Summer holidays are coming, which means – summer camps time! In this interview we will tell you more about the camps. How to choose the right one, possible challenges and benefits, and more!
Why should parents enrol kids in summer camps/schools?
Parents usually send kids to a summer camp when both parents are working. So, the camp serves as a childcare during holidays. When kids are young, they need to be cared for, but when kids get older, they need care + something that stimulates their mind – some kind of useful activity. Even when both parents are not working, kids can be at a summer camp because, they get an opportunity to get out and be with other children. Summer camps help children learn things that they may not be able to do at home – like learning a new skill, or a new sport.
What challenges should parents be ready for while enrolling kids to summer camps?
Well, sometimes, children are shy and have to be encouraged to come along. Parents can tell the camp leader to keep an eye on their son or daughter because they are quiet or shy. But I think the simplest thing to do is to find someone similar, who they could be friends with. Once they get a friend, it grows from there. By the end of the first week, kids usually know everybody. It can be a challenge, but the advantage of a summer camp lies in its encouraging atmosphere.
How do you know if a child is ready for summer school?
It depends on different factors: e.g. how a child performs at school. If they have some difficulty at school, it does not have to be the same issues at summer school. Because these things maybe related to a specific school or a camp. The environment in a summer school/camp, is different – It’s a fun environment. In summer camp, even when you learn something, it will be fun.
Another factor is the siblings or friends that children have. If the siblings or friends go, they want to go. Parents can ask children based on their area of interest. E.g. “I know you’re into computers. Do you want to go to a coding camp?” They’ll say yes or no, and then it’s a discussion. If the child refuses, parents may encourage, “Just go for a day, and if you like it, go for the rest of the week.” Sometimes that works, because the child is making his own decision.
How can parents choose the right camp?
Well, there are residential camps where kids go away for a week or two somewhere in the wilderness with accommodation in tents. Or there are urban camps, where you drop children off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. It’s important to see what kind of camp would suit your child. There are various factors to consider: How old is your child? Is there just one child? Do they have siblings who could travel together with them? Are they interested in staying away for a week or returning home each evening?
It’s up to parents to get in touch with the organizers. Usually the camp’s website has a lot of information about the itinerary, age, the activities, who’s running the camp, what is their qualification etc.
For specific needs a parent has to contact the camp leader.
Are summer camps financially viable?
There are different camps that suit different pockets. There are simple camps, where you drop kids off, and they might do a little bit of art, and they might go to a playground. These are relatively inexpensive. Then you’ve got camps, where kids stay away, or go to a different country. So, parents can choose something they prefer. Most camps give a discount for siblings and friends.
Kevin offers the following summer camps: Coding and Action, Gaming and Action, Rookie Youtubers, PopCamp and Geocache Discovery. Kevin tries to find a balance between being indoors and outdoors during a child’s camp experience. For instance, the “action” means an outdoor activity like a jump park, climbing wall, or kayaking.
Types of camps:
- Sports camps
- Drama camps
- Art camps
- Specialized camps: Coding and Gaming camps
What to pack for a camp:
Parents get a list from the organizers about what children need. Usually in summer, children need the following:
- Sun cream
- Insect repellent
- First aid medication
Kevin Clarke is the owner and director of Supercamps.cz, and has been creating summer day camps for Czech & English speaking children, between the ages of 5 and 15 years, since 2012. He is also a professional actor & voice artist, and spends any spare time with his two teenage sons. Here, he tells us why summer camps are good for kids and what you can watch out for when you enrol them into one!