All kids love a holiday camp mainly because they spend most of the year going from home to school to extracurricular activities, we also need them to break free once in a while. School holidays can also be a tough time to manage for working parents who don’t want their kids stuck at home with helpers or constantly indulging in screen time. Many parents often confess they feel guilty because they are not able to entertain their kids during school holidays because of time and money restraints. Any parent who has had to entertain kids in Bangkok during a long summer holiday can confirm this is a challenge. School holidays offer the perfect opportunity for kids to break free in an environment that is supervised.
A sport and activity holiday camp offers the peace of mind that kids are busy, active and happily engaged in an area of their interest. Although here at BKK Kids, we are in favour of kids being allowed to be bored sometimes (it forces them to get creative and use their imagination), if you want to keep the kids active and in some kind of routine, camps are the perfect solution. Many camps allow parents to drop them before work and collect them after and many camps offer overnight residential opportunities to push kids out of their comfort zone by trying new things.
The hallmark of a great camp is to encourage children to enjoy time away from computer screens and smartphones and to show them there are plenty of different ways to enjoy learning and building social skills. Creativity isn’t stifled at camps because students don’t have to worry about getting or failing a grade. When kids are free from such restrictions their creativity flourishes.
Keeps Them Active
We all know that being active is the key to a fit and healthy life. Sadly, research shows that since the boom of the i-generation our kids do not exercise as much as they should, nor as much as we would like them to. Camps can get kids moving, both mentally and physically. Let’s get them off the couches and into courses that teach them how to make games instead of simply playing them online!
During many types of holiday camps, kids have the chance to try a wide range of sports – both traditional and non-traditional. Kids love playing together and even the sulkiest of teens will admit it’s more fun when they are being active in a group. In Bangkok and beyond, camp providers offer an amazing selection of sports camps from football, rugby, basketball, tennis and karate. If your kids are not keen on the major sports (e.g. footie, basketball) they can try yoga, biking or other individual options! Kids who enjoy an activity are far more likely to try harder and to want to continue, which means they will be getting fitter while having fun (and, even better, without even knowing they are!)
Learn New Skills
Although sports are a favourite, holiday camps don’t always have to be about sports. Holiday camps offer kids the opportunity to try new things where they can be encouraged to push themselves out of their comfort zone and to take risks without the fear of failure. If your child has an interest in anything outside of the core school subjects or sports, a holiday camp can be a great place to test out new areas of interest before parents invest heavily in more structured classes.
Think about giving your child a week or more to be immersed in coding, cookery or learning an instrument, they may just discover their life long passion. Giving our kids opportunities to try new things can be a gentle way of encouraging those kids who don’t like sports, offering them chances to look at different sciences or even giving our teens life skills like cooking and SOS safety & survival skills.
Make New Friends
Sport and any type of activity camps are great for children who want to stay in touch with their friends in the school holidays. When school breaks up, many children say they miss regular contact with their pals. Going to a camp maintains this social aspect to their lives, which is especially important when research shows how many hours our youngsters can end up spending on their own in front of a screen.
Children will also be able to make new friends. During school holiday camps they often meet and mix with kids from a variety of different schools and areas. This is great for their social skills, as well as allowing them to learn about teamwork and camaraderie. It’s always great to see how kids manage to communicate and integrate with kids from different cultures and with other languages.
We’ve all heard it a million times from campers: “I’m in my element” or, “I’ve found my people!” kids who interact with like-minded peers are able to easily build friendships (potential lifelong friendships) rooted in similar interests. These relationships can lead to even more as kids learn the value of keeping in touch and networking, many campers end up finding an internship either at a camp or through a camp they have attended.
Builds Confident Kids
Children who have the chance to learn new sports and try new activities gain confidence from acquiring and perfecting these skills, even if it’s just learning a new swim stroke or how to read a map, confidence is always reinforced by any type of success. Mixing with other children and attending a camp, which is outside of a child’s school and home routine, also improves their independence and self-esteem. Camps offer chances for kids to truly understand the thought that goes into making a good (or bad) decision, and will discover even more about themselves in the process.
Even if you think your kids are already independent nothing brings out and tests that independence more than giving them time away from you, on their own. Without having mum or dad around, they need to make their own decisions and manage their time, they may even learn to remember to brush their own teeth without having to be reminded!
Many children benefit from a sense of routine. Going to school provides this focus during term-time and kids who go to sport and activity holiday camps further enjoy a routine in the holidays. Routines and timetables are helpful for giving kids a daily structure and focus and camps are also good for parents because if children are kept active in the day they will be generally better behaved at home time.
And let’s not forget, time away from home helps kids appreciate home, their parents, their belongings, a meal cooked by mum or dad, and everything else they don’t have at camp. Their gratitude may not last for long, but appreciation definitely takes shape at camp.
Editors Note: Remember to check-out our recommended list of camp providers here and seasonal blogs on the best camps available throughout the year.