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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 science 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

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