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01 May 2008

SUMMER CAMPS FOR CHILDREN

Parents want children out of the way while they are at work during holidays in summer.Some parents feel that their kids should learn something new,still others feel that as children, they themselves had a good time doing nothing in particular,at home,and so, let their children be as well.Certain children opt to do whatever their group of friends insist on taking up.
Playing hopscotch,chess,draughts,ludo,building games,carrom,reading Amar Chitra Katha,Archie,Richie Rich
comics and of course, listening to stories from my dear Grandpa all made up my summer holidays as a child. A day's outing would include visits to Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park or the Nandi hills.
As a young teen, I had learnt to embroider,cross-stitch,fabric paint and draw and paint on different surfaces. Reading Tintin and Asterix comics, Reader's Digest, Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes formed part of the day.
Today, there is a huge choice according to the size of your pocket. Indoor board games have very few takers. Reading good books is opted for by a handful.The majority want to spend their time in front of the TV or Computer playing games. Still others learn a new sport-tennis,swimming,basketball,soccer,table tennis and almost always cricket. Learning to play a musical instrument,singing,dance and theatre depends on finding the right coach and availability of time.
It certainly is a pity that some students of the IX, X,XI,
and XII have to go for additional classes at school or at tuitions while others play.
Organizing summer camps to teach a variety of art and craft is a money making venture for some who hire a school to conduct their activities. It could be for a minimum of 10 days to 25 days. Prices also vary according to the kind of coaching given.
One parent told me of an interesting camp that her children went to for 5 days, 3 hours each day. It was a cooking class for children below 12. Simple, basic ideas to get them interested in the kitchen and what goes into making what they liked to eat. No, they do not have to do anything at home. Life skills, that's the idea. And honing their motor skills and coordination and team work. The children loved it ! Each day was a different theme-Italian(Pizza),Mexican,Chinese(Fried Rice),Indian(Chats). They were allowed to cut vegetables,shown the correct way of doing things, do's and don'ts were explained. They enjoyed gobbling up what was prepared every day.Final day, they were asked to invite parents to sample the day's menu.
Vacation Bible School is conducted for a period of 10 days in every church. Teachers and volunteers guide children through activities and games, according to age group to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord. Competitions are held and prizes given. A final day program of reciting memory verses out of the Bible,songs according to the theme, skits,etc.,brings together parents, and congregation.
Summer is a great time to learn something new and engage your children in an activity they most enjoy. Some go on a holiday and some go to their native places to meet their relatives. Some drive down on a day's picnic to a waterhole. Still others enjoy a weekend at a resort or a national park. But, to beat the heat, each must find their own activity that gives them pleasure and renews ties with family and friends.

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