The concept of a summer camp has traditionally been seen as an American institution. When school terms end, summer camps begin, and thousands upon thousands of children across the United States are packed off by their parents to engage in any manner of outdoor activities, from living in tepees like the original Native Americans, to camps that focus on exercise and weight loss. Often used almost as an extended babysitting service, with a few life skills thrown into the package, there was never quite the same equivalent in countries elsewhere.
In recent years though, summer camps have arrived in full force throughout the rest of the world, and these days they are used to offer children the opportunity to learn new experiences and skills, rather than just getting them away from home for a few months. With so many types of camps to choose from, and an impressive list of foreign destinations to discover, it’s no wonder that children’s holiday camps are now so popular in Europe and beyond.
Different types of camps
Parents have a range of residential camps to choose from depending upon the type of trip and interaction they want their child to have. Of course, it’s always best to let kids have an input into the trip they going to take, because if they’re signing up voluntarily they will usually get much more out of the experience.
Sporting camp: Is your child the next David Beckham? For children with true sporting potential it can be difficult to balance training alongside schoolwork and other family commitments. There are thousands of children who demonstrate ability in a variety of sports and who have the potential to become genuine athletes if they had both the time and the instruction to take their skills that little bit further. An intensive sporting camp is the perfect way to give your child that opportunity. A few weeks in the summer spent playing everything from basketball to football will not only improve their skills but also teach them the importance of teamwork and other skills that will help them in later life, whichever career they decide on.
Language camp: Learning languages is something you’re either adept at or you aren’t, and for those without a natural predilection towards them, languages can pose a lot of difficulties. For kids who struggle to learn in the classroom, where languages are taught by reading through passages in textbooks, a language camp abroad where they can experience total immersion in the culture can truly enhance their knowledge and understanding. Kids on language camps can sometimes return home as near fluent speakers, giving increased confidence in the classroom and a head start in their future careers.
Adventure camp: The adventure camp is the mainstay of all summer camp holidays. These weeks are packed full of fun activities that see kids take on the challenges of white-water rafting, abseiling and other teambuilding exercises. Not only do these courses increase a child’s confidence but they are also a whole load of fun. Children who return to school after spending a few weeks on one of these courses will have a whole lot more to write about in their ‘what I did on my summer holidays’ essay than most.
Entrepreneur camp: Teaching valuable business skills from an early age can offer a good start for a child who has an interest in a career in business. Older children find these camps rewarding and interesting as they take part in activities designed to develop their business acumen. Courses like these help to teach children on an intellectual level as well as in the practical aspects of business, and there is no better way to learn the necessary people-skills any budding businessman or woman needs to have. Before you know it they’ll be braving the Dragon’s Den, or the wrath of Alan Sugar on the Apprentice!
Author Bio: Kate has fond memories of summer camp and is looking forward to sending her little ones off to experience adventures for themselves.