It’s summer and a number of camps have been set up for children across the City. But summer camps have changed.
They are now less about painting, music and dance and more specialised and goal-oriented to help children adapt to changing environments with ease.
The change is thanks to the realisation that children too are victims of stress, high parental expectations and competition.
These camps instil confidence and develop communication skills of children, especially the older ones.
They make them feel that peer company is not always about pressure and competition.
Metrolife interacted with parents, educationists and psychologists to understand how summer camps are helpful. There are a few schools, independent groups and organisations organising these camps. Most parents wait for the camps to start to send their kids.
Educationists and psychologists think that summer camps can be productive, provided parents exercise caution and wisdom while choosing the camp for their child.
Educationists feel that parents must review a camp before they send their child.
Swati Popat Vats, an educationist, says that summer camps help cultivate a hobby, a skill and help children in making new friends.
These camps are mainly life skills-oriented.
“Children who have enrolled for summer camps have shown remarkable results but only if the choice of activity is appropriate to their likes and interests. Many children, who were restless or naughty in class, have settled down after taking up a hobby simply because a hobby gives them the satisfaction of achieving something. It encourages the wholesome development of a child because they are away from academics and have diverted their energy to other things. This is a refreshing change for them,” Swati reasons.
Child psychologists feel that parents must stop putting so much pressure on children and encourage them to spend summer time doing things that they miss out while at school.
Dr Roshan R Jain, senior consultant-psychiatry, Apollo Hospitals, feels that most schools devote more time to academics and less to extracurricular activities.
In this context, summer camps are useful in offering children something constructive.
“But parents must make sure that they don’t overdo it when choosing a summer camp and end up sending the child for too many things.
They have to identify the right kind of camp,” he says.
Parents too have become choosy when sending their children for summers camps. They hand-pick camps that will not only bring out the best in the children but in the long run, help them in their career.
Sapna Mahesh, a consultant, thinks that summer camps are essential to divert children from television.
“Camps provide great mental and physical exercise and children end up spending their time productively,” she says.
Prithvi, a parent and teacher, thinks that camps take away the pressure of academics.
“The right camps provide great exposure to kids. They not only learn new things but learn to manage their emotions, interact with people and how to work as a team,” she sums up.