Parent Bulletin - May 25

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

Pathfinder Island / Source Lake, Algonquin Park

Greetings Pathfinder Families –

Here’s Where We Stand Tonight May 25-


I say, Pathfinder - Let’s wait no longer.

Let’s plan to move ahead, and be ready to have a terrific season!


I’m able to share a well-deserved update with you, after more than a week’s constant

news-making developments, positive and negative, across Ontario, Canada, and the

United States.


Our planned May 17 camp update came and went, as pandemic and political events

churned in Ontario over recent days. The past week has been a crazy procession of

hope and anxiety. Ontario Health measures shift, American vaccination rates soar,

Ontario brings its sobering third-wave under control, and US-Canadian border

discussions ebb and flow.


With Ontario’s third-wave pandemic numbers improving, the Ford government finally

addressed camps, through new health guidance and a sudden brand new 3-stage

Reopening Ontario plan for the entire province. Overnight camps are, at last, included in the plan's "Stage 2".


Now, Ontario’s 450 accredited summer camps are making their choices. Many camps have

elected to delay a final plan for a while longer. Some are promoting a traditional start

date even though Provincial instructions make that improbable. Some have decided it’s

best to close down for another year.


Pathfinder plans to move ahead and to operate.


We will hold sessions for our campers, staff and families, adapting for you and using

responsible and healthy practices, a Pathfinder tradition, in this unique setting.

We’re ready to finalize plans with you for a camp season. Let’s adapt to the state of the

pandemic in the U.S. and Canada, and schedule Pathfinder in both July and August for

our 108th year.


As we ‘Get Paddling’ and chart our own course of action, camp will assist each of you –

camper family or staff - in any way we can to arrange a fantastic Pathfinder summer

experience for our guys.


So, Here We Go for Pathfinder Summer 108!


The Season In A Nutshell: A Pivot Plan -


Canada and Ontario policies continue to evolve and change. We acknowledge that

camp remains subject to the decisions of government, even as we see positive steps

happening. This includes emerging news on the US-Canada border.


The Reopening Ontario announcement sets cautious steps and a high bar for opening

up activity in response to public health improvements. At the federal level, the goal remains

that people soon be able to cross the US-Canada border, and on this subject vaccination rates above all give everyone great hopes. There are lots of reports, rumours, headlines and initiatives. But as yet, no formal announcement is in place for the timeline or detailed criteria.


Our plan in response is to pivot our program. July’s first half session will see a delayed

camp start and a two-week session only, available for Canadian boys. We expect to be

able to start July 10. This shorter July session will run July 10 to July 25. We will also run a

small family retreat program in parallel during this time. Each stream -- campers in

session and families on retreat -- will be cohorted and staffed separately.


Next up, a traditional all-campers full length second half session that’s classic

Pathfinder. It will be as it always has been, July 27 – Aug. 20, including both C and D two-weeker sessions within the longer 'half season' dates. The C session is July 27 – Aug. 8 ,and the D session is Aug. 8 – 20. Most second half boys will attend the whole session, July 27 – Aug. 20. Of course, the C and D two-weeker sessions will be managed so that each group of campers remains cohorted, not mixed, when the sessions change.


Camp’s pivot plan brings on all our counselor and camp staff for 2021. This includes all

Headmen, In-camp staff, Second Men and CITs. We will have our full staff be on duty

for the full season of events, both in July and August. The staff will report to camp as

they always do, in late June, for training and preparation.


Pathfinder’s delayed-start July first half session for Canadian campers is based on

Ontario’s timetable for overnight camps to open, and based on the slowed pace of

border opening progress. Camp will continue to monitor border developments and

advise everyone. It may be possible for US campers or families to join in at some point.


Camp’s classic second half session is for all campers, U.S. and Canadian. This session

will be the same as ever, and very important – it is open to those boy transferring in from

first half enrollments, as well as to those already having their second half spot. We have the space to be able to welcome our American boys from first half into second half.


Meanwhile, we will continue plans to embark the AA trips, already routed and staffed,

with all enrolled camper members. These trips may themselves have to pivot, adjusting

timetables with the Ontario plan and the border progress. For now, we will assume they

can assemble and prepare to trip in the normal camp season time frame. Camp will

send all AA families a special bulletin and convene a videoconference to share details.

For the entirety of our Pathfinder pivot plan, in all circumstances and all sessions, we

will continue to use OCA accreditation standards and definitive public health guidance in

our programming this season.


When it comes to Covid-adaptive policies, plans and practices, Pathfinder will have all

of you play your part, too! We will use the established method of layered mitigation to

safeguard everyone’s experience and we thank you all in advance for joining us in this

way of protecting everyone. Your part includes pre-camp isolation, testing and more.


Next Steps -


In the coming days, we are reaching out to our families with details, and sharing a set of

special pages on our web site, updating everyone on 'Pathfinder Pivot' options for

Summer 2021.


I’ll contact you personally to supplement these pages, and we’ll watch Ontario’s

progress along with you through the end of May and into June, getting your instructions on your

season choices.


We’ll help each family arrange the best option for their camper or staff member. Of

course we want everyone to stay ‘on the bandwagon' with Pathfinder, but let’s make

sure everyone has the freedom to choose what’s best for them, if that means making a

session change, sticking with the planned experience, or even if it’s to make the tough

decision to regretfully withdraw.


We will help you stay a part of our season if you can – But always know, it’s your call!

We believe in a phenomenal summer to come, and we are ‘sticking with the trip’ to see

it through. All during these past weeks, your emails, texts and calls urged us to keep the

season in play and ‘make it happen.’ Within the boundaries of good health practice and

good sense, that’s what we will do.


This matches the spirit of our camp community and it just goes to show how powerful

are the friendships, the pride of place, and the need like never before for what we do,

here in the north woods.


Look no farther than Pathfinder Island and our little May Crew staff: Americans and

Canadians, vaccinated and tested, cohorted and bubbled -- passionate about the

tripper’s life, the paddler’s art, the promise of Pathfinder for our kids – working their

hearts out so all the boys can be on Source again this year. You’d be proud of them!

They know how many of you feel the same at home. They know that nothing can stop

what Pathfinder is.


Noonway,

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