Floods, fires, zombies and s'mores

By Cecilia Nasmith

Young people aged eight to 13 are invited to participate in a summer day-camp experience in Cobourg that will see them emerge as Masters of Disaster.

Organized by the Town of Cobourg in partnership with the Emergency Management team and the Recreation and Culture Division, the Masters of Disaster summer camp offers enjoyable and educational programming that will introduce young people to emergency preparedness.

Each of the five days (Aug. 13 to 17) is structured around a different emergency – learning what each entails while acquiring important skills to address it, including leadership, teamwork, first-aid knowlege, railway safety, fire, and food and water safety. Instruction is carried out in a fun (and non-threatening) manner that will see the young people accomplish such feats as building a lightbulb that runs on lemons, and making compasses and glow-in-the-dark lanterns (not to mention that popular camp treat s'mores).

Cobourg's emergency planner Shannon Murphy said in the town's press release that the camp's creators were inspired by a similar camp held by the City of Markham, and gave credit to Markham's emergency manager as the true mastermind.

“We hope to educate and inspire future ambassadors for the program who can carry on what they've learned, and teach others,” Murphy said.

The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and each day brings a new disaster.

Day one focuses on natural disasters, featuring visits from the Cobourg Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services.

Day two looks at flood emergencies, with a visit from the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority.

Day three delves into power outages, with visits from Lakefront Utility Services Inc. and the Cobourg Police Service.

Day four is about public-health and rail safety, with visits from the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit and VIA Rail.

The camp culminates with a Zombie Apocalypse Race on day five.

The town extends thanks to the Cobourg police for providing campers with a T-shirt and hat, as well as their own 72-hour emergency kit, and appreciates the support of the other community partners who are supporting the camp – Cobourg Fire Department, Lakefront Utility Services Inc., VIA Rail, Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit, Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority and the Northumberland County Emergency Service.

Registration is $130 plus HST per child, and the deadline to sign up is July 30. To register, contact the Cobourg Community Centre (905-372-7371 or visit www.ccc.cobourg ro register online).

The Masters of Disaster Camp is actively looking for sponsors to participate. For more information, contact Murphy