COVID-19 and Program Status

May 20th, 2020

We hope that you’re keeping well and are able to find a few moments here and there to connect with nature and take some deep breaths outside! We’re here for you if you need anything – whether it’s a little chat, an interesting nature-photo that you want to share with us, or even a wild recipe.  Our teachers miss all of your kids and being able to spend so much quality time in the forest together!

As we expected, with yesterday’s announcement by the Ontario Government closing all schools for the remainder of the year, we are officially closing our “doors” for this season.

In terms of Summer Camps, it was announced yesterday that day camps  could run if current trends continue.  We will continue to monitor the situation closely and our Board of Directors will make a decision about operating that is in the best interest of our students, staff, the greater community and the quality of programming we can achieve with social distancing measures. We are awaiting further direction and clarification prior to making a final decision. Our Annual Snowy Owl Overnight has been cancelled, but will resume Summer 2021.

We are looking forward to the Fall and are hopeful that our operations will be back and running as usual by then.  Fall Registration will open up in the next little while so please stay tuned to what we are doing on our Facebook page and Instagram.

Warmly,
Matt and Kim (on behalf of our FNS Team)

March 31st, 2020

Being outside in small groups in connection with self, others and Nature is the foundation of our program and we believe an essential piece of daily life. During this unprecedented time our hope is that at some point we will be able to offer our programs again to support our students and families. However, it’s clear that our original postponed start to the Spring Session (April 6th) is not feasible and therefore we’ve made the decision to suspend all programming until further notice in support of the broader community and regional approach at this time.

We have hopes that we may be able to run a shortened program later this Spring, however with the uncertainty of current events we do not know how, when or if this can occur.

We love this little community we’re all building here and know that we will weather this storm. As they say, we are all in this together and here’s hoping that you find time to slow down and connect with the really important things in life.  Thanks everyone for trusting in us and for your understanding and support. Please share stories with us along the way and if you have any questions, or need anything, please reach out!

Matt and Kim (on behalf of everyone at FSFNS)

March 16th, 2020

In an effort to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and support the greater community we have made the decision to delay the beginning of our Core Spring Programming until April 6th (this is a tentative start date to be reevaluated closer to the date) effective immediately.

We believe this decision is the best thing for everyone at this time and thank you for your understanding.

As our friends reminded us – Community is Resilient, Calm is Contagious and take time to Breathe. Remember to still get outside and connect with Nature over this period (at a safe social distance).

Matt and Kim (on behalf of FNS)

March 14th, 2020

March Break Camp Cancelled – With the growing situation and the closures all around us, we believe it is no longer responsible for us to carry on as planned.  While we believe we are in a low-risk situation in regards to the spread of COVID-19, we make this decision with the greater community in mind.  This has unfolded quite quickly and this decision was made just moments ago by our Board of Directors.

We encourage families to take this time off together and soak up as much nature and time spent outside as possible.  Community is resilient and we will get through this together. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

We will be following up with a decision on Core Weekly Programs within the next couple days and how they will be impacted.  

We have also temporarily frozen registration for all programs until further notice. 

Thank you for your ongoing support, patience and understanding in this unprecedented time.

-Your FNS Crew

MARCH 13th, 2020

We are committed to providing safe outdoor programming for our kids and wanted to let you know that we are working with a network of experts and other outdoor schools to develop emerging principles and policies in response to the new realities of COVID-19 (and the recently announced extended school closures over March Break.)  After thorough and thoughtful consideration and consultation we are choosing to remain open in Collingwood for our March Break camp.  As of today (March 13th), we are also planning to remain open for the Spring Session with some restrictions.  This could all change quickly and we will be in touch via email. Thanks in advance for your understanding. 

The health of your kids, our community and staff is a top priority and we’ve taken precautionary steps to lessen the health risk associated with COVID-19 and reduce opportunities for transmission. This is consistent with standard respiratory illness precautions, which includes:

1. Ensuring the consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene (hand washing and/or hand sanitize)
2. Ensuring regular and routine environmental cleaning and disinfecting, especially for high-touch surfaces/objects.

3. Ensuring our food sharing policies are in effect and maintained by all students.
4.
Continuing to ensure small student-teacher ratios and class sizes, where students are not in extremely close proximity. (Experts are suggesting that any public meeting with under 250 people should still be okay).
5.
Staff will observe your child on arrival to ensure they appear in good health. Students/children and staff who show any symptoms during the day will be isolated from the group until they are able to be picked up (they will need to be picked up immediately).

Further extra programming precautions to be taken at this time:

1. We are limiting our Spring Programming to Core Programs Only (Wolf Pack, PA Days, Cedars and Saplings, and other non-core programs have been postponed/cancelled until further notice).
2. We will not be offering support programs during the extended two weeks of School Closures – sorry for the inconvenience.

And finally, your responsibility to our community:

1. We are relying on transparent communication with families and asking all participant families to help keep our community safe.
2. For students/children and staff who are ill with fever and/or infectious respiratory symptoms to stay home from school, as per our policies and procedures.
3. If you have travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days, or if you are presenting any of the symptoms as listed by public health please opt out of participation in programming (you will not be penalized).

We will keep you up to date with any changes as much as possible via email (things are changing daily).  As  time passes, we know there are many uncertainties and if at anytime you feel that you would like to withdraw your child from programming there would be no penalty.

Thank you for your patience and understanding with this! As Jennie (our president) says, Clean Hands and Open Hearts!

-Your FNS Crew