We’re going Camping!:Fun and Frolic for your Child

-Pooja Pradhan

This winter, give your child a welcome break from the normal routine of life they’re used to. Send them to a winter camp and see how they come back with newfound independence, enhanced knowledge, and a more sociable outlook.

It’s near that time of the year again when you struggle to get out from the cocoon of warmth that you have built to brave the cold and go to work. While you are slogging away dreaming of your warm bed, your child, on the other hand, is lounging around watching the mindless daytime TV or doing their homework (not likely, but let’s stick to this dream). No matter how much you want to, it would not be possible to spend their winter vacation with them, nor would it make sense to leave them to be taken care by someone else all day long. A great idea would be to send them to camp.

Before you get all bent out of shape because I actually suggested that you send your child to mini school during their break, listen to me. First, winter camps are not like schools. Not really. Some camps do focus on academics but not all of them. Camps can have different activities that children can focus on: painting, singing, dancing, or public speaking. But ONE thing that camps guarantee is your child’s interaction with other children from different socio-economical backgrounds who share similar interests.
This way, they’ll get knowledge of the world outside from the one you live in. Who knows, by the end of the camp, your child may discover their hidden talent to become the next Pele, J.K Rowling, Matisse, or Adele.

You could be assuming that you’ll have to spend extra time to get your child ready for camp and take all kind of safety measures. You would be wrong.

According to Uma Thapa, a teacher at Kinder Planet, and Sunita Shakya of Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, both of whom have been involved in organizing camps, parents are not the ones that have to take any safety measures to get their children ready for camp.

It’s the camp organizers that need to make sure safety precautions are being taken. “Since it’s winter, parents should make sure that their child is dressed warmly,” this according to Sunita Shakya, is the only safety measure that parents have to take.

You don’t have to worry about any medical condition that your child may have since most camps have a form that you have to fill about any special condition that your child has. All of them should have first aid kits for any accidents. Accidents do happen, but nothing so serious; according to Anupama Mukhia, who has been involved in the camps hosted by St. Xavier’s School.

The most severe injury that a camper had gotten was a sprained leg. But, if you are still worried about the safety of your child, go and visit the camp organizer and ask about the safety measure that will be taken. Or, even better, talk to parents who have already sent their child to that camp, they will give you an unbiased view on the camp.

Happy Camping

St. Xavier’s
Age group: 6-12 years (they do take campers below 6 years)
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for 15 days (the exact date is not yet fixed but it will be either in December or January)
Activities: This camp has both academic and extracurricular activities. Academic activities include English, science, math, and Nepali classes; extracurricular activities include art and craft, painting, music, public speaking classes, creative writing, and debate. There are special activities like bouldering, magic shows, puppet shows, dental checkups, horse and elephant rides, picnic, traffic orientation, etc.
Fees: Camp fees Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 5,000; Transportation fees: Rs. 2,000

Call: 5521050

Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory
Age group: 5-12 years
Date: January 1, for 10 days
Time: Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Activities: Activities focused on art, music, and dance, with trips to museums and rescue centers. A concert is held by the children on the 11th day, and on that day, the artwork done by the children are also put on display.
Call: 5013554

Gallery MCube
Age group: 2- 18 years
Either in January or February for 10 days
Activities are focused on arts and craft, clay work, performance, etc. The children also get to interact with professional artists.
Fees: Rs. 4,500 (includes materials)
Call: 5260110

Wendy House
Age group: 4- 14 years
Date: January, for three weeks
Activities: Most of the activities are academics based on science. The children will be doing experiments and math activities are geared towards making math fun. The extracurricular activities are art, dance, music, and games, and there will also be a day of outing.
Fees: Rs. 7,000 with bus (food included); Rs. 5,000 with food

Call: 4411612
Well, you may think what would she know? She does not have a child, she has not attended winter camps, nor has she worked at a camp. You are correct. But I have had friends who have gone to camp. They’ve had fun, made new friends, learned new things, gained a bit of independence, and discovered a different aspect of themselves. I am not saying that you have to send your child to winter camp. All I am saying that this winter break, think about it. Sending your child to winter camp is something that working parents should consider. They will spend their time doing something beyond homework or sitting in front of the TV. They can spend their winter break learning something in a safe environment. So, while you are working, you don’t constantly worry if your child has eaten properly, or if he/she is doing nothing but sitting in front of the TV while you are not at home.

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