COVID-19 Relaunch Plan 2021
COVID-19 has presented many challenges for our communities. For Between Friends it has presented unique challenges especially as it relates to our in-person programming. Our in-person services and programs such as Camp Bonaventure and W.E.S.O.A.R! provide valuable social and recreation opportunities for our members and are greatly missed.
Using teamwork, creativity, and a positive attitude we have been able to adjust and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, while working to get back to in-person programming as soon as it was safe to do so. The safety of our members and personnel has been at the forefront of our minds during this process and we are excited to announce our Relaunch Plan for 2021. Please see the document below for our comprehensive plan:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Will you be relaunching in-person programs in 2021?
- What would your support mean to Between Friends in 2021?
- Will program fees be higher because of higher ratios and/or needing PPE?
- Can I volunteer at Between Friends programs in 2021?
COVID-19 Related Questions
- Will my participant have to wear a mask and have their temperature checked?
- My participant cannot wear a mask. How can I ensure they and everyone else is safe?
- How will staff adhere to physical distancing while providing support to participants?
- How will you put in place and enforce contact tracing?
- How will the vaccine influence these timelines and protocols?
- Who do I contact if I am COVID-19 positive?
Program Related Questions
- Will the activities offered in programs be the same as previous years?
- Will the length of programs change?
- Will you provide food/drink to participants during the program? Or will participants need to bring their own food instead?
- What will program groups look like?
- What happens if a program is suspended because of a COVID-19 case?
1. Will you be relaunching in-person programs in 2021?
We are hoping to run in-person programs in 2021.
Our ability to run in-person programs will depend on approval from the Alberta Government and the advice of public health officials. Between Friends has been focusing our planning and relaunch efforts on our most popular programs:
- W.E.S.O.A.R. for adult members 18+
- Camp Bonaventure for youth members 3-17
Our members have indicated that W.E.S.O.A.R. and Camp Bonaventure are the programs they are most comfortable returning to in-person. For information on the status of our programs and services for 2021 please refer to our Relaunch Plan (Section 5.2).
2. What would your support mean to Between Friends in 2021?
Between Friends services & programs are possible thanks to the generosity of our donors.
Your generosity will contribute to the safe relaunch of in-person programs outlined in our 2021 Relaunch Plan. Though the number of programs we are offering is lower than in previous years, the in-person programs we hope to run in 2021, Camp Bonaventure & adult W.E.S.O.A.R!, were chosen because they will serve the majority of our members. We anticipate that the cost to run these programs safely during a pandemic, with the proper sanitation procedures, staff ratios, and PPE will be higher than in the past. We are so grateful for the understanding, flexibility, and continued support we have received from all our donors.
Your support in 2021 will also help us continue to provide a variety of fun and safe online WeConnect programs to ensure there are opportunities for our members even if they are not able to return to in-person programs.
3. Will program fees be higher because of higher ratios and/or needing PPE?
No. Our program fees will stay the same in 2021 to reduce financial barriers to take part in programs. We rely on the generous support of our donors that contribute to subsidized program fees and fee assistance.
4. Can I volunteer at Between Friends programs in 2021?
There will be no volunteer opportunities at Camp Bonaventure in 2021 to reduce the amount of people onsite. There will be no volunteer opportunities in the earlier stages of W.E.S.O.A.R! relaunch for the same reason.
We encourage you to ask about virtual WeConnect volunteer opportunities by contacting:
Emily Furber, Program Coordinator, WeConnect & Camp Bonaventure:
1. Will my participant have to wear a mask and have their temperature checked?
Masks will be mandatory for all participants unless they have a medical exception. We will support all participants to encourage different face covering options.
In a recent survey of our members we found that 87% of participants are extremely comfortable having their temperature checked. Temperature checks will be contactless at the start of the program. The W.E.S.O.A.R. Relaunch and Camp Bonaventure Relaunch documents will include specific screening procedures.
2. My participant cannot wear a mask. How can I ensure they and everyone else is safe?
The City of Calgary requires people to wear face coverings or masks in indoor public areas and public vehicles, with few exceptions. The exceptions include:
- People with underlying medical conditions or disabilities inhibiting their ability to wear a face covering
- People who are unable to place, use or remove a face covering safely without assistance
We will support all participants to encourage different face covering options. We will ensure other safety precautions are in place such as physical distancing.
