Calming the day camp nerves

29th March 2019

Common ground

The reason parents book their children onto our English and Activity Day Camps varies considerably. Some may be in the UK working, some in the UK to improve their English and some in the UK on holiday, booking their children into camp whilst they explore the bits of a city that their children wouldn’t probably enjoy (and shopping which we all know is easier without your children picking out things you neither want nor need every 30 seconds!). 

I think all parents however have several things in common when they decide to book onto our day camps. Firstly (and probably the obvious one) they all want their children to improve their English within the classroom, working with a qualified teacher who can take them from their current level and improve. Secondly, they want for their children to be immersed in the English language and carry on practicing and improving outside the classroom. Lastly, they want their child to be safe and have fun! 

Staff who help to calm the neves

Our day camps deliver all three of these for children aged 4-14 with any level of English. We work hard every year to employ qualified English teachers with experience teaching children within our age range, not just going for the first person who applies with the right qualification. We pick the teachers who have a similar ethos to us as a business and can demonstrate that they can deliver fun, interactive and effective English lessons.

Similarly, our sister company, Ultimate Activity Camps select staff who can deliver meaningful activities in a safe and fun way, helping international children to integrate and enjoy their time with us. Each day is packed full of exciting activities and camp instructors keep the energy high throughout the day so there is never a dull moment. Ultimate Activity Camps are widely used and well attended by local British children who make up 80% of camp allowing the international children to really immerse themselves in the language with their peers.

I think I mentioned it in one of the previous blogs, we’ve been running these camps for many years so our policy, procedure and structure is well tested and means children can enjoy themselves in a safe and stimulating environment. This also helps to give parents peace of mind when signing their children into camp with us, especially on the first day. When stood at the welcome desk of one of our camp’s, you can often feel the nervousness of parents and children who have arrived for the first time. The UK parents and children have a similar feeling which must be magnified for those from another country with English as their second language. Conversely, at the same moment, you see the energy from the children who are returning either from a previous season or a day the previous week – they bounce through the door ready for another exciting day. The parents too (maybe don’t bounce through the door) are relaxed and go through the daily process of signing in their children, safe in the knowledge that they (the children) will have another great day.

For those coming for the first time their apprehension is understandable and is just (in the most part) fear of the unknown. That first day is a key time for our staff who, as I mentioned, have been selected and trained in part for their ability to deal with just this situation. They are the people who will be on hand to help settle the nerves (parents and children), welcome the children, introduce them to their English learning, their activities and the other children on camp, making sure they have a fantastic experience.

Part of the bigger picture of learning English

A child’s journey of learning English is made up of many different elements over many years and I’m a true believer that our day camps are a massively positive piece within that bigger picture. We dedicate all our time and effort into making camp an exciting and safe learning environment for every child, whatever the reason behind their parent booking them with us.    

Written by: Mark Vingoe, MD