Aug. 17, 2018
Calgary's 2018 'smoke-pocalypse' sends UCalgary Summer Camps indoors
As smoke from B.C. fires drives the Air Quality Health Index in Calgary into the higher-risk categories, noticeably fewer Calgarians are spending time outside. Some outdoor events are being cancelled and the city’s pathway systems and parks are sparsely populated during what are typically peak summer days.
The green spaces at the University of Calgary, particularly the quad outside of MacEwan Student Centre, also seem especially empty at the moment. In part, that’s because the approximately 1,200 kids participating in UCalgary Summer Camps each week — who usually fill outdoor spaces with laughter and energy as they bike across campus, play games, eat lunch and enjoy the outdoors — have decamped to the great indoors.
“UCalgary Summer Camps modify their programs based on the air quality index. Camps are brought indoors and campers are closely monitored,” says Logan Jones, interim director, Active Living in the Faculty of Kinesiology. “It can be challenging to contain all of the energy that the campers have, but we try to redirect it into other activities that are safe, fun and involve learning.”
That fun and learning certainly doesn’t stop because the kids are indoors: “Cycling camps, for example, may spend time learning about bike maintenance,” says Jones.
- Listen to the CBC Calgary Eyeopener interview with Dr. Kerri Johannson, Cumming School of Medicine, Kinesiology's Logan Jones and local veterinarian Wendy McClelland on how to protect your health — your own and your pet's — from the smoke.
As the Air Quality Health Index for Calgary is expected to be high again next week, campers will continue to be closely monitored and program modifications will be made as necessary.
If parents of UCalgary Summer Camp participants have any questions or concerns, they can reach out to their specific camp co-ordinator.