling. To assist, Pathfinder is offering families who wish to enroll, but are unsure about committing funds at this time, a reserved space now for a nominal, refundable deposit. Get in touch with me for this or any reason! I'm at / cell 585.746.5062.

COVID-19 Update 3/20/20
Pathfinder health update: covid-19 / coronavirus - March 20, 2020

Camp Pathfinder continues to plan for another terrific summer season on Source Lake. 


Pathfinder remains a ‘Go’ for the upcoming 107th season …
We are working to assess and respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19 to ensure that camp season. Current best practices at camp will be augmented. We will provide a healthy, safe and secure experience for all our campers and staff in 2020.


But before we can all get to ‘Go’ the Source Lake ice has to melt away, the Spring Crew has to wake Pathfinder Island from her winter’s rest, and we have to all do our part in protecting the health of our communities. That’s our trail to the happiness of days at Pathfinder this summer.


Current conditions …

Because Pathfinder’s 107th season is slated to begin in late-June 2020, the camp is so far expecting to operate as usual this summer, following the current period of restrictions and social distancing. Thursday marked our first day of Spring 2020. As winter winds down in the northern hemisphere and thoughts turn to a Pathfinder summer, plans are afoot for the 2020 Spring Crew to reach the island May 1.


As of today’s bulletin, the U.S. and Canada have advised citizens not to travel abroad, and to isolate at home to prevent the spread of illness. Canada and the U.S. have closed our mutual border to tourism, shopping, cultural and sporting pursuits, while permitting essential commerce to continue. Algonquin Park, along with all Ontario Parks, is closed now until April 30. During this time, the great snow load in the bush and two feet of lake ice will wither to swell the waterway for summer paddling.

Camp plans underway …
In addition to all the usual preparations we make for a fun, safe season, Pathfinder is setting up special plans: for pre-screening all our summer camper families, staff and visitors, providing appropriate transportation, performing hygienic preparation of Pathfinder Island, updating daily camp health routines, continuing our outstanding summer food service and medical/health practices.


Currently, the most important goal is to ‘ all paddle together’ and practice the social distancing recommended by medical experts. We can make our homes snug and cozy like we would a campsite on a stormy layover day. Pathfinder can help.


Resources for you …

This can be an anxious, frustrating and even scary time for our kids. Here are a few links to sources I trust with advice and reassurance on helping our children and teens understand, adapt and cope with the change in normal life necessitated by society’s response to the virus.



School days at home …

Let’s bring camp spirit into our home life this month. With schools transitioning to online learning, Pathfinder can be a resource for your student. I’ll post materials to our web pages starting Monday, March 23. There’ll be topics on Pathfinder, Algonquin Park, and wilderness canoe trips. You could use something interesting for an assignment or project. 


We’ll have items of interest for:


language arts
social studies
art and art history

We remain as excited as always for the start of our best summer ever! We’ll keep you, our Pathfinder family, posted on all developments. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions, perspectives and concerns. 585.746.5062 cell

Our message on March 20 ...
Smart preparations continue for the 2020 Pathfinder season, our 107th.

New realities have been imposed on daily life in response to the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19. The situation evolves continuously since our first Pathfinder bulletin, March 3.  Likely you’re reading our bulletin from your home.

We Pathfinder folk are unavoidably affected by these challenging times. While a lot is happening and news is changing by the hour, I want you to know we expect the situation will improve and Pathfinder will be in session this summer. 


However, nobody can predict exactly how the next few months will unfold, whether school will cut into summer time, whether Canadian authorities will limit access, or permit camps to operate all summer.


If we all do our part during this difficult ‘social distancing’ phase of the current viral outbreak, Pathfinder will once again host an exciting, fulfilling season for our boys.

History guides our confidence …

Think of our camp over a century of history. Pathfinder has been a welcome haven and respite through two world wars and a depression, through various contagions and cultural churns. Camp thrived and literally grew through it all.


