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Thank God for summer camps

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HOLIDAY HURRAH Vacation time is when kids learn at leisure Photo: Vipinchandran
HOLIDAY HURRAH Vacation time is when kids learn at leisure Photo: Vipinchandran

Thanks to summer camps children and parents are happier during the vacation

Bye to books. Bye to exams.... for at least 60 days. It's glee-time for kids and gloom for parents. Want to know how to keep high-spirited kids from wreaking havoc at home? Send them to Summer camps. It used to be a perennial problem with parents till summer camps stepped in, mixing fun and frolic with a dash of serious study thrown in. This year too is no different. Summer camps are mushrooming all over with irrepressible kids just waiting for the go. And what makes summer vacation so exciting? The sweetness of freedom, no doubt. Time to relax and hang out with friends in summer camps. There should be enough motivation to encourage children to learn without having teachers and an excruciating curriculum breathing down their necks. They need to learn without realising that they are learning. And summer camps are gearing up to meet the rush of students. The camps offer a wide choice of activities like music, sports, games and arts for the mental and physical development of youngsters. Drawing, painting, handicrafts, yoga, meditation, learning skills, art of public speaking, magic, swimming, dance. Anything and everything is offered. Every area in the city and suburbs have summer camps where children throng to have a good time and learn something too. Almost all of the camps offer their services for a fee, most of them at a nominal rate.

Swimming season

Aditya has asked his cousin in Bangalore, Ashwin also to join him at Summer Splash, a coaching camp in swimming at the Renaissance, Palarivattom. Aditya has been a regular at Summer Splash for the past three years and he thinks it is the best way to chill out and beat the summer heat. This Std VI student of Bhavans Vidyamandir thoroughly enjoys his splash."The service is good and the pool neat. They don't pressurise the children and the fee is reasonable," says his father Ganesh. M.S.Jain, the swimming coach is all excitement. "It's our sixth year now. There are requests to enrol kids of lower age but right now we are taking children in the age group of 8 to15 only."

Outdoor fun

Yes, thanks to summer camps, many parents feel that children are getting their childhood back. In growing metropolises where concrete jungles replace playgrounds and the city simply can't offer youngsters the joys of kite flying or fishing, children hardly know what to look for to keep their summer holidays free of boredom. Like what 12-year-old Rohan of a local school did last summer on coming home after his last exam.If you think he threw off his bag and went out to play with his friends in the neighbourhood, you got it wrong. Rohan took the remote and sat hooked to the tube. When his parents came home they found him in his school uniform sleeping on the sofa... still watching TV! For such kids, what fun summer schools are. A true summer camp will bring out a more competent and confident self and refine communication and life skills of a student. The impact remains with them even after they go out of the camps. So three cheers to all summer camps!Leisure learningHolidays are here. To fill the hours of leisure usefully are the numerous summer camps. Deeksha is one such camp that has a three-week course on art, craft, yoga, story telling, cooking, painting and field trips. It begins on April 17 and ends on May 6 between 10 a.m and 2.30 p.m. It is for children in the age group 6-12. Deeksha conducts regular workshops for kids the yearlong on Saturdays but this vacation it is holding a full-fledged summer camp. Amidst the fun and play, Indian culture and tradition is inculcated in the kids through stories and painting, cooking and craft. Padma Sankaran who runs the place has a collection of traditional wooden toys for the kids so that they know about the games of yore. Beyblade's traditional Indian version, the wooden top is there for the kids to play with. Apart from TV driven games like football and cricket there are board games. Field trips to nearby places are also on the agenda.AJI JACOB VARGHESE

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