2020 Summer Camps Cancelled
Updated 2 July 2020
Despite guidance finally being released on the 1st July regarding protective measures for holiday providers, unfortunately, we have decided to stick to our plan to not run camps this summer. At the time we made the decision to close on the 17th June, the Department for Education had released a statement that holiday providers were to remain closed, schools would not be able to host holiday providers, and that there would be no change in this position until a further review on 4th July as part of the Government’s recovery strategy.
Although we welcome this guidance and hope that it gives parents some options this summer, it has come far too late for many providers like ourselves who made the decision in the middle of June to not run.
At the time of making our decision, the DfE guidance was very clear, holiday providers were to remain closed, and no review of this would be considered before 4th July. We had no idea what the framework or protective measures would look like, what children we could accept, (what ages, numbers, schools etc.) or how many staff we would need based on bubble sizes and cleaning/support requirements. As a result we decided to cancel as we could not in good conscience continue to take bookings from parents and offer work to staff without knowing with confidence that we could fulfil their booking or employment.
Preparing Ultimate Activity Camps takes months of work, especially the recruitment, assessment, vetting and training of staff, plus all of the policy/risk assessment work to keep children safe. Without guidance on how we must operate, we do not know how many staff we need, what protective measures (‘bubbles’, additional hygiene, activity restrictions, etc) need to be in place, new procedures for staff and crucially whether our host schools would let us use their facilities under this guidance. The safety of the children and staff remains our overriding priority and we simply cannot prepare to run camps safely at this late stage.
For these reasons, sadly, we have made the firm and final decision to not run camps this summer. We share your frustration of the uncertainty and sympathise with the challenges this creates for parents who need childcare this summer.
Updated 17 June 2020
We are very sorry to say that we will not be able to run our camps this summer. This is a consequence of the Government’s updated statement last week that ‘holiday providers are to remain closed for the time-being.
We have put in a huge amount of preparation for this summer, and, after making significant adjustments to our programme and operations (see below for details), were confident that we could offer Ultimate fun in a safe environment. The latest government statement has made it clear that we do not currently have a mandate to run and there are not likely to be changes in the near future, despite our lobbying of MP’s, Department for Education and the media.
We know from our recent survey that most of you need our services this summer. The need has clearly been increased with family not being able to look after your children and keyworkers needing childcare that allows them to continue their essential work. As parents ourselves, we know children need to socialise and enjoy some active fun more than ever.
This has not been an easy decision, but please know that we have explored every available option and interpretation of the current guidance. Ultimately, we can only operate if Government guidance permits us to do so, and this is now out of our hands.
We are sorry for any disappointment or inconvenience this brings you and your children this summer. On behalf of the whole team at Ultimate Activity Camps, we wish you and your family well for the weeks ahead and we look forward to welcoming everyone back soon for Ultimate fun and friendship.
2020 Summer Camps – adapting to coronavirus
Updated 8 June 2020
We continue to review government guidance for educational and childcare settings to understand what protective measures are needed to offer a safe experience for children, parents and staff. These are the key adaptations and protective measures we will implement - these are obviously subject to change as lockdown easing progresses.
- Camp not bookable by the day - all bookings are now either Mon to Friday (5 day), or Tues to Thursday (3 days) so we can keep children in their group/bubble through the entire week – if you already have a booking with us that does not meet this new approach, we will be contacting you via email and phone in the next 2 weeks
- No financial risk - full credit/refund if we have to cancel camps or if anyone in your household tests positive for Covid 19
- Reduced availability so we can manage groups and ensure there is enough space for all the groups to be socially distanced. Book soon to avoid disappointment.
- Reducing maximum group sizes to 15 for over 8’s, whilst maintaining our group sizes for 6-7 years at 14 which already comply with guidelines. 4-5 years will be in groups of 8
- Extended Day Passes not available as we will need more time at the start and end of the day for additional cleaning requirements. Standard hours will apply so 8:30-9:30 drop off and 16:30 to 17:15 collection.
- Modifying existing activities to maximise outdoor space and increase distancing especially in sport and play activities, whilst making camp as fun as possible!
- Removing some activities that present an unacceptable risk of transmission, such as fencing, combat archery and zorbing where children are sharing equipment close to faces (such as helmets and face masks)
- Contactless sign-in and collection – we will send full instructions in due course, but we all know what a 2m distanced queue is like now!
- Staggered lunch and breaktimes to keep groups separate
- Increased hand washing/sanitising for children throughout the day and after each activity/break
- Increased cleaning through the day and at the end of every day
- Symptom awareness and processes for anyone displaying symptoms on camp and isolation area.