Attending a summer camp is a dream that most kids and teens share. A journey into the unknown can be both captivating and life changing. Whether sailing uncharted waters, climbing great mountains, or learning a new language, a sense of self is discovered against the backdrop of the new.
Packing their bags
Each year hundreds of thousands of young kids from around the world pack their bags and embark on their own journeys. While leaving behind family and friends can be daunting at first, a sense of independence pushes them forward. There are a wide variety of summer camps and each child is sure to find something that peaks their interests. For those with a sense of adventure and a nose for curiosity, a summer abroad or trip into the local wildness may be more appealing. On the other hand, for those who need the security of home, a local day camp may be the right choice!
Most countries offer specialized language camps ranging from two to twelve weeks. Students join children from various other countries to study Spanish, German, Chinese, English, or one of many different languages. Language studies are typically combined with cultural outings giving students a taste of a different way of life.
Summer camps popular in Canada and America bring young kids into the wilderness where they learn to camp, hike, canoe and a wide assortment of additional outdoor activities. Still other camps allow students to specialize in digital media, various sporting activities and a wide assortment of arts training such as painting, singing, and learning to play an instrument.
Whether a child is participating in Hockey Camp in Canada or studying Spanish in Argentina there are certain aspects of each camp that parents can expect. For those students attending international summer camps, most offer airport pick-up and drop-off services. Children will be met at the airport by certified staff and escorted to their accommodation of choice. Students will usually be able to choose from homestay or dormitory. In a homestay children will stay with a family from the country they are in. They will be immersed in a new culture and given the opportunity to have firsthand experience with a new language, new food and a new family.
Students staying in dormitory will be living with many other students participating in their summer camp. Students will usually share their room with one to three other students, be provided with three meals per day, and be monitored 24 hours by summer camp staff.
Students living with a homestay family will usually be driven to and from the summer camp by their new homestay parents. If students are old enough, they may be required to take public transportation. If students are staying in dormitory they will typically be living on campus so additional transportation is not a concern.
For students attending a camp within their country of origin they will either remain at home, with parents driving them to and from their camps, or they will be able to stay on site in cabins. Whether attending an international summer camp or a local summer camp, students will be looked after and cared for by trained professionals. There will always be a way for parents to contact their children and trained staff with first aid or medical experience will be available!
Where to go
When choosing a summer camp in another country it is important to consider the time of year and the climate of the new country. It is also important to discuss new cultural norms and expectations with children. This is also important for countries such as Canada. Being one of the largest countries in the world, its various provinces provide a diverse array of cultures. Both Canadian and international children will be shocked to discover the differences between such cities as Vancouver and Montreal or Whistler and Nova Scotia. Also make sure to pack sufficient clothing and make sure that kids are educated on their new destination. Also remember to highlight emergency phone numbers, pick-up staff names, and supervisors.
Once a child arrives at their destination their journey begins. They will make new friends and memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. They will develop a sense of independence and will be captivated by their new surroundings. Whether they are gone for one week or three months they will gain new insights into the world around them and, most importantly, into themselves. Summer camps are not just a new learning process; they are an active and participatory experience not to be missed.