Hello, and Welcome to the Summit 2022 season!
We’re very excited for the upcoming spring/summer, which is stacked with a stellar team of hardworking, skilled, fun people, amazing food, and at least a few trees. If you’re new to Summit, Welcome! If you’re returning, Welcome back! Like last year, I’ll be travelling around to visit our camps consistently throughout the season if you ever need to chat, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch beforehand if there’s something you’d like to discuss.
This season is shaping up to look like a blended version of Pre-Covid19 and Mid-Covid19 seasons, and the below information should help you to understand and prepare for what that looks like. Though restrictions in many areas are lifting or changing, there are still some industry specific standards that we must meet, and some company specific protocols that have been established to help prevent the spread of any communicable diseases; so that we can all stay happy, healthy, and making money. The season will start with all camps following these protocols, and as restrictions continue to change, we will adapt to them as permitted.
1. An antigen test will be self-administered by each employee upon arrival, to ensure that Covid19 is not being brought into our camps from outside regions. If your antigen test is positive, you’ll follow the isolation period required of you as is set by the Health Region you took the test in. It is highly recommended that you take an antigen test prior to leaving your home for the season, so that if any isolation is needed, you can do so in your own home, with the comforts and entertainment you are used to.
a. Though there will be antigen tests for initial screenings provided by Summit while at camp, it is possible that other circumstances arise (such as close contact with a positive case, or symptomatic illness) that will require further testing throughout the season. To prevent any delays in acquiring tests mid-season, it is requested that if you can grab your own antigen tests provided by in your health region, that you do so and bring them with you.
2. To limit any lost work or isolation time in camp (boring!), we recommend that you wear masks in trucks, and require that you wear a mask and gloves while in close-quarters line ups like when packing lunch. Over the course of the season, this will be continuously reviewed, and altered as seen fit. In the meantime, this helps us to prevent a return to the pod system, and allows you to…
3. Visit Towns! We’re no longer required to keep out camps completely isolated, and this means that you’ll be free to get to know the cool local spots we work within. Company trucks will be available to bring people to town every other day off, so you can check out thrift stores, laundromats, and the many beautiful parks around our Provinces.
a. Please remember that these towns are peoples’ homes, and that your conduct in public must be respectful and mindful of the requests made by local populations. b. Please avoid visiting crowded, high transmission risk locations like night clubs and other close-quarters businesses.
4. Be prepared for restrictions to continue to lift – but also consider the possibility that some may return, if deemed necessary by Health Authorities. Bring enough masks to wear a clean one daily in trucks, in food lines, and if required, we return to pod systems. Bring a large, mesh, drawstring laundry bag labeled with your full name, in case we are required to return to isolation, and must arrange laundry services again.
5. Lastly, be respectful all season. This means being respectful and kind in discussions about polarizing topics, being understanding when someone is required to enforce a restriction or regulation, and keeping community in mind in camp, town, and our industry.
Make sure to continue to follow the pre-season training plan found on our website. (https://www.summitplanting.com/plantingfitness.html ). Having activities and exercises that you love for your endurance and cardio training is great; but paying extra care to these particular exercises is important; these have been found to reduce injuries by up to 70%. All planters, new or experienced, will need to follow the taping measures outlined on the website for three weeks. We will have tape available, however if you have sensitivity to some athletic tape, sourcing and bringing your own sports tape is recommended. We will have some supplies for sensitive skin, but these are limited. Unfortunately, reimbursements for tape brought from home can not be offered.
And, as you prepare for your season by doing your preseason training and packing up your world for tent life, don’t forget to consider the things that help make camp feel like home. Bring books, art supplies, costumes, frisbees. Download movies, audiobooks and playlists. Think about ideas you’d like to contribute to social committee, the goals you’ve set for yourself, the amazing friendships you’ll make this year.
See you Soon!
Human Resources and Safety, Summit Reforestation.
We’ve been getting several questions about vaccination requirements lately, and while we can’t answer much with any firm conclusion, we thought that we should share where we’re at:
Summit cares about our team’s health and safety above all else. It’s why we require new planters to undergo a pre-season fitness conditioning program, try to ensure that every meal you eat in camp is nutritious as well as delicious, and have non-negotiable safety protocols from truck to tent. We also trust you to make health and safety decisions that are right for yourself and your body, like taking time off to heal an injury or seeking support for mental health maintenance. There are many various and impactful elements that go into a person’s choice regarding vaccination, and that choice is yours and yours alone.