The extraordinary measures by governments, schools and businesses in both Canada and the U.S. are intended to be temporary, to both protect everyone’s health and to blunt the impact of the virus transmission in the near term, so governments and health professionals can conquer it in the long term.

Stay connected to camp … 

You -- our camp families and especially our campers and counselors -- are a constant in my thoughts. Please be in touch with me to let me know your family’s ok. and what you are up to!  

Do you now have students learning remotely from home? See our project (above) to post Pathfinder material to the website for their use. And, review some good links (above) to perspectives on helping our children, teens and college students cope with the current challenge.


Here at the winter office, lots of Pathfinder alumni and staff are calling and writing to check in. If you or your relatives need help with anything right now where you are, please know that Pathfinder people are likely close by, and will lend a hand. 


Don’t hesitate to email and phone me to check in! 585.746.5062 cell.


Sladds and the Pathfinder crew

COVID-19 Update 3/3/20

Pathfinder health update: covid-19 / coronavirus - March 3, 2020

Pathfinder’s health team is monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) originating in Wuhan, China. New information is emerging daily on the virus and public health responses. The health and well-being of our Pathfinder community is always the top priority. We understand that risk remains low for healthy children and adults, that the situation is evolving, and that it’s important to continue monitoring. Currently, no impact is expected on our 107th Pathfinder season.

I work closely on this and all health matters with our camp medical directors Aaron and Julia Orkin, our local Ontario public health authorities, our terrific nursing staff, and in my role as a board member of the Ontario Camps Association.

I’m reminded of several viral outbreaks reaching North America over the past two Pathfinder decades. These were well-handled and of limited impact to summer camps, with no impact to Pathfinder.

Pathfinder has existing summer-season procedures in place to pre-screen campers, staff and visitors before travel and upon arrival, to maintain appropriate measures for avoiding illness, and to collaborate with Ontario health agencies.

Camp will keep you informed regularly as March unfolds, as spring emerges, and as our camp season approaches. Please don’t hesitate to reach out personally to me any time, if you have any questions or concerns. I’ll remain in touch through our web pages and email bulletins.


The camp staff join me in a message to our Pathfinder boys:

Ki Yi, CPI Campers! – As a Pathfinder guy, you’re a leader in so many ways. Show everyone at home how we take good care, just like you do at Camp, to avoid the spread of any sort of illness. Wash hands often, cover your coughs and sneezes, get good sleep and food. Avoid touching your face, or sharing food/drink, water bottles, utensils and the like. Stay home and rest if you don’t feel well. And of course, your tripper’s confidence will reassure everyone around you. That’s ‘trip-tough’… Bravissimo! Can’t wait to see you this summer.


Information you can use at home:

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

Camper Forms and Payments 2020


March is the annual time to complete tuition payments and camper forms for 2020.
Note: No further payments are required at this time, as we evaluate the COVID-19 situation.
A complete information e-bulletin will publish April 3, 2020. Email sladds if any questions!


Pathfinder now has online or paper options for the camper forms. Choose either option for convenience.
(We can report that parents are finding the new online method very quick and easy.)

For paper forms, visit the Parents web page for forms, and click to download each.

For online forms, sign in to your Pathfinder online enrollment account.

Complete your camper’s forms in his enrollment.
These include basic enrollment forms, and the all-important Health, Transport and Gear forms.


If you enrolled directly into our new online platform, you completed the first three camper forms at that time:

- Camper information
- Enrollment terms and conditions
- Camper code of conduct


Now you can complete the final forms:

- Health form
- Transport form
- Gear order form * (optional)

If you submitted the paper enrollment form, your enrollment and payment information are now set up on our online platform and you can click here, to update your household and camper information, as well as complete all the required camper forms (see above).

If you have not logged in to your online account yet, it’s very easy. Sign up and you’ll receive an email with directions to sign in and create your login for future use. Then, visit your online household and camper enrollments, review the information, complete forms, and choose payments.

Visit Pathfinder online enrollment to log in

In light of response to COVID-19, Pathfinder has paused any obligation to pay your Camp tuition balance at this time (March 30, 2020).

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