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Broaden You Child's Horizons! Let Them Experience Camp!

Whether it's a day camp or sleepover camp, there are heaps of benefits from experiencing camps. We are so fortunate to be living in a time where there are so many activities to choose from; languages, sports, arts, social and even environmental. At camp, children can develop their natural skills or even discover new ones. During the holidays there are so many different kinds of camps and holiday programmes on offer to Singaporean children, that there is no excuse for any child to say that they are bored. If parents look carefully and investigate properly, there is a camp or holiday programme that can suit every pocket. But do your research carefully.

No doubt, children learn plenty from school. More than merely academics, children learn to socialize and they are offered opportunities to develop certain talents. But, is schooling enough? Students socialize well in their contained environment. They grow up with the same schoolmates and become comfortable in their own zone, but are they able to adjust to new situations ? Are they excelling at school because they're in their comfort zone?

Day camps or overnight camps assist the individual to excel. Camp counsellors and holiday program teachers are trained and experienced in helping students to come out of their shell quickly, to make new friends and to try new things. Camps allow children to try activities that they wouldn't ordinarily even think about doing or have the opportunity to try. If it isn't in the school curriculum, the students aren't going to get to do it, for instance: speech and drama, creative writing (not composition writing), rock climbing, cooking…the list goes on and on.

On the other hand, camps can also develop skills that need developing. If a student needs extra help in English, there are plenty of enrichment programmes that can help develop their language skills or even their love of the language. If children love what they learn, they excel in it.

There are a lot of choices out there, and making a decision on the right kind of camp for your child is not easy, however, there are 3 obvious things to look at. Firstly, the expense. There are camps to suit every pocket, from cheaper holiday programmes, which children attend daily to overnight and even overseas camps. Secondly, you need to ask yourself whether this is something your child is ready for. If your child has never spent a night away from home, then now is not the time for an overnight camp. Let them have more experience staying at friends or with family members before they spend a night on camp. If your child is not attending regular school during the term, then he will not be ready for a holiday programme. Finally, make sure that the organization which is facilitating the holiday programme or camp is a professional organization. The councillors and teachers must love what they do! They are providing the experience for the students, their enthusiasm and encouragement will either make or break the camp.

At Hess, we provide English Holiday Programmes. We realize that the students need a balance of learning and fun. We keep in mind that the students are on vacation. We try to change activities as quickly as possible, from speech and drama, to reading comprehension, to creative writing. We play loads of games and do a variety of activities in 2 hours all done within the framework of a fun theme.

International camps provide an incredible experience for students. An overseas trip allows students to experience cultures and a way of life unfamiliar to them. As St. Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”. Students become independent as they are encouraged to stand on their own two feet and they gain confidence from doing so as they realize that they are able to be independent. Parents need to be very aware of the organization that is facilitating the camp. Do your research and make sure that the organization has experience in camps, that the councillors and chaperones are experienced and that the schedule, accommodation and insurance are well organized. Every summer and winter, Hess brings over 400 students from Taiwan to Singapore. In addition we have organized camps for Korean and Thai students. We are very aware that parents are nervous about putting the care of their child into the hands of others, but our parents trust us. They know that the schedule is organized very tightly, that the chaperones and teachers are very well trained and care about their students, healthy menus are planned and fun excursions organized. Every year 400 students arrive, shy and nervous on their first overseas trip and by the end of the week they leave confident and in tears as they say goodbye to their new friends and teachers. An experience of a lifetime!


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