At this point, Summit does not have any policy regarding vaccination requirements for our staff. Should regulations or restrictions that apply to our sector be released, we will respect and follow those. Updates will be provided as we receive them, and staff with questions about vaccine updates are encouraged to reach out to Human Resources. There are many different elements to our operations that may involve vaccination restrictions, from transportation regulations to regional health orders. This is a highly complex matter, and we ask for understanding and patience while we learn how to manage the many moving parts to this big picture.
Thank you and stay safe,
The Summit Team
We’re so excited to get boots on the ground and trees in the dirt, and to start hearing your season’s success stories! I’ve been loving the quick chats I’ve had with our team so far, we’ve got some pretty amazing people with us, and we’re well set up for a fantastic season of 40 million trees (wow!). A big Thank You also to our Management Staff for all the training they took on this year, including Wilderness Mental Health First Aid, Naloxone training, and Consent Workshopping, all of which aim to ensure that our workplace is as safe a space as possible for all our employees.
With Covid19 cases continuing to rise, and with variants now circulating that increase transmission and severity leading to hospitalizations in younger people, it is vital that we all adhere to Provincial Health Guidelines, as well as Summit’s detailed COVID Policy. Ensure that you are familiarized with this policy, as well as having submitted your completed Travel Plan, Exit Strategy, and Health Log. Being diligent with careful self-isolation and following masked, physical distancing strategies and hand hygiene before travelling to camp is the most important step in ensuring that Covid19 is not brought into our pod systems in the first place, so that our transition into work and between phases is seamless. Please be especially diligent when arranging travel plans, and do not carpool with anyone outside of your camp, and ideally, travel only with people on your crew. Prepare for strict pod systems as our season starts. Ensure that you have enough clean, triple layered masks to make it through Phase One. Bandanas/buffs are not sufficient. Much like planting, we expect hard work to pay off, and have designed protocols that we believe keep our employees, the communities we work in, and the silviculture industry as safe as possible.
Make sure to continue to follow the pre-season training plan found on our website. (https://www.summitplanting.com/plantingfitness.html ). Having activities and exercises that you love for your endurance and cardio training is great, but paying extra care to these particular exercises is important; these have been found to reduce injuries by up to 70%. Further, all planters will be expected to be able to demonstrate this program at the start of the season. All planters, new or experienced, will need to follow the taping measures outlined on the website for three weeks. We will have tape available, however if you have sensitivity to some athletic tape, sourcing and bringing your own sports tape is recommended. We will have some supplies for sensitive skin, but these are limited. Unfortunately, reimbursements for tape brought from home can not be offered.
As camp isolation is still a requirement, and employees are not able to visit town to do laundry, Summit will be making use of local laundry drop off services. To access this, laundry will need to be handed in in a securely fastened bag, containing no more than 7lbs of laundry. The cost of this is $20 a bag, to be deducted from payroll. Luggage scales will be available in camp to measure before handing laundry in; and shaking out as much dirt as possible from laundry will help to keep this cost effective. It is advised that you practice filling and weighing your laundry bag before leaving for the season to ensure that the bag you have chosen is suitable.
Sanitation tents will be present in each camp this year, with a small sink which can be used for minimal laundry, and a designated area to sterilize small personal items. There are specific protocols to be followed when using these areas, and pots for boiling water are not supplied. If you have a personal item that you predict needing to sterilize, it is your responsibility to bring your own small pot with a heat safe handle, and a method to remove the pot from the hot plate safely. Food is never permitted in these tents.
