27 Apr

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, the health and safety of our staff, campers and the rest of the community is our top priority. Given our responsibility as a youth program during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for increased social distancing, TRACKS is taking a pause from active programming for a bit. As things continue to progress, we will post updates to this page!


TRACKS Outreach & Education Summer 2021 Camp Update

Dear TRACKS Parents/Guardians and Campers,

Although spring has just arrived, summer is approaching quickly and the TRACKS Coordinators would like to provide our community of parents/guardians and campers with an update on our plans for programming this summer season. 

While some camp and outdoor education programs in our area and across the province are moving forward with plans for a modified, COVID-safe, summer camp season, TRACKS Outreach and Education has opted not to plan for any in-person summer programming this year.

At TRACKS, we rely heavily on access to Trent University’s science buildings and nature areas for our in-person summer camps. Unfortunately, given the current stay-at-home order, its likely extension, and then a return to the colour-coded responses framework, we don’t have the ability to predict the level of access we will have to campus this summer in order to effectively   plan for in-person programming. By making this decision now, we can fully dedicate our time and resources to creating the best possible alternative programming for you this summer.

It’s been nearly a year since we made the call to cancel our 2020 summer program and we don’t relish in the unsettling deja-vu that comes with making this announcement again. We say this as coordinators and community educators with TRACKS, but also in solidarity with everyone reading this. This year has been challenging for us all. However, at TRACKS, we remain steadfastly committed to providing unique learning opportunities to connect with the land while learning about the knowledge systems and sciences of this territory. 

Based on the success of our seasonal activity books launched in response to Covid-19, this summer we will be launching three different Summer Camp Kits as well as our Summer Activity Book. The Summer Camp Kits will include the opportunity for kids to tune into live sessions with instructors and other kids over the course of a week, while having hands-on activities at their fingertips that will arrive at your door before the live session -- a virtual summer camp of sorts!

We wholeheartedly recognize that these activity books, boxes, and live virtual sessions do not replace the immersive experience of being at camp, in person and on the land together -- and we continue to mourn the absence of those experiences this year. However, we are excited by these offerings and hope that you are too!

Please stay tuned to your email over the next couple of months to learn more about these summer offerings. In the meantime, our Spring Activity Books and a limited number of our Spring Boxes are still available for order. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding this email, any of our seasonal offerings, or if you need a bit of inspiration to get out there and continue learning.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy summer season,

Kelly King, Madison Laurin, and the rest of the TRACKS team


Final Summer Camp Update re: COVID-19

Dear TRACKS Parents/Guardians and Campers and Staff/Volunteer applicants,

First and foremost, the TRACKS Coordinators would like to recognize and thank all of you for your continued patience and support concerning our long-awaited final decision in regards to summer camp programs this year. 

As had been previously stated in our last communication (dated June 3rd), we had been waiting for direction from Trent University's administration before making a final announcement. However, since the beginning of June, we have been coming to terms with the cancellation of all summer sessions. At this time, we are able to confirm that TRACKS will not be able to run a summer program this year.

We are aware that likely the cancellation does not come as a surprise to most of you however we would still like to acknowledge the disappointment that may come with this announcement. For many -- not least of all, our staff and volunteers -- summer camps represent a unique opportunity to connect with the land and each other, while learning about the knowledge systems and sciences of this place. While we will not have the opportunity to experience this learning together in the next few months, we want to stress that the summer season in this territory offers plenty of enriching experiences to happen from home, in our backyards and local parks, all while exercising appropriate physical distancing. Our wonderful community in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough continues to create and share many locally-based resources and ideas to get outside and learn with the land. If you have yet to check out our Online and Onland Resource List, it is one such archive of great Indigenous and Western Science activities!

For the applicants to our Summer Instructor positions, we would also like to acknowledge the disappointment that will stem from a lost employment opportunity. We recognize that summer camps play a significant role in students' and young peoples' employment plans, and that the cancellation of many programs, including our own, can represent a huge loss. We would like to identify that TRACKS will be hiring again for a handful of part-time instructor and office staff positions in the fall (likely September). Please do look out for the posting for these positions -- we look forward to receiving each of your applications once again. 

Rest assured that TRACKS will once again be a destination for wonder, connection and love for the land as soon as we are able. We are very much looking forward to when we can all be together again.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding this email, and we also encourage you to reach out with stories of you and your campers' adventures on the land, suggestions for our resource list, or if you need a bit of inspiration to get out there and continue learning.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy summer season,

Sincerely, the TRACKS Coordinators


Brief (Interim) Summer Camp Update re: COVID-19

Dear TRACKS Parents/Guardians and Campers, 

All of a sudden its June!  Can you believe it? This means a lot of things -- we are seeing the natural world around us bloom and enthusiastically lean into the incoming Summer season just as we are entering the fourth month of 2020 in which we have been collectively social distancing, staying at home and isolating. This also means that it is time (perhaps past due time) to provide an update for you all on TRACKS Summer camps this year. 

