When summer vacation comes around, untold numbers of kids will celebrate the last day of school by grabbing a smart-phone, turning on a game console, or logging into a computer to play video games.
Like a scene from a science-fiction movie, the world’s children will sit in front of screens in air-conditioned rooms, sealed off from the outside world while they interact with fictional characters in a digital world. Entertainment options will include watching TV, movies, and cartoons. Social interactions will occur via keyboard, where kids will communicate with each other, not face-to-face, but avatar-to-avatar.
While minds will be excited and entertained by the virtual world on-screen, bodies that should be developing physically will remain inactive for hours, or even days at a time. This year more than ever, where kids have been stuck at home on-line learning for the last 4 months during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s so much more important to get them to un-plug from their digital lives and plug into nature.
iCamp Thailand offers an American-style summer camp in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, for kids 8 to 16 years old. Here, 50 acres of facilities designed for fun and education help reconnect kids to nature and the great outdoors.
Sunscreen or Computer Screen?
iCamp has a “no-screens” policy, and is focused on improving kids’ social skills and self-confidence through physical activity in the great outdoors, along with imparting new skills in arts and crafts, sports, and the performing arts. At the same time, an optional educational program employs teachers to help students catch up academically if they have problems with their grades, suffer learning problems such as dyslexia, or just want an extra boost to give them a head start in the new semester.
Kids give a thumbs up despite being separated from their computer screens and telecommunication devices at iCamp Thailand.
Students at iCamp Thailand enjoy activities such as archery, horse-riding, beach volleyball, an obstacle course, zip-lining, swimming, golf, basketball, tennis, soccer, and flag football, all hosted within iCamp’s expansive campground.
On-campus activities are supplemented by field trips to special attractions around Kanchanaburi. Places visited on field trips include Elephant World, Erawan Waterfalls, Jurassic Waterpark, Safari World, Kra Sae Cave, the Bridge on the River Kwai, Hell-fire Pass, and the JEATH War Museum. Activities include canoing, white-water rafting, banana boat, and bamboo rafting.
Education in a Fun Environment
Students who join the education program are taught by tutors, including specialists who can help kids with dyslexia, English as a second language, or specific subjects such as math. The education program aims to help children break out of a cycle of failure that can be created when they start the new academic year without having grasped the necessary skills taught in the previous terms.
Each child in the program is given an assessment at the beginning of camp, and a personal lesson plan is tailored for each individual student. Lessons are taught one-on-one and integrated into a daily schedule that allows time to enjoy fun outdoor activities and free play.
No Camp Food
iCamp Thailand doesn’t do camp food — it serves camp cuisine. An executive chef and three prep chefs deliver a healthy and delicious array of dishes to fuel a physically active summer adventure.
Specially dietary needs can be accommodated for campers, including vegetarian, halal, kosher, nut-free, and many more. Meals vary every day and there are always multiple options that include both Western and Asian style dishes. Every Friday is BBQ day, with corn on the cob, burgers, and vegetarian options.
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