|‘Summer’ camp can mean healthier children
By Verdel Bishop Monday, July 30 2007
Remember August holidays long ago? Take a ride down memory lane, back to the times before there were speciality camps with fancy names for kids and even further back before we adopted the term “summer vacation”. It was a time when boys would grab their slingshots and marbles and the girls gathered their skipping ropes. But things have changed and priorities have changed too.
Parents have now fallen into the trend of packing their children off to camp. It’s not a bad move on the part of parents though, since camp curriculums cater to the needs of the modern child, and there are a range of options to choose from such as academic camps, image camps, sports camps, camps for computer savvy children, even religious camps. Plus, a trend that first began a few years back continues this summer — Does your child have diabetes? There are camps available for children living with diabetes where they will learn healthy lifestyle practices for a few weeks of the August cum Summer vacation.
According to Alicia Goddard, facilitator of the Discovery Camp for children ages five to 14, which entails music, dance, art, drama, workshops and pool days, “If a child can explore something he or she is passionate about at age ten, like theatre or dance, speciality camps give them that head start.” “We’ve come to realise that camp is much more than recreation,” she said.
If you are thinking of a summer camp experience for your child’s special needs, registration for many are already underway.
When most of us think about camps, we think of our children having fun, making friends and of course engaging in constructive assignments. But what about safety measures in these facilities? This is the single most important question in considering whether or not to send a child to a particular camp.
According to Mervyn Critchlow, communications coordinator at the Ministry of Education, “Parents are responsible for taking a more active role in evaluating camp safety.” He said that if a vacation camp is being held at a school building, it is mandatory for camp facilitators to seek permission from the Ministry of Education, where correct guidelines will have to be put in place to ensure safety. “If anyone wishes to have a vacation camp in a school building they must seek permission from the Ministry,” he said.
Camp Director at the School of Alternative Learning in St Joseph, Emmanuel Waldron confirmed that his camp which caters to the academic needs of the children in their care, has been subjected to strict safety measures.