During the last four months, at TRACKS, we have been thinking seriously about what the Summer camp season is going to look like given the progression of the pandemic in Ontario. Now that we are just about a month away from our first planned (and fully registered!) session of Summer camp, this planning has reached a point of urgency. Despite the urgency we are feeling to confirm for you all whether or not TRACKS will be able to run Summer camps this year, we have been and, for the time being, still are in a holding pattern.

As a youth program based at Trent University, we are beholden to the University administration and their decisions regarding access to campus, use of facilities and hiring of student staff. As of May 26th, President Leo Groarke announced that there will be multiple phases to the University's plan to return to campus. These phases will be rolled out in a similar way as the province of Ontario's -- according to Public Health advice and the continued progression of the pandemic in Peterborough. To read this announcement, and see other information on Trent University's response to COVID-19 visit https://www.trentu.ca/coronavirus/. Last week's announcement prefaced and provided context to a more detailed announcement that is expected to be circulated sometime this week or next. 

Long story short... unfortunately, we do not yet have a firm answer as to whether or not we will be permitted to host campers on campus this Summer. However, we do expect that the upcoming announcement from the University will confirm what we believe to be the most prudent and responsible way forward -- to cancel all Summer sessions this year, and begin planning for an engaging Fall. Likely, you are not surprised to hear that this is how we are thinking, but please do keep tuned to your email as we will be sending out a final update as soon as we hear from the University again. 

Thank you for your patience and please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns with any of the above information. 

From each of our living rooms, the TRACKS Coordinators are sending our best to you all. We hope that you are taking care, distancing responsibly and finding comfort with your families. 

Sincerely, the TRACKS Coordinators

UPDATE: April 9th 2020

We've updated our Online and Onland resources! Click the link below to find the most up to date activities to enjoy both indoors and outdoors. These include more links to Indigenous Education resources, new connections to our animal relatives and so much more! Check it out 👀

P.S. There is also a special section just for parents! 

See the updated list of resources here!

UPDATE: March 25th 2020 

Online and Onland Resources for Families

Hello families,

We know this is an unsettling and confusing time for you and your kids. We want you to know we’re here for you in the ways we can be. We feel that now is not the time to feel pressured to jump into homeschooling your children. We know many of you are still trying to balance full time jobs, care for others in your family and in our community, as well as keep up with everyday demands. Now is most importantly a time to make sure that everyone in your immediate circle is feeling heard, safe and connected to the ones that love them the most.

We’ve been working on compiling a list of online and onland resources that you can tap into for a step away from the news, for some connection with your family, for a literal breath of fresh air and most importantly, for some fun! If these resources work for you and the schedules you have found to work for your family, AMAZING! But above all of these suggestions, we recommend finding a rhythm as a family that helps to share the load… anything from some sous chef training, assisting with household chores, simple yard work or allowing everyone to have some quiet time alone. 

Our list of options is just that, options! See these as potential tasks if you’re looking for things to do. We recognize there’s a lot of resources out there right now and it might feel overwhelming. This list is our attempt at compiling a lot of them into one place so that you can easily find activities if you so choose.

Please let us know if there are more beneficial ways to go about supporting your families at this time and keep checking back for more resources! This list will be added to and refined for as long as the kids are at home.

With wishes of health and happiness,
the TRACKS team

See the full list of resources, organized by category, here!

UPDATE: March 16th 2020

On the morning of March 13th, the president of Trent University issued a statement that all classes and events are cancelled on all Trent campuses effective immediately. Then, campus was fully closed to all be essential services on March 16th. These are both strictly preventative measures to avoid the gathering of large groups of people in order to discourage the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Further, on March 12th the Ontario government announced that all publicly-funded schools were to remain closed past March Break until April 5th. 

As a youth program based at the University, and working closely with all Ontario school boards, we have followed suit and suspended all in-school and camp programming beginning with our March Break camp. As of March 16th, all programs have been cancelled until April 5th, at which point we will re-evaluate given updated direction from the Ontario Government and Trent University.

In many ways, things remain business as usual for TRACKS; the Coordinators and three contract staff continue to work regular hours from home as they focus on research, refining programming and compiling resources which we hope to soon share with you all! As of right now, we are also continuing to plan for our best and biggest Summer yet. 

Circumstances are extremely fluid and fast-changing so please stay updated on our COVID-19 planning on this page. We will be in contact with parents, teachers and others who are directly impacted by further cancellations as they occur. In the meantime, we're wishing you all a peaceful slowdown and opportunities to get outside and enjoy the emerging spring. Baamaapii!