COVID -19 Series: Summer Fun During COVID-19
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June 8, 2020
Summer Fun During  COVID-19

As we continue social distancing, some summer traditions—summer camps, outdoor concerts, big fireworks displays, summer vacations—may be curtailed for everyone’s safety.  But that doesn’t mean summer 2020 has to be a bummer. Instead of focusing on all the summer activities that have been canceled —think about all the wonderful things you can still do at home or while social distancing this summer!
However, remember the cautions that come with your fun — COVID-19 is a social butterfly, and it likes nothing better than a good crowd, health specialists say. "The signature of this disease is that it really likes large gatherings, and it really likes large gatherings indoors, in particular," says Dr. Deonandan, an epidemiologist with the University of Ottawa. What's more, it'll show up at those gatherings with no advance notice!
Summer Activities
If you’re looking for fun things to do in the summer at home—or simply want to focus on the simple pleasures of the season—try some of these summer staycation and activity ideas. Hopefully by the end of summer, you’ll still feel like you got your fill of warm-weather activities—while keeping yourself, your family, and your community safe.
Take a camping trip in your own backyard. Borrow or buy a tent. Pack drinks and snacks. Bring sleeping bags or blankets, flashlights, and mosquito repellent for everyone. 

Play a vacation sound track. The next best thing to on vacation is grooving around the house to the music you’d be listening to as if you were! 

Relax outside by candlelight. The natural harmonies of a summer evening will sound even sweeter when your senses are more attuned to them.
 Declare Water-Game Day. Buy or borrow a kiddie pool, turn on the sprinkler, unravel the hose, and commandeer as many spray bottles, buckets, tubs, and water pistols as possible. Decree a compulsory all-day uniform of swimsuit and bare feet.

Make staying hydrated a beautiful thing. Fill your prettiest pitchers with ice water and slices of lemon, orange, or cucumber. Then, as you go about your day, stop often to take a long, cool, flavorful drink.
Take a restorative yoga retreat in your living room.  Restorative yoga is a practice that is all about slowing down and deeply relaxing your muscles through stretching. Restorative yoga is very mellow, making it a good complement to more active exercise.

Have nightly turn down service. Buy a box of chocolates or candies, then dispatch a different family member each evening to fold back blankets, smooth sheets, and leave a sweet or two on each pillow.

35 Fun Things to Do This Summer While You're Social Distancing

Make your own ice cream
Run through a sprinkler
Have a watermelon seed spitting contest
Make s’mores
Have a water balloon fight
Go stargazing
Nap in a hammock
Eat popsicles and ice cream
Have a barbecue
Try your hand at face painting
Seek out a drive-in movie (or make your own)
Have a backyard scavenger hunt
Grow a little garden
Create a sidewalk chalk art gallery
Go for a hike
Picnic in your backyard
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Master something new—a new dance step, a new hobby, or a new cooking technique
Do fun science experiments (the baking soda and vinegar volcano is a classic)
Climb a tree
Create a virtual book club
Watch the sun set
Make homemade lemonade
Kayak, canoe, or paddle board
Go fishing
Run a virtual 5K
Bake a fresh blueberry or cherry pie
Make an outdoor fort
Splash in rain puddles
Go for a scenic drive
Make your own pesto
Go to the beach
Eat vegetables right out of the garden
Look for a rainbow during a summer shower
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Assessing Risk
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Judging how safe it will be to partake in any social scenario this summer depends on several factors. You’ll have to determine how many people are at this activity? Is social distancing possible? Will you be indoors or outdoors? And, are you sharing items like food? 
Another major factor is how much time you plan to spend with others.

Global News looked into multiple summer activities and asked infectious disease experts how risky they are, and how you can decide for yourself if it’s worth it.
RISK: Low  - Biking or running outside (away from others) 
RISK: Low - Golfing (consider common touch points)
RISK: Low to medium - Backyard BBQ (physical distance and consider asking guests to bring their own food)
RISK: Low to medium - Camping
With a small number of people, probably your immediate family. The exception is campgrounds where cars, trailers and small motor homes are crowded together. Another caution? Shared bathroom facilities are always going to be an issue.

RISK: Low to mediumCabins and cottages 
The issue is if you do get sick, then you're overwhelming the health resources in that community. BC's low numbers mitigates this risk.

RISK: Medium to high - Working out at a gym
These spaces are particularly difficult to keep safe as they are indoors, have people breathing heavily and have many high-frequency touch points.
RISK: Medium to high - Larger outdoor events 
The more people at an event the higher the risk. If there is alcohol present it could lower people’s inhibitions and reduce how careful they are when it comes to social distancing.

Restaurants - Depends if there’s a patio 
Patios are safer because they are outdoors which lowers the risk of transmission.

The beach - Depends on the crowds 
If you can set down your blankets and make sure there’s enough of a circumference around you that’s going to be safer.
Summer Camps
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Click on photo to view the video
 Dr. Bonnie Henry says there isn’t a situation where public health officials can safely allow overnight kids camps to operate this summer during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Community Summer Camps

There is much variation in community summer camp offerings.  Some have given careful consideration to the public health guidelines and the safety of campers and staff, and have decided to offer in person camps. Others have adapted their camps to be online. Check out this website for an extensive list of summer camps. You will have to do some research to determine if and how, camps are operating this summer.
Recreation Integration Victoria-Summer Services for Children with Diverse Learning Needs  June 2020 This booklet is meant to assist you and your children with diverse learning needs in planning for your summer.

SD 61 Career and Pathways Summer Programs

Innovators Academy  An online platform with free content for youth on topics related to entrepreneurship, innovation and personal development. Grades 6-12
BC Construction Foundation  Ideas for some very cool hands-on projects that can be completed at home. Grades K-12
ITA Youth- Ocean Toolkit  A series of challenges that foster ocean literacy and stewardship. Grades K-12
PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs   An experiential learning program that challenges young people to create their own business ventures. Grades 6-8
HighTechU Virtual Skills Academy Project  This is a project-focused, team-based online program, allowing students to begin building a professional portfolio, using technology to solve real-world problems while supported by university and industry mentors. Grades 9-12

British Columbia Regional Council of Carpenters Summer youth employment project 
An opportunity for high school students to break into the construction industry in carpentry through employment with the BCRCC. Grades 9-12
Contact for more information.

Grow a Garden this Summer with Free Veggie Plants! 

LifeCycles and Farm to School BC are excited to offer two more weeks of vegetable seedling distribution for SD61 families and staff as part of the City of Victoria's "Get Growing" initiative!  Last week, we distributed over 6000 seedlings to nearly 700 families, and supported school gardens with several hundred more plants!
Did you pick up plants last week?  If so, visit the Growing Together website to learn more about how to care for your seedlings! This site has video tutorials and growing tips specific to our region.
For the next week, there will be a limit of 6 plants per household.
 Check out the poster for distribution locations and times.
For more information about this initiative, visit:
LifeCycles Project
The Greater Victoria School District will be offering summer school completion and upgrading courses this year. Students already enrolled in the District will be able to register online here 
Registration closes on Thursday, June 25 at 3 p.m. 

BC Parks Camping Reservations
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Click the button below for a comprehensive list of Community Services and their availability during the pandemic.

Learning Resources
The Ministry of Education site contains excellent information on learning at home and resources for families
The Greater Victoria School District provides learning opportunities for elementary, middle and secondary age students.
TedED - Parents can sign up for grade specific daily lessons on any subject imaginable.  Fun and engaging!
BCTF - Aboriginal Education Teaching Resources
Indigenous Educational Resources

  Learning Resources for Students with Complex Needs

Food Resources for Families - Click on photo to download list

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