To remedy the inability of visiting town to grab supplies during the season, each camp will have a commissary at which you can purchase toiletries, gear, basic pharmaceutical items, snacks, etc. There are three options to procure items not available in the commissary:
o Products which would require special licensing to sell (for example alcohol), a licensed location close to camp will be designated for each contract to receive phone orders with credit card payment. These orders will be picked up periodically by the Town Runner, who will communicate the cut-off time for ordering.
o Specialty Items not available in the commissary can be ordered with this same procedure. Best efforts will be made to designate the store likely to offer the most variety, which will vary by contract.
o Specific items not outlined above can be ordered online, sent to the designated P.O. Box, or sent General Delivery and addressed to: Your Name, c/o Name of Town Runner, Summit Reforestation, General Delivery, Town Closest to Contract. This process will vary by contract, which will be communicated to you by your Camp Supervisor. When using this option, err on the side of caution when calculating shipping times.
Bring adequate supplies of any items or products you will want through the season, particularly those which you imagine may be difficult to source remotely and/or have specific preference for.
And finally, as you prepare for your season by increasing your social distancing, doing your preseason training, and packing up your world for tent life, don’t forget to consider the things that help make camp feel like home. Bring books, art supplies, cards, frisbees. Download movies, audiobooks, playlists to enjoy and to share while in camp. Ensure that background apps are turned off on your phones so that we can ensure internet is available for contact with our loved ones on the outside. Think about ideas you’d like to contribute to social committee, the goals you’ve set for yourself, the ideas that you have for submissions for the Tree Planting Film Festival.
See you Soon!
We worked hard industry wide in our 2020 planting season to adapt to the difficulties of COVID-19. We are happy to report that there was not a single reported case of COVID-19 this season in any planting camps in either BC or Alberta. The policies and procedures we put in place helped us to keep everyone of you and the communities we worked in safe. We are still not sure sure what the current behaviour of COVID-19 will mean for the planting industry in 2021, but we will continue and adapt to the situation as it evolves.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped make last season safe and healthy!
Hello everyone - here is a great interview that highlights everything the planting industry is doing to keep you, our workforce, local, and indigenous communities safe this planting season.
Thank you all so much for being diligent and filling out all the forms we have sent out this year. It has been the most efficient way to gather information and get a clear picture of what is happening.
We have one more form - a follow up to the travel form that previously went out. Please read carefully and fill this out to the best of your ability.
Ultimately, we need to know where all employees are as you travel across the country, and we need to know details about when people are arriving in Smithers, Prince George or other towns that we are working near. It is also important that employees are not 'hanging out' in Smithers, PG, or another town waiting for the pick up date.
It is imperative that we get this information as soon as possible and that the form is filled out as accurately as possible. Crew bosses - please send this out to your crews asap! I will follow up shortly with a link to the spreadsheet to view responses.
Please direct any questions to your supervisor (planters should direct questions to their crew boss)
Thank you again for your time filling out these forms. Please keep filling out the health logs daily, and we look forward to seeing you soon,
This year's plant is quickly approaching. We are almost geared up in the yard with many of our camps heading out on May 7th. Most planters should be arranged to meet up with their crew-bosses between the 11th and the 16th. If you don't have your dates arranged, please get in touch with your crew-boss ASAP.
Some things that you need to make sure you are doing right away:
Really good meetings today. We were told that Camp Standards will be released tomorrow. Once I have this information, I will be able to provide more details on how the industry it adapting to the challenges for COVID-19. Please continue to keep yourself safe and isolate. More information to come by Friday.
- Tim Tchida
As an industry, we have a developed and submitted our strategic plan for working this season, and we have asked the government for financial support to implement it. There are substantial costs to achieve these standards and we are waiting for review and approval.
My apologies for no new news today. This is a detailed and complicated process and it needs high level approval on multiple levels.
Thank you for the patience, the phone calls, and support.
Please keep reaching out.
COVID-19 Update April 7, 2020
Today like everyday in the past few weeks was very busy and full of phone calls, zoom calls, strategies and numbers. Contractors are stressed, parents are calling and forman want to know what the heck is going on, and planters have been patient. Hold on!!!
We are all getting anxious to go to work.
We are in hurry up and wait mode.
There are such strong principles gilding this process and there are many piece’s entangled and we are working hard to make them fit.
For now. One more day. Maybe two.... please stand by, don’t travel, wash your hands and Stand by.
We may have, should have answers tomorrow!!!!!!!!
Thank you. 🌲🌎🌲
We are working hard with government agencies, clients, communities, managers and planters to ensure we can all go to work safely this season. We will post updates here regularly to keep you informed.