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. 🌲🌎🌲
The time of waiting for an answer is confusing and difficult; I know I feel this way and I can empathize you do too. I can say for certainty Summit is fully doing everything we can to go to work safely. However, right now I want to focus on something different: Mental health.
Not only do we need to wash your hands and self-quarantine, but we also to take care of our mental state. In this time of self-isolation and social distancing that sense of community that we get from planting can feel very distant. Leaving us feeling lonely and confused.
We are in the middle of it and as hard as we are working to allow us to go to work safely, it is still an unknown. We will work if it is safe. All this stress and anxiety from the unknown can be very draining emotionally. I know for myself I needed to take a night off from updates to take care of myself and in turn take care us all and this unknown.
It is important that we keep moving forward and taking this one-day at a time. We are all looking forward to a summer working our butts off with people who understand and appreciate our uniqueness and our journey. We are a tribe. Although we may not all be in the same place right now we are all in this together.
Breathe deep and take care of your self.
If you need to reach out feel free to call.
Again today I have witnessed the phenomenal sense of caring for each other in the world of contractors. All the feelings of uncertainty and competition have vanished. We hey to see each other as incredibly, creative and diligent and principled, caring people. It is amazing to experience how we are all beginning to see each other as familiar, even if we have only spoke for the first time. Finding solutions is planting us together. We all know what the other has endured to be a tree planting contractor, it was not a easy journey. It took a serious of initiations, all of which included suffering and reward. We have learned how to accomplish the impossible with very little and now we have come together and developed a COVID strategic plan and we are in the process of sharing a Charter that will guide us through this together. We are talking and sharing and we can truly feel that care of the other. Thank you for today. 🌲🙏🌲