Holidays’, especially summer holidays, as a period of transition between one academic schooling year and another, enables children and teachers to have some down time, critical with the rigorous schedule of work that each year is packed with. 6-8 weeks are therefore a period of relaxation and recreation.
With free time, however, in the modern world come expectations of optimisation – how to “occupy” the children meaningfully to give them a head-start or simply, “occupy” them so that they don’t waste their time! Summer Camps have therefore mushroomed and gained popularity because clearly families are endorsing it. There are also outbound opportunities that cannot be missed as these adventure camps are planned with the weather in mind which may not be possible through the course of a school calendar. Additionally, during the school calendar, the duration of these opportunities cannot be planned because different schools follow different holiday schedules. For a variety of reasons, Summer Camps have become the mainstay as families that cannot travel on account of work commitments, like the option of their children engaging in activities outside of the gadget world.
My personal opinion is that Summer Camps are a personal choice, and one that works for one family, may not work for others. It is imperative for each family to consider the child’s needs before making a decision to send the child for it. Replacing family time with adventure may not be everyone’s cup of tea and remember, children also need unstructured, down time to unwind.
If your child is not ready for such decisions, forcing him/her may not yield results and therefore conversations and discussions are important to avoid anxiety associated with these camps.
If the intention is to add a dimension to the child’s personality by exposing them to situations and enabling them to be open minded, selecting a Summer Camp may not be a bad idea. The nature, duration and location therefore needs to be thoroughly referenced out before a decision is made.
This article has been authored by well known educationist Ms Fatima Agarkar.