No parents allowed! Why kids love holiday camp
It's official! Kids love holiday camp. Could they be the killer combo of fun, new friends and affordable childcare? Muddy's cub reporter puts Camp Beaumont to the test.
The Easter holidays are looming large and I like to think of it training for the Summer marathon. As much as we would all like to pack our bags and jet off somewhere exiotic, it’s not a reality for 99% of people. But we’re parking the parental guilt this year, sacking the digital nanny and quitting the synced family Google calendar for kids camp – and, boy, have come a long way.
If you want your kids to grow in confidence, become more independent, make friends outside their school clique and take on new challenges – sports, crafts, creative fun and more – then kids camp is a brilliant launch pad. There are some brilliant ones nearby, with activities designed by industry experts. Here, cub reporter Sam evaluates Camp Beaumont – you’ll find camps this Easter at Beaconsfield High School, Beaconsfield.
CAMP CURIOUS: A 7 YEAR OLD’S VIEW
‘Fancy spending the day with with no parents? YES! ‘You won’t know anyone, you’ve never been there before, but it will be fun.’ Mum said. Hmmm. OK. Apparently I was off to a holiday camp, she said there would be lots of friendly kids and it’s called Camp Beaumont.
I was so nervous, I knew no one but first impressions were good. We got out of the car, headed to a glass building where we signed in and I went to join my group – Magic. We sang the ‘know my name’ song which really helped to get to know each other, and then came the fun stuff. The bouncy castle in the Sports Hall was epic and I loved playing football during our break. Superhero Academy was one of my favourites. We were tested for super speed, super strength and learning to fly in the super jump tests. Our leader kept taking calls from the supervillain on her shoe which was hilarious.
I also loved the Rock Star challenge. Lots of air guitar and dancing. I was bit scared not knowing anyone, but I made friends quickly. The activities were brilliant and I got to do things I’d never done before. I begged my mum to send me the next day. I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a really good break from school and home, and you don’t need to be good at the activities: the staff will always help out.
SAM’S TOP 5 FUN
- Making new friends
- Bouncy Castle
- Superhero Academy
- Rock Star challenge
- Mask making
Good for: Pretty much all kids. Age specific fun on tap and there’s something for everyone to love. The emphasis is on boosting confidence, inclusivity, with a oodle of creativity.
Not good for: Head strong sporty types. There’s lots of gentle competition and sport, played but if your child has a winner takes it all mentality, they might struggle.
WHAT KIDS LOVE…
Organising your teenagers life will trigger maximum eye rolling and don’t even think about separating them from their phones. But Camp Beaumont’s Teen programme (ages 12-16) has a grown up, club-style vibe to catch the eye of the coolest kids. In addition to the sporty challenges (who can resist a water fight or epic game of Ultimate Frisbee), they will learn to DJ – scratching, mixing, posing – and the teen festival gives them the chance to shower in festival face paints and play music games. Yes, your car will be full of glitter but they’ll have a new skill that’ll annoy your neighbours and it might launch a career in Ibiza. Play the long game, people.
Teen view (Milan, 13): It was my first time at camp and was actually a lot of fun. I loved playing Capture The Flag, the new opportunities and meeting new people.
LIGHT, CAMERA, ACTION
Welcome to Hollywood! You may just discover the next Sophia Coppola or Tom Holland hiding in your child’s bedroom? The Active Camp’s new Movie Maker session teaches kids (aged 8-11) how to storyboard and plan a film, before designing props, allocating roles and shooting their big screen blockbuster. Action! Looking for heart-pumping fun that doesn’t involve the business of show? The Wet, Wild and Wacky games are a big hit, Street Dance battles and Beaumont’s Got Talent is much loved for giggles and applause. Don’t panic, sports big too but the games have an inclusive feel so that everyone has time to shine.
Ten year old view (Sam): I’d never been to Camp Beaumont before. I enjoy my day in Active. I really enjoyed the swimming session and making new friends.
WET & WILD
Little, large and old enough to know better – everyone loves water games! They a much-loved activity and everyone gets the chance to get wet wet wet. The Littlies play Aqua Attack – water balloon and spoon race, sponge tag and splat the instructor. Older kids take it up a notch to play water balloon volleyball and capture the pistol.
COOL TO CODE
Often very young children are excluded from days camps, but Playtime (ages 3-4) has been designed by experts who also work with Disney. There’s more structure and lots of down time, but quiet time. But they also get the opportunity to code. Camp Beaumont has introduced Bee Bot Coding for this age group, where they work together to give their robot basic commands so it can complete its route. In the next age group, they start to learn the basics of coding – a brilliant skill to have – and helps develop their communication and language skills.
Camp Beaumont (01603 851000) runs day holiday camps for children aged 3 to 16. Its multi-activity days run from 8.30am – 5pm (extended hours available), costs from £42.60.
Words: Rachel Jane, Muddy Berkshire Editor