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Youth federations relieved that summer camps are allowed

Credit: Belga

Youth federations expressed relief on Monday at the government’s authorisation of camps this summer despite special measures due to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

It was announced on Friday that summer camps would be allowed from 1 July, with certain special measures imposed.

“The activities stopped overnight and it is important to be able to organize them again. There is a psychosocial need,” said the National Federation of Pathros, a youth movement recognised by the French-speaking community.

“It’s a big relief, it will allow thousands of children to return to a more or less normal life,” says the Belgian Catholic Guides movement.

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Camps will have to be organised while respecting imposed measures such as limiting the number of participants to 50 people including leaders.

For the Scouts and the Guides, this restriction does not pose a problem in the majority of cases, with Scouts having “a fairly limited number” of large groups and just under 10% of Guides’ groups consisting of more than 50 people.

The issue is more significant for the Pathros, who bring together all age groups in the same camp, often having groups larger than 50 individuals.

“The groups can still go to the same campsite but they will be in different bubbles,” the Pathros Federation said. They stressed that the decision to carry on was up to each team, but that they were “encouraging the organisers to think about it,” underlining that “under no circumstances” they would force a camp to do so.

Another measure is that social distancing must be respected as much as possible. “The measure does not apply to children under 12 years of age, while for those over 12 years of age, the idea is to avoid too close contact,” said the Guides federation.

The Scouts raised another question. “Will teams be able to meet to prepare, in view of restrictive conditions such as social distancing,” a spokesman for the Scouts wondered.

In any case, the federations say they are ready to take up the challenge for kids to enjoy camp this summer.

The Brussels Times

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