It’s that time of year again and parents up and down the country are already starting to think about what to do with their children during the summer break – the forward-planning ones, that is.
In just 14 weeks (!) schools will end as the summer break begins. This year, as with previous years, the summer holidays last 9 – whole – weeks! That’s all of July and all of August! So, what to do with the children?
Well, traditionally, children will spend some time with their grandparents, or great-grandparents and the family will spend maybe 2 weeks away. But that still leaves a lot of time to fill.
There is a third, very important, alternative, of course. The Czech Republic has an amazing tradition of hosting summer camps all over the country. These summer camps can be divided into two main categories – urban day camps, where you drop the children off each morning, and collect them every evening. Then there are the camps, (in the truer sense of the word), where children stay away for a week or two, sleeping in tents, or communal accommodation. (Anyone who’s seen Scooby Doo Camp Scare will know what I mean!)
These camps, urban & stay-away, often have a theme, such as sport; football, archery, kayaking, or performance arts such as dance, theatre, singing, or music. The choices are endless. Camps are usually aimed at a particular age range, and they can also be a good opportunity to improve language skills.
Here are two of the main benefits for children attending summer camps : –
Learn a new skill
Have your children ever wanted to learn about programming, robotics, martial arts, dancing, acting in a play, or even film-making? Opportunities are boundless. Who knows, this new interest may become a more regular extra-curricular activity after the summer has ended?
Meet new friends
The fact that all the children attending the same camp have similar interests is a very good start to forming new friendships. Even though some camps take children from, say, 6 to 15 years, you can be pretty sure that there will be several children of the same or similar age to your own there. If your child is a little nervous about meeting new people, then send them with their siblings, or maybe some friends from school? Many camps will give you a discount for siblings or friends attending at the same time.
When summer breaks are planned well, children can benefit enormously from a varied and interesting program of activities. They will only thank you for the new skills and friendships they gained from going to camp.
This article is a kind contribution by Kevin M. Clarke. Kevin is the owner and director of supercamps.cz, and has been creating summer day camps for Czech and English speaking children, between the ages of 5 and 15 years, since 2012. He is also a professional actor and voice artist, and spends any spare time with his two teenage sons.