With academic competition reaching a crescendo, most students fret through the year that they are unable to pursue activities and hobbies close to their hearts.

If you are one such ‘study-stricken’ kid, this may be the best time of the year to take advantage of a wide variety of summer camps flooding the city. Be it fine arts or full contact sports like karate and boxing, painting and music or field games, various organisations and institutions in the city are gearing up to provide custom-made courses to fit everyone’s requirements.

And if you thought your parents may not be willing to send you for one, all you need to do is to actively search for the most suitable camp near to your home. “Summer camps come as a blessing in disguise for us. With the sun beating down mercilessly and restless kids at home, it proves difficult to manage bored children during these long holidays. At summer camps they can spend time learning new skills and gaining knowledge,” P. Sai Kumar, a government officer, says.

While most parents send their children to attend special classes aimed at completing a major portion of their next year’s syllabus during the summer vacations, it would also be a better idea to send the children to summer camps, he observed.

With more and more parents holding this view, the demand for summer camps is also growing, organisers said. “Earlier we had to scout for children and persuade parents to send them. But now most summer camps are flooded with children,” G. Samuel, a music teacher, said.

While three years ago Samuel used to take up hour-long music classes at just two camps, this year he signed up for eight. “I did not accept more offers as it will be difficult to do justice to more than eight classes per day,” he said.

But with summer camps mushrooming, how do we select a camp that is most suitable for us? First thing to do is to pinpoint one’s interest, K. Abhilash Reddy, a summer camp organiser said. “Difficulty with most children is that they do not know what their interests are or they think that they are interested in more than one hobby,” Reddy maintained.

Factors like peer pressure, desire to look cool in their own circles and lack of understanding about their own strengths, force many to choose activities in which they do not excel. Consequently, they lose their interest even in those activities in which they have potential to excel, he explained.

“We often advise parents to let children try more than one activity and allow them to test their own interests and abilities. For this reason going to a camp where more activities are organised might be advantageous,” he said.

Similarly, there are other factors — like proximity, group with whom you are attending the camp, instructors, duration of the camp and the fee you have to shell out — that should be kept in mind.

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