“A lot of parents pack their troubles,
and send them off to summer camps”
“ Summer camp” today has almost become the need of the society. We see parents immediately enroll kids in camps after examinations. And so day by day summer camps which was once considered as just a fun is now getting a professional look and is also a complete planned activity today. This article is written to highlight the views about such camps.
Basically, kids need engagement. They get easily engaged when they are surrounded by same age kids and various activities. This is the reason why such camps are getting a huge positive response from parents and kids. New friends, new environment and a change from the daily chaos are what the purpose and secret of the popularity of such camps. Students are made to play various games, teachers take care of kids during each activity plays. Interaction with new friends makes the overall camp experience sound and pleasant.
Day by day various dance forms are introduced, various new games and activities like parachute ride, swimming, singing, cricket, volleyball, painting etc. Are included in the camps. Their difficulty level is increased. Students are also exposed to various cultural activities like traditional prayers. Above all, everything in which can get a good experience and a good time is spent is all included in the camps. It is rightly taken care that kids get a good experience to be in such camps. So, kids are more attracted to such camps and enroll along with heir friends.
Every coin has its two sides. Although the main aim of such camps is engagement from parents side and a business from organizers side the fact is the main aim of such camps should be an exploration to the various experiences which is different from the school activities. Students should be made to interact more and should be exposed to activities which they have not ever experienced.But, the sad part is kids are involved in activities which they already know like painting, swimming etc. If they are made to do the same which they are already doing in schools then they start getting bored soon.
Also, time is the biggest factor to which I strongly protest. How come we can take so many activities in just few 10 -15 days?. It is rushing up with the activities out of which kids hardly get any real learning. Kids are busy performing one after another numerous activity and lastly end up in the mere completion of the camp without learning. It is just killing time from the organizer's side.
Let's take the case study of international camps, the best camp in the world is the one which is organized by the University of Helsinki, it is called as LUMA summer camps.They take various handicrafts workshops, language workshops and the main purpose of such camps is the interaction with a maximum number of students. They are made to talk with many students from different regions and cultures so that kids get exposed to another world which they have never seen in daily chaos. Various groups are made and they have different leaders. It is observed by the organizers that kids develop leadership, use the latest information and develop communication technologies.
At the international level, there are minimum 100 kids in such camps. Everything is professionally managed. Further, it is the state government which is having direct control over such camps. Purposely kids from different regions are made to play together and have a cultural exchange of experiences. Also, activities in such camps are scientifically selected that students will get the learning experience in all days. With more kids there is a lot of learning, they learn togetherness and belongingness.
Camps should be organized according to the interest of the kids. Like if we see the case study of summer camps in Spain, they organize camps in different categories different places and different sports. The entire package is designed to meet the specific requirements of kids in the respective locations. Kids get a privilege to visit different locations with such camps.
Also, the most important fact which is worth appreciating is the camp is organized in age wise manner. The same age kids should be taken together in such camps. They get real learning when they are made to play and stay with same age kids, as kids learn a lot from the surrounding and colleagues then teachers.
Next important factor is the place where such camps are organized. It should be selected wisely. If we ponder about international level, all such camps are organized at the forest of the nature-friendly area. It is specifically proved that learning ambiance has a huge impact on the learning experience of kids. With nature, they learn different aspects of nature.
Lastly, the organizers are the people who add soul to all such camps. The organizers should be professionals who are aware of the kids' psychology and should have huge experience of teaching and engage in such activities. If they know the learning from all activities then only they can properly select activities and accordingly kids can get a true learning experience from such camps. They should try to make it a jolly and fun world so that students will feel different than schools. If they are made to enjoy in strict camps then it would be no different than schools which already their daily activity.
Looking at the ways in which such scamps are organized in national and international levels. We surely need a lot of improvements in the present scenario. If proper actions are taken and if a systematic approach is adopted we can hope that our kids can get a lot learning from such camps. The key role player is the organizing team which should take strong efforts to meet the international standards. Indian parents like progress and easily adapt to the new things introduced. They are keenly interested in such fascinating experiences. If organizers and government take interest to develop a professional camp structure we can surely hope to gain a lot learning experience for our kids.