As elsewhere in the province, the agencies responsible for the day camps of the Greater Gaspé are struggling to recruit the monitors needed to accommodate the number of regular vacationers.
May 26, 2020 17h02
Gaspé is launching a cry of the heart for the young people to work in the day camp
Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun
The town of Gaspé launch a cry from the heart to the youth in order to engage a sufficient number of monitors to open its summer day camps, while respecting the measures imposed by the Public Health.
“The number of monitors is going to be our main limitation,” explains from the outset, the mayor of Gaspé, Daniel Côté, in a video on the page Facebook of the city. As elsewhere in the province, the agencies responsible for the day camps of the Greater Gaspé are struggling to recruit the monitors needed to accommodate the number of regular holiday-makers, while respecting the sanitary measures imposed by the Public Health. The services and the number of children supported by the agencies will therefore likely be amputated.
The government has given the green light for the opening of day camps from June 22, provided that you comply with the safety instructions, in particular the establishment of a maximum number of children per instructor depending on the age as well as the respect of the distance of two meters. Organizations will also need to regularly give themselves to rigorous disinfection procedures.
The PCUE as the main competitor
If organizations are struggling to recruit, it is due in part to the Benefit of Canadian Emergency for Students (PCUE), believes the mayor Daniel Côté. “This summer, the main competitor of day camps, it’s going to be the PCUE”, he explains before starting a real cry from the heart to the young people of the municipality. “Helping to provide a service to families. Organizations need you, and this is the opportunity to give the following. I count on you,” added Mr. Côté. The federal program offers 1250 $ per month to the students without employment in order to reduce the impacts of layoffs due to the COVID-19, enough to compete with positions in day camps, often at the minimum wage.
A hard blow for the finances
If these measures are forcing the city to launch an appeal for aid to the young, it also puts a strain on the finances of the various agencies responsible. To comply with the health measures, the camps will need to reduce their number of admissions and pay for equipment disinfection, as recommended by the public health. “Last summer, for 200 young people, we were 15 monitors. If it opens this summer, we should have a maximum of 100 young people with the same number of monitors. More spending, less revenue”, explains the managing director of one of these camps.
In addition to the financial challenges and lack of manpower, the day camps, which take the great majority of the local schools, still have not had the agreement of the directions for use of the school facilities. “We are in communication with the school boards, but it is a challenge indeed,” says the announcer in sports, outdoors and recreation for the city of Gaspé, Simon-Philippe Lalonde. For the financial aspect, the latter ensures that “the city will be at the rendez-vous”.