Swimming, archery at camp too dangerous for students, school says

A Toronto teacher says his Grade 8 students are unhappy that a three-day graduation trip to a nature camp in Bancroft, Ont., was cancelled due to the school board's safety concerns over activities such as swimming and archery.

Teacher says trip cancelled 'at the last moment' over school board regulations

Grade 8 teacher Lenny Chiro of Toronto's Amesbury Middle School said Camp Walden was essentially subsidizing his students' visit. "It's a huge opportunity for students to go and experience being away," he told CBC News after learning the trip was cancelled over safety concerns. (Camp Walden)

A Toronto teacher says his Grade 8 students are unhappy that a three-day graduation trip to a nature camp in Bancroft, Ont., next month was cancelled due to the school board's safety concerns over activities such as swimming and archery.

Lenny Chiro, who teaches at Amesbury Middle School, was preparing his class for the annual trip to Camp Walden when the school board cancelled it, citing safety concerns.

"It's confusing why at the last moment we're told that we're not in compliance with safety rules, when the facility that we're going to has an exemplary track record and is extremely well supervised," Chiro said Friday in an interview with CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

Chiro said Amesbury's Grade 8 students have been making the trip to Camp Walden for seven years as a fun way to mark graduation from middle school.

He described Camp Walden as an exclusive facility that reduces its rates for the school to make the trip possible, at a cost of $150 per student.

Chiro said he was making final preparations for the June 10 trip when the school board's superintendent asked for proof that safety requirements about activities such as swimming and archery had been met.

Without sufficient proof, students would be unable to take part in many of the camp's activities. The students decided that without the activities, the trip would not be worth the cost.

"There weren't many [activities] left except 'swat the mosquito,'" said Chiro.  "As a result, all those activities were taken out of the trip. And basically the students decided, 'No, this is not worth us going on this trip.'"

Instead, the students go on a one-day trip to Niagara Falls.

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