3. How will staff adhere to physical distancing while providing support to participants?
Between Friends staff will physically distance whenever possible. Some instances that physical distancing will not be possible will include: medication administration, supporting with personal care such as eating and bathroom changes, first aid administration, and if a participant is in immediate danger. In this case, the safe use of PPE will become the main form of protection against transmission. The W.E.S.O.A.R. Relaunch and Camp Bonaventure Relaunch documents will include specific protocols.
4. How will you put in place and enforce contact tracing?
Contact training logs for all participants and staff will be completed for every activity. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the Membership Services Manager will be notified. She will support contact tracing by abiding to Alberta Health Services (AHS) recommendations. We will inform everyone in direct contact with the person that tests positive. They must follow Alberta Government guidelines for self-isolation. The W.E.S.O.A.R. Relaunch and Camp Bonaventure Relaunch documents will include specific protocols.
5. How will the vaccine influence these timelines and protocols?
The Alberta Government has not yet announced when adults and children with disabilities will be able to access the COVID-19 vaccine. It is also currently unclear whether disability-related support staff are or will be included in Phase 1A of the vaccine distribution plan.
Once more information is available regarding the distribution of vaccines in Alberta for both our members and staff we will update this section.
If you are interested in advocacy efforts about the COVID-19 vaccine and people with disabilities please visit Inclusion Alberta’s website.
For information on Alberta’s phased COVID-19 vaccine distribution: https://www.alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine.aspx
6. Who do I contact if I am COVID-19 positive?
Participant: Please let the Program Leader know right away. The Program Leader will notify the Membership Services Manager to begin the contact tracing process.
Personnel: Please inform your supervisor immediately:
Nikki Stevens, Program Coordinator, W.E.S.O.A.R! & Special Events: 403-471-6456 firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Furber, Program Coordinator, WeConnect & Camp Bonaventure: 403-880-9295 email@example.com/
1. Will the activities offered in programs be the same as previous years?
There will be similar activities offered as previous years, but it will look a bit different.
For W.E.S.O.A.R! Programs, the amount of programs offered has decreased. Program offerings will only take place in a small amount of known and trusted locations in Calgary. Each program will have 2 Program Leaders to ensure quality programming. We will also be using subcontractors in programs to ensure quality programming.
For Camp Bonaventure, we will still be travelling offsite. The outings will be less often compared to previous years. We will continue to bring quality programming and activities to camp. We will do this by bringing activities to camp (ie: petting zoos, rock climbing walls, etc.). We will also have more subcontractors at camp (ie: music therapist, dancing, art, etc.).
2. Will the length of programs change?
No – we are anticipating the length of programs to stay the same. For W.E.S.O.A.R! Programs, the programming hours will range from 1.5 to 3 hours (depending on program activity). For Camp Bonaventure, programming hours will remain at 7 hours a day.
3. Will you provide food/drink to participants during the program? Or will participants need to bring their own food instead?
No. There will be no shared food or food handling until it is safe to do so. There will be no provided meals during W.E.S.O.A.R! Programs or Camp Bonaventure. We will only provide food/drink in an emergency. An emergency situation could involve administering medication or a camper forgetting their lunch, etc.
Stakeholders can bring their own meals, snacks, or water during programming hours. The individual will need to stay 6 feet apart from the group to have their food or drink. Once finished, they will wash or sanitize their hands, put their mask back on, and rejoin the group.
4. What will program groups look like?
Our Relaunch Plan consists of a phased approach to group sizes and staff ratios. This will mean less participants per group with more staff to support participants.
- Group sizes are smallest in early stages of relaunch to reduce cohort sizes and potential contacts. Later relaunch stages will begin to reflect more typical “pre-COVID” group sizes.
- The ratio of staff to participants is highest in early stages of relaunch to allow for greater support and to compensate for staff needing to stay home if they feel ill. Later relaunch stages will begin to reflect more typical “pre-COVID” ratios.
5. What happens if a program is suspended because of a COVID-19 case?
This will depend on the program.
You will have the option to receive a credit for future programming or access a virtual program.
You will receive a credit for future programming. We are looking into potential virtual camp options. Please note, age groups will be kept separate to increase the likelihood that only the age group with the confirmed COVID-19 case will be suspended. This would increase the likelihood that the rest of the age groups at Camp Bonaventure would be able to continue to attend camp in-person. Each case will be treated on a case by case basis and Between Friends will make decisions that error on the side of caution including cases that involve siblings. The Camp Bonaventure Relaunch document will include specific protocols including notification procedures for parents/guardians.