The District of Saanich is moving forward with camp registration for this summer despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 31, the District announced that July and August summer camp registration would open on April 1.
District spokesperson Megan Catalano said the municipality acknowledges that these are “challenging times” for all residents. The decision was made to open camp registration at the usual time to allow Saanich families to secure spots for their children and plan ahead for the summer.
Catalano said that families who aren’t able to register for camps at this time will still be able to access spots later in the year as registration will remain open through the summer. Registration numbers will also be monitored closely and if there is a high demand for camp spots, more will be made available, she said.
The District will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will make changes to municipal programs as necessary, Catalano noted. Should the camps be cancelled, all registrants will receive a full refund and participants can withdraw from the camps with 72 hours notice.
Saanich offers both indoor and outdoor camps for preschool-aged kids to those in their mid to late teens. Options include sports, arts, computer and yoga camps. Catalano says prices range from $140 to $225, though some more specialized camps – such as those involving horseback riding – cost more.
In an effort to make camps more accessible, eligible residents can apply for the Leisure Involvement for Everyone financial assistance program which offers discount coupons and annual memberships and drop-in admissions. Saanich residents with a low income can apply. The Neighbourhood Playground Program is another lower-cost option at $85/week and half-day camps can also be more accessible, Catalano said. She pointed out that the District is looking to offer additional reduced-cost camps for the summer 0f 2020 in light of the financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All available camps and programs can be viewed in the Saanich Summer 2020 Active Living Guide. In-person registration is not permitted as the Saanich recreation centres remain closed due to the current health crisis but families can register by calling any of the four recreation centres between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday or by going to the Saanich website.