Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute Toronto | 393 Dundas Street West, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON M5T 1G6 | 647-724-8004 |
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How We Manage COVID Well at Our Summer Camp

Last week we finally reopened our school as Toronto was given the green light for Stage 3. Our Fall Term will begin week of September 7, 2020.

In the meantime, we decided to run 5 weeks of summer camp for kids. The rules set forth by City of Toronto and Province of Ontario are many and seemed intimidating at first.

Before camp began, we had an instructor’s meeting where we strategized and developed a plan to ensure a safe and fun experience for the children.

Every person including the instructors were screened for fever and symptoms before entry into the school. Upon entry, every one was required to wash their hands. Every student was also assigned their own space for their belongings. This helped to develop a trusted environment – if no one is sick and hands were clean, and social distancing maintained, then transmission is not likely.

Cleaning duties quadrupled as we vaccuumed and washed the floors every day. Commonly touched objects including doors, tables, and washrooms were regularly cleaned after use.

Every day we began our training with meditation and philosophy. Each day we talked about a different Shaolin Virtue and how it applied to COVID. This gave the children new perspective and understanding of respect, focus, perseverance, strive, compassion, and leadership.

It just happens that in the history of Shaolin, many of the training aspects were already done in compliance with social distancing! In the early and mid 1900s, Shaolin monks were forced to train in secret to avoid government scrutinity.

In the Hall of Thousand Buddha’s, many divots on the ground were created over many years by certain exercises that involved stomping the ground. Indeed, many of the training exercises we have in our traditional Shaolin classes come from methods that accomodate small spaces.

Where social distancing wasn’t possible, the students wore breathing masks. We were also careful that equipment was not shared between students, and that all equipment was sanitized after use.

All in all, it’s a lot more work than we’re used to but it was a good system that we intend to keep implementing. Let’s all continue to do our part!